The fold line is in the middle if you orient it as "landscape", it would become a brochure, or book.

I have a regular stapler that can't reach the middle in its normal state.

Stapler can be opened, so you have just the head of the stapler, but no bottom "plate" which ensures the staple itself locks each staple when you press on it. How can this be done?

  • Please Note: Maneesh Mohan proposed the edit that I screwed up. Sorry, Maneesh.
    – Stan
    Jul 25, 2016 at 19:03
  • @Stan: Never mind stan. At least you made me correct. Jul 26, 2016 at 12:17
  • Not really a hack but I noticed that when I replaced my regular stapler with a long-neck one for stapling booklets nobody borrowed it ever again- so it ended up saving a lot of time searching down the conventional stapler and guilting the guilty parties. Jul 28, 2016 at 16:58

3 Answers 3


1) Put the paper on a soft but firm surface like a piece of Styrofoam, or even a couple layers of corrugated cardboard (like from a cardboard box).

2) Open the stapler. Position the head where you want the staple to go through the paper. Quickly smack the stapler head with your hand to stick a staple through the pages, into the soft + firm surface.

3) Remove the paper and staple from the soft + firm surface. The "legs" of the staple will be sticking straight out. Use the metallic "head" of the stapler to bend the 2 legs of the staple over flat against the paper.

The staple will hold as well as a "normally-stapled" staple does, although the legs may look a little funny.


It can be folded open so you have just the head of the stapler, but no bottom "plate" that is engraved to make sure the staple itself folds shut when you press on it.

If you can fold the stapler so that you only have the top, you can staple it on a surface, such as a table, which should make sure that the staple folds.


To make a professional looking saddle-stitched dummy folio:

  • Fold the pages you would like to saddle-stitch.
  • Place them face down on a large "pinky" pencil eraser as a base to staple into as it's handy, very sturdy, and maintains a good grip. A good grip is necessary so the staples don't easily come out until you're finished putting the booklet together.
  • Align the open stapler to put the staple into the spine (fold) of the folio.
  • Press the head of the stapler down slowly with the palm of your hand to maintain control of the process and alignment of the document. I've found that you don't need to quickly smack the stapler head. Very little force is necessary going through the fold in fact.
  • Repeat for the second and/or third stitch - move the eraser or use an additional eraser for each "stitch".
  • Pull the folio clear of the eraser(s) to expose the staple "legs."
  • Fold-over the "legs" neatly using anything firm such as a finger nail.

Saddle stitch stapler hack

There is no way to detect any difference between a hand-stapled "dummy" and a conventional saddle-stitched one when done this way. This is the standard way to produce a dummy comp.

You also will have to trim the pages to align after "page creep" forces the centre pages to protrude more than the outside pages of the booklet.

8 pages (self covered) will be the maximum number of pages for folios made this way. It is the maximum conventional folio size.

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