Suspend an Object in Jello

As seen in both the British and American versions of the TV sitcom "The Office", it is indeed possible to make a bowl of gelatin that has a stapler suspended in it! In fact, using this article's simple instructions, you can suspend almost any solid object in Jell-O.


  1. Make Jell-O as usual, according to the package instructions. Then, fill the container or bowl only to the halfway mark.
    • You may want to remove the Jell-O and have it standing on its own outside of the container. If so, you have two options: you can lightly oil the inside of the container or bowl, or you can use a silicon mold that will allow for easy removal of the Jell-O.
  2. Put the bowl of Jell-O in the refrigerator. Wait for it to set. This process will usually take up to two hours.
  3. When it has set, take the Jell-O out of the refrigerator.
  4. Place the object on top of the set Jell-O. It should sit on the layer, not sink through it.
  5. Prepare more Jell-O. Pour this on top of the first layer and the object, making sure it covers the object.
  6. Put the Jell-O back into the refrigerator to set. Wait for at least two hours
  7. When the Jell-O has set, you should have an object in Jell-O. You can now prank someone with it, but be warned––you may end up being asked to eat your way to the object!


  • If you plan on eating the Jell-O, Don't forget to wash the object you're putting inside.
  • Make sure that the Jell-O is only "mostly set" or is slightly sticky on top. If you wait until it is fully set, it will separate into two sections and people will know how you did it.
  • For the chemistry buffs, Jell-O is a liquid when heated because the protein chains move freely during heating and won't stick together. However, as soon as the Jell-O cools down, the protein chains get tangled up together and set as a wobbly solid.
  • It is also possible to add more than one object but if you want them suspended at different levels, you'll need to layer them as described above but be prepared to allow setting and topping up a few extra times. This may necessitate a larger bowl and it's a good idea to place the objects in order of density, so that the least dense are in the top layers.
  • If you want to have the Jell-O "sitting" by itself, outside of the bowl, use the "jiggler" recipe on the box. When the Jell-O has set, place the bowl in a pan of warm water, then just jiggle the mold out of the bowl, and the object will be suspended inside the Jell-O.
  • If your object floats in water, then use slightly thickened Jello for the top layer to help tamp it down.


  • Don't suspend anything containing bromelain, such as pineapple, or the Jell-O won't set; bromelain breaks down the proteins in Jell-O and restores its liquid state.
  • Putting any sharp objects may result in serious injury.
  • Gelatin is not a vegetarian dessert. Gelatin is a protein produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the bones, connective tissues, organs, and some intestines of animals. There is a vegan/vegetarian option based on agar, or you can look up ways to make gel substances from other plant origins such as gums or pectin.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Jell-O of the same color
  • Object (such as a coin)

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