How to Make Bindle Paper

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Crime scene investigators and forensic examiners use so-called bindle paper as a tool for collecting small items or trace evidence, such as fibers and hair. Remarkably, in light of the many high-tech collection tools available today, bindle paper tops the list of essentials for an evidence collector. It is a clean sheet of standard-sized paper folded in a specific way into an envelope to prevent the evidence from falling out, which can happen at the corners of a manufactured envelope. Paper is preferred over plastic because evidence can be moist, carry an electrostatic charge or contain DNA samples.

Make sure the paper is clean and dry.

Hold the paper vertically and fold it in thirds horizontally, then unfold it. It is not necessary to crease the paper, just fold it so that the lines are defined. It is also not necessary to fold it precisely using a ruler. Approximations are fine.

Fold the paper in thirds vertically and crease using a moderate pressure. Now you have a narrow strip of folded paper.

Fold the bottom third of the strip upward, using the line defined by the folding in Step 2. Now you have an envelope configuration with the top open.

Place the evidence into the opening on top.

Fold the top third downward along the line defined in Step 2 to close the envelope. Tape the flap down securely. Place the bindle paper inside a larger envelope for transport.


Do not write on the bindle paper envelope. Pen or pencil tips can puncture the paper. Write instead on the outer envelope into which the bindle paper is placed.


Do not staple the bindle paper closed. Stapling will create holes in the paper through which evidence may escape or contaminants may enter.