Laminating Without a Machine

I decided to do a quickie on cheap/innovative ways to laminate Insha’Allah ta Allah.

Laminating is one of my favorite topics. Oh how I salivate whenever I see a laminator in a store. I stand and stare at it. Look at it from every angle. Touch it (yes, I will take it out of the box). But, I have yet to buy one. But I do want one. And badly too.

Anyway, we all know that laminating can be expensive when using copy shops like Kinko’s, Office Depot, etc. So, I did some web research and found other ways to laminate without using the machine.

Sometimes, office supply stores offer free laminating to teachers on certain days. This is the best way to go. You will have to call your local store to see if this special is being offered.

Another idea is to buy the laminating pouches and use an iron to make them stick. Do not place your iron directly onto the laminate sheet. Place an ironing cloth between the sheet and the iron. You can also cut a ironing sheet from a heavy duty brown paper grocery store sack.

Of course, you can also use the self-adhasive laminating pouches that do not require using a machine.

Some people (including myself) have used contact paper. This is actually a great option but only when using cardstock or some other type of heavy weight paper. The challenge with this method is getting the contact paper to go on straight and without bubbles and wrinkles. Takes lots of practice. Here’s a DIY tutorial on using contact paper to laminate.

Another easy way to laminate is to insert your document into a sheet protector. Seal the opening using a thin strip of clear tape or glue. Then cut off the edge of the sheet protector where the holes are. Or, leave the sheet protector as is.

Packing tape is yet another way to laminate. It’s very cheap. Great for those small projects.

Book tape is reportedly more stronger that using packing tape. It comes in different widths and lengths. Most office supply stores carry this product. Again, great for those small projects.

Now that you know how to laminate on the cheap, get busy! Have your students/children help out. They will learn some important skills such as how to follow instructions, hand-eye coordination, measuring, cutting, and estimating.

Your students can write on all of these types of laminates using dry eraser markers or even using overhead projector pens.

I laminate worksheets in my classroom. It saves paper and I don’t have to make copies each year for a different set of students. Students can take the sheets home for more practice.

I would love to hear about your laminate alternatives and even the types of projects that you use laminating for.

Okay. Have fun laminating!

Sources: Lifehacker and DIY Network

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