Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saving laminating pouches…and your sanity!



I LOVE laminating! I don't know what it is about it but holding that sheet of plastic covered paper, still hot off the presses brings me so much joy! It's like that piece of paper just got a whole new life and there are endless ways it can be used now. Stupid I know… But I also know I'm not alone. I joined a homeschooling group on Facebook and just about all of the moms on it love laminating too.

*This post contains affiliate links.*  

My laminator is pretty new. I purchased it over the Summer to laminate worksheets and wall decorations for the kids' learning area. It's the Scotch Thermal Laminator and I LOVE it! One thing I found out right away though, was that "static cling" in the pouches don't really CLING very well when there are a bunch of smaller papers in it. Heck, even just yesterday I was trying to fit four squares of card stock (one sheet cut in fourths) into a pouch and if I didn't hold it just right, some of them would move as they were being fed through the laminator. Thankfully they were big pieces and thankfully my laminator feeds pretty slowly so I had a moment to fix it before it was too late.

This morning I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. I had printed a few pages for an activity I was setting up for the kids but printed on plain paper instead of card stock. To not waste paper and ink, I thought I'd laminate the cut out pieces and send them with Jo to his daddy's house today, so that he can practice his learning over there too. Well, what I hadn't really thought through was that I would have 18 tiny strips of paper, 18 small squares and 3 larger strips that all needed to be laminated. I arranged them on a sheet so I could figure out how they would fit but how the heck was I going to be able to laminate so many tiny bits of paper if my static cling decided not to cling today??

And then it hit me… GLUE! But not just any glue… This glue.


*NOTE: I am in no way being compensated by Darice or anyone else for this blog post. These opinions are my own.*  

I came across this re-postionable glue tape one day in JoAnn, and because it was on clearance that day, couldn't resist picking up a few of them. I especially love how it works like the white out tape I used to love when I was in school. 


After arranging my pieces of paper exactly how I wanted them on top of a closed laminating pouch, I slid them off one page at a time and ran a very small amount of glue on the backs of the papers. Then I opened the pouch and stuck each piece back inside, exactly as I had arranged them beforehand. The fact that I was able to use the glue meant that each and every piece stayed exactly where I wanted it to and if a piece was TOO crooked ( I was not going for perfection here) then I could very easily lift it up and fix it.


The REAL test came when it was time to laminate. Look at the bottom sheet in that picture. Can you just imagine the kind of craziness that would have unfolded once I lifted the page to feed it into the laminator? The second row of strips and all of the big ones would have sank straight to the bottom messing everything up, transforming me into some sort of crazy Momzilla I'm sure. Let me also mention that I was doing all of this an hour before I had to leave for work because I am crazy like that. BUT once I lifted up the pouch, nothing moved! I even gave it a nice little shake and the pieces stayed put. It was a miracle! Into the laminator they went and they came out perfectly, AND because the glue is transparent, there are no marks on the other side either!

Seriously you guys, this discovery today has me feeling like some kind of genius! I haven't even searched Google or Pinterest for anything like this yet simply because I still want to believe that only I could have produced such a brilliant idea! Using the glue tape saved me time (I would have made myself late for work trying to fight the static cling), saved laminating pouches (I was able to use every single inch of those things), and definitely kept me sane! I hope you will try it out and let me know how it works for you too!

You're Welcome :)


3 comments:

  1. My mom works in special needs education and I've been helping her with the 'chore' of laminating since... They first became availlable? Safe to say it's over half my life. We've used probably over 10 000 pouches in the meantime.

    The trick we've found is way easier than this and probably also more durable (see below). We 'build' our pouches on a thin wooden cutting board. We put thick books in front of the laminator to the height of the laminator mouth minus the thickness of the cutting board, and then slide in the pouches one at a time (if we're laminating series, which is more often than not, (my record is 400 square images, 24 to a pouch, in an afternoon) we build up a stack on the cutting board and then slide in one right after the other). We know our setup by now (one of my college texts is the *perfect* height), and it takes us less than 30 seconds to assemble.

    We prefer to not add any glue if at all possible (this means also printing everything possible double sided) because the glue tends to become a weak spot. Glue both adds thickness (which adds to the 'air pocket' along the side, and the bigger the air pocket the less durable the item) and adds a layer. We've often found images that had become unstable by the glue deteriorating and the layers inside the pouch separating from each other.

    We've also decided that cards that will not be used in a wet/messy environment, and will not be used with velcro on the back, and which wil very likely get lost before getting worn out, and is not glued together (sometimes it's inevitable) will not get the double-cutting treatment. We laminate the entire paper, and then cut into squares/strips. It highly improves the durability of the item compared to printing on cardstock, and although it is less durable than double cutting it saves so much time and effort and pouches! Often we need 6 pouches for 5 a4 of double-cut cards (the smaller the paper margin the more likely), and we've shaved 50% off summer prep time. The time and pouches we spend on replacing 'broken' cards is a fraction of the time we spend replacing lost cards and usually goes along in a new batch of prep.



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  2. I’m glad I have come across your site it seems very helpful indeed.
    laminating pouches

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