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Fun And Practical Uses For A Laminator

Updated on August 11, 2011

Lamination Creations

Laminators can be used for a variety of applications. Many times a laminator brings to mind pictures of a large machine often used in elementary schools or small devices that make ID badges, key cards, and name tags. But laminators have much more to offer than only these two functions. While there are a wide range of business applications for a laminating machine, home use is much more fun. Here is a short compilation of potential uses for a laminator at home.

Whether you work in an office or at home, lamination comes in handy. How often do you use your laminator? Or do you need to get one so you can start laminating things you want to save?

How often do you use a laminator?

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An idea from Pastiche

"My grandkids' preschool laminates nearly all their creative work, and a collection of their best papers, then saves them in a booklet throughout the year. It makes a fantastic memory book and also shows their learning progress from beginning to end of the school year."

GBC Heat Seal Ultima 65
GBC Heat Seal Ultima 65

Educational Uses

For use in the classroom or at home.

Letter practice. Print up a page with the alphabet spaced out on it. Young children can practice copying the letters for extra help in learning the alphabet.

Number practice. Again, children can trace numbers on a laminated page. The repetition helps them remember how to form the letter.

Flashcards. Sometimes flash cards are used a few times before a test and then tossed. However, many applications call for the same cards to be used multiple times. When kids are learning the alphabet, numbers, spelling words, basic math, animals, and countless other things, flashcards can be a beneficial tool in solidifying this knowledge. It gives them a visual to go with the verbal information. Instead of buying pricey flashcards, make your own!

Practice sheet. You can create a worksheet with math problems for your child. The laminate coating will allow them to complete the practice problems while you can erase any mistakes. The entire sheet can be cleaned so the equations can be reworked until the concept is learned. This will work for more applications than math.

Joan4's idea:

"You can laminate instructions for renters of your vacation home, too. Also print in large type and laminate those computer instructions you can never find."

Excellent School Laminators

These selections are all great for use at home or in a classroom... or maybe a home classroom? With a minimum width of 9", they can handle standard size papers easily and are perfect for creating charts, practice sheets, flash cards, and more.

Royal Sovereign NR 1201
Royal Sovereign NR 1201

Useful Tools

Make your life easier by having some or all of these around your house.

Medication schedule. Depending on your family's needs, you can create a daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule listing everyone's medicinal needs. Laminate the document and simply cross off as the dose is taken. No more forgetting if you already gave the cat her flea meds.

Post emergency phone numbers. A coated list of emergency contact information posted on the inside of a cabinet door or hung on a bulletin board can be extremely helpful in an emergency. The coating ensures it won't be ripped or splattered on.

Babysitter guide. Create a sheet with normal babysitter instructions and simply check off what they need to be responsible for. Leave yourself space to write notes to the caregiver.

Chore chart. Make a chore chart that you can reuse instead of wasting paper and ink writing it out every week.

Jenokson's potentially life-saving idea:

"My personal use for one is laminating my senior father's medication card. When he was taken to the hospital in an emergency situation, the paramedics were able to access his card listing his personal and medical information."

More Useful Tools - Free charts online

Here are a few lists to get you started. You can print off and laminate one of these or use them as a starting point to make your own charts.

CCGal says:

"If you have pressed flowers or colorful leaves or 4 leaf clovers, you can laminate them as book markers or even make a jewelry pendant if you leave enough room at the top for a hole to be punched. Name tags for parties or games could also be made to hang from a string."

Fellowes Cosmic CL-125
Fellowes Cosmic CL-125

Preservation

Save the good stuff!

Save your kids' art. Every year, children bring home several creations that end up on the fridge. Save these precious papers from spills or tears by laminating them.

Scrapbooking. Covering items before placing them in a scrapbook ensures they will last. Many laminates are acid free and photo safe, so you don't have to worry about damage from the plastic. This is especially great for saving newspaper clippings and old documents.

Recipes. Recipe cards are always the victim of sauce splatters or drippings. Save grandma's secret list of ingredients by running it through a laminator. And save yourself the hassle of having to recopy it!

Photographs. Plastic coated photographs are great for young children. Even toddlers love to look at photos but aren't always careful with them. Laminating them prevents damage to the picture from sticky fingers and bites from curious tots.

From Othercat:

"I write little love notes to my husband and laminate them. Then I hide them in his wallet. He still has a couple I wrote over 3 years ago."

Need a laminator for your home? - Get one today!

Here are a few great choices for home lamination. These tend to be smaller and faster. If you have young children, cold laminators are the safest.

A funny gag gift from Jenokson:

"As a humourous gift, my husband created [my dad] a "Back Seat Driver's Licence" complete with photo that he loves to joke about."

Xyron 510 Creative Station Laminator
Xyron 510 Creative Station Laminator

Gifts

Homemade and from the heart.

Instead of purchasing party favors, why not let your child make them? Any of these can be quickly and easily made and will cost less than buying conventional gifts. Besides, what grandma doesn't want a handmade craft from her grandchild?

Magnets. Did you know that laminators can be used to make magnets? How fun to send home custom magnets with all the kids at your child's birthday party.

Stickers. Sticky back laminate can be attached to just about anything to create a fun sticker. This is also an easy way to create self-adhesive letters, numbers, and other accents while scrapbooking.

Placemats. Each child can make a collage of pictures and other flat items they like to make a fun and personalized placemat. These are especially handy on camping trips and for outdoor use.

Bookmarks. Again, any drawing or magazine cut out your child likes can be turned into a bookmark.

From GreekGeek:

"Create an official "artistic license" or "poetic license," modeled loosely on a driver's license, for your favorite budding writer or artist to carry in their wallet as a joke ("I can say that because I've got a poetic license... See?") Here's the template: http://www.squidoo.com/poetic-license."

Royal Sovereign Laminator Kit
Royal Sovereign Laminator Kit

Kids' Activities

Entertainment for the munchkins.

Activity mats. Put together an assortment of single person games, such as a connect the dots, along with some bright pictures and maybe a maze to solve and voila! You've got an activity mat you can take along to restaurants for your kids to use. These are much more fun and useful than regular kids' menus, since you'll know what will entertain your child.

Games. Create a page of dots for the dot game. Or laminate a fun hangman with a box for used letters or a tic tac toe square. Tween girls might appreciate a MASH template. These can provide entertainment while camping, riding in the car, or taking an airplane ride. And since you can simply wipe off the markings and start over, you won't have to lug along a big pad of paper.

Portable whiteboard. Cover a blank sheet of paper for your budding artist and you'll have a reusable drawing pad. This is especially helpful on vacation where luggage space is tight.

Create luggage tags. Let your kids pic out a fun picture to laminate for a luggage tag. This will help you quickly identify your luggage among all the look alike suitcases.

MamaChelsea's contribution:

"You can use a sticker maker laminator (like the ones Xyron makes) to make gift tag for presents."

Multifunctional Laminators

These machines can laminate items as well as create stickers, mouse pads, magnets, and more!

Laminators have many more uses that just those listed. Do you have a creative idea for using a laminator? Let us know and we might add your idea to our list.

What do you think? - Do you have any other ideas? Let us know!

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    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 5 years ago

      @shylalp: For these things, you can use GBC RetrieveIt pouches, which adhere only to themselves and leave your items safe and easily retrieved with no damage done. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • profile image

      shylalp 5 years ago

      Just a quick comment on using Lamination in scrapbooking--never laminate anything precious or old. Archival standards state that anything done to them must be reversable, which lamination is not--the plastic is adhered to the paper/photo/newspaper permamently. I love the other ideas presented here though!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What wonderful fun, I want a laminator now!

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 6 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      The teachers in our school laminate colored sheets of paper before cutting out letters with a Cricut. Two useful machines that every school should have. A real time saver.

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @jenokson: Thank you for stopping by! Your ideas have been added to this lens.

    • jenokson profile image

      jenokson 6 years ago

      This lens is just full of great ideas! As I work in a school, I use a laminator several times a week. My personal use for one is laminating my senior father's medication card. When he was taken to the hospital in an emergency situation, the paramedics were able to access his card listing his personal and medical information. As a humourous gift, my husband also created him a "Back Seat Driver's Licence" complete with photo that he loves to joke about.

    • sidther lm profile image

      sidther lm 6 years ago

      I once tried to laminate small cutouts that my son had made and some crayon shavings got in between the laminating sheets and it came out like stained glass! Really cool, but maybe a fire issue if they get into the machine. Love unique the lens!!!

    • kguru1979 lm profile image

      kguru1979 lm 6 years ago

      A very odd, new and good lens ... ! I loved it...!

    • profile image

      KDimmick 6 years ago

      Fun! Love the yellow postid notes with the ideas too! - The "Poetic License" is genius!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Interesting, I never saw why I should own a laminator until I read Pastiche's tip about laminating kid's "art" and school paper..Now that would make it very valuable! I have many many many drwings and doodles my son make and they sure are worth keeping forever!

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @mythphile: Forgiven and your idea is added to this lens. Thank you!

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 6 years ago

      Laminating recipes is a great idea.... then you won't ruin them when you spill on them! This is a fantastic lens.

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @Othercatt: Love it, added to this lens.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I have a laminator, never got around to use it though, nothing much to laminate up till now.

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago

      I write little love notes to my husband and laminate them. Then I hide them in his wallet. He still has a couple I wrote over 3 years ago.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Someone actually just bought one of these through one of my Amazon links (which had nothing to do with laminators), so seeing this lens was a coincidence. Now I know why they might have wanted one.

    • MagpieNest profile image

      MagpieNest 6 years ago

      We laminate everything here! Kids artwork, recipes, instructions. My kids are coloring pictures for their grandparents which we'll laminate and give as Christmas presents.

    • mythphile profile image

      Ellen Brundige 6 years ago from California

      If you'll forgive the blatant link drop, I have a fun suggestion for a free gift, and in fact, I have designed free templates for it!

      Create an official-looking "artistic license" or "poetic license," modeled on a driver's license (but not too closely!), for your favorite budding writer or artist, which they can carry in their wallets as a joke. ("I can say that, because I've got a poetic license... See?")

      Here's the template for the poetic license; there's a link to the artistic license on this page: http://www.squidoo.com/poetic-license

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens. All of my ideas have been given already, and you've provided me with more useful ideas. Thanks.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 6 years ago

      Always wondering should I get one laminator for myself and now I am convinced. Thanks for sharing,

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @MamaChelsea: Noted, thanks for your idea.

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      You can laminate instructions for renters of your vacation home, too. Also print in large type and laminate those computer instructions you can never find.

    • profile image

      MamaChelsea 6 years ago

      You can use a sticker maker laminator (like the ones Xyron makes) to make gift tag for presents.

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @CCGAL: You are now quoted in this lens. Thanks for your idea!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      I was going to say often used recipes, but you already have that. If you have pressed flowers or colorful leaves or 4 leaf clovers, you can laminate them as book markers or even make a jewelry pendant if you leave enough room at the top for a hole to be punched. Name tags for parties or games could also be made to hang from a string. The one caveat is don't laminate your social security card. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to, and I had to apply for a new one. It felt pretty stupid to have to admit that's why I needed a new one.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Some great ideas here. Sounds like a laminator would have been especially useful in my homeschooling when my children were younger

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @ohcaroline: You can but it's not generally recommended. Here is the Social Security Administration's official take on laminating your card.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Can you laminate your Social Security card? Mine is in a delicate condition from age.

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image
      Author

      JeffMcRitchie1 6 years ago

      @Lee Hansen: What a great idea and how nice for the parents to have an organized way to store these precious memories.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      My grandkids preschool laminates nearly all their creative work, and a collection of their best papers, then saves them in a booklet throughout the year. It makes a fantastic memory book and also shows their learning progress from beginning to end of the school year.