Until you’ve actually owned one, you will never quite grasp the wonder of just how fantastically useful a laminator is to always have on hand in your home or office.
Laminators are so easy to use, and if the professional results they produce don’t excite you off the bat – once you discover the many purposeful and creative ways a laminator can be put to use, you may just find yourself looking for your nearest supplier.
Would you like yours hot or cold?
Hot laminators are what most people are familiar with. They work by heating an adhesive coated plastic, often in the form of a lamination pouch, and binding it to a surface – mostly paper or cardboard. This process is known as “Encapsulation” – now that’s a trendy buzz word to casually drop at your next office party!
A4 hot laminators are generally the most popular choice for small offices, crafters, teachers and mom’s, because they are light-weight, portable, and it doesn’t take a degree to operate one.
The more unfamiliar cold laminator, uses pressure and adhesive rather than heat, to sandwich material between plastic sheets. Due to it not requiring a heating apparatus, a cold laminator will not only save you some cash on your electricity bill but also has a superior ability to preserve colours during the laminating process.
Practical reasons to own a laminator
A fairly exciting development is that lamination pouches come in both matt and gloss, which gives one some flexibility in your preferred presentation of the finished product. While some may become obsessed with the smooth feel and shiny appearance of the gloss finish, others may find that the matt look is rather trendier.
Does your office issue visitor badges or security cards? You need a laminator. After all, it doesn’t make sense to spend time and money on constantly printing new badges, when you can protect the ones you have for an extended period, by simply sealing them in a durable plastic. An added bonus is that visitor names can be temporarily inscribed on the glossy little rectangles using a whiteboard marker – are we having fun yet?
Coffee Shops and similar food outlets, particularly those with a smaller menu, should absolutely own a laminator. Not only does it keep the menu in professionally good shape for a really long time, but any unseen germs, sticky marks or unidentifiable food spills can be effortlessly wiped away before the hygienically restored menu is handed on to the next customer.
Teachers who have them, are generally in love with their laminators. The possibilities for encapsulation are endless when it comes to the school environment – name tags, flash cards, door signs, bookmarks, event invitations and whatever else looks like it could do with some glossing up and protection from sweaty hands and continuous use.
The creative and practical pleasure of owning a laminator
Rather like teachers, every organised mom – or dad – who has school-going children, and who also may dabble in crafty activities to maintain some semblance of sanity, will find a laminator to be a revelation.
Besides being able to create long lasting personalised recipe cards, schedules, chore and star charts, and stand-out birthday invites – little peoples’ art and important family documents can be forever preserved from any lurking fish moths and the general ravages of time.
Make placemats using your children’s art. These can be used in your own home or given away as gifts to family members who would appreciate something unique.
Create small ‘brag’ albums for granny’s handbag by encapsulating a few of your favourite photographs and binding them together by threading ribbon through a few carefully punched holes.
Shave some wax crayons between the laminating sheets – exercise moderation. The heat of the laminator will melt the shavings into interesting shapes, creating the basis for artistic placemat with matching drink coaster and bookmark collections – or whatever else your imagination can devise.