Can I laminate documents without a laminator? YES!
You don’t need to spend money on a machine if you want to laminate. There are other methods for achieving a laminate protection that are highly effective, so long as you follow the correct steps.
We’re going to outline some DIY laminating methods in today’s article. The methods detailed here will lead to perfect lamination but may require a bit of patience and practice first.
So while we are certain these will work, don’t go laminating that important college certificate at your first attempt! Have a bit of practice first and, once you are confident, get on with laminating those items that you really can’t afford to have destroyed!
Steps By Steps Guideline To Laminate Without A Laminator
A. Materials Required
You will need either:
- Self-adhesive sheets/self-laminating sheets
- Laminating pouches
These materials should be available at any stationery store, or you can go online and easily find them via Amazon or other websites. Prices will vary, so have a hunt around for a good deal.
Before you read on…
You will find some websites that tell you that you can use packing tape to laminate documents.
However, we don’t recommend this as you won’t get anything close to a professional look.
B. Laminating Using Self Adhesive Sheets
Laminating using self-adhesive sheets is one of the easiest methods of lamination out there. Even if you aren’t good with crafting or using scissors, it won’t take much of your time to laminate using self-adhesive sheets. A giant carton of self-adhesive sheets may cost around $130-140. But a carton will last for a very long time.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN…
- Ensure that you have ample room around you within which you can workeffectively.
- Additionally, be aware thatadhesive sheets get stuck together very quickly, and it can be troublesome pulling them back. Take care when going through this process.
ABOUT ADHESIVE SHEETS
- Adhesive sheets are sticky on one side and plain plastic on the other side. To laminate your document, you will be placing the document in between two sheets creating anadhesive sheet/document sandwich.
STEP 1: TAKE AN ADHESIVE SHEET
- At first, take an adhesive sheet and place it sticky side up on the table. Ensure there are no creases or folds as you place it.
STEP 2: PLACE THE DOCUMENT
- Place your document on top of the adhesive sheet. Ensure you are very careful when doing this, especially with the alignment. It will be very difficult to remove the adhesive sheet from your document once it is attached.
STEP 3: SMOOTH OUT THE DOCUMENT
- Gently smooth out the document to remove any air pockets between the document and the adhesive sheet.
STEP 4: ADD THE SECOND ADHESIVE SHEET
- With the sticky side facing the document, add the second adhesive sheet. Again, be careful to ensure the alignment is right.
STEP 5: SMOOTH OUT THE SECOND SHEET
- Smooth the plastic properly to avoid the formation of bubbles or wrinkles.
STEP 6 (OPTIONAL): CUTTING
- If you want, you can cut the edges of the plastic to make the lamination look nicer. Otherwise, you are done with a successful lamination.
C. Laminating Using Pouches
Though laminating pouches are mostly used for laminator machines, you can utilize them at home just using an ironing machine. These pouches look like plastic folders, and you can open them up from one side to insert the document or photograph that you desire to laminate. A 100-pack laminating pouch will cost anywhere around $12-$25. The price varies because of the thickness of the pouch. Choose the one that is ideal for you.
ITEMS NEEDED (ADDITIONAL TO POUCHES)
- Ironing Board (Or table if you don’t have one)
- A towel
STEP 1: INSERT DOCUMENT INTO POUCH
- Open up the pouch and insert the document. Be sure to check whether your alignment is correct or not. Ideally, there should be 2-3mm between the edge of your document and the edge of the pouch. Any less than this, and your document may not be properly protected.
STEP 2: PLACE THE POUCH
- Place the pouch over a large flat surface like a table or your ironing board. Now place a towel over that pouch. The towel is essential. Do not iron directly onto the plastic, as this can cause the pouch to burn and destroy the document.
STEP 3: SET THE IRON TO MEDIUM
- Ensure your iron is on a medium heat. Any less and the pouch will not seal properly, and your document will not be protected. Any more, and you risk burning the pouch.
STEP 4: IRON
- Iron the pouch over the towel on a medium heat. Make sure that you cover all areas of the pouch using the iron. Iron for at least 30 seconds over all the areas of the pouch.
STEP 5: CHECK THE POUCH
- Check whether you have ironed the pouch properly. If you feel it is undone, then iron the pouch again. Just make sure to keep the towel in between for protection from the heat.
Of all the methods (including the taping), we think that ironing pouches is the easiest way to get a professional look. But why not give each method a try and see which one works best for you.
If you have a steady hand and a well-trained eye, there’s no reason why you can’t master the art of using adhesive sheets without making a sticky, creased mess.
Should you use the ironing method, please remember to use a towel and not to go above medium heat. Additionally, be careful not to burn yourself with the iron!