Everything I Know About Using a Laminator

I love laminating things because it makes whatever project you have look finished and professional. Even if there's something I can't laminate, I like to put it in a sheet protector. I just think there's something magical about having my work sealed and smooth. I wasted a lot of time and money trying to do things with my laminator that didn't work, so I thought I would share some tips with you so you don't make the same mistakes. The SCOTCH TL901 is my favorite laminator, but to be honest I have never used a different one. I HAVE tried those scotch self-laminating pouches and it was a DISASTER. They're so flimsy and sticky and you can't laminate anything without wrinkling the entire thing or ruining your paper altogether. I have ALSO used the industrial laminators at Kinkos/Alphagraphics/Etc. My opinion is that they work, but they're not great and they're really expensive. If you're like me and you want to laminate everything you touch, you will save a lot of time and money by just buying a laminator for yourself.
 

//THINGS TO REMEMBER//

  • When you're putting your document in the laminating pouch, DO NOT put it on the carpet. Those things are static-y and they will catch hairs and lint and anything else on your carpet and laminate it.
  • Always put the laminating pouch in sealed-side first. You can jam your laminator if you put it in the wrong way.
  • Don't use the laminator before it's ready. Sometimes I'm in a hurry and I try to laminate my document before the little light comes on, and I always regret it because it doesn't stick.
  • Pay attention to the thickness of your paper. If you have cardstock weight paper or heavier, use the 5mm setting. Also use the 5mm setting if you're laminating two regular pages together.
  • Don't laminate silk flowers. You WILL jam your laminator and you WILL be sad.
  • Don't try and laminate your labels, either. They just melt and the text disappears.
  • Leave enough space around your document for the laminator to actually SEAL. Otherwise it will split and ruin your paper and you will, once again, be sad.
  • Don't bother buying the variety pack of laminating pouches. You might think that you're going to laminate 1 million small bookmarks, but they'll end up being really weird sizes and you won't be able to use them. The packages with JUST the letter size pouches are cheaper and work better with different sizes of documents.
  • If you can, cut out your laminated stuff with a paper cutter instead of scissors. The lines are straighter that way.

I will add to this list as I find more tips and tricks on using a laminator. And if my Scotch laminator ever dies I'll let you know what I replace it with!