The laminating machine can be an educator’s best friend. From craft projects to flash cards, laminating lets you up your DIY game. It’s cost effective, stretching the life of your classroom paper goods and allowing you to make things you would otherwise have to buy (or do without). A high-quality machine gives you more options and fewer problems, and it will likely last a lot longer than a bargain-basement model.
Tips and Tricks for Stellar Results
There are few things more annoying than spending time carefully laminating and cutting out, only to find that there’s a typo on one of your flash cards. In addition to careful proofreading, make sure your project is in perfect shape with these tips:
Start with the right paper. Cardstock is great for most projects. It’s available in a wide range of colors and holds up much better than construction paper. For photos, use a good quality photo paper. Make sure you don’t use thermal paper – the heat from the machine will turn the whole paper black.
Measure twice, cut once. If you’re using laminating pouches, make sure your project will fit.
Leave a margin. If your project isn’t highly size-sensitive, leave a narrow margin of the clear plastic around the edges as you cut out. This maintains the seal and makes your finished product much more durable.
Round your corners. The corners of laminated projects can be very sharp. Especially if you work with pre-K or elementary students, it’s a good idea to slightly round off the corners as you cut.
Ideas and Projects
Chances are, you already have plenty of laminated goods in your classroom. Here are a few more ideas to spark a laminating frenzy:
2. Posters and decorations – your classroom decor and bulletin board goodies will last a lot longer with a nice layer of plastic protection. This DIY flower clock is a fun project for an early elementary classroom.
3. Games and cards – laminate paper game pieces, flash cards and playing cards to help them withstand several semesters of grubby little hands.
4. Manipulatives – make your own puzzles, counting sets, play money and other manipulatives to save room in your budget.
There are hundreds of brilliant laminating ideas floating around out there. For even more specific projects and inspiration, check out our Pinterest board!