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Must you have a laminator to laminate your documents?
This a question that we see many people asking, and we’d like to state here today that it’s not a must that you have a laminator to laminate paper documents.
If a document is urgently needed and you don’t have a laminating machine there with you, there are other ways in which you can laminate it. All you need is a plastic wrap.
In this article, we’re going to show you the DIY methods of laminating paper without a laminating machine.
Ways of Laminating Paper Without Machine
The main ways include using self-adhesive sheets or clear packing tape and using synthetic paper and an iron. Let’s discuss each of them briefly.
Laminating Paper With Self-Adhesive Sheets
Self-adhesive sheets are also called self-laminating sheets, and the good thing about these is that they’re readily available. If you can just go to the stationery shop near you, chances are that you will get them.
When purchasing these sheets, it’s advisable that you go for those that have a grid on the rear side, as the grid will guide you on how to position the paper properly.
A self-adhesive sheet has two sides; the adhesive is on one side.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Use your nails to separate the sheet from its backing. Don’t touch the part that has the adhesive, lest your fingerprint is left in there.
- Place your paper on the side that has the adhesive and adjust it into position, perhaps with the grid’s guidance. Ensure the border all around the paper is uniform.
- Once you’re satisfied with the paper’s alignment, take another adhesive sheet and remove its backing before placing it over the paper, ensuring the upper adhesive sheet is properly in line with the lower adhesive sheet. The paper should be enclosed between the upper and lower sheets.
- Use your hand or a suitable tool to smoothen out the sheets, making sure there aren’t air bubbles in there – this will go a long way into preventing the formation of wrinkles.
And that’s it. Let’s move onto the next method, shall we?
Laminating Paper with Clear Packing Tape
With this method, you will only be able to laminate little pieces of paper as opposed to large A4 size documents. So, we’re talking about things like labels, name tags, business cards, and bookmarks. Fortunately, clear packing tape is also easy to find; get it from the stationery shop or hardware store near you.
Follow these steps to laminate paper with clear packing tape.
- Before you start, note that clear packing tape is a single layer with an adhesive on one side. Now, roll out some tape and place the paper on the side that has an adhesive.
- Be sure to position the paper in the middle of the tape and leave an allowance of around half an inch from the end of the tape.
- After placing the paper on the side that has an adhesive, measure a distance on the tape similar to the length of the paper you’re laminating. You should measure this distance from the end of the paper.
- Mark the tape and cut it with a pair of scissors of paper trimmer.
- Fold the free part of the tape over the paper, so that the paper is in between two layers of tape. Some people don’t measure or cut the tape but instead, fold it and cut it later, and that’s okay.
- Smooth out the tape on both sides to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped within.
- Finally, cut the tape at the edges to ensure they’re almost in line with those of the paper or to the distance you’re comfortable with.
Also Read: Common Laminator Device Problem and Solution
Laminating with Synthetic Paper and An Iron
Synthetic paper is a unique sort of plastic paper that feels like ordinary paper when touched. You can get a synthetic paper pouch from a stationery supplies shop and follow these steps to laminate your document:
- Open the pouch and place the document inside, positioning it properly in the middle of the pouch, and leaving equal distance around the edges.
- Place the pouch with the paper inside on a flat surface like a table and then place a thin towel over the pouch.
- Next, get your iron set it to medium heat level. Iron the part of the towel that has the pouch beneath it for around 30 seconds, ensuring you’re covering all the parts of the pouch equally. The heat and the pressure will melt the heat-sensitive adhesive, and the two layers of the pouch will get stuck on each other firmly.
- Remove the towel and allow the laminated paper some time to cool off.
Once it’s cool, take the document and observe it. It should be well laminated, but if there are any loose parts, you can iron it some more using the same procedure.
Those are the main methods of laminating documents at home without a laminating machine. Before you go, here are a few FAQs you may find helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Must I have a laminator to laminate my documents?
Of course not; there are other ways of doing it. For instance, you can use self-adhesive sheets, clear wrapping tape, or even iron a synthetic paper with the document between the laminates.
How do I iron a laminating pouch?
Don’t iron it directly, as you’ll burn the plastic and ruin the whole thing. Instead, place a thin towel or an old shirt over the pouch and iron at medium heat setting for around half a minute. Apply moderate pressure with your hands while ironing.
Why do I have to laminate my documents?
Ordinary, unlaminated paper doesn’t hold out very well to the elements of wear and tear especially pressure and moisture. So, the purpose of lamination is to give the paper the sturdiness it lacks and protect it from these elements of wear and tear.
What can I laminate without a laminator?
You can laminate just about any paper or light plastic card without a laminator. Some of the items that people love to laminate include certificates, driving licenses, and ID cards.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it. We trust that by now you know exactly how to laminate paper at home without a laminating machine.
As you may have realized, the methods are pretty cheap, because how much do plastic wraps like self-adhesive pouches cost?
Less than a dollar per wrap, which is pretty inexpensive and convenient considering the benefits offered, right?