So You Say You Don’t Have a Laminator

A few months back, my very helpful daughter was laminating some picture cards and she put the sheet in upside down.  Unfortunately that laminator didn’t have a release lever on it; so much for that laminator!!!!

I was being extremely frugal that month, and that’s when my creativity often kicks in.  I’m sitting there with a box of 200 laminating sheets and absolutely no way to use them.  Hmm.  My thought process went something like this:  Well, the inside of the pouches must have a lower melting point than the outside of the pouches or else the pouches would completely melt all over the inside of the laminator.  Hmm.  I wonder what would happen if . . .

Uh huh.  So, I took a laminating pouch, inserted and glued my picture cards to the bottom sheet of the pouch, put the pouch on the ironing board, turned the iron to medium heat/dry and proceeded to iron.    And if it didn’t work, well, this post wouldn’t be here, would it?  Yup, worked like a charm.  The cards wound up completely laminated.

Now, laminating sheets in themselves can be very expensive.  Between making file folder games for my six preschool to elementary-age children (my 17-year-old barely escaped my obsession with file folder games) and making picture cards, I go through about 100 laminating sheets a month.  The best deal I have found is at Sams Club – a box of 200 for $20.00.

Another option I use at times – plastic sheet protectors.  I’ve also found plastic sheet protectors at Costco and Sams – a box of 200 for about $10.00.


Whatever  you do, don’t get sheet protectors mixed up with laminating pouches.  My suspicion is that the melting point of the inside of the sheet protectors is exactly the same as the outside, hence the entire thing will melt all over your iron or your laminator.

Because sheet protectors are cheaper, I use them whenever I don’t need to cut anything out from what I print, i.e. schedules, if then boards, etc.

How about you – what are your favorite ways to make do when you don’t have just the right tool?


3 thoughts on “So You Say You Don’t Have a Laminator”

  1. so glad I found this post! Do I need to put a towel or anything in between the iron and the laminating pouch?

    1. Nope. Just lay it right on the ironing board and iron away! They’re designed to withstand high heat without melting inside the laminator, so they are safe for an iron too.

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