Lamination protects the paper from spillages and normal wear and tear. If you are good at what you do when laminating books, the new cover keeps the document more attractive.
Parents who want to do a better job laminating papers or documents at home should know that lamination is not rocket science.
Due to the many reasons behind paper lamination such as prevention of quick aging and discoloration, we intend to show you how to laminate paper with or without a laminating machine.
Preparing the Paper
Take the paper measurements and cut out the laminating paper adding an extra one inch all around. You can make markings around the paper to show exact size. Cut the contact paper along the drawn lines to give the exact size as the first one.
Peel off the paper to reveal the sticky side and place the paper you want to laminate in the middle, do the same for the second piece of paper, and make sure the 1-inch runs round the paper. Depending on the kind of pressure that you should use, laminate using your hands or use a laminating machine. Use your hands to move from left to right to get a smooth layer.
We will look at these two forms of lamination techniques that you can use at home.
Lamination Using Adhesive Sheets
- When buying an adhesive laminating paper, identify those that have grid lines on them and make it easy for repositioning the paper before placing it between the sheets.
- Remove the back cover to expose the side with an adhesive stick. Make sure you do not leave fingerprints in the sticky areas. You can also make use of the grid lines running on the back cover as a guide to placing your document.
- Place the adhesive side facing up and the grid below it. You can secure the grip paper to avoid sliding around.
- Make sure that your paper is centered on your working area by making sure alignment is correctly done by adjusting the laminating sheet on the grid.
- Pick a corner and press it using your fingers to obtain an even surface and secure the other surfaces into the laminating sheet. Make sure as you flatten the paper there are no wrinkles or air bubbles.
- Remove the back paper to expose the adhesive on the second laminating sheet and discard the paper. Add the other sheet on top of the first, pick a corner, and smooth the sheet to get rid of bubbles and wrinkles. A brayer tool is also used in smoothing the sheet or even improvises by using the edge of a credit card.
- Trim the edges of the paper using a cutter or scissors leaving at least 2mm border so that the lamination stays permanent
The Laminating Machine
- Use a laminator that suits your needs. The standard one in most homes can work with documents as large as A4 letter size.
- Use the switch located on the side to turn it on. Give it a few minutes to warm up; most of these machines have an indicator showing when the machine is ready.
- Place the document inside the laminating pouch made of two sheep of laminate plastic held together at one end. Place the document at the center of the pouch to make sure you have an even border all-round the document. The same will apply if you are using a slightly smaller pouch to allow trimming of the edges.
- Place the pouch and the document inside carrier with the sealed end getting in first. You should not worry about adhesive buildup during lamination because the sheets are treated to protect such a buildup.
- Feed the carrier through the machine until the machine grabs it. You are not supposed to force it into the machine because it must go slowly for the papers to fuse. Let the pouch to cool before removing it from the carrier.
- If necessary, use a paper cutter or scissors to trim the edges leaving at least two-millimeter border all around.
- The methods mentioned above are the two most use lamination methods at home; however, there are other ways of preventing wrinkles on documents.
Laminating Paper with Packing Tape
The packing tape allows the scanning of little pieces of documents and not A4 size documents. In such scenarios, we refer to labels, business cards, nametags, and bookmarks. The good thing about clear packing tape is they were easy to find on any local stationery shop or hardware.
Use the following steps to laminate using the clear packing tape
- The single clear packing tape has one layer with an adhesive side on the other side. When rolling out the tape, leave some allowance of around half an inch from the end of the tape.
- Measure the distance on the tape similar to the length of the paper. Measurement should be taken from the end of the paper. Then mark the tape and cut it with a paper trimmer or a pair of scissors
- Fold the free section of the tape over the paper ensuring that the paper is in between two layers. Some do not measure or cut the tape as earlier indicated; they fold it to reduce it later after lamination.
- Create an even edge on both sides of the document to remove air bubbles. Then cut the tape at the edges near where the paper ends to live a comfortable distance around the edges.
Tips and Warnings
Photos can be laminated as well by adding glue to selected pictures to a large piece of paper to make a collage and laminate when they stick together.
Failure to smooth out the paper when laminating will leave you works with air bubbles.
Now that you know what is expected of you during lamination with or without the laminator. The methods are straightforward and are affordable to most households bearing in mind that they are plastic wraps with self-adhesive pouches. The low prices of the laminating materials offer great benefits to you and the laminated document.