If you have ever wanted to make your documents and photographs last longer, one way you can do so is by using a pouch laminator. These devices are surprisingly easy to use and you’ll be able to laminate items like birth certificates, trading cards, seating charts, cherished photographs, and more. Here are the instructions you need to successfully operate one of these machines:
- Place your laminator on a flat, sturdy surface out of the reach of children and pets. Turn the machine on and let it warm up.
- Select a laminating pouch for your document or photograph. The pouch should be large enough so that there are even borders around your item. Also, the pouch shouldn’t be so thick that the machine can’t handle it. Pouch thickness is measured in mils (0.001th of an inch). Your machine’s instruction manual will have information about which pouch thicknesses are acceptable. Most machines can handle pouches that are 3 to 7 mil thick.
- After you place your document in the laminating pouch, you will need to put the pouch in a carrier. There should be a carrier in your package of laminating pouches. (It looks like a file folder). The carrier will help your item stay flat while it’s being laminated. It also prevents melted adhesive from gumming up the machine’s rollers so you will be less likely to experience a pouch jam.
- Place the carrier containing your pouch in the laminator’s feed opening. (The folded edge needs to go in first.) The machine will begin laminating right away and the item will come out of the back of the machine after it has been processed.
- Once your item has been laminated, you should set it aside and let it cool off before handling it for any length of time. If you handle the document too much while it’s still warm, its appearance could become marred.
- Just repeat the above steps for any other documents you want to laminate. (And don’t forget to use a carrier!) When you are done, turn off the machine. This will help you save electricity and prevent the laminator from overheating.
- Finally, you may want to trim the excess laminate from your items. If this is the case, you can trim the film with a rotary trimmer. It’s also possible to use scissors, although it can be difficult to cut perfectly straight with them.
Photo credit: smiteme
Brie Beazley is a Staff Writer for MyBinding.com, an Oregon-based retailer of document finishing equipment and supplies. You can see more of her writing at MyBindingBlog.com.