New reporter week continues… this is Amanda’s first article for us… show her some love 🙂
Reported By Amanda Talbert
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a couple of the teachers at my kids’ school. We were talking about all of the tools the teachers have access to in the workroom, and one of the teachers said, “The reason I decided to become a teacher was the laminator. I looked forward to laminating all the way through college.” Obviously that’s not really why she decided to become a teacher, but she made a good point. Laminating is cool. You can use a laminating machine to make water- and cupcake frosting-safe recipe cards. You can use a laminating machine to make sure that old picture of you in your husband’s wallet doesn’t make you look old. You can even use a laminator to make fantastic Disney-inspired Mother’s Day gifts. The best part is that you don’t have to get a teaching degree to have access to a laminator!
Purple Cows sells a 13″ Hot Laminator Kit you can use at home. The laminator retails for around $70.00. It’s small and compact, weighing in at 5 lbs., yet large enough to laminate a 12″ x 12″ scrapbook page.
To use the machine you just plug it in and turn it on with a switch on the side. There is a power light on top, and a ready light that becomes lit when the machine is hot enough to laminate. It took less than 3 minutes from plug in to green light. The kit comes with “Hot Pockets” that you sandwich your project between and then insert into the machine. They come in these sizes: 25 business card, 25 letter, 5 luggage, 5 6″x6″, 5 8″x8″, and 5 12″x12″ hot laminating pouches. You can buy refills of the pouches online, at craft stores, and in office supply stores.
The hot pocket will slowly draw into the laminator and when it appears on the other side it will be heat-sealed closed. I timed how long it took for one of my business card-sized hybrid mini album pages to make the journey from cold to hot, and it took 21 seconds.
The laminator is very easy to use, and I have already thought of a million things to use it for. I’ve made two of these mini albums; the first is already being enjoyed by the gift recipient.
I do have two complaints. First, the leading end of the pouch can sometimes come out the other side slightly bent or crimped. Second, a few of my pouches didn’t seal along the sides.
I found a second trip through the machine, perpendicular to the original pass, fixed both of these problems completely. You cannot laminate very thick items like chipboard or 3D embellishments. I didn’t have a problem with this because I wanted to attach these elements after the laminating to give some depth and texture to my project. You can laminate things that are the thickness of several sheets of paper. My project consisted of two sheets of glossy photo paper.
- Affordable to the home crafter and scrapbooker
- Easy to set-up and use
- Compact and light-weight
- Refills are easy to find and inexpensive
- There are a wide range of uses
- Crimping on one edge of laminated pouch.
- May take two passes in order to completely close the pouches.
- Doesn’t laminate 3D items (but would you want it to? They wouldn’t be 3D anymore.)
You can purchase the Purple Cows 13″ Hot Laminator at
Wizard of Math through Amazon.com
Bottom line, I would buy this again. I love being able to protect my knitting patterns, my paper crafts, and my recipes. I’m not sure I can live without the ability to laminate my photos. Do you have any suggestions for things I can laminate? What would you laminate? I can’t wait to find something new!