Never thought you would have use for a laminator at home? Think again. There are hundreds of uses for these machines, which will leave you wondering how you ever managed without one. From gifts to practical home applications, laminating items makes them more durable, waterproof, and attractive. Laminating can intensify colours and lends a smarter look to any project.
1. Important business cards gain a longer life in your wallet.
2. Thrill grandparents with a wallet-sized laminated photo of their grandchildren.
3. Create a 'whiteboard' by using a plain white piece of paper or card. Before laminating, decorate the edge with cut-out pictures, drawings, or doodles.
4. Make placemats from children's artwork or favourite pictures from a calendar.
5. If the cost of framing a photograph is prohibitive, laminate it instead.
6. Important phone numbers, emergency instructions, and rosters make cleanable additions to the refrigerator door.
7. Favourite recipes become easy to clean and sturdy for storage.
8. Make gifts for children and avid readers in the family by using paper and craftwork or pictures to form bookmarks and then laminate. If desired punch a hole in one end and thread through ribbon or decorative yarn.
9. Make lasting flashcards for teaching children or adults.
10. A well-worn card essential to a board game can gain new life through lamination.
11. Laminate behaviour charts for children to which they can apply stickers or draw on with a whiteboard marker.
12. Decorate the bathroom with posters protected against moisture.
13. Arrange dried flowers in a laminating pocket to preserve colour and add strength. Cut close around the flowers to mount on a greeting card, or trim the laminate to bookmark size.
14. Create jigsaw puzzles for the children. Laminate a photo, calendar picture, or other suitable image and then cut into pieces. Tailor the number of pieces and complexity of shape to the age of the child.
15. Protect important documents such as product guarantees and certificates.
16. Preserve old or favourite knitting, crochet, or cross-stitch patterns for using over and over again.
17. Make colourful window hangers and mini 'stained glass windows'. Place fragments of cellophane of various colours inside a laminating pocket. Trim to desired shape and size, punch a hole, and hang with fishing line. They also make pretty drink coasters.
18. Individually laminate the letters from a Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday banner for longevity. Use the type which are strung together on a cord or tinsel, and remove the letters from the connecting thread. They are easy to hang, and provides more flexibility in where and how to hang them. Removing the sticky tape afterwards will not harm them.
19. Need inspiration in your home office, or other area of the house? Print out favourite motivational quotes on a printer or handwrite them. Laminate and apply to any area they are needed.
20. Birth and death notices or other clippings from newspapers and magazines desired as keepsakes.
21. Collector cards – sports, anime, etc.
22. Laminate a photo and written description, including valuation details, of all household valuables. This is a great method of recording items for insurance purposes.
23. Pet feeding instructions.
24. Make magnets for the refrigerator or clean / dirty signs for the dishwasher. Put desired text and decorate before laminating, then affix a small magnet to the back. Magnet strips are available for purchase from craft stores, or recycle the ones from old shopping list pads and advertising.
25. Make a calendar, laminating a photo or other picture to last right through the year. Create a page for each month on a computer and staple these to the bottom. As each month passes tear the page off to reveal the next month.
26. Create all sorts of teaching aids for children. A simple idea is a clock. Draw a clock face and laminate, then use split pins to attach movable arms.
27. Organize collections of items such as books, movies, or music. Laminating these lists gives a robust and transportable catalogue for taking to stores, or sharing with friends.
28. Make waterproof, resilient labels to attach to children's school bags, lunch boxes or other belongings. Include whatever details you like and decorate with stickers or punch art. Punch a hole and thread with string, a rubber band, or a shoe lace to tie it to the item.
29. Make labels to adhere to kitchen cupboards, pantry shelves, or freezer baskets.
30. Print out the names of vegetable seeds to be planted in your garden and laminate. Attach to a stick, chopstick, or small stake and use to mark out the planted rows.
Laminators provide an extra dimension of functionality and creativity to many areas around the home. Quick and easy to operate; who can go past the tidy and clean presentation laminating brings to so many items around the home?