Laminators are known to be professional equipment for sealing laminating sheets to protect important documents. However, these laminating machines can become unaffordable for some people.
Usually, many people cannot buy laminating machines but have one or two documents that need to be laminated. It is possible you own one, but it starts misbehaving exactly when you need it.
When this happens, you will need alternatives. If possible, you can go to a business center to get the lamination done or do it at a neighbor’s place. However, doing it at a business center will surely come at a cost and result in excessive spending, especially when you need to do it multiple times or in bulk.
Of course, if you have a place where you can get it done for free, you can go ahead with it. For many people, it can be so challenging to find laminating machines around at zero cost. Hence, the reason for alternatives.
There are other ways to get your documents laminated without spending on laminators. One of which you should be familiar with is using Self-Laminating sheets.
Self-Laminating Sheets are very common because they come with adhesive on each side and are very cheap to get. However, the Self-Laminating Sheets are not so reliable since the sheets are not bound together by heat; adhesive is used instead.
Also, using Self-Laminating sheets might make your work look a little unprofessional. To get a perfect laminate, you will need heat. A better alternative to laminators is a pressing iron.
I have received a lot of questions from people asking if it is possible to use an Iron to laminate. Well, it is absolutely possible if only you follow the procedure carefully and do it the right way.
Of course, things can quickly go wrong if you don’t do it the right way. In the following subheading, I will show you how you can laminate your essential items at home using an Iron.
How To Laminate With An Iron
Laminating with an Iron is very simple and will not take too much of your time as many people think. In fact, you can get it done within minutes, but it surely won’t be as fast as a laminator. In some cases, however, it can be faster than using a laminator.
Before you can laminate with an Iron, the first thing you will need in place is Laminator pouches. Laminator pouches are sometimes referred to as Laminating sheets, which I believe are self-explanatory.
Laminator pouches are bags of plastic in which you must place your documents before sending them into the laminator. A laminator pouch is the exterior cover of a laminate that we can touch and see through.
These pouches are very cheap and easy to get. I will advise that you buy them in bulk if you will often be laminating and can not afford a laminating machine.
After getting your laminator pouches ready, you should go ahead and get cardboard or an old t-shirt. You can go for whichever one is available at the moment. You do not need to source for the two simultaneously; one is enough.
Of course, you should also have your iron ready; this is the primary appliance you will need for the procedure. However, ensure the iron works well, has functional controls, and is in overall good condition. Once you have all of these in place, you should begin the process.
Firstly, get your pressing table ready. The surface where you will carry out the binding is the pressing table and must be cleared ahead of the process. Make sure you have a space wide enough to accommodate you while you proceed.
Next, plug in your iron and wait for it to get hot. Some pressing irons come with heat settings depending on the type of material you want to iron. If your iron has this feature, place it on a cotton blend setting. It is also known as cotton setting on some irons.
However, if your iron does not come with this feature, just turn it to the lowest setting and wait for it to get hot. You will need the perfect heat setting to get the ideal results, which is why you need to pay attention to this.
Also, if your iron has a steam function, ensure you turn it off before proceeding with this procedure, as it is not needed at all. The presence of moisture during lamination will end up ruining your work.
To ensure it is prevented at all costs, check if there is water in the water compartment. If there is, pour it out immediately. While you wait for the iron to get hot, there is something else you should do.
The next thing you should do is place your document in the laminator pouch. For simplicity, I will advise you to go for a laminator pouch with a dimension close to the document you wish to laminate. This will help prevent mistakes while you are on it.
After putting the document in the laminator pouch and aligning it correctly, the iron should be hot enough already. Carefully place the laminator pouch containing the paper on the pressing table; this is where your cardboard or old t-shirt comes in.
If you are using a cardboard, follow this procedure. I will advise you to cut the cardboard to size slightly larger than the size of the laminator pouch. It should not be the same size.
Now, place the cardboard on the laminator pouch and carefully iron it in a side-to-side motion. Ensure you cover the entire surface of the laminator pouch at least three times while doing this; you can be consistent for at least 30 seconds.
Remove the cardboard to check the document. Check if the laminator pouch is well sealed. If yes, you can repeat the same process with the other side. If the pouch is not correctly sealed or looks somehow cloudy, change the iron setting and go again.
It could be that the iron setting is too low to seal the laminator pouch. Keep increasing the setting and repeating the process until the bag is sealed correctly. Even if you feel your iron setting is too low, do not start with a high heat setting, as it can melt down the pouch or even burn the document.
For this reason, it is only advisable to start at a low heat setting and adjust to a higher temperature if necessary. This will prevent damage to your laminator pouch or your document.
If you are using an old t-shirt instead of cardboard, you have to place the laminator pouch in between the t-shirt and follow the same process above.
When you achieve an adequately laminated document, you should get scissors to trim the excess laminator pouch on the edges to make it smooth and appear good.