How to Fix Separated Lamination--It Really Works!

So I learned a couple of tips about laminating over the weekend and thought I'd pass them on.  If you've ever had laminating problems, read on because this is big stuff!  

I had some small rectangle pieces that needed to be laminated for durability (more coming on what they're for soon).  I've been told many times that it's best to cut around the pieces to be laminated first so there is a seal around the edges of each piece...so that's what I did. 

Well...when I went to laminate them, I was told that it's actually best to laminate first and then cut them apart after.  Not only will the lamination generally hold just as well, but you don't have to cut around them twice and it will cost you less money (because there isn't so much wasted lamination in-between the pieces). 

So here's the problem with cutting them out first, see the puckers in-between the cards?  There were so many edges I'm afraid the laminator didn't even have a fighting chance! 

When I cut around the cards, even though I left a border, the lamination peeled back on many of the cards. 

The [super nice] lady at the teacher supply store where the cards were laminated warned me this could happen and told me how to fix the lamination if there were any problems. 

How to Fix Peeling Lamination

Heat your iron to a medium setting without steam.  She said to iron on a flat wood surface (without a finish).  I used my kitchen bread board  (Our home was previously owned and I don't trust it to cut bread on, so I was very happy to finally find a purpose for it!).  A scrap piece of wood would work as well.

Place the card in-between two layers of a brown paper sack and then move the iron over it for about 3-4 seconds.

Check to see if the lamination has melted to the paper.  If not, go over it again. 

I have to say I was pretty excited that it worked!  I have kid's game pieces that I've laminated over the years that could use a little touch up with the iron.

I'll let you know if I have any problems with the lamination separating again, but so far so good! 

So is this something that you already knew how to do...or does everybody already know this and I'm the last to know?   Either way, I'm glad that I know now!

Today's Fabulous Find...How to Fix Separated Lamination

Update:  Several of the cards that I fixed started to peel again after one weeks use, others are still going strong.  I believe that the lamination didn't seal well because of the thickness of the paper.  Regular printer paper may be the best to use when laminating. If you have any tips on how to get a nice seal that will last, please share them in a comment.

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Deanna said...

I didn't know to laminate before cutting. I did learn the iron trick from a print shop last year when I tried laminating a teacher gift and had a HUGE mess.

Deanna said...

Forgot to say thanks for sharing.

Lynette said...

I'm glad for the tips. I always cut stuff out before laminating...but, not any more!!

Kaylyn said...

That's a great tip and I didn't know how easy it was to fix it also. Now to go hunting for some pieces I hid away so I can fix them.

Rebecca said...

Great tips! Thanks! I wonder if you could buy the sheets for the small personal laminators and use the same technique. I have always wanted one of those, but can't justify the price for how little I would use it. It would be great if I could just buy the lamination sheets and use my iron!

mrs. c said...

you are so clever and kind for sharing this tip. I am a pre-k teacher and laminate lots of handmade things and I must say that sometimes they peel off. Thanks for sharing!

Janet said...

In reply to Mrs. C: You're welcome, I'm happy to pass it on. :) It's such a simple solution, I'm surprised that I never learned about it until now.

In reply to Rebecca: I wondered the same thing. Not only would I save money by not needing to buy the machine, but I wouldn't have to find a place to store it either.

lynn said...

great tip--thanks for sharing:)

Diane said...

OMGosh, I am so glad to know this. Thanks for the great tip Ü

June Scott said...

Great tip, Janet! Can't wait to see what project you were working on! I could not survive without my laminator (I do bulletin boards at my church) and I never cut out *before* laminating. The machines are not as expensive as you may think, I got mine for less than $30 at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0010JEJPC and LOVE IT!

Janet said...

Thanks for the link June! I didn't realize that you could buy laminators for as low as $30, that's a good price! The last time I priced them they were $40.

Anonymous said...

For small objects I use clear packing tape - much cheaper and sticks to the project and doesn't peel. Good tip using the iron, though. Love the finished project that these belong to as well. Thank you for sharing.

Janet said...

To Anonymous: Thanks for the reminder about using clear packing tape, I'm going to use it for any additional cards that I make. :) I've also used clear contact paper, which works well, but has kind of a cloudy look to it.

LORI said...

Walmart has a contact paper that's super clear...I used it to "laminate" my entryway tags for my baskets and I made name tags for a job I work on occasion and I actually glued washers to the back and we wear them with magnets and they're going strong!

Another tip, if you laminate with anything (the real deal or tape or contact paper), keep some alcohol wipes handy (like the kind they use before you get a shot) and you can use a Sharpie instead of dry erase and the alcohol wipe will take it off. :)

Janet said...

To Lori: Thanks for the tips! I've used contact paper in the past, but wasn't ever totally satisfied with it's milky look--I'm excited to check out Wal-marts brand that is clear.

I've used rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip to remove unwanted kids Sharpie marker 'drawings', but never thought to use a Sharpie instead of a dry erase marker--I'm trying this out too!

Thanks again for the tips. :)

Stephanie said...

I'm going to disagree and say cut first and then laminate. I laminate to keep moisture from the paper. If you cut into the lamination, you now have opened the paper to the elements. For things you want to last, cut first and then laminate. Be sure to leave a laminate border.

Janet said...

That's a good point Stephanie,thanks for your comment. :)


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