I flipping love laminating.
There, I said it. There’s something so satisfying about the glossy long-lasting finish of a piece of laminated paper. I actually remember the first time I used a laminator – I made a set of digit cards for a Maths lesson I was teaching in my second year at uni and I was still using the same cards some ten or so years later when I went on maternity leave!
From a work perspective, laminating means only having to do something once – it means that if I do make a resource and take that little bit of extra time to laminate it, then that resource will be ready to use time and time again instead of getting tatty and having to be remade. I tend to laminate things for display in my classroom too. It means things will look smarter for longer, the edges won’t curl, it won’t get torn by someone brushing past it nor will it fade or show marks if it gets dripped on or splashed (you honestly never know in a primary classroom!)
This obsession with laminating has fed through to my life at home – you might have seen that we have a little art display in our playroom? More often than not, when the kids bring something home from school that I want to display in the playroom I will laminate it before putting it on the wall. Partly because I want to be able to keep it but also because the space where we hang the work is over a radiator – laminating it first means that it won’t curl up from the heat.
You might not have considered using a laminator at home before now but once you get started, you won’t look back! When it comes to crafting and using a laminator, the same benefits apply – your work is going to last longer, it will hang better and the glossy finish is aesthetically pleasing. As an added bonus, your laminated creations will also withstand being displayed outside – to a point! It’s worth noting that if you do want to hang something outside, you need to cut it before you laminate it then cut it again – allowing for a proper seal around the edges. It’s not going to be completely weather proof but for the sake of hanging out your Halloween bunting for a few days you’re good to go!
Last month I was invited to spend a day at Fellowes with the lovely Maggie from Red Ted Art -now it has to be said that much as I love the idea of being super creative, I tend to lack inspiration and skill so I was a little nervous about what the day would hold! Thankfully Maggie’s plans for the day were really very simple and we spent a glorious few hours eating cake, chatting and making an array of Halloween and Christmas decorations that even the least crafty person ever could cope with.
I’ve always enjoyed cutting things out – I have been known to spend many an evening cutting things for displays whilst watching TV. I find it oddly satisfying. Jen couldn’t help but laugh at my rather perfectionist nature when it came to making sure that the elements of our decorations were all cut “just so” – she explained that for her craft is very much about process rather than product and if she wanted everything to be perfect she’d never get things done. What she said makes perfect sense, as my own frustrations with things not looking the way I wanted or expected them to is often what stops me bothering with crafts in the first place.
However, Maggie’s printables made life much easier – the Halloween Bunting is printed in colour so just requires cutting out and threading (and of course laminating should you so wish!) or the Christmas Baubles which were my personal favourite as I loved choosing the colours for these and I do take great pleasure in a bit of colouring in! The shape of the baubles means it’s actually possible to cut them out and then laminate them back to back giving you a beautiful double sided decoration. I’m looking forward to making more of these with the kids next month.
So, whilst I’m not normally a very successful crafter – I’m was thoroughly impressed with what I produced at the Fellowes Craft Masterclass and can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the day. It was lovely to keep my hands busy but let my mind relax, to chat to friends and not have to think too hard about what I was doing.
You can check out the Fellowes Ideas Centre for hundreds of ready-to-print resources for at home, the office and school.
*I was compensated for my time in attending and writing about the event. All thoughts and opinions remain my own*