I never realized how indispensable a laminator was until I was a teacher. I had access to a fancy laminator at work and I laminated EVERYTHING. From lesson plans, classroom decor, and even recipes for my students. I felt that laminating cut down the waste of having paper recipes for EACH student in each class. By laminating the recipes, I was able to keep one recipe card in the kitchens and students could wipe them down easy if they got dirty. They were also able to make notes for themselves by using dry erase markers.
Once I became a stay at home mom, I didn’t ever think I would need a laminator. Of course, you can protect important documents with a laminator, but I didn’t feel that would warrant going out and getting a laminator. Until spring time rolled around. I was pregnant, miserable, and needed to find indoor activities for my toddler. We decided to make our own window decorations made from colored paper. I thought this was simple enough, but after printing, cutting out, and putting together our pretty flower decorations, we scotch taped them onto the window. Within a few days they started to roll and looked horrible. I knew instantly that a laminator would do the trick, so I started my research to find the perfect one. After all, my toddler would have many more projects and a laminator would be a great tool to have at home. My husband, who is also a teacher, would be able to use a laminator for his job- he just didn’t know it yet.
I knew I needed something compact but large enough to accomodate standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper. I needed some kind of safety feature to prevent my toddler from getting burned. She would never be using this on her own, but she loves to help out and I needed to minimize risks of burn. The Fellowes Saturn2 95 Laminator was exactly what I needed. It is sleek, compact, and doesn’t get too hot. We have found so many uses for it, it now has a permanent home right next to the printer. It takes a little under 5 minutes to warm up and automatically feeds the paper into the heating element. The laminating sheets are super easy to use, since they are sealed on one side to ensure everything is even.
Our first project was to make an outline of a cat’s face so that my toddler can draw a face on the cat, and then erase it and start over again. She always asks me to draw her cat faces, so this is a great way for her to always have one to draw on without wasting a ton of paper. For this project I googled an outline of a cat’s face, printed it up on pink paper (of course) and then I was ready to laminate it. Once laminated she could use dry erase markers to color on it and then a baby wipe to clean it off and start over.
Here is what you will need for some fun DIY projects:
Super easy to use, right? Well, our first project didn’t go as planned- everything went in correctly, but I quickly realized nothing was coming out on the other end. The paper became jammed and I had to give it a tug. I didn’t catch it quick enough, so the paper crinkled and my toddler was not a happy camper.
My toddler insisted we retry, but that meant I had to print out another cat. I already had my next project handy, so I decided to go on to the next project and we could go back to the pink kitty later on. Our next project was a dry-erase, reusable calendar. We have a busy schedule that often gets changed. The last week in July my toddler came down with a double ear infection which changed our entire schedule that week. We came back from vacation early, cancelled her swimming lessons, playdates, and a trip to the zoo. With a simple DIY dry erase calendar, changing things around is easy and neat. I don’t like crossing things off and making a mess- it drives me crazy!
I found a blank calendar template online and repeated the same steps as the kitty project, only this time I made sure the paper came out on the other end.
Super easy and quick! Best of all, you can easily erase and start over next month, or change your schedule if necessary. Your calendar stays neat and easy to read!
Now that we have a laminator, my hubby is starting to realize how it can help him at work. He has already laminated some lessons and posters for his classroom. Do you own a laminator? Share some fun ideas and uses for it!
From now until August 25th friends of Mom Central can use exclusive coupon code 87298 to receive $30 off the regular price ($159.99) of a Fellowes Saturn2 95 at Staples.com! (while supplies last; maximum two machines per person)
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Fellowes and received a product sample to facilitate my review