Once you become a mother, you may be surprised at the types of purchases that excite you. Bleach pens for tough stains, new carseats, and diapers that were on a crazy sale are things that your single friends just don’t understand. Because when you’re a mom, things that serve a purpose are purchases worth making. While the idea of something as functional as a laminating machine may sound like a questionable purchase, I’m here to show you differently. This past month, I received this one as a birthday gift and I can’t even tell you how excited I was to get laminating. There are hundreds of ways you can put a laminating machine to good use and once you see it for yourself, you’ll be placing your order before you can say “laminate!”
1. Baby Mementos
From the moment you come home from the hospital, you will have tons of baby bracelets, cards from floral arrangements, signs from their crib and much more to cherish. Tossing them in an envelope, drawer or loosely in their baby book doesn’t guarantee their safety! Throwing them through a laminator will help preserve them from unnecessary wear and tear and make sure your memories are kept alive for years to come.
2. Kids Artwork
While you can’t keep every doodle and drawing your kids make, there are some that you can’t let go of. Laminate some of your favorites and it will keep them fresh from wrinkling or folding. Because they will be more durable, you can even hang them yearly to serve as holiday decorations!
3. Weekly Menu Planner
Planning a weekly menu is a goal for many moms, but it can become tedious. Make it one step easier by printing a master weekly menu planner and laminating it! Then all you need is to use a dry erase marker to write down your meals and then you can reuse again and again. No need to keep printing it over and over.
Be sure to visit GreenChildMagazine.com for a free printable for meal planning and other info on Green Child Magazine, family fun and much more.
4. Chore List
Charts are an awesome paper product to laminate, because they get daily use. A chore chart is another great item to protect, and you can choose to use magnets, dry erase markers or velcro to check off completed chores. You won’t have to worry if someone mis checks an item because its reusable!
Visit TheDIYMommy.com for a free version of this chore chart, and check out other DIY projects on knitting, sewing and much more.
5. Recipe Cards
No one wants to think about losing or ruining Grandma’s famous recipe. Laminating your favorite cards will keep them safe and dry, and you won’t need to worry! You can cook with peace of mind, no matter how messy of a chef you are.
6. Educational Activities
One of the best things about having access to the Internet is how easy it is to create your own activities for your kids. There are tons of websites with free printables for you to teach matching, numbers and memory skills with the simple printing of documents. Laminating them will make them more durable under your kids heavy hands, and make it easier to take in the car, to restaurants and on trips!
SewFantastic.blogspot.ca has this printable and tons of other toddler approved activities you and your kids will love!
7. Paper Dolls
Paper dolls have been around for ages but it’s no secret that they don’t last forever. If you don’t tear them accidentally by just removing them from their pages, you can bend or tear them quite easily. A simple run through your laminator will make those dolls indestructible! Your kids can play til their heart’s content without fear of ripping off a valuable piece of their dolls. You can also fix magnets to the back and create magnetic dolls, perfect for on the go.
8. Shopping List
If you love to save paper, then laminating a shopping list is perfect for your fridge. Use a dry erase marker to write down your items and once you make it to the store, you can simply wipe it clean. No more need to buy expensive Post-Its!
9. Flowers & Leaves
Our grandparents pressed pretty leave and flowers into books, but you can use your laminator. Once laminated, you can make magnets or decorative pieces for your home. They are beautiful and inexpensive works of art!
10. Backpack and Luggage Tags
Kids lose a lot of stuff, and airport luggage handlers lose a lot of stuff too unfortunately. If you make your own laminated tags for both, you are more likely to keep track of your bags. Flimsy paper tags fall off and tear easily, leaving your bags lonely. Make sure they stay with you and use some of your own creativity by designing your own.
Check out ThirtyHandmadeDays.com for a tutorial and free printable on making your own backpack tags. She also has tons of additional ideas on more laminating machine crafts!
If you’re like me, you don’t own any real bookmarks. Ticket stubs, flyers and post it’s serve as means for me to save my place in books. But with a laminator, you can turn mementos into bookmarks and make your memories pull double duty. You can also design your own bookmarks, especially ones for your kids. They can include summer reading checklists or other goals you’ve set to enhance their reading skills.
12. Homemade Planner Pages
Fancy planners are very popular right now, but unless you want to spend $50+ on one, you may be stuck with a boring, drugstore version. But you don’t have to be! There are plenty of free printables online, or you can make your own. By laminating them, they will look just as gorgeous as expensive brands and they may even hold up better.
13. Home School Schedules
If you are brave and home school, you’ll know that schedules are a must. Whether it’s daily, weekly or for a semester, you have a lot of progress to make and a schedule will keep you moving. You can laminate your schedules so little hands can grab and consult them as the school year progresses.
HeartOfWisdom.com has a free printable if you love this schedule and tons of other great homeschooling resources!
One of the best uses for a laminating machine is to archive precious photos. Unlike modern times where you can simply print a copy of a digital photo, your heirloom photos can be one of a kind. Preserve them the best way you can my laminating them with photo safe laminating pouches and worry no more!
Whether it’s your personal planner or family calendar, you may like to keep it simple and take it one month at a time. If you laminate a blank calendar, you can use a dry erase marker to fill in dates and special events you need to keep track of. It’s a great way to conserve paper and still be organized.
16. Reference Guides
There are certain things that you probably find yourself constantly Googling, no matter how many times you have before. Measurement conversions for baking, stain remover tips and other how-to’s are just some of the items that would be great laminating projects. You can post a stain remover guide in your laundry room and tape up measurement conversions in a kitchen cabinet. Once they are laminated they will stand the test of time!
RedefinedMom.com has a free printable just for you, along with great tips on style, food and travel.
If you’ve ever made a banner or bunting, you’ll know that a simple piece of paper tears and flaps in the wind a lot. If you laminate before punching holes and hanging, your bunting will be sturdier and not flap around. You can then use it for more than just your kids birthday parties, but as a cute decorative piece in a nook in your home.
Homemade gifts are heartfelt and one of a kind, but they can sometimes scream “I made this on my own!” Using a laminating machine will give your gifts a finished look and help them endure the years. The photo above is a great idea! If you want to give someone the gift of food, you can laminate family recipes, put on a key chain and attach a cute spatula. It’s a great themed gift, straight from the heart.
LilLuna.com has a complete tutorial on this one of a kind gift, so head over and see this and other recipes, DIYs and freebie info!
Whether you want to turn a piece of your kids artwork into a placemat or just want a variety to use in your home, laminated placemats will meet your needs. They will make it easy to simply wipe clean and preserve your memories and designs at the same time.
If you love the look of these placemats then visit PaigeSimple.com. You can get inspired or just order your own through their Easy shop!
20. Basket Labels
Always one for organizing, I feel like creating your own laminated labels is one of the best uses for your machine. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on prefabbed labels that you don’t love 100%, because you can create your own using a word processor and your laminating machine! Your house will never be so organized.
IHeartOrganizing.blogspot.com has an amazing tutorial on making your own labels and other amazing advice on getting your home organized.