When I began my homeschooling journey three years ago, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. What is a “must have?” What is a “could do without?” How can I homeschool on a budget and still have what I need? To be honest, I really didn’t know! I just kind of jumped in! As time went on I started to discover things I thought might be a “could do without” was really a “must have.” One of these was a laminator!
Disclosure: I received the L80-95 Fellowes Laminator to facilitate my review. This post contains affiliate links. Regardless, all opinions are my own.
I did not realize how much you can do with a laminator! Not only has it been nagging me for years when I would print out flash cards that state “laminate for reinforcement” or printouts meant to be hung or reused, etc. There were seriously SO many things in the various curricula we used that had printouts that noted it should be (or was recommended for it to be) laminated. Have you ever tried to use flash cards printed on thin card stock alone or just plain paper? It’s awful! Plus, after a few uses, they’re done. I kind of have a “thing” about wanting to save things we use with our oldest two for our youngest as well, but not having a laminator was making this difficult.
What was the biggest barrier in my mind, though, was the cost, which I discovered was not at all what I thought! Fellowes offers a variety of laminators for the home (and office). Their laminators for the home are small and affordable – perfect for home use. Even for those that aren’t homeschooling, it’s a great machine to have for a variety of projects!
In fact, if you’re looking for great ideas, check out the Fellowes Idea Center for great project ideas! There are Ideas for Home, Ideas for School, and Ideas for Work! Crafts, Organization, Seasonal, Flash Cards, Worksheets, etc. I was so impressed by the amazing variety of projects they have available! They are downloadable files, so you can easily download them and print them when needed! You can even submit your own ideas for a chance to win a year’s supply of pouches!
The L80-95 Fellowes Laminator is simple to use. Its key features include:
- Advanced Temperature Control: Hot laminating capabilities up to 3mil for high quality, smooth results every time
- Jam Release Lever – Permits easy removal or re-centering of stalled pouches
- 3- 4 minute warm-up for increased productivity
- Includes a laminating pouch starter kit
Upon starting it up, the red light will turn on signaling that the machine is powering up. Once the green light is on as well, the machine is ready to use! I was surprised how quickly it warmed up! It had a very slight odor particularly the first time, but it was so subtle that it was barely noticeable even for someone like me who has a heightened sense of smell!
With the L80-95 Fellowes Laminator feeds the pouches through the front (sealed edge first) and has entry markings to help guide the entry to be sure you feed the document/item through straight and not at an angle. You can use it for a variety of document sizes. One thing I did was print a picture on plain printer paper and then laminate it. You want to be sure to use the right size pouch. It has entry guides for both paper and photos.
I found it feeds items very smoothly. Although it has the jam release lever I have yet to use it for any reason as I haven’t had any problems with centering, jamming, or stalling. Everything has gone so smoothly! I was sure I’d feed something in crookedly by now (human error), but I have followed the guide, and it catches it, takes it, and just kept it going straight through. I was pleasantly surprised!
As the pouch exits, it is hot, of course, but it just needs a gentle pull to remove it. Then I set it aside to cool before doing whatever I need to do with it. Sometimes it’s complete, but sometimes I need to cut it (flash cards, for example). Once it dries you can start to use it for dry erase projects as well. I will laminate a worksheet and use it with dry erase markers, so we can erase it and use it over and over again! I haven’t had any problems with the edges opening, bubbles, etc.
For More Information:
Would you like to win the L80-95 Fellowes Laminator? This giveaway will run through 9/21/14 at 10pm Central Time and is open to US residents ages 18+. Enter the giveaway now!