Laminating Tips for Classroom Teachers

I think I speak for educators everywhere when I say that laminating is both a blessing and a curse!

While it does wonders to make our teaching materials last for years, it is so incredibly time-consuming!

We all have a love/hate relationship with laminating, don’t we? And who else only has one laminator for the whole school?! How are we supposed to get anything laminated before we need it?!

All jokes aside, I’ve found ways to make laminating more efficient over my years in the classroom.

I’m sure you might have already heard of some of these tips, but I hope that others are new to you!

We can master the beast that is laminating by sharing our best practices and time-saving tips…right? So, keep reading to learn about my suggestions for you.

Laminating Tips for Classroom Teachers

First of all, laminating is way more fun if you do it while you watch Netflix. ;) #justsaying
Also, it goes much faster if you can enlist some help!

I get my husband to help whenever possible. This means that I have to choose a show on Netflix that we both like, but it’s worth it!

I also sometimes send things home with parent volunteers to cut out. Only you can teach your students, but pretty much anyone can cut out laminated stuff!

Laminating Supplies

Here are some supplies you need to make laminating quicker and easier:

This is a Swingline laminator – the first laminator I ever bought! It does the job, but is much slower than the Scotch laminator linked above

Double Cut… or Not?

And here is the age-old question… To double cut or not to double cut?

Some people say that you have to cut twice: once before you laminate and once after. This leaves a nice border around your resources, and they will likely last longer.

Some say that you only have to cut once, and they’ve never had a problem with the plastic splitting.

My two cents: If I use the school laminator, I always cut twice. The plastic is way thinner, and anything I cut splits apart!

With my home laminator, anything that can be cut with a paper cutter I only cut once, after it’s laminated.

I have never had a problem with things splitting if I use a paper cutter and my home laminator.

However, I have had problems with things splitting that the kids touch a lot if I only cut once and it’s a weird shape. For example, last year I cut out apples only after laminating, and half of them were split and broken by the end of the year.

So, my rule of thumb is paper cutter = cut once, scissors = cut twice.

Don’t Multitask!

If I have to cut twice, then I cut everything out before turning on the laminator. If I try to cut, stuff, and laminate all at the same time, it’s an inefficient hot mess. Therefore, I cut everything out first.

If I don’t have to cut first, then I turn the laminators on, and while they are heating up, I stuff as many pouches as possible.

Then, once the laminators are ready, I just keep feeding them and stuffing more pouches. One of my laminators is way faster than the other, so I rarely end up needing to load them both at once.

Only once all pouches are stuffed would I start cutting out things that are laminated. Don’t try to do too many things at once, or you’ll be slower.

Multitasking is not actually a real thing; it makes you slower at everything!

One Final Tip

One final note: If I am laminating odd-shaped things, like apples, I put a dot of glue from a glue stick on the pouch where I want it to stay. This stops it from sliding around, overlapping with something else by accident, and/or falling out.

That rounds out my laminating tips for classroom teachers!

What other laminating tips would you add to this list? Leave a comment and let me know!

PS – Are you a member of my FREE Resource Library for French primary teachers? If not, what are you waiting for?? Sign up below for access to every freebie I’ve ever made… and will ever make!

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