These days, many people don’t own a printer, let alone a laminator. The digital age is extremely convenient and helps cut down on waste, but what if you do need something laminated? No worries! There are still places to get things laminated (even in such a digital world). Several stores have lamination machines and will laminate for a fee. Otherwise, you can try laminating at home, either with your own lamination machine or an inventive option that includes a towel and an iron…

In This Article

What Is Lamination and What Is It Good For?

Lamination is the process of covering paper documents or projects with a thin layer of plastic to preserve and protect the paper. Not only will lamination preserve your documents, but it also makes them waterproof, cleanable, and reusable. It can add a professional touch to signs and posters.

Lamination is very popular in schools, and many schools have large laminators for this reason. It’s a great process to use in the classroom or home since it will protect art projects, documents, and more from sticky fingers, spills, and other messes. Lamination is also commonly used to protect restaurant menus.

Stores with Lamination Services

1. FedEx Office

  • Service offered: Lamination of papers and posters up to 36″ x 48″
  • Time Needed: Lamination can usually be done the same day, but you may want to come back the next day depending on how many projects are in the store’s queue.
  • Price range: 8.5″x11″ for $1.99, 11″x27″ for $3.99, and $3 per square foot for oversized projects.
  • Find your nearest store using the FedEx store locator.

2. Local Teacher Supply Stores

Note: Teacher Supply Store doesn’t refer to a single chain of stores, rather, its a type of store that you can usually find somewhere in your city. They often laminate, but you should check your local store’s website or call to confirm.

  • Service offered: Lamination of documents ranging from letter size to large format.
  • Time Needed: Call a local store for turnaround times and service options.
  • Price range: Most are reasonably priced, and start at just $0.50/square foot.
  • Location: Conduct a local Google search for “teacher supply store.”

3. Mardel (Christian bookstore)

  • Service offered: Lamination of documents ranging from letter size to large format.
  • Time Needed: The lamination machines are self-serve, so you can laminate your project onsite on your own time.
  • Price range: Start at $0.30 to $0.50/square foot.
  • Find your nearest store using the Mardel store locatorMardel’s has stores in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

4. Minuteman Press

  • Service offered: Lamination of documents ranging from letter size to large format.
  • Time Needed: Smaller pieces in standard sizes (8.5″x11″ and 11″x 7″) are available for same day lamination. Larger sizes take two days to complete.
  • Price range: Standard 8.5″x11″ sheets is $2.50 each. Prices are reduced as quantity increases. If your project isn’t a standard size, it will probably expensive to laminate unless you have a very large quantity (prices may be as much as $9/square foot). At Minuteman, a better option for oddly sized papers or documents is to print posters directly on plastic.
  • Find your nearest store using the Minuteman Press store locator.

5. Office Depot/Office Max

  • Service offered: Lamination of documents ranging from letter size to large format.
  • Time Needed: Stores can laminate while you wait, or you can pick up your project the same day or the next day depending on the number of projects in front of yours.
  • Price range: A standard 8.5″x11″ sheet costs $1.99 to laminate. Contact your local store for pricing on other sizes.
  • Find your nearest store using the Office Depot/Office Max store locator.

6. Staples

  • Service offered: Lamination of documents ranging from letter size to large format.
  • Time Needed: Lamination often can be done the same day, but you may want to come back the next day depending on how many projects are in the store’s queue.
  • Price range: Starting just below $2, and up to $2 per square foot.
  • Find your nearest store using the Staples store locator

7. UPS

  • Service offered: Lamination of documents ranging in sizes. Some stores may offer larger sizes, but others only have a machine that can accommodate letter size and smaller.
  • Time Needed: Same day lamination is available. The process takes about 10 minutes per page.
  • Price range: 8.5″x11″ page is $3.50.
  • Find your nearest store using the UPS store locator

    Laminating at Home with a Laminator

If you need to laminate with some frequency or only have projects that are no larger than 8.5″x11″, a home laminating system might be right for you. You can find tabletop laminators starting around $30, while more expensive machines can be over $1,000. The larger the machine, the more expensive it will be.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to buy plastic laminating page pockets to operate the machine. These supplies will increase the cost of laminating. Amazon sells laminating sheets for about $15 per pack of 100, but you can spend more depending on how thick you’d like your lamination.

Homeschoolers, teachers, and businesses owners will often find it useful to own a laminating machine. They can laminate signs that are posted around an office or factory, restaurant menus, nametags, or directional signs for conferences. Home use of lamination may include making placemats that are easy to clean, preserving a child’s artwork or school projects, creating a chore chart that functions as a dry erase board, or protecting learning materials that are used often or by many different children.

How to Laminate at Home Without a Laminator

If you want to laminate at home but don’t want to invest in a machine, there’s an easy way to DIY laminate. You’ll still need to buy the laminating pouches used in home laminating machines. You will place your item in the pouch and put it on an ironing board. Put an old towel or cloth over the page and run a hot iron (no steam) over the towel to laminate the page. You’ll want to spend a few minutes doing this and make sure to get the corners. Voila! You just laminated without a machine!

For this method and other home lamination methods, see this video.

In Summary

You now know how and where to get things laminated. There are many instances when a laminator would come in handy. If you want to laminate a standard letter-sized project or smaller, you can buy your own laminator, laminate without one, or take your project to a store that will do it for you. If you have a larger project, your best bet is to have it professionally done. Fortunately, there are quite a few stores to choose from, which generally can get the work done in a day or two.