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Laminating Pouches: Sizes, Uses, and How-To Guide

January 15, 2021

Laminating Pouches: Sizes, Uses, and How-To Guide

We’ve been digging into the ins and outs of lamination to create a Guide to Laminating Pouches (sizes, uses, and how to use them.) Learn how to use thermal laminating pouches and laminating sheets, and which product will best suit your needs. We’ll also share a sizing chart to help you find the best fit, as well as quick links for purchasing them online.

 


 

laminating pouches and sheets

What Are Laminating Pouches and Sheets Used For?

Both laminating pouches and sheets are used to improve and maintain the durability of documents or objects. Laminates are typically made from a combination of plastics, but they can also be made from vinyl or similar materials. Laminating your documents keeps out dust, moisture, oily fingerprints, and it keeps them from creasing or wrinkling.

You might laminate:

  • Restaurant menus
  • Name tags
  • Business cards
  • Presentation aids
  • Certificates
  • Photographs
  • Crafting and DIY projects
  • Homemade bookmarks
  • Small signs
  • Recipe cards
  • Decals

     


     

    Laminating Pouches vs. Laminating Sheets

    Generally, the terms laminating pouch and laminating sheet are used interchangeably. However, there are some differences that may be used to differentiate between the two. 

    Sometimes a laminating sheet is a single piece of laminate film meant to cover one side of a document or object. In our case, our laminating sheets cover both sides of your item like a clamshell and offer 360-degree protection.

    Laminating pouches are usually connected on three sides and cover both sides of your document, which you slide into them like – you guessed it – a pouch. They, too, offer 360-degree protection.

    Single-side laminating sheets are usually self-adhesive, so they don’t require heat to apply, only pressure. They’re ideal for document protection and covering or waterproofing irregular or large objects. The main laminating sheet size is 9 x 11.5 inches, whereas laminating pouches come in a number of different sizes.

    Our clamshell-style laminating sheets have a sealed side. They, along with laminating pouches, create a pouch that you can slide your document into, providing total coverage. Most laminated pouches require heat to seal them properly. They’re best used for ID cards, name tags, and restaurant menus. Just think what kind of horrors would befall a menu if it weren’t laminated. 😱

    laminating sheet graphic

     


     

    How to Use Laminating Pouches

    Laminating pouches seal documents between two layers of flexible but durable plastic for complete protection. 

    laminating machine

    Using a laminating machine:

    1. Ensure you have the correct size laminating pouch (see our sizing chart below).
    2. Wash and dry your hands before getting started.
    3. Dry wipe the document you are laminating.
    4. Read the instructions of your device.
    5. Choose the appropriate temperature setting according to your device. The thicker your laminating pouch, the more heat you will need.
    6. Wait for the machine to heat up.
    7. Place the document in the laminating pouch. Center it properly, taking care to make sure there are equal borders around it.
    8. Depending on the age of your device, you may need to use a laminating pouch carrier, though most modern machines won’t need one.
    9. Insert the pouch containing the document into the machine.
    10. When ready, remove the now laminated document carefully from the back of the machine and let it sit for a few moments to cool off. Don’t handle it too much, as this may damage the end product.
      laminating pouch

      Using a cold laminating/self-sealing pouch:

      1. Ensure you have the correct size laminating pouch (see our sizing chart below).
      2. Wash and dry your hands before getting started.
      3. Dry wipe the document you are laminating.
      4. Place the document into the pouch.
      5. Use the pouch’s grid to properly align the document.
      6. Peel off the liner to access the adhesive.
      7. Press firmly on the two halves to stick them together, moving slowly and carefully.
      8. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
      9. If necessary, trim away any excess laminate. 

         


         

        laminating sheets

        How to Use Laminating Sheets

        Laminating sheets come with self-adhesive, so you won’t need to use heat, only a little bit of pressure.

        1. Wash and dry your hands before getting started.
        2. Use a table or flat surface, and be sure to wipe it down beforehand.
        3. Dry wipe the surface of whatever you are laminating.
        4. Remove the backing slowly, beginning with the top corner.
        5. Carefully apply the sheet over the document or object. Use the grid to ensure everything is even.
        6. Press down firmly inch by inch and remove the backing as you do. Do not simply remove the backing and set the sheet over the document, as it’s easy to make mistakes this way.
        7. Remove any bubbles that appear as you go with your hands, a ruler, a squeegee, or a hand roller.
        8. Remember: slow and steady wins the race. 🐢

           


           

          Laminating Pouches: Sizes and Uses

          Laminating pouches come in a variety of sizes. The most common laminating pouch is designed for Letter Sizedocuments (8.5 x 11) with pouches sized at 9 x 11.5 inches. Use our sizing chart below to determine your specific needs.

          Thickness is also a consideration for laminating pouches. The thicker the laminating pouch, the more sturdy and reliable the final product will be—though thicker laminations will be less malleable. Average laminating pouches are generally classified as “3 mil” thickness, whereas extra thick versions are “5 mil.”

            


           

          larry says

          Don’t forget: your laminating pouch should be slightly larger than what you want to laminate to ensure there’s space for a tight seal on all sides.

           


           

          Laminating Pouch Size

          Common Uses

          Approx. 11.5 x 17.5 inches *Ensure you have a laminating machine that’s large enough for this size

          ●     Achievement certificates

          ●     Awards

          ●     Menus

          ●     Signage

          ●     Artwork

          ●     Posters

          ●     Calendars

          ●     Business documents

          ●     Classroom materials

          Approx 8.5 x 14 inches

           

          ●     Legal Documents

          ●     Leases

          ●     Agreements

          ●     Signage

          ●     Manuals

          ●     Artwork

          ●     Posters

          Approx. 9 x 11.5 inches

          ●     Important documents

          ●     Small menus

          ●     Small calendars

          ●     Small signs

          ●     Schedules

          ●     Artwork

          ●     Large photos

          ●     Classroom materials

          ●     Business documents

          ●     Certificates

          Approx. 5.2 x 7.2 inches

          ●     5 x 7 photos

          ●     Signage

          ●     Flashcards

          ●     Flyers

          ●     Instruction cards

          Approx. 4.3 x 6.3 inches

          ●     Photographs

          ●     Postcards

          ●     Small signage

          ●     Flashcards

          ●     Recipe cards

          Approx. 3.7 x 5.2 inches

          ●     Mini photos

          ●     Flashcards

          ●     Recipe cards

          Approx. 2.5 x 3.8 inches

          ●     Wallet photos

          ●     Study cards

          ●     Bookmarks

          ●     Recipe cards

          ●     Reusable Coupons

          Approx. 2.32 x 3.70 inches

          ●     Business Cards

          ●     Insurance Cards

          ●     Reusable Coupons

          ●     Decals

          Approx. 2.48 x 4.21 inches

          (Comes with loop)

          ●     Name tags

          ●     ID Cards

          ●     Membership cards

          ●     Luggage tags

          ●     Bag tags

           

          Laminating Sheets: Sizes and Uses

          The standard laminating sheet size is designed for Letter or A4 documents. This means the sheet is slightly larger (9 x 11.5 inches) to provide an edge on every side of your document. You can trim the edges of the laminating sheet after properly centering and sealing your document if there’s too much excess plastic along the borders or if you’re laminating something smaller.

          If you want to laminate small objects, such as name tags or business cards, it’s best to go with laminating pouches, as these will be sized correctly and provide complete 360 degree protection.

           

          Laminating Sheet Size

          Common Uses

          Approx. 9 x 11.5 inches

          ●     Important printed documents

          ●     Small menus

          ●     Small calendars

          ●     Small signs

          ●     Schedules

          ●     Artwork

          ●     Large photos

          ●     Classroom materials

          ●     Business documents

          ●     Achievement certificates

          Trim laminating sheet to fit

          ●     Photographs

          ●     Small signage

          ●     Recipe cards

          ●     Flashcards

          ●     Flyers

          ●     Instruction cards

           


           

          How to Buy Laminating Pouches and Sheets

          ‼️ Check back soon! Blue Summit will carry laminating pouches later this year, so you can add them to your orders for convenient purchasing. Thanks for supporting our small business!

           

          best icon
            best icon

            Best Self-Adhesive Laminating Pouches

              best icon

              Best Laminating Sheets

                 


                 

                Other Laminating Questions Answered

                question mark

                Can you use any laminating pouch with any laminator?

                Any average-sized laminating pouch, such as Letter or A4, will work in a regular-sized laminating machine. Unless you run a sign or poster shop, a regular-sized laminator should work just fine. If you regularly need to laminate large signs or posters, you’ll need to invest in a wide model laminator.

                 Carefully consider your specific needs before making your purchase. Wide model laminators can cost thousands of dollars.

                  question mark

                  Can you laminate without a laminator?

                  Yes, but only if you have a cold laminating/self-sealing pouch. A thermal laminating pouch will require a machine. Laminating sheets, on the other hand, do not require a laminating machine at all. 

                  💡 Learn how to use laminating pouches without a machine.

                    question mark

                    How much does a lamination machine cost?

                    The price of a lamination machine can vary greatly depending on your needs. If you only occasionally need to laminate average-sized documents, such as Letter or A4, you’ll find a number of very affordable options available from a variety of retailers, usually for around $20.

                       

                      If you regularly need to laminate several documents in rapid succession, the cost will be closer to $100 or higher. Consider the volume of the documents you’ll be laminating before making your decision. Wide format laminatormodels for signs or posters are going to cost you much more—in the thousands of dollars.

                       


                       

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                      ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                      Jordan works remotely, from home or abroad, on projects that increase brand awareness, online engagement, and website traffic. She specializes in clear and concise writing that helps businesses conquer their online messaging. Through human-centered content, she aims to delight both human readers and Google bots. Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Mad Men or Game of Thrones.


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