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Laminating is a great method for safeguarding your belongings, be it sentimental items like photos or essential documents such as IDs and certificates. However, nobody wants to spend more than necessary on lamination services.
We understand the need to budget when preserving important documents, as we do it ourselves and recognize the costs involved.
To assist you in making informed decisions and saving both money and time, we’ve researched and put together a list of some of the most cost-effective and accessible places for lamination services.
Stick around until the end of this guide, as we also provide a step-by-step explanation on how to laminate items at home if you prefer a do-it-yourself approach.
11 Places where to get something laminated
These eight places not only provide lamination services but also have branches across the United States, making it highly probable that you’ll find one conveniently located near your area.
1. Office Depot
Office Depot is a reliable choice, not only for laminating documents but also for a wide range of business and corporate office supplies. With thousands of locations across the United States, it’s easily accessible. The pricing at Office Depot is particularly budget-friendly, especially when buying in bulk.
For laminating, you can bring items up to 12 x 18 inches, and the cost starts at $0.49 per page. The convenience is notable as they provide on-the-spot lamination services.
One noteworthy feature is the use of new laminators, ensuring that your documents emerge with a crisp finish, free from wrinkles or bubbles. This commitment to quality adds to the overall appeal of Office Depot for your office supply needs.
2. FedEx Office (Formerly Kinkos)
FedEx Office, previously known as Kinkos, provides lamination services throughout the United States. Whether it’s menus, business cards, posters, or other items, you can have them laminated. They offer self-service lamination for small projects and an online printing option for larger endeavors such as posters or banners.
With same-day service available, you can benefit from free pickup and delivery choices. Additionally, FedEx Office offers lamination for large items like maps or bulletin boards. Pricing begins at $1.99 for standard 8.5″ x 11″ documents.
Staples, a major global office supplies company, provides laminating services across many of its US stores. This service covers a wide range of items, such as documents, photos, posters, menus, and ID cards. Staples can laminate nearly any flat item, with a maximum width of 25 inches and unlimited length, offering both glossy and matte finishes.
The pricing for lamination depends on the specific product and size, beginning at less than $2.
4. The UPS Store
The UPS Store operates more than 4,000 locations across the United States, all of which provide laminating services. They offer various types of lamination, such as cold, pouch, wide format, menu size, business card size, hot roll lamination, and encapsulating.
Their lamination services also include customization options for sizes, ranging from 1 foot to 15 feet long. The cost of laminating depends on the style you choose. For instance, a one-foot lamination costs $3.50 for cold laminate and $5 for hot roll laminate, with the price varying based on whether it’s 1mil or 2mil thick. Costs increase for larger sizes and different lamination styles.
5. Minuteman Press
Minuteman Press is a global chain of printing shops providing comprehensive printing services. They specialize in laminating, offering options like white and black backing and various pouch sizes for items such as business cards, photos, luggage tags, signs, bookmarks, and maps.
The cost for laminating standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheets begins at $2.50, with discounted rates for larger orders. With locations in nearly every U.S. state, Minuteman Press also facilitates worldwide shipping of their products.
OfficeMax, a sibling company of Office Depot, provides laminating services at numerous locations across the United States. These services cater to both personal and business needs. They can laminate various items such as documents, pictures, and other materials, with a quick turnaround time of as little as 24 hours, sometimes even on the same day.
The cost of laminating depends on the specific OfficeMax location and the size of the items being laminated. Generally, prices start at approximately $2 for standard sizes.
7. Postal Annex
The Postal Annex is a convenient option when you’re in a hurry because it operates on weekends and holidays. This service provides lamination for various documents, including photos. Additionally, they offer materials like foam backing or gator board to reinforce your document.
The cost for laminating varies from $1 to $3 per foot, depending on the thickness of the paper you want laminated. The Postal Annex is a comprehensive franchise that provides printing, packing, shipping, and laminating services at all its stores.
8. Teacher supply stores
If you’re looking for a place to laminate your documents, consider checking out your nearby teacher supply store. These stores commonly offer lamination services. Before heading over, it’s a good idea to give them a call to confirm that they provide this service. While prices may differ between stores, they’re generally reasonable.
To locate teacher supply stores in your area, simply use a search engine like Google. Type in “Teacher supply store near me” and press enter. The search results should provide you with a list of nearby stores, complete with directions and contact details.
9. Paper Image Printing
Paper Image Printing is an ideal choice for cost-effective laminating services. With a focus on affordability, they offer a range of printing services, specializing in lamination. Whether it’s business cards or annual reports, they can expertly laminate various documents. Additionally, they excel in producing large-scale copies for items such as window decals and table tents.
One notable advantage of choosing Paper Image Printing is its global shipping capability. If you have a document that needs to reach the other side of the world for a business meeting, they can handle the shipping, reducing the stress associated with international logistics.
For those seeking a combination of affordability and convenience in laminating services, Paper Image Printing is a reliable option.
10. ASAP Printing
ASAP Printing is an online service that provides laminating services along with a range of traditional and unique office solutions. Their emphasis on preserving important documents is reflected in the various thicknesses and finishes they offer for laminating.
Thicker lamination, being more durable, is less prone to tearing compared to thin lamination, which can be beneficial for documents frequently handled.
The company understands the importance of presentation and offers extra finishes to enhance the professional look of your laminated documents. Ordering from ASAP Printing is a straightforward process as it is an online store.
You can upload the document you want laminated, choose the laminating service, and specify additional details such as thickness or special finishes. The option to obtain a quote before placing an order provides transparency regarding the service costs.
Beyond laminating, ASAP Printing extends its services to various document needs, including printing selfie cards, wedding invitations, manual printing, and other essential business documents.
Whether you require protection for important documents or other printing services, ASAP Printing offers a convenient online platform for a seamless experience from the comfort of your home.
11. Laminating at home
Laminating at home can be a practical choice if you frequently deal with documents that require protection. Individuals such as teachers, homeschoolers, artists, and business owners often find it more convenient to own a laminating machine at home rather than relying on external services like FedEx or Staples. This is especially true for those with uniquely shaped documents.
While some laminating machines can be expensive, there are affordable options available on platforms like Amazon, starting at around $18. Machines in the $18 to $40 range can provide reliable performance.
Additionally, you’ll need to purchase laminating pouches, which are also reasonably priced on Amazon, costing approximately $15 for a pack of 200 pouches. Smaller packs, such as 50 pouches, are available for around $8.99 (at the time of writing). This setup can offer a cost-effective and convenient solution for laminating documents in the comfort of your home.
To achieve professional-looking laminated documents at home, it’s advisable to invest in a dedicated laminating machine. You can find affordable options starting at $17 on popular platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and Office Depot.
Here’s what you’ll need for a DIY lamination project:
- Laminating machine
- Laminating pouches (choose the pouch size based on the document size)
- Paper cutter
- Documents to be laminated
Once you have your materials ready, follow these steps:
- Prepare the Document:
- If your document isn’t already in the pouch, place it inside, ensuring it’s centered with no additional items and no air bubbles.
- Turn on the Laminator:
- Switch on the laminator and wait for it to complete the preheating process.
- Insert the Pouch:
- Feed the pouch through the laminator, ensuring it comes out the other side evenly. For manual laminators, apply even pressure while passing the pouch through.
- Wait for Completion:
- Allow the laminated document to come out completely before attempting to remove it from the machine.
- Automatic Laminator Users:
- If you’re using an automatic laminator, wait for the indicator light to turn green, and then follow the laminator’s prompt to remove the pouch.
By following these straightforward steps, you can efficiently laminate your documents at home without the need for a professional laminating service.
How much does lamination cost?
The cost of lamination varies based on where you have it done and the size of the item. Typically, laminating a standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheet ranges from $1 to $3. If you frequently laminate, buying your own machine can be a cost-effective option.
What items can you laminate?
You can laminate a variety of items for both business and personal use. Here’s a list of things you may want to laminate:
- Banners for advertisements
- Business cards
- Business permits
- Chore charts (laminating them creates a chore chart that can also function as a dry erase board).
- Copies and flyers
- Directional signs for conferences
- Educational materials (great for both teachers and homeschoolers that want to protect any educational materials that are to be used often or by many different children).
- ID cards
- Your child’s school projects or art if you want to preserve them as a keepsake.
Laminating these items helps extend their lifespan, protecting them from spills, tears, or crumpling. However, it’s crucial to avoid laminating sensitive documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, marriage certificates, social security cards, and permits with unique security features, as laminating them can render them invalid as official documents.
What are the benefits of having something laminated?
If you’re unsure whether to laminate a document, you might be curious about the advantages of doing so. Laminating a document provides protection against wear, tear, and damage, ensuring its longevity.
It also safeguards against spills and stains, making the document more durable. Additionally, lamination enhances the document’s appearance by providing a glossy finish and may contribute to a more professional presentation.
Here are more explanations of the benefits of laminating a document or photo:
1. Stain protection
Laminating a document provides a crucial benefit by safeguarding it from stains, especially in situations where multiple individuals handle the document. For instance, consider a menu in a restaurant. Laminating the menu is a practical choice as patrons might handle it with food on their hands, potentially causing spills.
Without lamination, the menu could be ruined, rendering it unsuitable for further use. This is particularly undesirable as customers prefer receiving menus without messy fingerprints.
The advantages of stain protection through lamination extend beyond restaurants to settings like schools. In a classroom with young children, it’s inevitable that a document will encounter stains, whether from messy fingers or accidental spills.
Laminating such documents facilitates easy cleaning, allowing them to be reused promptly. This not only saves the teacher money but also ensures that the class can proceed without significant delays. Therefore, whether in a restaurant or a school, laminating documents or photos is a practical measure to keep them free from stains and in usable condition.
2. Tear resistance
Tear resistance is a crucial quality of laminated documents. While they are not entirely tear-proof, their resistance depends on the thickness of the laminated sheets. Thinner sheets can be torn, but thicker laminated sheets are challenging to tear, making them ideal for situations where documents might face rough handling.
In settings like construction sites, laminated construction manuals endure potential abuse as they are transported and handled by individuals with dirty or rough hands. The tear-resistant nature of laminated sheets ensures the documents remain intact despite the harsh conditions.
Similarly, in classrooms with young children, who may not handle materials gently, laminated sheets offer protection against unintentional tearing. This durability allows the documents to withstand a degree of rough handling, making them suitable for environments where wear and tear are common.
3. Sun protection
It’s crucial to consider environmental threats when safeguarding important documents and photos. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, specifically to the UV rays it contains, can lead to fading and potential damage.
To prevent this, use a UV-coated laminated sheet to cover your photos or documents. This special type of sheet acts as a barrier, repelling harmful UV rays and safeguarding the content underneath. With this protection, you won’t observe any deterioration in the colors or images of your photos or documents.
This approach is particularly useful for those who store documents in sunlit areas. Without UV protection, fading may go unnoticed until it’s too late. This is especially relevant in situations like construction sites where documents are exposed to sunlight.
For instance, a booklet left open without the UV-coated laminated sheet may experience gradual bleaching of its text. On the contrary, when protected, the laminated sheet ensures that the words on the page stay dark and easily readable.
In summary, utilizing laminated sheets with UV protection is a practical and effective measure to shield your documents and photos from the potentially damaging effects of sunlight exposure.
4. Water resistance
Laminated sheets offer a valuable advantage due to their water resistance. When you’re engaged in door-to-door sales, there are instances when you might find yourself caught in the rain with your product sheets.
Without the protection of lamination, your documents could easily be damaged. Lamination acts as a safeguard, preventing water from compromising your papers.
This protective measure is particularly significant for preserving important documents over an extended period. Even in the event of a home flood, documents shielded with lamination remain unaffected, staying dry and well-preserved.
In essence, laminating sheets prove beneficial by ensuring that your documents and photos are shielded from potential ruin caused by water and other liquids.
The bottom line
Protecting important items like artwork and awards is easy and affordable with lamination. Laminating creates a protective layer that shields your items from spills, dirt, and damage. The cost is reasonable, typically ranging from $1 to $3 per standard sheet and around $2 to $3 per square foot.
Consider investing in a laminating machine, such as the Scotch Laminator, for convenient and cost-effective laminating at home. This option is especially beneficial for schools, homeschoolers, and workplaces with frequent laminating needs. Purchasing a machine can be more economical than relying on professional services, saving money in the long run.
If you’re wondering where to find laminating services nearby, check the places mentioned in our list above. This way, you can ensure the protection of your valuable items without breaking the bank.