Craft Product Review: Purple Cows 13″ Hot and Cold Laminator


I have to admit, I have not used laminating much in my crafting. However, I’ve seen a trend towards making mini-books for kids- and really, for little ones, you need to laminate the pages to keep them intact. Hence my interest in the Purple Cows 13″ Hot and Cold Laminator.

The Purple Cow Hot and Cold Laminator is just that- an electric (plug-in) laminating machine with 3 settings: one for 3ml sleeves (or “hot pockets” as they are called by Purple Cows) an setting for cold lamination, and one for 5 ml sleeves. Of course, the size- 13 inches- is a big boon to folks who want to laminate entire 12 X 12 scrapbook pages.

Getting the PC laminator set up is really easy- just plug it in, set it to the setting you need (3mL, cold, 5 ml) and wait for the green light to come on. This takes only 5 minutes or so.

The unit measures 15 inches overall, and weighs less than 5 pounds- so it’s not difficult to move about your craft area or take with you.

Take a look at this little video demonstration of the PC Laminator in action:

For the first try, I was really impressed! Next, I did my version of “swatching”- different materials run through the machine:

Corrugated cardstock, Flocked cardstock, tissue paper.

In this sample, I used flocked cardstock, tissue, and some corrugated cardstock I had in my paper scraps. Amazingly, the lamination worked on that flocked paper perfectly. Even more amazingly, it worked on that super-bumpy texture of the corrugated paper!

Wired ribbon and fabric

Again, the Purple Cow Laminator worked perfectly on this fabric scrap and wired ribbon. How nice to be able to laminate fabric samples to include in your scrapbooks, or even to carry around to match color.

Paper sack and fabric paper

Here’s another set of thick papers- I tried to stump the machine with this hand-made fabric paper. It’s about twice the thickness of cardstock, and yet it adhered perfectly. The paper sack scrap is about 3 layers thick. No problems at all!

Next it was time for layers! I first tried a book mark with 3 layers of cardstock:

There were some places right around the black tag with the “j” that didn’t adhere. (You can tell, because the hot pocket stays milky.) So I ran it through again, this time upside down, and it cleared right up.

Side note: I also worked on a mini-album using photographs, and  wet-glued the photos together. I obviously didn’t let the glue dry completely, because I found cloudy spots on the pockets that I couldn’t get to clarify- I even ran it through the machine an extra 2-3 times. Moral of this story? Make sure your wet glue is completely dry!

All in all, the more I used the Purple Cows Laminator, the more crafty ideas I came up with for using it- so stay tuned!

Here’s the breakdown:


  • Easy to use, no setup
  • Only 5 minutes warm-up time
  • Consistently good results with one and two layers
  • Pockets are very well-priced ($15 for 100)
  • Available online and in craft stores
  • A must-have for teachers, activity coordinators, and art therapists


  • Doesn’t come with ANY pockets in the box.
  • $60 rMSRP makes it a little steep for casual use (but I’ve seen it for much less online, for around $35.00, and it’s well worth it at that price!)
  • Too long to fit in a drawer- a little cumbersome to store

Like I said, the longer I have it, the more I use it- especially for kid’s crafts, saving their art, making tags, etc. I’m glad it’s in my studio. So….what would YOU do with it?

Disclosure: I received this machine for free as a member of the CraftsUnleashed design team. It is available at for only $33.97!

About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. says

    I just picked up one of the 9″ hot and cold Purple Cows laminator at Costco for $18!! It does come with pockets too. I have no idea what I may need it for, but I am sure the day I am in the midst of Craft Design Mode, and I think of something, I will be happy I have it waiting for me in the closet!!!

  2. Courtney says

    Did you try cutting anything once laminated? IF so, how did the laminating hold up after cutting?

  3. says

    Actually, in my example of making the monogrammed tags, I laminated first then cut it with the Cuttlebug- and it’s holding up well!
    I believe I also showed how we laminated the coffee filter flowers, which then we cut with fancy-edge scissors:
    They also show no signs of separating! Hope this helps, -Jenny

  4. Caryn S. says

    I got mine at Costco too…when there was and instant rebate! It was only $14.99! And yes it comes with a LOT of Hot Pockets in it in various sizes. I have used it several times only to laminate paper but it works really well. The only question I have is, what type of plastic are the laminating sheets? There’s no info in the box or on the site about the type of plastic, and I’m dying to try making storage sheets for my cling stamps. The thing I am worried about is that I’ve read that you don’t store cling stamps on acetate so I want to make sure that’s not what it is.


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