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:
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!
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.
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, andÂ 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?