It’s April. Under normal circumstances, for most of us, April would’ve meant seed catalogs and garden starts, Easter candy, gearing up to finish the last of the year’s school projects, celebrating the incoming warmer weather with the kids at local parks, zoos, and rec centers, and backyard barbecues with friends and neighbors.
But not this April. This year, many of us are learning the fine art of social distancing and hand cleanliness; we’re learning how to work from home, to homeschool, to play in our own yards, and we’re cooking in, coordinating childcare, and trying to find a semblance of familiarity in a crazy new world!
Here at Popp Binding, we wanted to help you out this month by giving you a few fun projects you can do with your laminating machine—because, as we all know, laminated items are not only durable, they’re washable. So enjoy these projects and remember to disinfect thoroughly when finished—just because you CAN!
Alphabet Fridge Magnets
We all remember the little plastic alphabet magnets that our moms kept on the fridge. Here’s a fun, inexpensive take on those little alphabet magnets that you can make right now at home to give your littles hours of fun! Use them on your fridge, on a magnetic cooking tray, magnetic chalkboards—anything you have on hand. These are perfect for helping work through math problems, phonics, etc.
- Download and print the free ABC cards pdf file
- Place each printed sheet inside an 8.5×11” magnetic laminating pouch and pass through your laminating machine; please note that these magnetic laminating pouches do work best in 6-roller laminating machines; however, if you don’t have a 6-roller machine, you can pass these pouches through your machine multiple times to make sure the adhesive is properly bonded.
- Use a trimmer or scissors to cut cards apart; these laminating sheets do not need a border and can be laminated from edge to edge
- Place cards on fridge, magnetic cookie sheet, or other magnetic surface and let children make words, math problems, or phonics blends (HINT: Print multiple copies so the kiddos have multiples of the same letter!)
If you don’t have any magnetic laminating pouches on hand, don’t worry! You can grab some here. They’re sold individually and can be purchased in multiple sizes, as well as in matte or gloss finish (depending on the size you order). Some other fun uses for magnetic laminating pouches include:
- Preserving the kids’ artwork (no need to hunt down fridge magnets!)
- Making a list of emergency and frequently-used phone numbers for the family
- Making a “clean/dirty” magnet for the dishwasher
- What else? Leave your suggestions in the comments below; we’d love to hear how YOU are using the magnetic laminating pouches!
Dry Erase Grocery List
With the kids home, you may find that you’re going through food (and perhaps coffee?) and other consumables a lotfaster! If you’re having trouble keeping up, here’s a neat idea:
- Print out our grocery list pdf.
- Trim around the borders (a trimmer will make this job a lot faster!). Line the crop marks up on your trimmer and slice off the excess margins.
- Slide it into a regular laminating pouch and pass it through your laminating machine.
- Trim down the edges, leaving a 1/8” border on all sides
- Use a magnetic clip to hold the grocery list onto the fridge door (our magnetic laminating pouches are not dry erase, so don’t use those for this project!) As you or other family members use the last of items (or when you can see the bottom of your bag of coffee beans), add those items to the grocery list using a dry erase pen or marker.
- Right before you’re ready to head out to pick up groceries (or when you’re ready to order them online), snap a pic of your grocery list on your phone (or take it off the fridge and bring it with you, if you prefer).
Now you know exactly what you need, and there’s no mad scrabbling through the cupboards trying to figure out if someone used the last of the lunch meat this past week. As a bonus, not only is this grocery list dry erase, but if you happen to prefer just bringing the entire thing with you when you grocery shop, you can dunk it in soapy water when you get home to clean it off, and then stick it back on the fridge, ready to be used again!
Laminated Window Suncatcher
For this project, you just need regular laminating pouches, some permanent markers (we like colored sharpies), and one black sharpie marker. We printed off a stained glass pattern that we found online; you can do the same or create your own.
- Print off your pattern and tape it underneath your laminating pouch, face up.
- Open your laminating pouch and use the black sharpie to trace the black outlines from your pattern onto the insideof your pouch. Make your outlines nice and thick.
- Remove the paper pattern.
- Use your colored markers to color in between the black outlines, again, on the inside of your pouch. Be careful while you’re coloring–the marker takes a little while to dry and you can pick up color with your hand and transfer to areas of your picture that you don’t want those colors on.
- Once you’ve colored in your pattern, close up the pouch again. The picture should now be on the inside of the pouch.
- Run your empty pouch through your laminator. You can use a carrier if desired or if your machine requires one.
- Once your pouch has come through the other side, it’s finished! Trim around the outside of your design and tape it to your window. Or, better yet, use a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of your design. Slip a pretty ribbon through the hole and hang it on a suction cup hook in your window.
For more handy projects you can make for (and with!) the kids, check out our previous blog post here. If you find yourself short on laminating pouches, head over to poppbinding.com and check out our supply. For the month of April, you can use the coupon code “pouch20” to save 20% on all of our laminating pouches; if you don’t have a laminating machine yet, we’re offering a great deal on a machine and pouch bundle (see here). Remember, laminated items are not only sturdy and long-lasting, but you can also wash and disinfect them as often as needed!
From everyone here at Popp Binding & Laminating, Happy Quarantining!