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How To Laminate Cards?

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karen0205  karen0205 is offline
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Smile How To Laminate Cards?


Does anyone have any experience with laminating cards? I am trying to find out what to use so that it doesn't start to peel up at the corners and separate. Any help? Also, is heat laminating best? I am going to make my own deck and don't want to spend all that time doing it to have the cards start to peel apart! Thanks for any help from anyone who's experienced using laminate for long term use and handling.
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I've got the same questions as Karen, now that I'm considering offering the tarot deck I'm making in the physical format as well as downloadable.

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Found Info


I found out from doing some searching that laminating with a heat machine is the best way to do it. I found some companies that sell laminating pouches that you buy, most were around 500 for $25. You have to get the size that fits your cards or cut your cards to fit one of the sizes offered! You have to round the corners of your cards because all the pouches have rounded corners. You put the card in, laminate it and your done. They come in gloss or matte finish but the gloss seems to be the way to go. The matte blurs the artwork slightly. Hope that helps anyone!
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Been there, done that!


Hi! I am new to the forum, have not even posted an introduction yet. I have been lurking about for quite some time... scoping out some of the threads... and happened to stumble across this one. I have had a bit of experience heat laminating "rack tags" for work and personal items for use at home. I also recently heat laminated my deck of Shapeshifter tarot cards. I have a fairly respectable inventory of laminating pouches (for personal use, I am not a retailer) in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses. I have pouches with rounded corners and pouches with square corners. I also purchased a tool that can be used to round off a square corner. I am new to the world of tarot, only have fourteen decks, but all of my rectangular ones have rounded corners. First and foremost, I would suggest that when choosing a laminating pouch, get the thinnest one you can find. For my Shapeshifters, I used a 3"X5" pouch with rounded corners in a 3mil. thickness. This made the cards substantially thicker and harder to shuffle. I would have preferred a 1.5 mil pouch, but could not find one in the needed size. I DO have some 1.5 mil pouches, but they are 9"X12" so I will have to carefully place several cards in each pouch for lamination and then use my paper cutter to separate them and then use the corner rounder to round off the square corners. Or an acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter can be used to separate the cards in lieu of a paper cutter. Obviously, scissors would be an option, but might not achieve straight edges or even borders. Secondly, make sure you purchase a laminating machine that is capable of accepting the pouch size you are using... and is capable of getting hot enough to seal the pouch in the thickness you are using. Instead of having a bunch of machines in different sizes, I just have one that handles all of the basic sizes and will seal any thickness up to 10mil. In my search for laminating pouches, I have found that eBay is my best source: a huge variety of sizes and thicknesses, and when I do my homework, the very best prices as well. I feel I should also share this experience with you: the Shapeshifter cards have a smooth, shiny finish, and when I was laminating them, a couple of the cards shifted on me when I started feeding them into the machine. LOL (shifting shapeshifters...go figure!) As soon as I noticed that the card had shifted, I stopped the machine and pulled the card and pouch back out and was able to open the pouch, remove the card and put it into a new pouch and laminate it...without doing any damage to the card. Additionally, I have noticed that a few of the cards are showing signs of the pouch pulling away from the slick surface of the card. Nothing major, but I am considering putting them back through the laminator to see what will happen. My apologies for being so verbose, but I hope this was helpful. Cindy
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Thank you so much for the 411, Cindy!

I will certainly keep your suggestions in mind!

What brand of laminator do you use and are you overall satisfied with its abilities to your needs?

And welcome to Aeclectic!
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DraagonStorm  DraagonStorm is offline
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I print my deck out 6 to 8 cards on one sheet 8.5x11 of card stock paper, both front and back. I found the cold laminate the best for me. I use the Xyron 900. The basic reason for cold laminate was the ability to get 1.5 mil laminate! I could not find that thin of laminate for hot laminating. I also have a hot laminator, which I put the cold laminated sheets thru just to seal them that little bit more! Also with the hot laminate I found that the laminate sometimes had a tendency to peel away from the card stock, I haven't seen that with the cold laminate. After my sheets are laminated, I then cut the cards using a rotory cutter, and then use a corner cutter (I got a good deal for a corner cutter that can do up to 1 inch of cards at a time on eBay). The deck turns out great!

www.draagonstorm.com

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DragonStorm,

Is card stock paper the same as photo paper, or at least similar to it?
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Thank you Cindy for all that helpful advice. I've been checking websites and found one with tons of laminating pouches but that was before you mentioned getting the thinest ones available. Now I will go see what they have as far as thickness. My only concern is that the decks don't peel. Have you noticed anything like that with the heat sealed laminate?

Karen
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No, card stock is thicker (think Kleenex box cardboard), whereas photopaper is slick on one side and about the thickness of two layers of typing paper. They're definately very different things.

I laminated some drawings on light card stock over at Kinkos, on their machine that had 5ml plastic. The cards 'curled' with the direction of the plastic sheeting and were way too slick to shuffle. Also too thick to work with easily. I think I could forgive the shuffling aspect but the curling, that wasn't something that's able to be worked around.
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DraagonStorm  DraagonStorm is offline
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I use 110 lb card stock and 1.5 mil cold laminate. I've had no problem with peeling or curling

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