How to Laminate Without a Machine

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Laminating is a way to preserve photos, crafts and art projects that are susceptible to water damage or humidity. Many teachers laminate to preserve visuals and posters from the wear and tear of yearly usage. It's traditionally done by special machines. These machines may not always be readily available and, in some cases, the cost of lamination may be prohibitive. There are inexpensive alternatives to lamination which yield the same professional results.

Things You'll Need

  • Contact Paper
  • Scissors Or Craft Knife
  • Ruler (Optional)

Purchase adhesive, see-through paper at a craft store. Look for contact paper, found in craft and office supply stores. The paper is available in large rolls or in letter-size packets. The adhesive side of the paper is sometimes covered with wax paper and must be removed to adhere.

Cut a piece of contact paper so that the dimensions are larger than the object to be covered. Lay the contact paper so that the adhesive side is facing upwards. Remove the wax paper from the contact paper. (Some contact paper does not have a wax paper covering.)

Place the object to be covered on the contact paper, starting from one end and gently placing the surface on the adhesive. Be careful not to crease or wrinkle the object.

Carefully pick up the object with the first contact paper adhered to it. Lay another piece of contact paper on the table, adhesive side up. Lay the object with the contact paper on top of the second piece of contact paper, with the uncovered surface of the object facing the adhesive.

Smooth the object between the two pieces of contact paper, using a ruler or your hand. Ensure there are no air bubbles between the object and the contact paper.

Trim the edges. Use scissors or a craft knife to trim the contact paper. Leave a narrow border around the object that you covered.


  • You will find it easiest to have a large, clear workspace, like a table.


  • Contact paper cannot be removed once in place. Therefore, be sure to carefully place the object atop the paper so as to position is correctly.