How I make my visuals!

Last Friday my sweet little homebound boy asked me if I remembered to make him “Bob the Builder” things.  He told me he loves Bob the Builder and Handy Manny.  He also happens to work on bilabials so these characters are perfect! Sadly, I had totally forgotten to make him an activity!  So this week I had to quickly make something, print it, laminate it, and have it all set to go for him on Friday afternoon.  The Building Better Grammar activity I made for this student, which is pictured below, is on sale for 50% off for the next 24 hours (until 7 PM Friday 10/3/14).

Not to mention I had to prepare visuals for the apple tree preschool lesson I had planned (just in my head and on Pinterest, though!) for Wednesday and Thursday.

Well, my school has been out of lamination plastic since before school started on September 2.  Luckily, I have my handy dandy personal laminator (that I bought way back in 2007 in college).  I LOVE this thing; it has come in so handy!  I have the Duck brand one, but that’s not made anymore.  This one from Scotch is just as great.

As soon as I was finished printing, I took my papers home and they were all laminated in minutes!


Some people are hesitant to buy their own laminator because they fear it will get expensive.  Not when you buy these laminating pockets! I bought this pack at the beginning of the school year; it happened to be on sale for only $10.  If you want a slightly thicker kind, these are 5 mil.  These sheets are thicker than the kind my school normally has, so I can print on regular sheets of paper, not even card stock!


I also needed Velcro for the sequencing aspect of my Apple Trees Sensory Craft visuals.  I planned this activity in only 3 days but I was still able to get everything prepped in time!

The next step was Velcroing the sequencing mat and visuals.  I love the Velcro that comes in coins, because cutting strips of Velcro is a HUUUUGE pain in the butt.  It’s ruined too many of my scissors and I may be on my way to carpel tunnel because of it.  These coins are great and so cheap!

So, whenever I need materials made quickly, these handy tools are a lifesaver.  I’ve also used them for non-school related projects, like bunting for bridal showers.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.


  1. Meagan Lawson says

    My kiddos would love using these! The Apple Trees visuals would tie in perfectly with the apple theme we are doing in two of my classrooms!

  2. Julie says

    I love this laminator! The speech pathologist at my school has one and let me use it. She likes pirates, too 🙂

  3. Nina Lilly says

    Great way to laminate materials when your school laminitor isn’t working! You have such great blog posts. You rock!!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I love my personal laminator! Do laminate the whole page and then cut? I think I’m wasting a lit of time.

    • SLPirates says

      Yes, I always do the whole page and then cut. I NEVER cut twice. You only need to leave an excess plastic edge if you’re mounting it on another page (so two sheets together), but I never do that because the plastic is thick enough and I have cardstock.

  5. Rachel says

    I have the same laminator and use it all the time! My fiancée got it for me as a gift a few years ago and it has been a life saver!

  6. Shara Kuehl says

    We have unlimited access to our school’s laminating machine, so I use it for pretty much everything. The only thing I don’t use it for anything that I want to be able to use with dry erase markers. I use a laminating machine like you have for those kinds of activities, because the laminating paper is thicker, and and for some reason the markers dry off easier and don’t stain the paper. And of course Velcro and card stock or a must!

    • SLPirates says

      I usually have unlimited access to the laminator at school, too – except when we’re out of film. 🙁

  7. Krista says

    I ordered my own laminator & waiting for its arrival! I love to have my own materials that I can use over & over again 🙂

  8. Shannon Giles says

    I love my personal laminator. I use it way too often because it’s just so convenient! We have one at my school too and I’ll use that when I have a ton of pages to do all at once.

  9. Terry says

    i just got the scotch laminator this year and I love it!! Our school has restricted laminating hours so it is very helpful to have my own when I need something in a pinch!! Velcro is another item I am flying through this year!!

  10. Anne T says

    I spend SOOO much on laminating pouches! But it’s worth it to me to preserve all the awesome materials I get from TpT! Interesting that you laminate the whole page before cutting…I cut first, laminate, then cut again. It takes longer (way longer!) but I waste so much less of the pouch, since I can jigsaw the pieces to maximize each. If I had access to a laminator at school, though, I’d totally just laminate the whole thing! 🙂

  11. Callie Huffman says

    I am a CF and I am finally realizing the benefits and velcro dots! I am looking forward to finding things in your shop soon that I can add more velcro to 🙂

  12. Jen says

    Our laminator at school uses plastic that’s not as thick or durable as the pockets. So I like to use my own most of the time anyway!

  13. vickie Jones says

    I have an old Xyron cold laminator, I need to see if it’s cost effective to use for school, I used it for scrapbooking

  14. Judy Hale says

    I do have access to the laminator at school, though the film seems thinner than it used to be. Maybe I should ask for a laminator for my birthday (which is this month)!

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