Tips and tools on making printable materials

My friend Jane from TheLaminatrix is a total expert in cutting, printing, laminating, and everything else pertaining to turning printables into ready-made materials. I often get asked about tools recommendations for printing and laminating my digital cards so I thought it would be interesting for you to learn what Jane has to say about it.

For those of you who do not know me, please let me introduce myself. I am Jane Albery, former teacher with a major in Language Arts. Now I’m a homeschooling/afterschooling mother of two who also owns an Etsy shop offering Montessori inspired finished materials as well as printables on

I often get asked about tools I use to make my materials. I have received quite a few messages from teachers and parents telling me they admire the quality of the cards they received and would love to be able to take advantage of purchasing less expensive printables and making their own materials. So I decided to write a post about my favorites and share them with you along with affiliate Amazon links. I buy most of my supplies on Amazon since I have Prime memberships, and it has been great because it allows me to be able to try just about anything and return it if I am not 100% satisfied with the results. And trust me, I have returned a lot! Below are the pictures of my best tried and true laminating pouches, laminator, paper trimmer, corner rounder, and printer along with the Amazon links. I will post a short description under every picture.

I actually wrote a review on Amazon about this item, so I will not repeat myself as you can read it following the link. Purchased it a little over a year ago and had no problems since.

Prior to that I thought Fellowes Saturn 3i 95 was doing a good job. But the plastic construction of it couldn’t handle my load and started smelling funny and making loud scary noises. I only had it for 3 or 4 months when it started happening. But if you laminate occasionally it may very well work for you. Here’s the link to it on Amazon and as you will find out it has rather glowing reviews -

 I buy these in bulk now at 200 sheets, which ends up being about 12 cents a pouch. They come in two 100 sheet boxes with a feeding sleeve aka carrier. You do not have to use it, but I do as my industrial type laminator is capable of taking the thickness of cardstock, 5 mil laminating pouch, and the carrier. The results are gorgeous glossy finish without a single scratch or blemish.

Now if you read the reviews on Amazon, they do not seem so hot. But a lot of those have to do with people not being able to install it or some other technical nonsense that has nothing to do with the actual performance and quality of print. I had an HP printer before, it had duplex print capability and lots of other cool features. BUT! When I printed side by side, especially darker images, there really was no comparison. I do also buy my refills on eBay. All four toners are about $150 and they last me over 6 months. And I print a lot! In fact I just printed device statistics and it shows I’ve printed about 2500 sheets. What?

This was my 3rd paper trimmer and it’s a keeper! I initially ordered the 18” one and quickly realized I didn’t need it to be this long, so exchanged it for 12 1/2” and have been very pleased. It has automatic paper clamp, which holds whatever you are cutting in place rather well. Not so much for laminated sheets, as those are slippery, but since I precut all my paper and cardstock, it has proven itself to be irreplaceable. No Fiskars trimmer was ever able to cut with this German precision.

I’ve tried gazillion corner rounders and this one is by far my favorite! As with all corner rounders, they will dull over time and there’s now way to sharpen them. At least I don’t know how to. So when I buy these I get two at a time. It has a little storage compartment for your clippings, so they don’t fly all over the place and you can actually use your hand, rather than your thumb to punch corners, which is a lot easier on your wrist. I also like having 3, 5, and
8 mm options. It is not available on Prime as it’s shipped from Japan, but the wait is totally worth it.

So there you have it, TheLaminatrix tricks of the trade. Let me know what you think and if you use the same or different tools. I am definitely curious to see what others use and am always open to suggestions. And like I said, with my Prime membership, I really have no problem exploring other options.

I am wishing you the best in the new school year. Have fun learning and teaching.

Yours truly,

1 comment:

  1. Being a technical professional and running a printing and publishing firm. I do use printer a lot. And this blog really gives me the info that how can I make printable materials at my own.