Lamination covers a paper or other thin object in plastic for a clear, glossy finish. Conservation archivists used to think that coating ancient documents in plastic sleeves protected the work. However, as of 2011, archivists know that lamination peels off in a few years and damages the document. If you only want to protect a cover sheet, ID badges, or a new restaurant menu from tearing with a polished look, finding a shop to laminate your work is a perfectly fine solution.
Copy centers offer customers help with photocopying, scanning, printing and creating customized letters and reports with binding and protection. To laminate papers, leave the project in the store for employees to complete, or wait in the center if workers are overwhelmed with previous customer orders.
Packaging and Mailing Stores
Shops that help package and send out packages in the mail often provide laminating services. As of 2010, some stores offer a document service. Send the manuscript, name tag names, or school activity you would like to laminate to an email address provided on the website. Employees receive the file, download the paper, and start the lamination process for you. You pick up the laminated work on way to work or school.
Office Supply Store
Office supply stores offer laminating services, and independent office stores may also. Office supply stores also sell laminating machines. The machines cost about $80 to $100 dollars as of 2011. When you insert a page into the machine, which looks similar to a three-hole puncher, the machine coats and seals the paper in hot plastic glaze. Laminating cartridges are about $9 to $69 depending on the machine, as of 2011. A set of 25 plastic sheets of various sizes and pouches, for name tags, start from $9.
As of 2011, office supply stores offer a “DIY” laminating product. To laminate a paper document, purchase a pack of clear plastic sheets. Each sheet is made of two layers, a front and back, which adhere to a paper. Peel off the back paper and apply the paper in between, like the filling of a sandwich. No machine is necessary and packs of 10 start about $5. For rare documents, such as crumbling letters and old newspapers, use a professional “encapsulating” service instead. If you have trouble with the product, contact the company's customer service line or visit a copy center.