November 16, 2009

Peel-and-Stick Laminate

Later this week is the annual First Grade Pirate Party at my kids' elementary school. A few weeks ago, I sent a note to the event coordinator volunteering to help decorate the gym. The note I received in reply thanked me for my willingness to come up with six pirate-themed reading games instead.

Usually I am against bait-and-switch routines, but I agreed to fall victim to this one after my friend Tina hinted that such acts of martyrdom might be recognized at the end of the year assembly in the form of a plaque or large trophy.

What initially appeared to be a manageable assignment was made infinitely more difficult by the friendly reminder that none of my pirate games could include weapons, water balloon launchers, allusions to alcohol, or choking hazards.

"I have nothing," I told my husband, throwing up my hands in defeat.

"Why don't you make a memory game using pirate words?" he suggested.

My husband's idea made me want to poke my eyes out, but I went through with it because it provided me with a legitimate reason to purchase a roll of peel-and-stick laminate.

If I was taught nothing else by this experience, I learned that laminate is underused in higher education. College professors should use it more often: it makes things look more impressive and official. The clip art treasure chests that I printed off the Internet gained instant credibility once I covered them with a see-through layer of plastic film.

I showed my husband the finished products.

He wrinkled his nose. "Aren't you going to laminate the poster board too?" he wanted to know.

That wasn't part of my original plan, but once he made the suggestion, it became a necessity.

Laminating such a large surface proved to be almost more fun than I could handle. Despite (or perhaps due to) numerous attempts to lay the poster board flat on the sticky paper, the finished product was plagued with several air bubbles and large creases, attributes I tried to obscure when I dropped the items off at the event organizer's house on Saturday.

The Offender


"My, what happened here?" the woman said, peering at the poster board. "Are those carpet fibers?" she asked, pointing to a cluster of beige clumps in the middle of the sign.

I explained the limitations of DIY laminate to no avail.

"Hmm," the woman said with an amused smile. "You should have done your laminating over here." She pointed to an object in the corner of her living room, which she identified as her personal laminating machine.

I have never wanted anything more in my entire life. Now I know what to put on my Christmas list.

"Feel free to re-laminate to your heart's content," I said as I walked out the door. The woman threw back her head and laughed like I had just told the funniest joke in the world.

A few choice words ran briskly through my mind as I got into my car, but just as quickly as they came, my feelings of hostility gave way to feelings of compassion.

All I had to do was come up with six games. The event organizer is responsible for producing a pirate-themed snack. My heart goes out to the person who will be spending the better part of the next three days suspending small schools of Swedish fish into 137 cups of blue JELL-O.

****
ARGH! In my haste to rid myself of the cursed poster board, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. You'll just have to imagine its awesomeness.

35 comments

Queen of the Universe said...

Wait, you didn't tell us what the SIX games actually were and how to play them. I promise that if I am ever "volunteered" to come up with pirate themed reading games and I plagiarize yours, I will give you full credit.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

A personal home laminating machine! I am in awe. I feel like I would first laminate all those things in my junk draw ... old buttons, Wet Seal receipts from 1996, hundreds of matchbooks each containing one flaccid match ... and then move on to the rest of the house ... A girl can dream.

Stina said...

exactly why i avoid getting involved in any school activities, or events. take care.

Christa said...

I know it made me a nerd, but I looooved being the Teacher's Assistant in High School because his wife was the librarian, and she let me laminate ANYTHING I wanted to! I keep that thing hot everyday. I laminated things that didn't really need it, I made bulletin boards to my hearts content, and I was the happiest high schooler around! (Yes I've been preparing for my life as a stay at home ccrafty mom for a very long time)

Emz said...

Bring back such {painful} memories for me. I used this &^E$@$ all through junior high school [thought laminating things was next to godliness, I guess?!].

Hadn't thought about this stuff for YEARS - ahhhhh, the memories. Such a great laugh - thanks!

Shaken Mama said...

Oh my God, what I wouldn't do for a laminating MACHINE! No really, I can't imagine what base, crass thing I wouldn't stoop to (like changing a different baby's diapers) in order to earn a machine.

Do I smell a giveaway here? Surely a laminating machine company will rise to the challenge! And maybe you'd get a twofer!

MommyAmy said...

Dude, who DOESN'T have a home laminating machine?! That's what I wanna know!

Bonnie said...

Check out the Xyron Machines that people use for scrapbooking - the larger ones have a laminating roll you can use instead of the standard roll (which turns anything you put in it into stickers - talk about AWESOME!). They are great - you just feed your project in, roll the handle, and voila! Instant sticker-ification, lamination, or magnetification - all up to you!
Also, good for you taking pity on the poor swedish fish lady. I don't envy her at all. Any laughter she had at your expense will be paid back in the form of permanent blue jello stains in her kitchen, I'm sure!

Audra said...

Jealous! I want on too! Giveaway time!

SanitySrchr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SanitySrchr said...

Pirates without weapons and alcohol? How in the world does this woman go from "decorate" to "game-dreamer-upper"?? Mighty presumptuous; but yes, potentially worth a plaque or trophy!

So, just how large was said laminating machine? It was large enough to consume a corner of the living room? Are we talking mammoth production size, or the regular little peon type thing? (I know what that little peon thing in my office costs too-$427 in 2006.)

Bonnie, tell me more about this Xyron Machine!!! I must have one!!

Too Many Hats said...

LOL - that organizer knows how to get volunteers - bait and switch, I need to try that. I happen to love laminaters - I really do, but sadly cannot justify buying one.

Helen said...

I have a laminating machine. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the best thing EVER.

Dana said...

Sounds like your attitude of being able to take it in stride and feel more sorry for the next person is all that prevented you from being the victim of an organizer bully!

Want to help stop bullying? The BE A BUDDY, NOT A BULLY T-shirt design contest is open to all children grades 1-6. For more information and entry form visit www.Tomgirlz.com/event.php
Great prizes!!

donna said...

I LOVE my laminator. LOVE it. We laminate everything.

MamaOtwins+1 said...

I didn't even know you could have a laminator at home - and no - I've never laminating a darn thing!

Vicky said...

I use the roll stuff. No, I'm not bragging because it's the most frustrating stuff I've ever worked with; bubbles,creases, and all! Don't you just love picking at the corner for hours on end trying to get it started?!!Ahhhh, the things I do for my 'Primary' kids!! Hmmmm, a "Giveaway" would be a fantastic idea though!

Danya said...

I only tend to "laminate" things I can stick between two pieces of packing tape. It works great for paper crowns or masks.

Bonnie said...

Here's a link to Xyron's latest gadget - it's amazing! It laminates, embosses, presses die shapes into paper, cuts edges, and turns anything up to 12" wide into a sticker-backed item, or any combination of those! These things are addictive... you start looking around the house trying to figure out what needs laminating!

http://www.xyron.com/enUS/Segments/Creatopia.html

Kelli said...

Good for you for taking on the challenge! And also for taking pity on the organizer. She'll learn her lesson some day and run kicking and screaming away from PTO/PTA. I took a different approach this year....I accepted the nomination to vice president for our PTO. Holding a title is often good enough to get you out of the tough stuff and let you delegate. ;)


BTW, love your blog! Take a peek at mine when you get a chance. :)
http://kellisblessings.blogspot.com/

Karen said...

About an hour from my house is a company that makes laminates and that sticky paper you put in cupboards (what the HELL is that called?) They have a large warehouse downstairs of bolts they can't sell that they allow teachers to take away for free. I love laminating.

Raych the brain Stangle said...

Oh I can picture it all right. having had the same misfortune with clear packing tape. for some stupid reason my comp got it into her head to "laminate" every thing on the mish. I managed to get pretty good at it. but have vowed to never laminate again. unless kinkos does it.

Heidi said...

Too funny! I attempted to make my daughter's friends personalized place mats for birthday party favors using construction paper, stickers and those damned sheets of laminate. Let's just say they didn't come out looking "Martha Stewart."

Love you, love your blog, love you and your blog!

Margaret said...

Wow that would have been a lot of work. I am glad I didn't have to do it.

Christine said...

I've been waiting for the primary kids to notice that the cute little tree poster-board has crumbs in it. :)
I hate that stuff! I did, finally, buy a $25 mini-laminator at Walmart that works great for smaller things.
Truth be told, I would LOVE a fancier one to laminate all my scrapbook pages.
HAHAHAHAHA!! Ok, so not my imaginary scrapbook pages, but more like anything my boys will touch.

1 Special Family said...

I am now and always have been very active in my children's PTA, they are in the 8th grade now. My prediction is that very soon, you will be the one planning the events, and the lady with the laminator in the corner of her living room will be nowhere to be seen! Good Luck! But more importantly, NICE JOB !!!!!

The Swisstensens said...

This summer I was gifted my very own laminating machine. It isn't big enough to laminate a poster, but empowering all the same. I now look for projects to cover in plastic.

Kari M. said...

Bummer we're not neighbors (or that, you know, you don't actually know me, us not being in the same ward or anything) I've got a great book and CD from Kindermusik called "Rupert the Wrong-Worded Pirate" that I used for my son's birthday party this year. Would have saved you the need to laminate in the first place.

Tiffany-Joy Mo said...

I have a small laminating machine and am in love with it...the first month of having it I laminated everything in sight...okay, almost everything. $20 at Walmart!

Wendy said...

I'm with ya!! I would LOVE to have my own laminating machine!! I usually take my stuff to the teacher supply store to have it laminated. I'm always secretly hoping they'll be extremely busy and just ask me to do it myself :)

Jennifer said...

When I volunteered for my daughter's kindergarten class, it often involved laminating. You needed a college degree to operate the machine. I messed up many times and hid the damage at the bottom of the trash can. Luckily, they actually let us in the classroom now that she is in 2nd grade and I don't have to fight with the laminator. I do own a roll of clear contact paper. It is much easier. ;)

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Fellowes said...

I don't know where I'd be without my personal home laminator!

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