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"Professionally Laminating Boardgame Cards and Maps" Topic

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Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2019 6:53 a.m. PST

Has anyone done this? Not necessarily the DIY route with a machine but using a service?

I havent checked but looks like Staples might laminate a paper or cardstock map and maybe playing cards?

Any other recommendations about what sort of place is set up to do this?

And, also, opinions the wisdom of laminating Boardgame items.

Wackmole914 Jun 2019 7:05 a.m. PST


If you are going to do a lot of cards or sheets it better to buy a machine. Its easy and cheaper then paying Office depot. If it a large map you want to get Laminated go with Kinkos.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jun 2019 9:38 a.m. PST

Keep in mind a laminated map is best stored rolled up. So have a plan for where you'll keep them, since they will be separated from the rest of the components.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2019 12:11 p.m. PST

PVC pipe cut to length along with the end caps makes a cheap and easy way to store those game maps as well as gaming mats.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2019 1:23 p.m. PST

A few months ago, I had Office Max make B&W copies of an old, poster sized, Judges Guild city-state map (their large format copier is color, but I didn't want my copies in the tan colors, as B&W would not empty their toner cartridges, and I didn't need color…). OH -- did I mention that their large format copier can enlarge?!?!… I blew the maps up bigger than the originals. I then had them laminate both copies for me… Two laminated, enlarged copies, was less than $30. USD Worth every penny to me.

Years ago, I bought poster-sized sheets of 1" hex paper, to make a world map on, for my D&D campaign. I cut and taped names on top of the areas of the map, and then I ran it through a large format copier (the copier does not "see" the tape, only the text labels). The idea was to color the copy, and cut and fold it into an icosahedron (d20) 'globe'. Today, I could color it, then make a color copy of it, and keep the original in safe storage… Cheers!

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2019 2:19 p.m. PST

Yeah, although that information for the laminator is good intel for others, I want to pay someone to laminate my maps well and not run the risk of ruining it.

Office Max? Kinkos? Office Depot, Home Depot? They all laminate? Or make copies of the map and then laminate?

No one's ever tried Staples?

Interesting, thus one could copy a flimsy map onto a better card stock before laminating? Or even copy the cards onto something thinner than the cards before laminating?

Incidentally, for playing cards, are the sleeves enough or does laminating them protect without making them too thick to easily handle a deck?


Bellbottom15 Jun 2019 3:13 a.m. PST

I've used credit card size cold seal laminating pouches for cards. Stiff on one side and flimsy on the other. They're joined along one short edge. You simply peel off the paper cover from the stiff side, revealing the adhesive, position your card on the sticky side, then fold down the flimsy side to stick it to the border of the sticky side, enclosing the card.
It's not too expensive, and quick and less fiddly.
Works well for TFL packs etc.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2019 8:30 a.m. PST

Be aware that if you use card stock as a base, the laminated cards will be stiffer than regular playing cards, and harder to shuffle. Also, while the lamination does adhere to the surface of the card so you can trim to the paper (or cut cards apart), the trimmed edges will not be sealed, and the paper will soak up liquid from the edges. They can also be a little sharp to the touch.

The secret to DYI lamination, by the way, is simply running the laminated object through the laminator more than once.

There are online services that will print (and coat) actual playing cards for you based on your supplied images. If you want a professional quality card deck, that's probably a better way to spend your money.

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