Imaginary Play Ideas for Kids | Laminated Grocery Store Tags

This week is Chef Week (much more to come about ideas for the week!) and one of the first things I made to get ready for the week were these cards for our DIY grocery store.  In fact, I have been working on our grocery store for a LONG time now.  It has been one of those projects that takes forever, just in little chunks over time.  I wanted an area that encouraged creative play for the kids where they could engage their imaginative play ideas and get rough with the toys without them breaking.

While creating this imaginative space together for them, I knew I needed TOUGH toys, tough decor and anything paper had to be encased in plastic to make it indestructible   You see, my boys are the type that can destroy anything (cue the photo of the crashed bunkbeds and broken hardwood dressers), so to give the store a fighting chance, it had to be tough.

That is where my laminating machine came into play.  I wanted to have cute labels for the various produce sections, without going for crazy loud and bright colors.  Even with thick cardstock, I knew my boys would destroy them instantly, so I decided to laminate them.

*Some sections of this post have been previously published on Crafts Unleashed and products provided by Consumer Crafts.

laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed cards 2 laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed final

In with the cards went all the spare pieces of money to fill up space on the edges of the sleeves.  Can someone explain to me why paper money is always extraordinarily flimsy?  Can sweet little girls even play with that stuff without ripping them constantly?  In any case, here is a quickie tutorial for you on how to create these watercolor, laminated cards.



Cut your cardstock into the shape and size you want for your labels.  Start with pencil and draw an outline of the fruit or vegetable you are focusing on.  If you are very confident in your sketching abilities, go ahead and use fine-tip sharpies.  I tend to stay with the charcoal pencils for a lighter look and the possibility of erasing :)

laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed charcoal outline

Once you are satisfied with the sketch, break out the watercolours.  Using light strokes, fill in the interior of your sketch.   Stick to 2-3 colors to prevent the watercolours from mixing and becoming muddy brown.

laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed watercolors

When you are finished, label the card with print and cursive names, names in other languages, no names - whatever you prefer!

laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed corn card

Now it is time to laminate those puppies.  Choose a sleeve and open it up, placing your larger items in the crease of the envelope.  Fill the extra space with smaller paper items, keeping a bit of distance between each piece so that you can cut them without damaging your cards after lamination.  The laminating plastic can get expensive, so it is frugal to use every little bit of that space, even if it is just on plain squares of construction paper that you can use later to write on, use as playing cards, etc.

laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed sheet of cards

So here goes!  You have to slowly feed the plastic through the laminator, without pushing or pulling at all.  Let the machine do the work.  Just make sure everything stays steady and your pieces don't fall out of the plastic sleeve.

MCg27T on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

 When the laminating is complete, the plastic sleeve will slide right out on its own (don't pull!). 
 Allow it to cool for a few minutes and then break out the scissors and cut out each piece.

laminated cards amy renea crafts unleashed front view

While nothing is fool-proof against my boys, these labels and money at least have a fighting chance now!  
What do YOU love to laminate?

Did you miss the other posts in the CHEF WEEK Series?

Chef Hats and Aprons (coming soon!)

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