I hit a new level of crazy and laminated my kid’s LEGO manuals. To save some judgment, I did not do them all…yet. Here is how I organized them and why.
I loathe LEGO manuals more than stepping on a LEGO itself. The paper is always super thin and almost instantly tears after flipping through the initial building sequence. I will openly admit I am a little OCD about these things. I scoured Pinterest for inspiration and saw some great ideas. I didn’t have an abundance of page protectors, which most ideas recommend, on hand but I did have laminating sheets and my trusty laminator. Man, if you are in the market for a laminating machine that is affordable and awesome for home projects go grab one–HUGE fan. I digress. If you choose to laminate your sheets note that there is a time commitment and also a financial price tag associated with this method. In order to avid going broke, I triaged our manuals in the following manner:
Most popular theme amongst the kids
Worst shape manuals
I started with the largest LEGO sets we have. These tend to be the ones that fall apart the most since there are so many small parts that often get bumped. I also find was the best use of time as the larger sets will most likely stay around awhile. As an added bonus the larger sets had larger instruction pages which meant less cutting/hole punching as well.
Next came those the kids can’t seem to set down. For my daughter, that meant doing all the Disney Princess LEGO sets. Therefore, I prioritized the princess genre before the superhero collection. Within the specific genre of princesses I again started with the largest instruction manuals first (aka-the castles).
Lastly, I sorted by manuals that could not withstand any more “love” from my kids. There were only one or two of these but man, they needed some TLC immediately or else the trash can would be their new home.
After sorting I gathered all my supplies which was pretty simple. In order to laminate I removed the staples binding the book together and cut the booklets in half. I placed the manual page into a laminating sheet and sent it through the machine. For smaller booklets two pages fit on one laminating sheet. After I was done with that process I cut down the books as necessary and reassembled using a hole puncher and a book ring. I had extra large ones in my basement so that is what I used. You can find these anywhere for pretty cheap in a variety of sizes.
My plan was to assign different themes to each ring to save on book ring costs. As a lesson learned, the laminated sheets get HEAVY! If you choose to combine whole instruction sets/themes on one large book ring perhaps reconsider hanging the instructions up (my initial thought) when the project is complete. I chose to store the laminated product in a small storage container as my plan B.
If book rings are not in the budget or not an option I am sure punching a few holes on the side of the manuals and running strong twine/string/zip ties through the holes to bind the books together would work fine as well. You may need a three hole punch for that option.
Do note that this project is easy but will take time. My recommendation is to do this while watching mindless television or while the kids play. I found the monotony of running sheets through the laminator somewhat therapeutic (again, organizing is my JAM).
Leave a comment and let me know how YOU store your LEGO manuals. For your convenience, I have listed the products I used from Amazon within my article. You will notice they are underlined and linked.