I have always hated throwing away license plates.
I know it sounds weird, but in a small way, they feel like historical artifacts to me. I’ve had three cars and lived in four different states, and each one came with its own set of license plates.
Whenever it was time to say goodbye to a car or a state, I always saved the license plate. It felt like a souvenir of a time and place that would never return again — just like this antique sewing machine that was hiding a secret from the past.
But now I have a small collection of license plates just gathering dust in my garage!
Luckily, it turns out that license plates are a great source for DIY projects that utilize salvaged materials, while still holding a special personal meaning. License plates come in so many different designs, colors, and shapes that there are endless possibilities. All you need to transform them into conversation pieces are a little imagination and some elbow grease.
Scroll through the images below for lots of inspiring projects that turn old license plates into DIY treasures!
Remember those plastic alphabet magnets you had as a kid?
Well this tutorial from HGTV shows how to make the grown-up version using letters and numbers cut from license plates!
Normally, I try to avoid chores like sweeping, but this adorable DIY dustpan from Olive Bites would definitely make me want to do it more often.
Some DIY projects are so obvious, I can’t believe I didn’t think of them before now.
The rectangular shape of license plates make them the perfect upcycled clipboard! Learn how to make one from GadgetSponge on Hometalk.
Toilet Paper Cubbie
Want to add a little vintage flavor to your bathroom?
This tutorial from Funky Junk Interiors will show you how to do it with a license plate and an old crate.
Are you starting some seedlings in anticipation of summer?
Give them a temporary home in one of these darling license plate planters from Instructables!
I hate it when books fall over because there aren’t enough on a shelf.
These bookends from Fun In The Making will keep that from happening, and it’s one of the easiest DIY projects ever!
My boyfriend is always forgetting where he put his keys.
This upcycled license plate key hanger from Kojo Designs would be an adorable way to keep them right where they’re supposed to be!
Bike commuting is awesome, but getting splashed every time you ride through a puddle isn’t.
This upcycled bike fender from Instructables is just the thing to keep you happy and dry!
License Plate Purse
Who says license plates aren’t fashionable?
This tutorial from the Craftster community shows how to turn a license plate into a funky accessory that will always be in style.
Running out of closet space?
Hang your book bags and jackets on this adorable license plate coat rack from My Repurposed Life instead!
I’m always on the lookout for unusual decor that doesn’t cost a ton of money.
What could be cheaper than an adorable wall sunflower — from Robb Restyle — made out of license plates that are already lying around?
If you have at least four old license plates in complementary colors, you’ve got everything you need to make this clever mantle mirror from It All Started With Paint.
Coffee Table Tray
Between the magazines, coasters, and way too many remotes, it seems like clutter is always building up on my coffee table.
This Lovely Weeds serving tray made with old license plates would be the perfect way to keep things organized (and cute)!
Have you ever used a license plate in a DIY project? Tell us about it in the comments.
Please SHARE with friends and family who love crafting!