Rampant Reusing: License Plates

As I changed the license plates on my car a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that I’ve gone through several sets of plates in the last decade and a half.

Do you have old license plates collecting dust in your garage? Pull them out and try one of these useful, fun, and creative ideas for reusing license plates.

There has to be something creative I can do with the old plates instead of tossing them in the trash or letting them collect dust in a storage shed. Indeed, there are a number of awesome ways to reuse old license plates!

Ways to reuse old license plates

  • Bend the ends of license plates to create incredibly simple bookends.

    License Plate Bookends

    From funinthemaking.net.

  • Use tin snips to cut dragonfly wings from old plates to create a piece of garden art.

    Garden License Plate Dragonfly

    From birdsandblooms.com.

  • Attach clips to license plates to make useful clipboards.

    Clipboard License Plates

    From junkmarketstyle.com.

  • Bend up the edges of a license plate to make a strong dustpan.

    License Plate Dustpan

    From makezine.com.

  • Use tin snips to cut letters and numbers out of old plates, then attach magnets to the backs of these so you can write messages on your refrigerator door.

    License Plate Magnets

    From HGTV.com.

  • Slightly bend a license plate in the middle to make a roof for a birdhouse.

    License Plate Birdhouse

    From runnerduck.com.

  • Bend a license plate into the shape of a square. Attach a 3 in. x 3 in. wooden block at one end and you have a cute pencil holder.

    License Plate Pencil Holder

    From lumberjocks.com.

It looks like I have some projects to try once we get a little more settled! You can see additional ideas on my Pinterest page.

What ways have you found to reuse old license plates?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Making Your Home Sing, Inspiration Spotlight and Creativity Unleashed.


  1. I have a few old license plates lying around our house too, and have never decided what to do with them. It just doesn’t seem right to throw them away because they are part of my story. I like the clipboard and pencil holder ideas best!

    • Hi Emily,
      They are part of your story, so it would be nice to have some way to preserve and display them. The clipboards are my favorite!

  2. We have some of these laying around the garage. Cool projects. My hubby might be interested in some of them.

    • Hi Ramona,
      License plates are something that most of us seen to accumulate over time, so it’s nice to have something to do with them! I hope your husband likes the ideas.

  3. Hi Shannon. I have had my car for 18 years and have not changed the plates. I am in California, so maybe it’s done differently where you live? I get registration stickers to put on the plates, and those are a pain to get off. But I do love your creative methods to use the old plates. Enjoy!

    • I think most states probably have similar systems to the one in California, Laurie. However, in the last 18 years I have lived in 4 different states! This is why I have so many license plates.
      We recently moved to Texas from the DC metro area. My husband’s job with a consulting firm had us out there, but he has a new job now…one that doesn’t involve travel or contracts that could necessitate we move across the country. Hopefully we’ll be here for the next 18+ years!

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