Everyone in my family has always loved license plates for as long as I can remember. My grandparents used to bring them home from everywhere they travelled and we had a whole room in our house lined wall-to-wall with every US and Canadian plate, plus others from around the world! So for my birthday this year when my boyfriend made for me a license plate sign I was IN LOVE with it!! So I asked how he did it and here is a how-to so you can make one for yourself!
1. Obtain License Plates:
Whether you go to an antique store, flea market, have a collection of your own already or order them off of eBay first you need some license plates. The best thing to do would be to map out exactly what you want to spell out and figure out how many you need. Also if you want to get specific states for sentimental meaning you should look into that too. For the sign that I have Kyle bought 6 different North Carolina plates to make the three Sigma letters (each letter is made from two different license plates and after cutting them he put them together in the middle).
2. Cut the license plates:
For this you may need to enlist some help. You can use tin snips as a tool or a hack saw, among other things, to cut the plates. From what I have seen online tin snips are the best if you want to cut the plates straight across to separate all the letters and then spell out something new. Kyle used a hacksaw to cut out the Sigma letters and said that it worked out well for him.
3. Buy your backing:
Depending on what your end goal is will affect what type of backing you want to buy. I have seen where some people use the letters to spell out their last name and then place them into a picture frame, others use wood, shadow boxes... the options are endless! So pick what look you are going for and purchase what you think will work best in your space.
4. Paint (optional):
Kyle spray painted all the license plates white first and then painted over all the letters with a purple paint because my sorority's colors are purple and white. However, this step could be skipped if you want to keep the authentic license plate look. Additionally, depending on the type of backing you have selected a nice coat of paint or stain could do wonders for it. In the sign made for me Kyle stained the wood to give it a more finished look.
5. Secure the license plates:
Kyle used tacks in the license plate holes to keep them in place. However, you could also use super glue or nails again depending on which method you have chosen.
6. Enjoy your artwork!
I love my sign so much, it's personalized to me and looks really cool hanging on my wall! If you are in need of some inspiration here are some pictures of license plate signs that I love! Have fun, be creative, and you will for sure end up with something you love!