C.R.A.F.T. # 31: License Plate Map

DIY license plate map
This is the original license plate map my mom and I made…
DIY license plate map
I’m not going to lie, this was pretty tricky… my mom, me, and one of my best friends all worked on this one together…it currently lives in my mom’s house! If you are seriously interested in making one, feel free to e-mail me with ANY questions…craftaway [at] gmail [dot] com. I will help you as much as I can.
License Plate Map
 Here a few tips for this lovely piece of license plate art:

1: My mom bought a set of 50 license plates on e-bay. She had to specially order 2 black Texas and 2 blue CA ones (for this size, TX and California took 2 plates)

2: My mom and dad made the board the map it attached to. They just used scraps of wood, and stained it…(my mom was excited to use her miter box!)
3: We found a free printed map in an old National Geographic magazine that was the perfect size.
4: We cut out each individual state to use as a template for the license plate map.
5: The map you see in the picture was our reference guide. It gets tricky in the Northeast!
6: Not all states have to be cut out perfectly, some of them are under another plate…most of the time you only need to cut out 2 or 3 sides of a state.
7: We used white nails…to blend into the plates and painted a few tips of nails to match the specific color of the plate (blue for CA, black for TX)
8: We started with the North Dakota to Texas row.

9: We used tin snips to cut the plates…this worked well for most of the license plates.

HERE is an update post with more tips and better instructions for making the original license plate map.



  1. This is amazing. You guys did such a good job.

  2. totally cool! :)

  3. that's incredible. What amazing work!

  4. Just fabulous!

  5. This is the coolest idea I've seen in a very long time. I am your newest follower at the moment. Stop by one day if you have time. I have two blogs, http://www.unengine3.blogspot.com and http://www.julie-thegoingtobenewme.blogspot.com
    You have so many cool ideas. I'm off to read some more.
    Take care and God Bless!!!

  6. I. LOVE.THIS. Really really love!!!

  7. I have always loved these! How much were the 50 plates on ebay?

  8. That is AWESOME!!! I have a thing for states decor…did cutting the plates kill your hands?!? I guess it was worth it because that is super cool :)

  9. Great job…I have seen these and they are EXPENSIVE!! I may try this someday with the hubby

  10. I never would've thought that you could cut that thick metal into such intricate shapes….looks FABULOUS!

  11. SO neat! Great job!!

  12. This is really cool! I'll have to remember this to make someday.

  13. incredible!!!!

  14. How unique! Such a fun piece of art to look at. It's got that 'junk' aspect that I adore. Very cool!

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!
    FJ Donna

  15. I love it!! I have been wanting to do a headboard with old license plates for my son. They are hard to find… And you have one from each state… That is so great!!! Great job!! :O) I will have to check out ebay now!!! Thanks!!

  16. Amazing. You all did a fabulous job.

  17. That's very cool! I'vew always loved those license plate maps!

  18. That is just the coolest thing ever! I would buy something like that!

  19. This is super cool and so creative. What a fabulous piece! Would love to have you stop by The Sunday Showcase Party if you get a chance. Hope you are enjoying your weekend! Love this! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  20. THIS is AWESOME!!!

  21. This is SERIOUSLY AMAZING! You did a WONDERFUL job! Such a cool idea — now I want one! :)

  22. FANTASTIC!!! The males in my life would love one of these.

  23. I just saw this on One Pretty Thing and it caught my eye! I actually bought an original piece of license plate art from Aaron Foster 5 years ago. That is when I first saw this type of art and I fell in love with it. He is now more famous, used to have a show on HGTV but has since gone bigger and is in Target. The funny thing is I haven't found a spot for the artwork I bought from him yet…it was way bigger than I had thought and can't find a wall big enough for it. But I still love it! I can't believe you did one yourselves. It looks really awesome, congratulations that must not of been easy. It looks great. Here is his web site if you want to take a gander.

  24. Hi- Jaimie-

    Just saw this on On Pretty thing. I always wanted to make one as I love how colorful it is. I figured I would never be able to get all the plates. You did a fantastic job. So unique.

    Thanks again for featuring my film canister project :)
    My best- Diane

  25. This is really cool. How hard was it to snip TX? I've never worked with snips
    Ruth of Hammer & Thread

  26. just saw this on one pretty thing. Wow do I love it. My hubby and i just saw something like this at Target and my hubby was entranced. (he loves geography and traveling…) I was trying to come up with a way to make one myself, but figured I wouldn't be able to find the stuff I needed. I can't believe you can order plates on e-bay! So now I really want to make this for my hubby for Christmas. Can you tell me how much the plates cost?

    [email protected]

  27. Amazing! That is awesome! Love the board it's on too. Showcases it perfectly.

  28. This is so totally bad ass!!! Great work!

  29. This is amazing!

  30. I saw this on HGTV forever ago and have wanted to make it ever since, but you DID! That's awesome to know it's actually doable. Thanks for the tips.

  31. too cool!

  32. Coming in super belatedly but this is SO cool!!!! Love it!

  33. This is so cool. My dad has a garage that the walls are covered with signs and license plates, he would love something like this for it. :)

  34. thats so cool. lot of work. paid off

  35. This is absolutely amazing!

  36. Wow, this is absolutely amazing!!! I'm your newest follower!

  37. This. Is. Totally. Awesome. It would be perfect for a little boy's, car/transportation themed room.

  38. I have always wanted to make one of these for my sons room but haven't tackled it because it looks like an enormous job. Ya'll (I would be a Texas girl) did an amazing job!

  39. I love this SO MUCH and I want this SO BADLY! I'm bookmarking this, I WILL be done someday!
    Amie @ http://www.kittycatsandairplanes.blogspot.com/

  40. WOW! Just… wow. That is such a great piece. You did such a good job!

    -Rochelle @ http://homesweethomebodies.blogspot.com

  41. I have always loved these when I see them on walls at random places. Great job super cute project.

  42. This is a really awesome project! I love it! Great job!

  43. Saw your link on the Tatertots &Jello; link party. This is seriously awesome!!! What a great job I am so impressed!!!

  44. Amazing! I totally love it, trying to figure out if If can talk DH into doing this. :)

  45. I saw this on Craft Envy, it turned out really cool.

    I have been thinking about something like this since seeing it in a catalog a few years ago. I bet it tok a lot of time!

  46. pretty stinking awewsome!! You are some creative gals!

  47. Very cool map! I featured your map on my blog!


    Feel free to grab a button :)

  48. Absolutely amazing! I can't imagine locating all those license plates to do this.

  49. Super cool. I wonder if Ebay has Canadian plates?

  50. Wow, that is all I can say! That is so cool! You guys did a great job!


  51. AMAZING! I am so jealous! I have been dying to purchase the original from Pottery Barn for years and have just never done it! You are UBBER TALENTED! I followed your link from HoH!

  52. wow! This is so cool! I had no idea you could buy those!

  53. This is so sweet! So creative!

  54. So cute I would love it if you linked up to the Glitter Party! http://runwithglitter.blogspot.com/2011/04/running-with-glitter-3-link-party.html

  55. that is so amazing…totally love it

  56. I have been making these for years and selling them on http://www.usplateart.com. I enjoy making them. It does take a lot of work to make them the first time though.


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