DIY License Plate Map {Update}

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the DIY license plate map in progress. My mom and I started making it about 2 months ago, and it’s finally done. We made the 1st license plate map back in 2008, but this time around we found a little short cut with that same awesome look! (Here’s the first post about the DIY license plate map and here’s a follow up post with license plate map tips and tricks.)

DIY license plate map

Instead of making the board ourselves, using a paper map to cut the plates, and tracing the outline of the map onto the board. We bought a map from World Market that already had the United States outlined on it… a giant time saver! The map costs 79.99 full price, but we used a 20% off coupon (sign up for emails)! We totally suggest this method if you’re in the market for a license plate map. So, here is what we started with:

DIY license plate map


Here’s what you need to make your own map:

  • License plates
  • Map board
  • Wax paper
  • Tin snippers (We have 3 pairs of tin snippers: let cut, right cut, and straight cut. The straight cut are by far the easiest to work with!)
  • Tape
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Sharpie marker
    DIY License plate map CRAFT


The hardest part of making the map, is cutting the plates. And there is no short cut for that. My mom did most of the cutting with her handy dandy straight cut tin snippers. Some plates are easier than others, but cutting license plates stinks. Also, instead of using a map we found in National Geographic we used wax paper to trace the state already outlined on the World Market map board, then taped the wax paper to the plate to determine how we wanted to cut license plate. These pictures should help it make more sense…

DIY license plate map


DIY license plate map

Another question we get a lot is: Where do you find the plates? This can be tricky and expensive. My mom has quite a collection these days. But, she starts by buying a lot of 50 plates, usually on Amazon or ebay. You get one of each state and it’s something to work with. Then she buys a black Texas and a blue California. Then we start cutting the plates and nailing them into place, when we realize that let’s say, 5 states are all white plates, my mom does  a little search and finds a colored plate that to break up the white. Here is one of her favorite license plate sites.

So if you notice, the top map has a white Missouri. We couldn’t have that ; ) Check out the middle map, we’ve got a marroon-ish Missouri and the 3rd map pic, we got a new Iowa and Nebraska!DIY License plate map

The reason the map takes so long to make is because we were always waiting on more license plates to show up, ha!
How to make a license plate map
So the big news is: We often get emails about making and selling license plate maps. The problem is, they are expensive and time consuming to make! But, if you can not live with out a license plate map (ha!), we are selling this one for $2500! If you think that’s a lot, you could also buy one here for $3,900! We will happily continue to answer questions and help you make your own! But if you think it’s too much work or not ready for the tin snippers… we’ve got you covered!  Email me at craftaway at gmail dot com if you are interested in buying a one of kind license plate map!

Psst… Here is the first DIY license plate map post and here are more tips and tricks to make your own map.


  1. Wow! It is gorgeous! I hope you get a seller quickly!!

  2. I have seriously been wanting one of these for my oldest sons room. Great job!

  3. We love this.. Thank you for sharing. We hope you don’t mind, we posted your DIY project on our Pinterest Inspiration board

    ~ World Market

  4. North Dakota represent! So glad you chose my home state and darling buffalo to demonstrate on. I miss have a little bison on my plates! Great project!

  5. Wow! I’m sure collecting and cutting those plates takes a lot of time. Do you ever feel like cheating and leaving some of the smaller states off? ;)

  6. Awesome DIY license plate map, my friend!

  7. Wow – love, love, love! I’ve seen these in various high-end catalogs and web sites, as you point out, so your price is actually a good one! Truly a piece of art you have created there!

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      Yea… it’s pricey to make AND takes forever! We just thought we would give selling one a shot ;) If not, no biggie… It will hang on one of our walls!

  8. So cute, Jamie!

  9. I need this in my life now!

  10. Hello! This is beyond rad!

  11. A work of art! “Work” being as operative a word as “art”, right? I hope you find a buyer for them. They are amazing.

  12. Very nice!! I have been making these for years, about a dozen done. I bought a laminated map of the USA then cut out each state with an exacto knife, I use them as templates and trace it on the back on the plate with a sharpie then snip then out by hand like you.

  13. that’s pretty fabulous!!

  14. I have a very large USA license plate map for sale for $999 if anyone is interested :)


  1. [...] Lemonade Cupcakes @ One Sweet Appetite 2. Pottery Barn Knock-Off Clock @ Decorate Me Diana 3. DIY License Plate Map @ CRAFT Blog 4. Mother’s Day Printable @ Two Bobbins Later 5. Vintage Inspired Painted Mason Jars @ Live [...]

  2. [...] Lemonade Cupcakes @ One Sweet Appetite 2. Pottery Barn Knock-Off Clock @ Decorate Me Diana 3. DIY License Plate Map @ CRAFT Blog 4. Mother’s Day Printable @ Two Bobbins Later 5. Vintage Inspired Painted Mason Jars @ Live [...]

  3. […] playroom  bedroom. Magnetic map tutorial   Make a map with old license plates. DIY license plate map […]

  4. […] Quite a  few clients ask what to do with their old license plates.  One unique idea would be to turn old plates into any interesting art project like the one pictured here. If that’s too much work, plates can be recycled or tossed into the trash. The month and year tabs must be removed and bend the plate.  For for more information, visit the Washington State DOL website or get creative and turn your plates into a work of art. For a full tutorial on how to make this project, click here. […]

  5. […] magnificent license plate map from Jamie Dorobek of C.R.A.F.T. took a long time to make, but the results were worth it, don’t you think? If you’re […]

  6. […] I really like the idea of a DIY License Plate Map hanging on my wall! They can cost upward of $2000.00 to buy! Besides, we all know that making things ourselves is more fun! The most fun you will have with this map is collecting the license plates. That is also the hardest part! The end result is worth it though! I love it! Follow the link for all the details- C.R.A.F.T. […]

Speak Your Mind