Recycled License Plate Border

Looking for a fun border for a boy’s room or a “man cave”?
My 15-year old son has always been into cars and motorcycles. So, when we were looking for something unique to decorate his room, I had only to look as far as his closet! He likes to collect license plates, and now we have a way of displaying them. He has paneling on the walls (something I know I’ll be changing in the distant future) but this can be done on a drywalled wall too.
I attached them all the way around the room just below the ceiling, in the same place you’d put a wallpaper border. I used tiny finishing nails to attach them so that he can swap them out and change them around any time he’d like. Each has two holes in the top that are standard, so it’s easy to change them around. He’s trying to collect all 50 states, so as he gets new ones, he takes down duplicates.
 (got a little carried away with Picnik on the photo 🙂 thus, the B&W area)

If you don’t want to attach your license plates this way, you could affix something like a plate rail molding (as some craftsman and Victorian homes have) all the way around and then set the license plates in the plate groove. You’d have to check your building supply store for possible molding that would work.

When we came to a corner, we used smaller license plates from motorcycles, but you can easily bend a metal plate in half to hang in a corner. 

Where can you find license plates? We shopped at garage sales, asked relatives to check their garages, and talked with others who collect plates that might have ones to give away. It took around 50 license plates to go around his 11×15 foot room. If you If you don’t have enough to go all the way around, consider doing just one wall. 

Wouldn’t this be cool in a den, or the office of an auto repair shop too?

Other things to do with license plates.

There are other ideas out there on the web for decorating with recycled license plates. HGTV has some ideas for making a message board, a photo album, and storage binders here

And interior designer Julie Thigpen on her BelleMaison blog shows this mirror on her site:

I know there are many more ideas out there, but I’ll save some for another time. I’d love to hear your ideas for how you’ve used vintage plates.

I’m linking up this week to:

The Trendy Treehouse


Trash to Treasure Decorating
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  1. My youngest daughter loves to collect license plates. I've never met anyone else who does that. I'll let her know she has a kindred spirit in New Auburn. Great ideas.

  2. How would you do a reverse license plate number look up? I would like to know if there is whichever way you can type in a license plate number on the internet and see the full name of the person if it is associated to or maybe the address of that person. Can someone assist me? This is an Illinois license plate with S at the end of it. Please e-mail me if you can do a search or post if you know the way to do a free one. Thanks very much.

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