Thursday, May 10, 2012

license plate love tutorial

good morning all! and happy thursday.
today i am sharing with you a license plate home decor item.
i'm really excited about it. 
i have been saving this tutorial for awhile waiting til finals were over so i could cover all the details.

with the hubby and i moving from utah to idaho and back to utah
PLUS buying a new car in the mix, 
we had a LOT of license plates. i thought i really needed to put them to use.
so, a while ago, i went to my pop's house with an idea in mind that he helped me create.
here is the finished product:

it really was so simple to make.
& with the help of dad i was able to get it done super quickly.

you will need some old license plates.
don't be afraid to mix numbers in for letters or turn a W upside down to make an M.
i used a number 1 to make an "L" and a 3 upside down to make an "E"
turned out pretty cute!
you will also need tin snips or a sharp box knife
a drill & drill bits
as well as a hammer & small nails
a metal file for safe measure,
and a piece of wood to be the backer.

first step: cut out your letters.

here's a tip: i do NOT recommend using the tin snips.
and here's why:
the edges are much more crisp and clean when using the box cutter 
because you can use a 'snap' technique.

with the tin snips, the edges become slightly jaggedy:

so i recommend you use a ruler to draw a straight line,

follow the line with a box cutter to score the plate,

then bend at the scored piece back and forth 

until the piece is ready to snap off.
you will get a crisp, clean edge.

use the metal file to smooth any jagged edges.
please oh please wear gloves for this part. :)

i also rounded my edges for safety & for looks:

when you have finished every piece, 
align them on your backing how you would like.
you may want to mark the places of the letters on the wood with a pencil.
i used an AWESOME piece of barn wood my dad had in the garage.

drill small holes in each corner of the letters

add the nails to each corner

and hammer in

do this to each of the letters and you're finished!

what do you think?
i still have extra license plates and need some ideas to use them.
any cute ways to recycle license plates?
let me know in the comments section!
{love} lauryn
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