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.)
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:
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!)
- Sharpie marker
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…
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!
The reason the map takes so long to make is because we were always waiting on more license plates to show up, ha!
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!