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!
Psst… Here is the first DIY license plate map post and here are more tips and tricks to make your own map.
Comments & Reviews
Sandy MacIntosh says
Can you use a Drexel tool to cut ou license plates? Or do you still cut them by hand?
Thank you! A lot of useful information. Inspirational! Now to find the plates and get the tools!
We have been making these for many years. Every one of them are unique and tell a story.
Heads up! I can’t tell for sure, but I believe the third map where you have new NE & IA plates, the black NE plates are some of the first state plates.
Lots of controversy on our new plates for 2017 and I just happened to look back at all the NE plates. I really liked the black ones, and they are much older and possibly more valuable.
Just a heads up, this is an older post so you probably sold them already.
Can this be hung outside or would the plates rust and the board deteriorate in the weather?
jual balon foil says
Oya, gw pernah liat lomba TELEVISION Champion di TPI yang berkreasi dengan balon sabun.
You could cut the plates with a jewelers saw and a 0 or 1 blade. I do it all the time and it cuts the plates like butter. Probably get them done in half the time.
rebecca lopez says
Super cute. I love this. xoxo
Route 401 says
I have a very large USA license plate map for sale for $999 if anyone is interested 🙂
capturing joy with kristen duke says
that’s pretty fabulous!!
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.
Liz @ Quirky Vistas says
A work of art! “Work” being as operative a word as “art”, right? I hope you find a buyer for them. They are amazing.
Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil says
Hello! This is beyond rad!
Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage says
I need this in my life now!
Miss Charming says
So cute, Jamie!
Laura / The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles says
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!
Awesome DIY license plate map, my friend!
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? 😉
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!
World Market says
We love this.. Thank you for sharing. We hope you don’t mind, we posted your DIY project on our Pinterest Inspiration board http://pinterest.com/pin/248331366925633814/
~ World Market
Jamie Dorobek says
Thanks, World Market 🙂 Glad you like the map! Oh and of course I don’t mind if you pin it!
I have seriously been wanting one of these for my oldest sons room. Great job!
Wow! It is gorgeous! I hope you get a seller quickly!!
Jamie Dorobek says
If we don’t sell it might get to end up in my house, which is A-OK with me 🙂