License Plate Pen/Pencil Holders

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Project by sonnyr posted 01-22-2013 02:02 AM 28719 views 17 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I got the idea for these pen/pencil holders while waiting at the tax office for new license plates. They used 2 plates folded in half to form a countertop waste container. I typically try to get plates that were used in the year someone was born to make birthday presents but have made them for other occasions. The plates are 12” long so they can be bent into a 3” square. The wooden bases are 3 1/2” X 3 1/2” made out of 3/4” X 3 1/2” stock easily gotten from a big box store. The black inner block is 3” X 3” white pine trimmed down from 3/4” 3 1/2” stock. The hardest part of this project is bending the plate. I made a template and am able to consistantly bend them to the 3” square. I use two 1 1/4” drywall screws to attach the wood together, #4 pan head screws to attach the plate to the wood base, 3/8” felt circles on the bottom (recessed) and a little wire to secure the loose ends of the plate.
Thank you for viewing this project.

-- I may be slow, but I'm easy to stop!!!

10 comments so far

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5219 days

#1 posted 01-22-2013 02:11 AM

Nice use of a recycled item. I recently saw some dustpans made out of old license plates. I like this idea and the concept of the dating it for years.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View JL7's profile


8787 posts in 4249 days

#2 posted 01-22-2013 02:44 AM

Very cool… them….

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3291 days

#3 posted 01-22-2013 02:05 PM

Neat idea. You can also use them to make bird houses. You can see a couple in this pic

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3557 days

#4 posted 01-22-2013 02:38 PM

Interesting…nice idea. I’ll have to try that. Now to find a flee market or antique store with old plates.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View sonnyr's profile


146 posts in 3412 days

#5 posted 01-22-2013 02:55 PM

DouginVa—- I have tried going online for plates and have found some websites where you can buy in bulk. The problem is alot of car rebuilders use the plates to put on their “rebuilt cars” and the price for a good matching set can range from $35 – $70. I was fortunate that my neighbor had 8 sets from 1970 – 1973 (her dads) in perfect shape. I got 3 plates for the years my kids were born and the rest I made pen/pencil holders for her to give out to her relatives. The 2 rusty, old plates in the pictures are from 1966/67 (more kids), I got those off Craigslist. The rest of the plates that I have I acquired by asking friends and relatives for them or taking them off my own cars.

-- I may be slow, but I'm easy to stop!!!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3459 days

#6 posted 01-22-2013 03:18 PM

Cool pencil holders! Great thinking and use of scraps.


View drz's profile


2 posts in 2570 days

#7 posted 11-17-2014 09:39 PM

Those are great! How the heck do you get them exactly even on all sides? How did you make your template?

View drz's profile


2 posts in 2570 days

#8 posted 11-25-2014 11:03 PM

Frustrating! I get the first two ‘bends’ perfect but the last one won’t bend along my mark. I’ve tried it several times on different plates and always have trouble with the last, third, bend.

View sonnyr's profile


146 posts in 3412 days

#9 posted 11-25-2014 11:17 PM

I’ll take some pictures of my process and post them as soon as I can. Sorry for the delay.

-- I may be slow, but I'm easy to stop!!!

View Windoodles's profile


1 post in 1446 days

#10 posted 12-15-2017 04:05 PM

I just love this idea and i am trying to create it but i am stuck as to how I can tighten the corners smooth and how I can attach the ends together. Is there a certain tool that i need? Go easy on me, I’m a first timer at this stuff lol. My diy projects are mostly working with wood.

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