License Plate Pencil Cup

3 Materials
15 Minutes

I had a couple of old license plates hanging around and I figured we could put them to use somehow. These pencil cups come in handy. I actually use them in the shop. One holds pencils and utility knives, while the other holds my chisels. Go ahead and make one! See how we built this license plate pencil cup! Here we go...
license plate pencil cup, outdoor living, pallet, tools
We began by measuring our license plate and then dividing by 4, in our case 12 inches / 4 inches = 3 inches. We'll cut a piece of wood just shy of 3 inches square. I'm using a piece of scrap pallet wood for this project.
license plate pencil cup, outdoor living, pallet, tools
Next, we fold the license plate every 3 inches. There will be 3 folds. Need a license plate? See where to get one on my blog!
license plate pencil cup, outdoor living, pallet, tools
Figure out where you want the bottom of the pencil cup by placing a couple of pencils in and see how far you want them to stick out. That's where you'll attach your wood inside the cup.
license plate pencil cup, outdoor living, pallet, tools
Once you know where you want to place your block of wood inside the cup. Clamp, drill holes and screw the block of wood inside the license plate, assuring your bottom edges are level. I used two 1" screws close to the edges as seen in the picture below.
license plate pencil cup, outdoor living, pallet, tools
Now you have a cool pencil holder! This project is super easy, takes about 15 minutes and is a good addition to your office or workshop. Like I said, I use them in my shop - but I may make another one for my office as well!
Where will you use this pencil cup?
license plate pencil cup, outdoor living, pallet, tools

Suggested materials:

  • License plate
  • Scrap wood
  • 2 1" Screws

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Danny
    on Feb 21, 2019

    What do u put on the bottom so the pens and pencils dnt fall out or dirty ur desk??

    • Cheryl148
      on Feb 21, 2019

      Your board that you screw on to the license plate itself would keep them from falling through.

  • Cheryl148
    on Feb 21, 2019

    How do you keep the bottom of the license plate from scratching the table or anything that it is placed on? License plates are somewhat sharp.

    • Elaine Schoepf
      on May 18, 2019

      Run a bead of hot glue or silicone goop around the bottom? Attach to a coaster the same size.

  • Judy
    on Apr 24, 2019

    If the bottom edge/seam is secured to a block of wood with 2 nails,how is the top edges held together?

    • Mary Firminger
      on Jun 4, 2019

      The license plate is stiff. I don't think it would need a brace of any kind.

Join the conversation

3 of 79 comments
  • Karen Boyd
    on Apr 26, 2019

    I would love to do this but where I live we must turn the plates in if we don't register the car.

  • Dawn
    7 days ago

    Yes I will try this project. My mother died last year and she had personalized plates on her car. I want to take those plates and make this as a memorial pencil/pen holder for my bedside table.

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