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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?

Suggested materials:

  • License plate
  • Scrap wood
  • 2 1" Screws

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Andrew @

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • 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.

    • Builder Bill
      Builder Bill
      on Apr 16, 2020

      Another piece of wood at the bottom exposed just enough to lift license plate cup off the surface

  • 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 W.
      Mary W.
      on Jun 4, 2019

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

  • Suzanne Stoltz
    Suzanne Stoltz
    on Jul 22, 2020

    Like this, but I remember cutting my foot on the edge of a plate while washing a car.

    Did you tape the top edges?

    • Suzanne Stoltz
      Suzanne Stoltz
      on Jul 22, 2020

      Thanks, Andrew. I'll have to check the edges of mine - it's an old personalized plate that belonged to my mom. Right now it's over the work bench in the garage, but this would be nice!

Join the conversation

2 of 82 comments
  • Sabrina's Organizing
    Sabrina's Organizing
    on Dec 20, 2019

    So cute!

  • Ilene
    on Feb 15, 2020

    I’ve had the same personalized plate for forever. When I moved to a different State I was able to get the same plate. For sentimental reasons, couldn’t part with old one. Now I know what to do with it. Thank you for this great idea.

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