License Plate Trug

4 Materials
1 Hour

Old License plates have such great graphic appeal. Re-purposing them into something usable and functional means you can enjoy their charm everyday around your home. Using some simple DIY skills, you can create this License Plate Trug for decorative or functional use. The wider variety of license plates you can find, the more fun you'll have with these!

Different colored vintage license plates can be found on-line or at second-hand sales. You'll need 2- 12" x 6" plates for this project.

You'll also need some scrap boards for the bottom and sides and an old chair or crib spindle for the handle. For the base, cut a 1/2" board 7" x 12". Cut 2 end pieces 7" x 3 1/2". Cut 2 thinner boards for the vertical handle 2 1/2" x 7". And cut the spindle for the handle to fit between these 2 boards (ours ended up being 6").

Construct the box, using a center punch to create holes in the license plates for nails along the bottom edge and sides. Wood glue could also be used before nailing to strengthen the bond between the license plates and the wood.

Use old-looking nails for a more vintage look. Nail each license plate to the bottom board first on either side.

Then fit the end boards in between and nail in place.

Attach vertical pieces for the handle to attach to on either side.

Use a screw to attach handle between these 2 vertical boards.

Paint ends and any other wood pieces you want with chalkboard paint.

Use these License Plate Trugs for function or beauty!

Pretty handy for carrying around a collection of play vehicles! You could even write on the chalkboard ends to encourage organization: cars, trucks, airplanes.

License Plate Trugs can also be planted with live succulents, or be filled with faux seasonal foliage or accessories. To see more re-purposed and refreshed projects and more ideas, visit my blog at:

Resources for this project:

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

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  • Mary Ann Urvig Mary Ann Urvig on Jul 31, 2019

    had me puzzled what was a Trug? had never heard of that before... now I know..

    • See 3 previous
    • Bicks Bicks on Jul 31, 2020

      ....typically a garden basket.

  • Diane Diane on Jul 31, 2020

    Cute idea nand great project - even if people don't read and think for themselves! LOL