How to Make A Licence Plate Wind Chime

3 Materials
2 Hours

Making wind chimes is one of my favourite things to do, and I've made quite a few over the years.

Pretty much anything looks like a wind chime candidate to me, so when I found a license plate I decided to make a wind chime filled with memories..

Once I found my $5 vintage March 1969 license plate I gathered the other things that I needed... a thrifted necklace, a large split ring (and some small ones that didn't make it into the pic), and some pliers.

As for the chimes, well, when I think of license plates of course I think of driving.

When I think of driving I think of travelling the open road on long and winding road trips.

When I think of road trips I think of memories and souvenirs.

So when I decided to make this license plate wind chime I naturally thought of my collection of souvenir spoons.

The first thing you need to do is mark where you want to drill holes on the back of the plate. This is where your spoon chimes will hang.

Putting the holes in the indented area along the bottom of the plate makes it quite easy to drill into.

Souvenir spoons are small so I chose to space mine 3/4" apart.

I drilled the holes using a 3/64" metal drill bit.

Always wear eye protection when drilling into metal for protection from the little metal shards, and you may have to file down the edges of the holes to make them smooth. I just run my pliers tip against the edges and that works just fine.

Here's my $1 thrifted necklace that I'm using to hang the spoons.

I took it apart with my pliers, and was left with 20 chains for my chimes.

The other bits will go into my stashes for possible use in the future.

For hanging the chimes I pushed some 3/8" split rings through the holes in the plate.

I thought about bending my plate into a circle or a triangle, but since I only had one I didn't want to risk ruining it.

So I'm using it just the way it is. I kinda like seeing the whole thing at once.

The I added my chains to the split rings. The chains were different lengths so I went with a random pattern to add some interest.

When I make wind chimes I love to repurpose thrifted necklaces , but you could use fishing line or jewelry wire if you prefer.

At this point I went into my collection of souvenir spoons and found ones that I wanted to use.

I bought this lot of over 100 spoons for $5 quite a while ago hoping that I would have a use for them some day.

A few of the spoons came with holes which made them ready to hang, but most needed drilling.

Usually I use silver plate spoons for my wind chimes because they're easier to drill into than stainless steel, but these small spoons were thinner than normal stainless cutlery.

I used a 1/16" metal drill bit, and it worked perfectly.

When I was looking through the box I chose spoons from places that we've been like BC, Calgary, Montreal, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Las Vegas just to name a few. Considering I thrifted this lot of spoons I'm pretty happy with how many were from places we've actually visited.

I used the rings that came on the ends of the chain parts to hang the spoons.

And now this project has a license to chime. :)

I drilled a couple of holes along the top, joined the leftover pieces of chains with my pliers, and used a few more split rings for hanging the whole chime.

Since Ontario, Canada, is my home I was happy to use this as my home plate.

When I saw that the license plate number started with a T... for Tuula, I knew it was the one for me. Never mind that it's the only one I found. lol.

The sound of these souvenir spoons tinkling in the summer breeze is so pretty and peaceful. Perfect for a relaxing break outside at the end of a busy day, and I love that the spoons bring back some memories from places that we've been.

You can find more wind chime projects on my blog here.

Suggested materials:
  • Licence plalte
  • Souvenir spoons
  • Split rings
Tuula - Color Me Thrifty
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Kitty McCarty Kitty McCarty on Sep 02, 2017
    Additional??: I also have a souvenir license plate he bought in Alaska. What are some suggestions to hang from it?? I could attach the two back-to-back and use the spoons but I'd rather have separate wind chimes.

  • Tamra Eason Tamra Eason on Sep 02, 2017
    thats really nice ..but just wondering where did you find that year of plate for only $5.00? Vintage plates sell for big $$$ around here. :-)

  • Blo15831115 Blo15831115 on Sep 02, 2017
    Very fun! Good job! Lots of work to attach everything but worth the time. How does it sound? I am imagining dainty tingling from the tiny spoons.

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  • Sandy Hollingsworth Sandy Hollingsworth on May 09, 2020

    I love this project. I am a wind chime fanatic! I've made several this past couple of weeks but this one will be great! My husband has old plates and I have a bunch of old car keys. Thought that would be kool. Thanks for the great idea!!

  • Michelle Michelle on Nov 18, 2020

    This is a great idea. I think another variation would be to use the license plate with old car keys. I have my dad's plate from 1980's and a lot of his keys to his cars over the years A nice tribute in his memory