License Plates Create Colorful Shed Screen
Rather Than Toss, Repurpose!
Together, Aaron and I have lived in five different states. Since we save nearly everything, we found ourselves with more than a dozen old license plates collecting dust. When we wanted to build a screen to protect the firewood crib from the elements, Aaron got the idea of connecting the license plates.
With simple tools—a ruler, a pair of pliers, and coated, copper electrical wire leftover from our house remodel—we were able to set it up in an afternoon.
After cutting the wire into manageable pieces, Aaron extracted the thinner wires within. Next, he cut the inner wire into 3.5-inch pieces, bending down both ends to form a narrow C-shaped hook about 1.5 inches long—two for each plate.
Once all the connectors were ready, he screwed a horizontal row of plates across the top of the shed frame, about a half-inch apart. The additional plates were hung beneath the others with the C-hooks, creating vertical rows.
As friends and family learned of our project, we began to get donations of old plates from their garages and basements. Two new-to-our-state friends gave us their old plates when they registered their cars in Washington State.
The screen grew, but not quickly enough. A web search revealed a few sources, and we were able to complete the project at an affordable price through Amazon.com. We now have a unique display that reminds us of our “past lives” while doing a decent job of keeping the firewood dry on rainy days.
The result is a functional and attractive piece of garden art. It was a great icebreaker at a summer potluck for my Editors Guild. Guests gathered by the shed perusing the plates and sharing memories and travel stories. It makes a kitschy backdrop for portraits, and adds a bit of color during Seattle’s dreary winter months. I’ve since seen them used to create artsy signs and more elaborate decorative pieces—more cast-offs rescued from the trash heap!
- Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
- November 17, 2013
- 4 Comments
you can also use snips and cut the individual numbers and letters to make an address plaque for your house.
Coolest fire wood shed cover I’ve seen.
You’ve got so many creative ideas for reuse. Love the way your blog/website is developing. You design aesthetic is terrific and high-quality photography makes the re-use idea very attractive. I never would have imagined that old license plates could be put to such creative reuse.
Thank You! I’m looking forward to getting trip ideas from you.