Intro: Licence Plate Frame
A simple gift idea that is easy to do with hand tools. Know somebody that has a precious auto in their life? Maybe a collector? Here is how to capture the joy of the machine in a simple shadow box display for the wall.
The idea for this project was not complicated, frame a license plate in a way anyone can accomplish. The steps are easy, cut (or have cut) a backer board about 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than the plate you wish to display. Create a boarder around the edge of the backing board. The beauty of this is that you can simply cut and attach the wood to the backer to the backer. No messing with corners or clamping, just glue it. The hardware store will have a wide selection of molding and you can build something simple or impressive as per your tastes. Once you have built your frame attach the plate to the backer and you are done. I used brads in the plate's mounting holes.
I recommend painting the background black as it helps make the plate pop but painting it a color to match their car would be cool too. It is true I used a bunch of tools to do this but it could have been done with purchased molding and a small handsaw just as fast.
The supplies are cheap and easy to find any any home store. The only tools you NEED would be a small hand saw but clearly more complicated tooling might make it easier to produce a more complicated design. Oh and some glue, I use basic Elmer's wood glue.
Wood for the backer
Sure I cut it out of plywood but you could make it with nearly anything. Just make sure the wood is thick enough you can attach to it later with nails or what not.
I cut up a rustic 2x4 but anything would work. If you have never walked the molding isle at the hardware store now is your chance. A huge variety of cut,shaped and finished molding is available. The possibilities are endless!
I recommend something with significance. The plate I used was a rare prison made Montana trailer plate from 1959. Those low numbers let you know that this was the 64th trailer licensed in Mineral County Montana in 1959. In my case the rarity of the plate makes it special but that will be different for all of you. Given the variety of new custom printed plates this might be a great way to show support for a special cause you hold dear.