A Vintage License Plate DIY for the Man Cave

Hi there! It’s time for the monthly Thrifty Chicks DIY challenge; this month’s theme is “license plates.” My plate dates to 1973-1986, so according to Etsy’s 20-year rule, it’s vintage. Interestingly, New York is back to a similar color palette with our license plates–orange and blue–but the blue is closer to navy now.  

I decided the word, “CZAR” on my plate lent it to a manly project, and since the “inspiration fairy” seemed to be on vacation, I went hunting on Pinterest for an idea. I found one that originated from The Plate Factory, an Etsy shop filled with very cool vintage license plate DIYs.

vintage license plate rack So if you have an old license plate, piece of scrap wood and a few hooks or knobs, you have almost everything you need to make this hat rack (really, it’s an anything rack). But let me introduce you to my fellow Thrifty Chicks:

Thrifty Chicks Logo At the end of the post you’ll find links to their fun, license plate projects.

vintage nys license plateSo it all began with a single license plate and the challenge to use it creatively in some sort of project.

piece of old scrap woodAfter settling on the hat rack idea, I scrounged up a piece of scrap wood. Covered with a thick layer of dirt, it took some elbow grease to clean it up.

Then, because it was so dry, I gave it a rub down with some Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. You can see in the upper right hand corner where I started applying it. It made a huge difference.

vintage hooksI also got my hands on three old hooks that I had picked up on a vintage shopping trip at some point.

vintage nys license plate rackAssembly was a piece of cake: I tacked the license plate in place, drilled three pilot holes, screwed in the hooks, and attached two saw tooth hangers on the back. Ready for a “CZAR’s” domain, haha.

The hooks are big and sturdy enough to hold all sorts of things from coats to sports equipment.

vintage license plate hat rackBut I went ahead with caps. NOTE: Never one to leave well enough alone. I had a late night epiphany and decided to man-up my hat rack with a few beer-related accessories that I think really completed the project nicely.

vintage license plate hat rackSo at 11:00 pm last night, I was out in my workroom adding the Budweiser license plate frame and the Molson’s bottle opener.

vintage license plate hat rackA little more colorful and interesting, wouldn’t you say? BTW, The Plate Factory sells this for $47.00 and up–impressive–

side view of vintage license plate hat rackI thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to marry together a variety of vintage and antique elements into something attractive and functional.

And I know you do, too, as do my Thrifty Chick friends, whose projects you’ll find listed below. I hope you’ll take some time to check out their terrific “junkovers.”

thrifty chicks license plate challenge 1. How to Make a License Plate Wind Chime, by Thrifty Rebel Vintage
2. License Plate Yard Art, by Little Vintage Cottage
3. How to Make a Welcome Sign from a License Plate, by Shoppe No. 5
4. License Plate Trug How-To, by Lora B. Create & Ponder
5. A Vintage License Plate DIY for the Man Cave, by Adirondack Girl @ Heart
6. License Plate Art for the Child’s Room, by Interior Frugalista

Thanks so much for stopping by–

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Bye for now,

I’d love it if you’d pin me for later 🙂

learn how to make a man cave cap rack with a vintage license plate

vintage license plate hat rack collage

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  1. Love how it turned out Diana! The Budweiser frame is perfect, and I love the addition of the opener. So fun, and perfect for a man-cave.

  2. Diana, this is such a great idea for the guy with a hat collection or jackets for that matter! I love the added beer touches that lends itself perfectly for a man cave. Love how you repurposed a vintage license plate – you rocked this challenge!

  3. Love this, Diana! And the color combo is perfect to get in the fall mood! Glad you stayed up late & did some additions; much more personal & unique-looking;)

  4. Wow, this is awesome! Love how the plate says Czar for the man of the house:)
    xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  5. Fantastic upcycle for the vintage license plate. Your late night inspiration is a genius touch.

  6. I would love to play with license plates, but I find them cost prohibitive. I think I have some of mine around here somewhere. Where, I don’t know! I wanted to make a bird house using the license plate as a roof. I saw something like that years ago, and I really want to make it. Someday…

  7. Great man cave addition & the beer items do add a nice touch. You’ll sell that in a heartbeat…wherever you decide to put it. Pinned

  8. Vintage license plates are so cool and this is a fun piece! Love the hooks too. I always pick things like that up when I run across them. I used some to hold towels when we finished our basement. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  9. Loving it! I was at an all night flea yesterday and found a table with all license plates….I had to hold myself back! Your man is a lucky guy! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!
    xo Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home

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