Crafty Book Review: License Plate Gift Tags from DIY Rustic Modern Metal Crafts

License Plate Gift Tags

License Plate Gift Tags

This book is the reason why I FINALLY have a use for my license plate hoard collection.

I received a free copy of DIY Rustic Modern Metal Crafts, by Laura Putnam, from a publicist, and as I flipped through it, looking for projects to try, I was also wracking my brain for any hint of any pieces of stash metal that I own.

We’ve got plenty of galvanized steel, but that’s what makes the roof of our garage and old 1910 general store. Can’t use that!

We’ve got a couple of grotty old pie tins, but that’s what I bake my pies in.

We’ve got 25 small metal pails, but I don’t want to screw them to a board to make an advent calendar, because I might need them to hold liquid someday.

If you’re ready to go thrift shopping or dumpster diving, you’ll want to make a shopping list, because the projects in DIY Rustic Metal Crafts call for supplies as various as galvanized steel, pie tins, metal pails, stove endcaps, buckets, birdfeeders, and vintage tubs. I was set on using stash, however, so around my property I wandered, until at last I happened to spy an old license plate, propped up against the wall on a high bedroom shelf, behind my childhood Cabbage Patch Kid (Cynthia Patricia, for those of you playing the home game).

Why, license plates are made of metal!

And so my grand experiment began.

The Metal Gift Tags/Ornaments tutorial in the book calls for galvanized sheet metal, so I wasn’t sure if license plates would actually work, since they’re made of aluminum.

Come to find out, they work AWESOME!!! I was able to follow the tutorial to the letter, only substituting my bench grinder for the metal file called for to smooth down the edges, since I heart power tools. I’m betting that these license plates were even easier to work with than galvanized sheet metal would be; the aluminum plates cut like butter in my tin snips, which required very little force to wield.

License Plate Gift Tags
Tin snips cut through the aluminum license plates like they were made of butter.

Although most of the circles that I cut are destined to be gift tags (since this particular license plate is not embossed, my kiddo plans to decoupage something extra-special on the front of one of these gift tags and put it on a friend’s birthday present), one circle, with an image from our state flag stamped on, is definitely going to be a Christmas tree ornament.

License Plate Gift Tags
The bench grinder easily rounds the edges of my license plate gift tags.

If I started buying old license plates off of ebay, I bet that I could make a personalized ornament for everyone in our family by Christmas…

So much for my license plate destashing!

I received a free copy of DIY Rustic Modern Metal Crafts, because I can’t review a book unless I’ve held it while slicing my other hand open with tin snips. Thank goodness my tetanus booster is up-to-date!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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