DIY License Plate Pencil Cup

Have an old license plate lying around collecting dust? You can easily turn it into a DIY pencil cup. I say pencil cup because that’s the best way to describe it. It truly is universal, you can use your DIY license plate pencil cup to store anything you want. I’m using it in my shop for pencils and utility knives among other things.

Upcycle an old license plate into a cool desk organization piece! This license plate pencil cup is easy to make. Click to find out how!

If you don’t have a license plate to upcycle, you can usually find one at a local antique shop or other oddity shops in your area for just a couple of bucks. You can use this DIY upcycled license plate project to hold anything you need! Use it in your garage, office or even give it as a gift — consider the football team NFL license plates below for a nice gift idea!

DIY Upcycled License Plate Pen Cup

You can use an old license plate you have or find. If you don’t have one, ask around, look check ebay or try out one of these NFL license plates and make it extra special, these ones are perfect for gifting!
DIY Upcycled License Plate Pen Cup

How To Build A DIY License Plate Pencil Holder


  • License plate
  • Wood – I used scrap pallet wood
  • Two 1″ Screws

We’ll begin by measuring our license plate. The license plate I am using is 12 inches long.

Making A DIY License Plate Pen Holder

Now that we know the license plate is 12 inches long, we’ll divide 12 by 4 (the amount of sides for our pen holder). That’s 3″ for each side. Considering the corners will be slightly rounded, we’ll need the sides of our wood block insert to be just less than 3 inches.

I’m cutting my wood block to 2″ x 2″.

DIY License Plate Pen Holder Construction

As you can see, I’ve also marked the license plate in 3″ increments, this is where we will fold the license plate. Begin at one end of the license plate and mark every three inches. You’ll have 3 lines where you’ll make your folds.

License Plate Upcycled Pen Holder

Fold the license plate at all three markings. You’ll end up with a rough square tube shape once it’s folded. This newer license plate was easy to fold with just my hands. If you have an older license plate or your license plate is harder materials, you may need to use a rubber mallet and fold it over the edge of your work bench.

License Plate Folding for DIY Pencil Holder

Next, figure out where you want your block-stop wood inside the pen cup. Line up the wood, wrap the plate around it as a dry fit and put a pen, or whatever you’ll be holding, inside it. See how far you want your pens sticking out and take note. You’ll be drilling two holes on either end of the plate to secure the wood block inside.

Once you know where you want your wood block inside the pen cup, drill two holes, one at either end of the license plate. Drill 1 hole at about 1/2 inch in from the edge, and the other hole at about 1 inch in (so you screws don’t hit each other when you secure the wood block in place).

My holes are going at the bottom of the numbers.

DIY License Plate Pen Holder Anchor Holes

Now we’re ready to wrap the license plate around our wood block and secure it with screws. I’m using a clamp like this to hold the plate and block together while I set my screws. You can do it free hand, but the clamp will help a lot.

DIY License Plate Pencil Cup

Flip it, secure the other side of the plate with the other screw. Adjust the metal by slightly bending it to get a nice even joint from the top to the bottom and put your pencils and utility knives in it.

DIY License Plate Pen Cup

Fill it with your pens, pencils, utility knives or whatever else you want to stuff in it! There’s plenty of room to store a lot of stuff in this DIY license plate pencil cup. It’s a great addition to my bench in the garage!

DIY License Plate Pencil CupWhere will you use your DIY license plate pen cup?

Join the Conversation

  1. I found this one on Amazon: if it doesn’t pop up, look at the list on that page. The Seahawks plate is amongst them!

  2. Do you hv a Seattle Seahawk plate available? Let me know. Great idea. Thanks

  3. Great idea! Now I finally have a use for my many old plates!! ??

  4. I have a few plates on my garage wall, Love this and will try it. It beats my old Maxwell House Coffee Can.

  5. Yay, we have so many old license plates lying around, no idea why though 😉 Great project, thank you!!

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