August 14, 2019

DIY Framed License Plate

I don't even know if that's a good title for this, but the picture speaks for itself.

Many military families keep their home state residency and keep their vehicles registered in that home state. Scott went all in with Alaska and I did too, I suppose. It wasn't permanent but it was our life. We've pretty much adopted the lifestyle and community of wherever we've lived. We've never actually lived on an army base. We just rent or buy off-post and kind of dig in to wherever we happen to be. I found this was especially true for me when it came to working and being a part of the local school district.

So when we moved to Alaska, we became Alaska residents and registered our vehicles with the state of Alaska. When we moved to Missouri and bought a new car and truck, we registered them with Missouri. When we moved to Colorado, we re-registered them with Colorado. When we sold the truck and bought a bigger truck in Wyoming, it was a Wyoming truck.

This means, basically, that we have a collection of license plates in a box and I'm going to do something crafty with them one day. Especially because Alaska has a multitude of different plates/designs/colors, so I have like three different ones from just there.

We bought our truck in Laramie in March 2018 and, did you know, that they register every single truck in that county with a number and our number was 867. Meaning, it was truck number #867 in Albany County.

In fact, when we tried to renew it, they wouldn't let us because we don't have active duty military orders to Wyoming any longer. They also asked if we could send the plates back. I'm pretty sure Scott told them where to go. Of course, Colorado wouldn't let us renew our trailers there either so it's probably not just a Wyoming policy.

So, we registered our truck with Alaska since we are residents there, and plan on also registering our SUV there when the time comes next year.

When Wells was born (at the only hospital) in Laramie, I asked how many babies they deliver each year (because I was pretty sure Ft. Carson was like 12 a day). They told me 250-300. Which means, there's probably less than a 1,000 babies born in Wyoming a year, I would guess. They are the state with the lowest population, after all.

I figured him having this Wyoming license plate was pretty unique, and it's a pretty unique-looking plate to begin with. I decided to craft it into something for his room.

(We actually have another plate too, because most states have a front and back plate, so we have doubles for our collection when I actually get around to displaying it.)

I googled "how to frame a license plate".

I bought a shadowbox frame and they were buy-one-get-one-free so now I need to make something else. 11x14 is the best bet for this dimension. I had to google "dimensions of license plate" when I was in Michael's and they're 6 x 12 inches, FYI.

I hot-glued the license plate to the back. This Wyoming plate was super light compared to other states' plates, so a basic craft hot glue gun might not work on every license plate.

Let it dry, maybe putting something heavy on top to seal it down for a few minutes.

The little circular mark is from the push pin it had in it originally. I'm hoping it just goes away. I was able to cover the other one with the plate.  

Put it back together.

For some reason, I thought this would be a lot more difficult than it was!

While this won't work for every military kid (you know, if you don't have a license plate), it's kind of a fun idea to pay a homage in some way to the state where they happened to be born.

 I feel like I'm going to be spending a lot of time collecting Wyoming-ish things for Wells!


  1. What a fun & clever idea. It would be so neat to have all the license plates in one area over the years... I can imagine you'd rather NOT have all the license plate - but a cool testament to the travel that you're doing.

  2. Very cool! And Wyoming does have a nice plate design! We brought our Michigan and California plates here, and then my dad has a toy model car he has in a display case and the plates on the car are CA plates, so Angel gave my dad the CA license plate to put in the back of the display box. It looks pretty cool, although my own family has no connection to CA whatsoever. My great-grandpa had a collection of 100+ license plates going back decades that my dad inherited, they used to be nailed up covering the walls of the inside of our ancient wooden garage, but when my parents sold the place they were taken down, I don't know who has them anymore, but I'm sure they're still with someone in the family--I hope they get a chance to be displayed again.
    In Malaysia the license plate is with the car for its lifetime, they actually have a system of telling how old the car is and what state it was originally sold in based on the letters on the plate, and they're never changed. And they don't have artistic designs. Ah well!


Comments make my day!