How To Make A License Plate Wind Chime

Making wind chimes is one of my favourite things to do, and I’ve made quite a few over the years. Pretty much anything looks like a wind chime candidate to me, so I knew exactly what I wanted to make for our August Thrifty Chicks Challenge… a license plate wind chime.

I had everything else together just waiting for me to find an actual license plate… and with not much time to spare I finally found one at our local flea market. It was a little pricey at $5, but thrifters can’t be choosers… especially when you’re a little desperate.

how to make a license plate wind chime

On the second Wednesday of each month I join some very talented blogging friends for a project challenge, and with a different theme each time it’s really a lot of fun.

Last month’s challenge was kitchen items, and if you  missed it you can still check out my Repurposed Folding Strainer Flowers.

You can find all the past Thrifty Chicks project challenges here.

Thrifty Chicks Project Challenge

I can’t wait to see what my blogging friends have come up with for this month’s license plate project. There are links to all their fabulous projects at the end of this post so be sure to check them out.

How to Make a License Plate Wind Chime

how to make a license plate wind chime

Once I found my vintage March 1969 license plate I gathered the other things that I needed… a thrifted necklace, a large split ring (and some small ones that didn’t make it into the pic), and some pliers.

And for the chimes, well, when I think of license plates of course I think of driving.

When I think of driving I think of travelling the open road on long and winding road trips, which John and I love.

When I think of road trips I think of memories and souvenirs.

So when I decided to make this license plate wind chime I naturally thought of my collection of souvenir spoons.

drilling holes into license plate for license plate wind chime

The first thing you need to do is mark where you want to drill holes on the back of the plate. This is where your spoon chimes will hang.

Putting the holes in the indented area along the bottom of the plate makes it quite easy to drill into.

Souvenir spoons are small so I chose to space mine 3/4″ apart.

drilling holes into license plate for license plate wind chime

I drilled the holes using a 3/64″ metal drill bit.

Always wear eye protection when drilling into metal for protection from the little metal shards, and you may have to file down the edges of the holes to make them smooth. I just run my pliers tip against the edges and that works just fine.

taking a thrifted necklace apart for license plate wind chime

Here’s my $1 thrifted necklace.

taking a thrifted necklace apart for license plate wind chime

I took it apart with my pliers, and was left with 20 chains for my chimes.

The other bits will go into my stashes for possible use in the future.

How to Hang Spoons on a License Plate Wind Chime

how to make a license plate wind chime

For hanging the chimes I pushed some 3/8″ split rings through the holes in the plate.

I thought about bending my plate into a circle or a triangle, but since I only had one I didn’t want to risk ruining it.

So I’m using it just the way it is. I kinda like seeing the whole thing at once.

how to make a license plate wind chime

Then I added my chains to the split rings. The chains were different lengths so I went with a random pattern to add some interest.

When I make wind chimes I love to repurpose thrifted necklaces , but you could use fishing line or jewelry wire if you prefer.

collection of souvenir spoons for license plate wind chime

At this point I went into my collection of souvenir spoons and found ones that I wanted to use.

I bought this lot of over 100 spoons for $5 quite a while ago hoping that I would have a use for them some day.

drilling a hole into handle of spoon for license plate wind chime

A few of the spoons came with holes which made them ready to hang, but most needed drilling.

Usually I use silver plate spoons for my wind chimes because they’re easier to drill into than stainless steel, but these small spoons were thinner than normal stainless cutlery.

I used a 1/16″ metal drill bit, and it worked perfectly.

how to make a license plate wind chime

When I was looking through the box I chose spoons from places that we’ve been like BC, Calgary, Montreal, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Las Vegas just to name a few. Considering I thrifted this lot of spoons I’m pretty happy with how many were from places we’ve actually visited.

I used the rings that came on the ends of the chain parts to hang the spoons.

Enjoying my License Plate Wind Chime

how to make a license plate wind chime

And now this project has a license to chime. 🙂

I drilled a couple of holes along the top, joined the leftover pieces of chains with my pliers, and used a few more split rings for hanging the whole chime.

Since Ontario, Canada, is my home I was happy to use this as my home plate.

When I saw that the license plate number started with a T… for Tuula, I knew it was the one for me. Never mind that it’s the only one I found. lol.

how to make a license plate wind chime

I usually put a vintage chandelier crystal at the top of all my wind chimes, but this time I decided to do something different.

I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario so I put this spoon at the top along with an Ontario Science Centre spoon (where I went several times as a child), and a Niagara Falls spoon ( which you can’t really see on the left there).

John and I lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake for almost 6 years in another life, and we visited the nearby Falls several times.

how to make a license plate wind chime

I think I’m going to collect some souvenir spoons when we take our next road trip. Then I’ll make another license plate wind chime filled with memories of that particular trip.

That sounds like fun to me.

how to make a license plate wind chime

The sound of these souvenir spoons tinkling in the summer breeze is so pretty and peaceful. Perfect for a relaxing break outside at the end of a busy day, and I love that the spoons bring back some memories from places that we’ve been.

Wind chimes are so much fun to make out of so many different things like a silver sugar bowl, a strainer, or a grater just to mention a few.  Basically, If you can hang stuff from it you can probably make it into a wind chime.

If you have some souvenir spoons displayed in one of those little wall shelf units, this might be a fun alternative way for you to enjoy them.

Remember to pin this to your favorite Pinterest Board!

how to make a license plate wind chime

Now be sure to check out what my friends did with their license plate projects.

Here are the befores.

Thrifty Chicks License Plate Challenge

Just click on the links beside the blog names to see the fabulous afters.

1 Shoppe No. 5 – How to Make a Welcome Sign from a License Plate
2. Adirondack Girl at Heart – Vintage License Plate DIY for the Man Cave
3. Lora B. Create & Ponder – License Plate Trug How-To
4. The Interior Frugalista – License Plate Art for Child’s Room
5. Little Vintage Cottage – License Plate Yard Art
6. Thrifty Rebel Vintage – That’s mine.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


I’m sharing this project at these fabulous parties.
Dream, Create, Inspire @ Simple Nature Decor
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects @ Funky Junk Interiors
Sweet Inspiration @ The Boondocks Blog
Friday Favourites @ Remodelaholic
Show and Share @ Coastal Charm
Talk of the Town @ My Repurposed Life

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  1. Mother Deer says:

    I think that I love this wind chime the best of all of your pretty creations…so very clever 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Mother Deer. 🙂

  2. ColleenB.~ Tx. says:

    Oh, How I absolutely Love this wind chime and what ‘breeze’ to make. So very clever and what an inspiration you are to us all. You come up with the coolest and awesome ideas. (I need to borrow you brain) :}
    I need to go dig around in my husbands shop and see where he stored our old plates.
    Heading off now to check out the other creations what others have made.

    1. Thanks Colleen. I’m so happy that you like my wind chime, and I’m sure you’ll be inspired by my the projects done by my very talented blogging friends too. Thanks for checking them out. 🙂

  3. I agree with Mother Deer, this ranks right up there with my favorite of your windchimes!! “Owlivia” is #1, of course! Really well done, girl! Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! I’m so glad you’re still enjoying Owlivia. 🙂

  4. Lynette Adams says:

    Great idea Tuula! It came out really awesome!

    1. Thanks very much Lynette. 🙂

  5. Oh my.goodness tuula! I love this…especially the souvenir spoons!


    1. Thanks Tania! I’m so glad I finally found a use for those spoons. 🙂

  6. Girl, you know how much I love a pretty wind chime! Even more, a wind chime with Canadian roots! Love how you repurposed souvenir spoons into something so useful and pretty for the yard . Also kicking myself for getting rid of my collection years ago. I bet this sounds so pretty. I didn’t know you lived in Niagara-On-The-Lake – LOVE that town and visit it once a year to browse all the lovely shops. You rocked this challenge – pinned and sharing.

    1. Thanks Marie! I’ve kicked myself many times for getting rid of things when I thought of a way to use them sometimes years later, but we can only store so many stashes. The spoons do sound quite nice, and I’m always up for making wind chimes out of things I haven’t used before. It keeps it fun.

  7. I love it that you used the travel spoons; great theme follow-through! Think I need to make my first ever windchime for my mom out of my grandma’s spoon collection!

    1. Thanks Lora! That would make an amazing gift for your mom. If you do make it I’d love to see it. 🙂

  8. I absolutely love it Tuula! Very clever linking the the souvenir spoons with the plate for a cool “traveling” theme. I feel like I can almost hear their tinkling in the wind 🙂

    1. Thanks Diana! I definitely see some road trip spoon collecting in my future. The spoons have a lighter sound than larger teaspoons, but it’s very pretty.

  9. I love the whole idea — there’s so much personal sentiment in it, and it’s something you’ll love to look at and listen to for a long time. Great idea!
    xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

    1. Thanks Kathleen! It’s always very satisfying to make a project that also has some personal meaning to it. This wind chime is a keeper. 🙂

  10. How special that you found a license plate from your home and spoons to places you have been. It is a sweet way to display them and to enjoy when you are relaxing outside.

    1. Thanks Debra! I actually can’t believe how lucky it was since this project almost didn’t happen at all. For some reason I think the projects gods were smiling on me when I found my license plate.

  11. Your project is great. I have been hanging on to my old initial plates that say KATHY O. This woud be a great way to use it constructively, not just hang it on the cellar wall! And I love wind chimes.

    1. Thanks Kathy! How wonderful to have a personal plate to work with. I was so thrilled to find a plate with a number that started with the letter T, but you have the whole plate. What a fun chime that would make. 🙂

  12. Tuula, this is so fun! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm–pinned!

    1. Thanks very much Cecilia!

  13. I just love this! I am always drawn to old license plates at thrift stores and they are usually pricey. What a great way to repurpose one. It really is so YOU!

    1. Thanks very much AnnMarie! License plates are pretty scarce around here so I’m thrilled that I found even one. I’ll be looking for them on my next road trip, and spoons too.

  14. This is so cool! You’re so clever to pair the souvenir spoons with the license plate. And how much better that it all has sentimental value as well as cute value. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog to read AnnMarie’s guest post. She did a great job. ~ Nancy

    1. You’re so right Nancy. AnnMarie did an awesome job. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. Hope you have a great weekend. 🙂

  15. That’s another fabulous wind chime, Tuula! It looks beautiful and it’s great that you found souvenir spoons that had a special meaning for you.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xo Julia

    1. Thanks so much Julia! I’m so lucky how this chime worked out, considering I almost didn’t even have a license plate. My stash really came through for me this time. 🙂

  16. This is so fun! I smiled the whole way through this post. Love this idea. Such a creative way to use a vintage find 🙂

    1. Thanks very much Jelica. 🙂

  17. I love this Tuula! Easy-sounding tutorial too. You will really enjoy that with all the memories attached, so I know you’re keeping it.
    Love Niagara Falls! We honeymooned at Niagara-on-the-Lake about ’95. Lovely area too!

    1. Thanks Florence! I’m enjoying the chime and it is definitely a keeper. You’re so right, the Niagara area is very lovely. I have many fond memories of living there.

  18. I remember when collecting those souvenir spoons was a ‘thing’, love your re-purpose!

    1. Thanks Vanessa! I remember those days too. Now I see them in thrift stores all the time. It’s nice to be able to repurpose things that aren’t really collected anymore.

  19. Barbara Redman says:

    delightful !

    Thanks so much for including your thought process in choosing the items to include in the wind chimes. What a creative way to use the souvenir spoons!

    1. Thank you so much Barbara! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. 🙂

  20. Hi, Tuula! I soooo enjoy your thrifting and repurposing projects! I have a question about the brand of drill you use for putting holes in the silver plate. I made wind chimes with the silver plate flatware and my husband complained that his drill bits kept breaking. Is there a special technique or drill bits that you use?

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Gabi! I use a variety of drill bit sizes depending on the thickness of what I’m drilling into. I tend to use 3/64″ or 1/16″ bits that say they’ll work for metal on the package. My local Home Hardware sells them in packs of 12, which is a much a better price per drill bit. Some bits will break sometimes, and there’s no way to stop it from happening altogether, and it probably doesn’t have anything to do with the drill you’re using. Tthe trick is gentle pressure when drilling and letting the bit do most of the work. When we press down too hard we cause the bits to snap because we’re trying to force them through the material faster than they can go. It took me a while to get the hang of it so I don’t break bits very often anymore, but it still happens occasionally. I hope this helps. 🙂 Also, buy your own bits so you don’t break your hubby’s 🙂

      1. Thank you for your answer! The drilling was done by my hubby which is probably why the bits kept breaking since he tends to be impatient and he doesn’t always know his own strength…HaHaha!!


        1. Tuula McPhee says:

          hahaha! That makes sense to me now. You’re so welcome Gabi!

  21. Jeanie Tyler says:

    Love it, I am retired, and collect just about everything, then have no ambition to make a single thing. But, you have me thinking and I have a japanise maple tree for hanging the chime from. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Jeanie! Japanese Maples are so beautiful and I’m sure your wind chime would look amazing hanging from one. I’m so happy that my project has inspired you. 🙂

  22. Amy Davis says:

    That is so unique. I love it! I also just saw your badminton flowers! so cool!