License Plate Dragonfly

Here's a great outdoor project if you like the look of vintage license plates. 

The license plates aren't too difficult to cut. Other than that all you need is a spindle leg to create an adorable dragonfly for decorating an outdoor fence.

There are many versions of this project, take a look...

dragonfly with license plate wings on fence

I'm sure you've seen these dragonflies all over Pinterest, this was not my idea but I had a bunch of license plates so I'm giving it a try. You'll find these cute insects in all different shapes and sizes, this one is my easy version! 

I began with a pile of old license plates. Truth be told many of the license plates I've saved over the years have come from cars my family has owned. I even have some dating back to 1962. In case you're interested, This grandma of 7 was 3 years old! 

pile of license plates

As you're reading through this post please pay attention to the bold blue links that will take you to more information and the products I used for this project. Also the READ MORE sections will take you to related Homeroad projects. 

affiliate disclaimer

I chose 4 vintage plates from places I've lived for this project, New York and Ohio. 

cutting license plates with tin snips

I began by cutting a wing shape using tin snips out of the license plates. Depending on the plates, some were easier to cut than others but these old hands were able to cut the wings with not too much trouble. 

cutting license plate with tin snips

Once all 4 wing shapes were cut I used an electric sander to smooth the edges so they weren't sharp. You can also use sandpaper. I was sure to wear safety glasses when I did this to prevent any metal pieces from flying off. 


Next, I grabbed an old table leg I had, it was a great spindle shape for the dragonfly body. 

table leg spindle

After the first coat of vintage green paint, I decided to cut the block off one end of the spindle. I added a large wooden bead for a head using wood glue and E6000 glue. At this point you can also add a couple of wire antenna to the head. 

wooden bead head on spindle

I continued painting the spindle when the glue dried.

green spindle


I laid out my wings so I knew which direction they would look best then drilled a hole into each of the wings. 

wing placement for dragonfly

I used just one screw to go through all 4 wing holes and attached them to the spindle. 

drilling holes in license plate


You can put the plates on the back or front of your spindle. 

adding wings to spindle

You can arrange the wings any way you'd like. Some like the top and bottom wings separated, I'm putting mine all together with the more vintage plates on the outside. 

license plate dragonfly

Lastly, I cut a length of macrame cord to wrap around the back of the dragonfly and hung it on the fence.

outdoor dragonfly on fence

I bought these great fence hangers from Amazon, they work great for hanging decorative items on a vinyl fence or on vinyl siding.

dragonfly on fence with hangers

That's all it took to create this cute dragonfly to decorate the fence this summer. 

license plate dragonfly with antenna

As you can see, I went back and added antenna to my dragonfly head with a quick wrap of rebar wire

dragonfly head with antenna

Please pin -->>

license plate dragonfly with overlay

Like I said, cutting the plates wasn't too difficult with the right tool

dragonfly with license plates

Don't forget to visit my Amazon shop for supplies and decor I love! 

Thanks so much for visiting and before you go please sign up for the Homeroad emails so my next DIY tutorial can go out straight to you! 

license plate dragonfly



I am Susan, the author and creator at Homeroad. I am a wife, mother of 4 daughters, and a grandmother of 5 and counting. I am a retired teacher, a DIY blogger and an artist at heart. .