How to Build a Doghouse Out of Old License Plates

How to Build a Doghouse Out of Old License Plates

How to Build a Doghouse Out of Old License Plates


Building a doghouse out of old license plates is a fun and creative DIY project. It allows you to upcycle materials that would otherwise go to waste, giving them new life as part of your dog’s home. With a little bit of planning and elbow grease, I was able to build an eco-friendly doghouse with a unique, eye-catching design.

In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide to building your own license plate doghouse. I will cover:

  • Materials needed
  • Design considerations
  • Construction steps
  • Tips for customization

Follow along to see how I built a doghouse my pup loves from reclaimed license plates. Let’s get started!

Materials Needed

To build the doghouse frame, you will need:

  • Wood boards – I used 2x3s for the frame but any similar sized boards can work. You need enough to build the floor, walls, and roof frame.
  • Screws – To assemble the wooden frame. I used 2 inch exterior screws.
  • Primer/paint – To protect the wood from the elements. I used white outdoor primer and paint.
  • License plates – You’ll need a good amount to cover the exterior. I used around 50 plates. Check junkyards, flea markets, etc.
  • Outdoor adhesive – To attach the plates. I used Liquid Nails outdoor adhesive.
  • Roofing materials – Such as asphalt shingles or metal sheeting to waterproof the roof.
  • Door – You can use an old cabinet door or build one out of wood boards.
  • Tools – Hammer, saw, screw gun, measuring tape, scissors, utility knife, etc.

Design Considerations

Before starting construction, think about these design factors:

  • Size – Make sure to build it big enough for your dog! Check your specific breed’s house recommendations.
  • Access – Include a front access door and consider a window or side entryway.
  • Climate – Use weather resistant materials if your climate gets cold, wet, or hot. Insulate if needed.
  • Ventilation – Add screened vents under the roof to allow airflow.
  • Aesthetics – Plan the license plate layout. Mix colors, states, years, numbers, etc for visual interest.

I designed the house to be 36″ wide x 48″ deep x 32″ tall to fit my medium-sized dog. I included a front door, side window, vents, and planned the plate layout.

Construction Steps

With the design and materials ready, I followed these construction steps:

1. Build the Frame

Using the 2×3 boards, I cut and screwed together the floor, front and back walls, side walls, and the roof frame pieces. I made sure the walls were 32 inches high for proper interior space.

2. Add Siding and Roof

I sheathed the walls and roof with plywood siding cut to size. I primered and painted it before attaching shingles to the roof.

3. Attach Plates

Once the structure was complete, I carefully measured and marked stud locations on the exterior walls. This allowed me to attach the license plates in an orderly layout. I used an outdoor adhesive to firmly attach the license plates, making sure they were secure.

4. Add Access Points

I cut an entrance in the front and mounted the door using hinges. I also cut a window hole and added plastic window panes. Plexiglass or other materials could work too.

5. Install Interior Details

Inside, I stained wooden trim pieces around the door, window, and floor edges. Then I added a dog bed and other accessories to finish it off.

Customization Tips

To make your license plate doghouse unique, try these custom touches:

  • Paint the interior or exterior with fun colors.
  • Decorate with your dog’s name, paw prints, or other designs.
  • Add interior lighting or heated beds for winter.
  • Use plates with significant numbers/letters like your dog’s name, birthday, etc.
  • Incorporate plates from meaningful locations like hometowns.
  • Attach a bone or hydrant shape made from plates.
  • Include plates with dog breed names or imagery.
  • Shape the window or door openings differently – get creative!

The possibilities are endless when upcycling license plates. Look at your materials with fresh eyes to create a doghouse that’s meaningful to you and your pup!


Building a doghouse from old license plates provided a rewarding weekend project for me. My dog absolutely loves having his own customized home. I hope following my steps gives you the confidence to upcycle license plates into a doghouse your best friend will adore. Get creative with the materials and enjoy the quality time constructing it together. Most importantly, be sure to send photos of your finished license plate doghouses – I’d love to see them!