I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all fall into one of two categories: those who toss their old license plates, and those who hold onto and display them. John and I are firmly in the latter camp, with a whole collection of bent, rusty, scratched-up plates lining the walls of our basement. We’ve got personalized plates and those that sport a random smattering of words and numbers, but each one acts like a placeholder for some time in our lives—from high school and college, to as recent as earlier this year.
Our families, not surprisingly, do the same thing, so when my dad sold his truck to us just a few months ago, I knew I wanted to do something special with the personalized license plate that he gave up along with the truck.
The Tacoma was actually his second car, so Dad didn’t need the special license plate anymore, and John had his own to transfer over, making the original “3LABZ” plate kind of useless. Yet there was something about the sentiment that was just too nostalgic for me to trash once we got ahold of the car.
I remember countless times looking out for those five characters to come down the drive after dad got off of work, or times when I’d inspect other passing silver Toyotas to see if they matched the right plate while out and about around town. And, of course, there’s the fact that the personalized message represented my parents’ trio of sweet (you guessed it) labs! No, there was no way I was getting rid of that license plate.
Not wanting to simply hand it back to my dad as is, though, I decided to have it professionally framed with the help of Framebridge for his birthday. If you’ve never custom-framed anything with Framebridge before, consider this your challenge to do so immediately. It’s one of my favorite types of gifts to give, and—post sponsorship aside—I can confidently say that this brand makes it especially easy.
To sum things up, I first ordered a mailer kit from the website, which arrived at our door about a week later. Then, I slipped the license plate into the included plastic bag, wrote my notes and requests on the packaged card, and left it in the mailbox for our mail lady to grab the next day.
I received a quick confirmation email from Framebridge soon after, as well as I handful of digitally mocked-up design options based on the instructions I had given them. As fate would have it, Framebridge’s “Tacoma” design—a rich dark wood frame with white backdrop—fit the bill to a “T.”
I was able to present the custom-framed plate to my dad as a belated birthday gift this past weekend when I traveled home for a quick visit, and it was a hit! I experienced a pretty proud moment when, just a couple of hours later, I walked into the kitchen to see the framed plate already hanging up on the wall.
So, do you have anything in particular that you’d like to custom frame someday? Maybe a vintage scarf or pretty cross-stitch? I love the idea of framing a piece of retro torn wallpaper from a DIY renovation in a first-time home. Leave your own ideas—birthday gift or not—below!