Guy DIY – License Plate Cowbell

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Always more cowbell! Paul, the genius behind our very first guy DIY – the sticker magnet hack – has caught the DIY bug, it seems. This guy DIY requires some tools, and man hands. Okay, maybe it doesn’t REQUIRE man hands. Bending the aluminum proved to be a lot easier than it looks. I digress, on to the tutorial!

Materials

  • old license plate
  • old bike tube, or thick leather strap
  • sturdy metal wire
  • fishing weight or other metal item for the clanger
  • small bots (optional)
  • Sharpie
  • tin snips or metal dykes
  • metal wire or hammer
  • electric drill and drill bits

 

Prep: Trace the license plate onto a couple pieces of paper first. Practice with the paper to figure out exactly where you’ll need to cut before you cut your license plate. “Measure twice, cut once!”, as Paul so wisely put it.

Cowbell-1

If you’d like a starting point for your template, mark 4 1/2 inches in from either side on the top and bottom.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

From those marks, measure 2″ towards the center and mark.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Then mark in the center where you’ll later make a hole for the handle. Again, practice this all on your paper template first to make sure the measurements work!

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Once you have your correct measurements, it’s time to cut! Using your tin snips or metal dykes, cut in to the center marks. The plate is softer than you’d imagine, so be careful not to overcut your mark!

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Fold the center pieces in…

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

…then fold the outside pieces in.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

The remaining flaps should fold it to meet each other in the middle.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Use those man hands to mold the plate together, until it feels like it’s holding the shape well.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

At this point you need to make two thin rectangular holes for the strap to slide thru. Make a line on each side of the center mark.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Get out your drill! Drill holes along the line as close together as possible. Paul got a good chuckle out of his unintentional robot face.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Cut through your line of holes with the tin snips, then grab your file and file down until there is a clear opening.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Repeat on the other side.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Making and installing your strap and clanger go together as one step. You can use a wide variety of items for the strap and clanger. Paul chose to recylce an old bike tube and a old flange lever, although leather and fishing weights would also work well. Take your two pieces of bike tire (or leather) pull them thru the two thin holes at the top of the cowbell.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Punch a pair of lined up holes thru the ends of the material. You can reinforce the material with button clasps as Paul did.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Take a piece of wire or metal wire and string it thru the clanger and the two fresh holes. Pull the strap back thru so the clanger is now hidden inside the cowbell.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Pinch your wire closed with your pliers.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Unless you are an ultimate folder and have perfected the art of geometry you may have a couple of gaps that have formed in your cowbell. To make the cowbell more rigid, drill small holes and use bolts to connect the two larger sides together.

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Congratulations! You just made a cowbell. With your man hands. Clang away!

Whimseybox Guy DIY - Cowbell

Alyssa is a designer, photographer and essentially the art department at Whimseybox. She loves making, no matter what the creative challenge is. Her current obsessions include (but are not limited to!) textural weaving, all things white or geometric, crystals and aerial silks. She blogs personal inspirations and Whimseybox behind-the-scenes at alyssarenee.co

2 Comments

  • Reply July 7, 2013

    Michelle Frey-Tarbox

    HAHAHA love the gif! More COWBELL!

  • This is great! I love how it’s all upcycled materials, total win. And the gif is epic! Great job Paul!
    xo
    Lia

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