I hate wrapping gifts. It's the most unoriginal part of gift-giving. Although my gifts are hardly ever spectacular, my wrapping will always outshine them.
1 - 48-pack of 16" wood shims
1 - 10ft 1x2
1 - 1 1/2oz. 3/4" brads
1 - Can of black spraypaint (optional)
Here I'm laying out the top/bottom panel. These panels will have a full frame and all the side shims will tack to this piece into the frame. I could only use about 13" of these shims before the wood was uselessly thin. I used 2 brads on each panel shim, plus an few extras on the corners and sides of the top/bottom panels to keep them square. You have to be careful how you space these brads to prevent splitting the wood. Cutting the shims can be a bit tricky, I had to stack them in an alternating pattern to cut more than one at a time.
This is the crate mostly assembled, and displaying it's construction. I added the signature crate sides with shims nailed to two pieces of cross-bracing. I can set the pre-assembled side panels on the top and bottom pieces to more easily attach them.
I'm filling the crate with packing peanuts and setting the gift inside the crate before I seal it up.
I recommend using this wrapping method for giving out crowbars at Christmas. The extra irony makes the project that much sweeter. It's really not your problem how to open the crate once the gift has been given, so don't let anyone sucker you into opening it for them. Final size: 13"x12"x9" Build Time: 1 1/2-2 hours Cost: $8.00 (Not including the spraypaint or ceramic frog)