Nothing says warm weather more than kicking up your bare feet and lounging around your patio with family and friends. And, of course, no backyard gathering would be complete without a piping hot grill filled with smoking meats and sizzling veggies.
Make sure your outdoor cook has everything they need to keep the party going by giving the gift of high-quality grilling accessories. This season, however, ditch the gift bag and make a statement with a DIY grilling gift crate.
The beauty of a gift crate lies in its simplicity: no tissue paper, no bows, no fluff. All you need to open it is a crowbar and a little elbow grease, which makes it the perfect gift for Dad or any other grilling enthusiast in your life. Plus, opening a gift with a crowbar? Now that’s just plain cool.
To build your own DIY grilling gift crate, follow the simple step-by-step instructions below.
How to Build the Grilling Gift Crate
- Gorilla Wood Glue
- ⅝-in. brad nails
- 1½-in. finishing nails
- 2-ft. x 4-ft. x ¾-in. Sanded Plywood Project Panel (1 sheet)
- LWM 226 – ¼-in. x 1½-in. Solid Pine Lattice Moulding (21 linear feet)
- 3M Tekk Protection Clear Chemical Splash and Impact Resistant Goggles
To complete this project you will need two types of wood as listed above: a 2-ft. x 4-ft. x ¾-in. plywood project panel for the main structure and 21 linear feet of ¼-in. x 1½-in. solid pine lattice moulding for the decorative trim.
Here are the required cuts for the plywood, pictured above:
- 2 – 23½ in. x 7½ in. (Front and Back Panels)
- 2 – 10 in. x 7½ in. (Left and Right Side Panels)
- 1 – 23½ in. x 11½ in. (Bottom Panel)
- 1 – 24 in. x 12 in. (Lid Panel)
These are the cuts for the pine lattice trim, pictured in the diagram above:
- 8 – 5¼ in. (Sides, Front, Back)
- 6 – 24 in. (Front, Top, Back)
- 4 – 11½ in. (Sides)
- 2 – 9 in. (Top)
Step 1 – Measure, Mark and Label
Measure, mark and label all of the pieces on the plywood project panel as outlined in the diagram above. Measure and mark your lattice during this step, too.
Take your time here because small errors in the beginning can lead to bigger problems down the road. Crooked lines that appear straight can leave awkward gaps in the crate, and nobody wants that. Just follow the old sewing rule: measure twice, cut once.
Step 2 – Cut the Wood
Put on your safety goggles and make sure all blade protectors are in place. Cut the plywood panel and trim according to your measurements.
The wood for this project can be cut using a variety of different saws. We used a table saw and a miter saw, but you can also use circular and jig saws. If you don’t have access to a saw, a lumber associate at your local Home Depot will cut it for you.
Once you’ve finished cutting, spread out and count all of your pieces. You should have a total of six plywood pieces for the main crate structure and 20 lattice pieces for the trim. Your inventory should look a little something like this:
Step 3 – Apply Wood Glue
Begin by applying a thin bead of wood glue along one edge of a side panel. Wait two to three minutes for the glue to become tacky, and then press it to the front panel to secure the pieces together.
Step 4 – Secure and Nail Panels Together
Nail the front panel and the side panel together. If you want to quicken the process, use a pair of clamps to secure the glued panels together while you nail in the 1½-in. nails. Next, glue and nail the back panel to that same side panel, until three sides are complete.
Step 5 – Repeat Process to Build Frame
Use the wood glue and 1½-in. nails to secure the other side panel as the fourth side. Once you have the crate frame assembled, allow about 15 minutes for the glue to set.
Step 6 – Attach Bottom Panel
Run beads of wood glue around the entire exposed perimeter of the crate. Allow another two to three minutes for the glue to become tacky, and then attach the bottom panel.
Hammer the bottom panel into place using 1½-in. nails. Put one nail in each corner and one in the middle of each side to keep the wood from bowing over time.
Step 7 – Attach Trim to Side Panels
Once the main crate is built, it’s time to apply the trim, starting with the sides. We began by spreading a liberal amount of wood glue on an 11½-in. trim piece, and attaching it horizontally, flush with the top edge. Secure this first trim piece with ⅝-in. brad nails.
Next, glue and nail each 5¼-in. trim piece vertically, so that they are flush with the outer edges. Then add another 11½-in. trim piece horizontally to the bottom, flush with the bottom edge.
Think of these trim steps as “framing” each side. Doesn’t it look like a picture frame?
Step 8 – Complete the Trim
Following the same method as the side, trim the front and back panels.
The front and back panels each use two 24-in. trim pieces, attached horizontally to the tops and bottoms. They also each use two 5¼-in. trim pieces attached vertically to the sides.
Finally, use the remaining trim for the box lid. The lid uses two 24-in. horizontal pieces and two 9-in. vertical trim pieces. Again, for best results make sure to use both glue and nails for connections and wipe away any excess glue immediately.
Step 9 – Fill the Gift Crate
Now that your crate is complete, it’s time to fill it. You can find a wide selection of grilling accessories at The Home Depot to include in your own crate based on what your grilling enthusiast needs. Here are some ideas:
- Weber BBQ Apron
- Weber Instant-Read Thermometer
- Grilling Mitt
- Meat Claws
- Grilling tool kits
- Weber Grill ‘N Spray for No-Stick Grilling 6 oz.
- Weber Firespice Apple Wood Chunks
Step 10 – Attach the Lid
Once you attach the lid with 1½-in. nails, you’re ready to give the gift of grilling. Watch the excitement spread on your favorite outdoor cook’s face when they crack it open (literally)!