Happy Friday: Homemade Man Crate for Valentine’s Day

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Sent from reader, Tiphanie:

I just wanted to share this totally awesome Valentine’s day hack. My sis-n-law had told me about this website called ManCrates (basically a specialty place where u can get gift basket-like gifts for all the guys in your life) but with a twist as most of them are packaged in a wooden crate nailed shut.

My hubby is a “man’s man” and I was thrilled with the idea but when I saw the prices, I was very disappointed. I didn’t have $69-$99 to spend on a such small gift that didn’t contain very much anyway (mainly you are paying for an experience because gift items included are not anywhere near that value).


So I got creative and thought – I can make this! I went to Hobby Lobby on a reconnaissance mission. I found this hinged wooden box crate thing for $17.99 and used a 40% off coupon so it was $10.79 (it was actually a wooden Nursery block box but I pried off the wooden ABCs glued on the sides).

I stained it a little to give it a more weathered crate-like look and lined the interior with a black plastic trash bag. Dollar Tree had the mini crowbar and I added gifts to the inside – a new Fossil wallet, an AE leather belt, two new shirts rolled up, socks, some of my hubby’s faves- deluxe mixed nuts, specialty homemade Amish cheeses (no refrigeration required) and a few personal grooming things – like nail clippers, cologne body spray, etc.


After putting it all inside, I nailed the hinged top shut & attached the crowbar with a piece of duct tape. (Optional- u can stencil or sharpie words on sides if you want- to give it a more “crate-like” look).

So all in all, less than $ 12 for my “crate” ($10.79 for crate, $1 crowbar and I already had the nails and stain). The inside gifts can be personalized to your man and can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you like – I was very happy with how it turned out! can’t wait for hubby to open it on V-Day!

So I still got the experience of a “mancrate” without the expensive price of the real thing and way more stuff inside – so total win-win for me!!


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Comments 48

  1. cari

    That is fantastic! What a great idea!!

  2. Tina

    Cool idea!

  3. JA

    Wow! That is amazing! Never heard of the man crate but I can see the appeal in that. You did a great job!

    • Tiphanie

      Thanks so much!! I was so happy with how it actually turned out!! 😊

  4. Erika

    What a great idea! I love this! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. p.en.cil

    That is thoughtful,thrifty,creative, he is lucky man will love it!!!

  6. Sara

    Thanks for sharing! Brilliant!!

  7. Bob

    Is their a subliminal message that your husband is a big baby πŸ™‚

    • Bob

      and for the spelling nazi out there I meant “there” not their

      • Kristin


    • Tiphanie

      Yeah! my big baby! Lol!πŸ˜‚
      I sure do love that man!!
      But he’s definitely not a “baby” of a man. He is such a hard worker- so sometimes, I just like to show him how much he means to me by doing something extra special for him like this!!

  8. Diana

    Super cute! I want one! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

  9. MaryOD


  10. Heather C

    That’s super neat! It would also be really cool to fill with tools and other home necessities for a guy getting his first place!

    • Tiphanie

      Definitely- or as a care pkg for a college student even !! Thanks so much!!

  11. Shannon

    Wow cool! Are we supposed to give tons of presents like a second Christmas type thing for Valentine’s Day? My hubby has been missing out apparently lol!

    • lachmun

      Some guys love language is gifts and for those guys, maybe they need tons of presents for Valentine’s day. Other men’s love languages are different, such as physical touch or words of affirmation and so you would give more of those kids of gifts for Valentine’s day. So, I think every situation is different. πŸ™‚

    • Jen D

      I agree, every couple is different. My BF and I used to do gifts but we have been dating for 4 years and this year we agreed on no gifts and we’re going to make pizza at home from scratch πŸ™‚ At the end of the day it is about showing your love for each other and people express that differently.

    • Tiphanie

      Haha- my hubby and I don’t do Christmas (we spend too much on the kids & everyone else! Lol) so V-day is kinda our holiday – besides I got major good deals on most all of that stuff. ( the microfiber shop towels and the mini cologne samples were free as was the magazine) and besides the belt, wallet, and specialty cheese, everything else was on clearance ! So it kinda looks like i spent more than I actually did! 😊

  12. Tonya

    So awesome!! Good job.

  13. et

    Its a cute idea,but it doesnt really seem like a money saver. Or was it that youre getting more value for the 70-90 dollars you spent?

    • tipaye

      More value, cheaper gifts in other crate. She also mentioned gifts can be customized…

    • Tiphanie

      Yeah – more value for the money!! Woo-hoo! Plus-it can be as inexpensive or as expensive as u want to make it- u can fill it with whatever- it could be a single outfit or a few car cleaning, maybe even just a few snacks for a date night gift or something but the crate itself was only $12 but the inside gifts and expense are totally up to u-

      • Kristi S.

        Thanks for the idea! I’ve seen the actual “man crate” website, they had a heart shaped box with little beef jerky for almost $30! That seemed way expensive to me, but I like the idea of a lot of little stuff like this! Think I’ll put some snacks together and some minis of his favorite drinks. Thanks again, I was stuck! πŸ™‚

  14. Jill

    Sweet idea! Creative! Thanks for the idea. Saving this for Father’s Day!

    • Tiphanie

      Yeah- would be a totally awesome Father’s Day gift!!

  15. Jennine

    Oh, so fun! Please, post again for Father’s Day!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks for the suggestion! I will pass this along to the team! πŸ˜‰

  16. Emily

    This is such a cute idea!!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome!

  17. ❀️my_lineman

    πŸ‘‹πŸΌHello there my Sis-N-Law lol πŸ™‹πŸ» Congrats on your happy Friday pick Tiph! Enjoy that amazon card lol spend it on yourself for once lol πŸ˜‚

    • Tiphanie

      Haha! I was gonna text u but I figured u were asleep! Thanks !!!

  18. Nina

    So cute. You can prob even do this crate box idea for kids or other people in your life. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day! looks like your hubby will def love n appreciate this. πŸ™‚

  19. Michelle

    I was totally eyeing those man crates! LOVE this idea!! Thank you!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)


  20. Ashley

    Great idea!!

  21. Amy

    Does anyone have the dimensions on this crate?

    • Tiphanie

      It’s the BIG one – 1ft cubed to be exact and included hinges

      • Cathy B

        Hi Tiphanie! Thanks for the DIY crate idea πŸ’‘! How did you get the letters off the crate? I purchased one at Hobby Lobby. They are now $19.99 here in the Houston, TX area, and was able to use a 40% off coupon. I am not able to get the letters off the crate 😐

  22. bceballos80

    Wow, you are my hero lol! I love creative diy gifts on the cheap! Thank you so much for sharing! Soooo doing this for Father’s day as I have already gotten the hubster something that he desperately needed…sneakers lol. I was waiting for some of Collins cheaper sneaker posts, but think I procrastinated too long. So I ordered some from Amazon (free 2 day shipping). Grabbing some of that plain white wrapping paper from dollar tree and let the kiddos doodle it up. Attached, I will put in his valentine’s day card something along the lines of ” You are forever running through my mind, today and always!” Just another ideaπŸ˜‰

  23. katie

    Love this idea! Tiphanie, where did you get the homemade Amish cheese from? My husband loves cheese 😊

    • Tiphanie

      I ordered from a place in Berlin Ohio- its called Heini’s cheese Chalet-

        • katie

          Thank you so much!

  24. Tiphanie

    Aww… such a cute idea!

  25. Evan

    That’s super cute & crafty. Hope you guys enjoy your Valentines Day.

  26. faith

    That’s awesome!! I’m sure your husband will love it!! You sound like a super supportive, appreciative wife! Kuddos! We need more wives like that! Our country is only as strong as our families!!

  27. Erin

    Amazing job! Love it! Mancrates seem highly overpriced to me, too. Usually there’s only a couple items my husband would actually want and after pricing them, it doesn’t make sense to spend all the extra $$$ for those. I started buying the individual items myself but I love the idea of the crate! Will be borrowing this idea for sure–probably for my husband and my son! Great work!

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