Many of us have treasures that, whether they hold a high dollar value or not, are priceless to us. Yet, so many times, the way we choose to store these gems leaves them vulnerable to potentially heartbreaking damage. Recently, Klasson Services was called upon to remediate such a storage weakness. protecting heirlooms custom crating custom wood crate shipping

One of the two keepsakes featured here is a pre-decorated Christmas tree with a base that holds one light bulb that lights it all up when inserted into the bottom of the tree. Handed down from her grandmother, it means the world to the owner. Previously, this ceramic tree was packaged inside a cardboard box taped over and over, after being stuffed with bubble wrap, egg-carton foam, paper grocery sacks, thin, textured cardboard from the bottom of a case of fruit, padded shipping envelopes, and…a towel. Hey, you use what you have, right? At least until you discover you have a better option!

The following pictures reveal the meticulous care that Klasson Services takes with all of their custom crates. In this case, they provided a customized Ethafoam® ring the size of the hole in the tree’s bottom (where the light is inserted) for the tree to sit on in the lower half of the crate. The top and bottom sections of the crate are divided by another piece of plywood (sitting on a foam ledge) with a circle cut out of the center to accommodate the top of the tree.

That delicate tip is encased by the cutout Ethafoam® that sits under the tree’s base in the upper half of the crate. This way, the tree can’t move in any direction and it is basically suspended from the bottom and top, keeping it from touching the foam-lined sides of the crate. Finally, the base and other smaller parts are compartmentalized in the top section, and the crate is closed up. Screws are used as fasteners for ease of access and reusability of the crate.

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The second item requiring a custom crate is a framed vintage jewelry tree, also inherited from the owner’s grandmother. It includes Christmas lights that are inserted through holes in the back of the picture. Although this is a relatively flat item, the Christmas lights required special consideration in the crate’s construction.

A ring of Ethafoam® is used to keep the back of the picture frame (where the Christmas light cord hangs out) from touching anything. The picture is suspended in midair as it sits on a ridge of foam, creating a hollow space for the foam ring and light cord. A groove is placed into the side-lining foam that allows room to insert a finger in order to more easily pull the frame out of its cozy foam bed (a detail not everyone would have thought of).


Over the picture frame is really thin Ethafoam®, and it is all capped off by the crate lid. A wood scaffold added to the inside of the lid rests on the interior foam ridge, providing the necessary cavity to accommodate the tops of the Christmas lights, which protrude higher than the picture frame. This scaffold creates top-end suspension and it gives the shallow crate additional rigidity.

The result is two sets of suspension, one for the bottom and one for the top, preventing the lights from hitting above and the back of the lights and cord from hitting below. The corners of the crate are stapled with medium crown, 2” staples, and the exterior is finished with a convenient handle.

In keeping with Klasson Services’ commitment to protecting the environment, the materials in both of these heirloom custom crates are recycled and recyclable.