A dog crate is designed as a refuge or transportation for your dog. If the dog associates the crate with pleasure you can build it out of just about anything.
Wooden dog crates are very popular and present a much more friendly environment for your pet. If you use wood, you probably will have all the tools you need. Wood feels warmer to a dog and has pleasant natural smells.
To make the dog crate have an open feel, you can use plastic or wire netting for the sides and top. Just make sure that there are no loose ends that could injure your pet.
To give added strength you can use metal angle iron to build the main frame of the dog crate.
Clear Plastic Sheet
To protect your pet from drafts you can build 1 or 2 sides of the crate with rigid plastic sheets. Clear plastic will let light in and let your dog see what is happening around him.
A crate for transporting your dog will need to be stronger but make it as light and as small as possible. A crate for the home only needs to make the dog feel safe and welcome.