I use Corel Draw which can be used for the laser cutter at TechShop (so can Adobe Illustrator)
I made simple rectangles for the top and the 4 sides. I have the clip art program so I looked under the "borders" files and found 2 designs to combined. One for an overall design and another for the center. Actually that center is a corner design that I duplicated and then flipped until I liked the way it looked.
I like transferring files to a thumb drive to take to TechShop. My husband prefers dropbox. We used both. (always nice to have a backup)
Corel duplicates easily by just hitting the 'control' key and 'd' at the same time.
Since we had particular pieces of wood scrap to use we lined up our design and set the parameters accordingly.
However, the TechShophttp://www.techshop.ws came to my rescue, because I could just take a short walk to the wood shop room turn on the big sander and file the short sides down just a little shorter to make them fit nicely.
I used a dremel to smooth out the holes.
My daughter said that the sticks wobbled and slanted in their holes and so the pops touched each other. She said the cardboard one seemed to have some sort of foam interior.
So I scrounged up a piece of styrofoam and cut it to fit underneath the boxes, taped it into place, and poked holes in it. Not pretty but it solved the problem, and I will replace it with nicer material, (and glue that in to place) but we had a party to get to.
I was at TechShophttp://www.techshop.ws Wednesday morning to etch and cut, and had this ready in time for the party Saturday night.