Gift wrapping with Yarn

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They say it is better to give than to receive, but you know what is better than giving? Getting crafty! I have nearly as much fun wrapping gifts as I do giving them, usually personalizing it somehow to the recipient. But that can be a little too much of a time drain this time of year so Wrennie and I set up a production line to get the first of our gifts wrapped up and ready to give.
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It all started with two standard rolls of yarn, but if you want to customize your gifts to any specific color scheme it doesn't come easier than using wool. The sky is the limit with color choices!
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My only investment in our gift giving this year was a set of pom pom makers. 
Where have these been all my life? They are little rainbows of pure happiness! The whole set was around $5 and it allows you to make different sizes of pompoms. I won't go through the specifics because I am sure there are different techniques and ways to use different makers, but once you do one you are a pro.
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I made some big, some small, some a little fuller, some a little thinned out, and even a couple multicolored. It is addicting! The only thing you want to make sure and do to save yourself some trouble is to leave the ends of the piece you use to tie it together instead of trimming them off. This is what we will use tie them to our gifts.
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For the wrapping paper I just used standard Kraft paper. I pick up a giant roll every so often and that usually lasts me a few years. But to add some extra umphf  I 'wove' more yarn around the gifts. This is just one piece I wrapped around the present 5 or 6 times, then I wrapped it the other direction the same number of times, weaving it as I did the second go round.
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All tied up! I like to think of it as extra protection from little fingers getting into them early.  Wren's favorite part after making the pompoms was showing me where she wanted me to tie them on the parcels.
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For smaller gifts (or for the gifts you wrap after your third glass of wine) I just wound the yard around. I actually like this look a little more!
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Different shapes, sizes and color combos.
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Now I just need to round up some more boxes so I can get the rest of my wrapping done! 
(when did stores stop giving these? I miss those days!!)
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Fast, Easy (and free!) giftwrap Idea

There are going to be a lot of gifts to wrap, package, put under the tree or ship in the near future. I will admit, I am one of those people who enjoy wrapping a gift up beautifully almost as much as I enjoy giving it. And I have learned that everyone loves opening a special package! To make those packages a little more charming this season I am going to be passing on store bought tissue paper or packing peanuts for filler, instead I decided to make my own.

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The best part is that it is easy, free and only requires a book, scissors and your hands. I bought this old book, which was missing some pages, for about 10 cents a couple years ago to do all my book page ornaments (click here to check it out), then last year I used it again for these tins. This 10 cent book has been used in countless crafts, I would recommend to everyone that they have at least one old book on hand for various crafts.

I ripped out 2 or 3 pages at a time and simply cut them into very narrow strips. The more pages you can cut at once the faster this will go. And the strips don't have to be perfect or too straight. I just eye balled it. I thought about throwing them into the paper shredder but I wanted really really fine little strips for this and mine isn't all that fine but if you had a lot to make that would save time!
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Once you have a little pile of strips just ball them up in your hands a few times to crinkle them and soon you have a little pile like this.
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I made a bunch to pack up Wren's teacher's gift. It's especially fitting for teachers or those who love to read, and a great way to make sure any delicate treasures make it to school in one piece after being transported by busy little people.
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After taping up the box I decided to monogram some craft paper with the teacher's initial. It was a really fast craft (under 5 minutes from start to finish) and an easy way to show a little extra appreciation with a personal touch.

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Quick Gift

Most years I am that person who has great intentions to get everything wrapped and ready by mid December but always seem to end up hunting down that last minute gift for someone on the 22nd or so. This year I worked extra hard to make it really happen and for the first time I succeeded. By avoiding the malls at this chaotic time of year I have had a little time to also get creative, and maybe this will help you out of needing to hit the stores yet again!
I read an interesting article recently regarding gifts and how much to spend. It seems that most people don't have any more gratification from a gift just because it cost more. Good news for those of us who like to do homemade Christmases. One gift in particular that I find difficult to find with short notice is a hostess gift. The token bottle of wine is pretty standard but if I have time I like to get a more personal item. If I don't have time I like to jazz it up with a small box and one of these:

I picked up a big box of horse shoes a few years back for a couple bucks but I've seen them since at western stores and at Lee Valley. With a whimsical linen bow tied on and a random item from my treasure jar sewed on (in this case a rainbow color pompom) it is a great box topper, or stand alone gift to bring luck to the recipient.
And who doesn't want more luck? I know they've brought me some since I have saved both money and a trip to the mall!
Proof for Sean that my random purchases and boxes of "junk" all have a purpose!
PS- You may have noticed that I have started tagging my photos. It isn't because I think they are super awesome, but because some lovely readers have taken the time to email me and let me know that a lot of my photos are turning up on Pinterest and other blogs and are being credited back to another blog. One blog even had my photos as their header! So hopefully this will cut down on confusion for innocent bloggers who think they are crediting the right site, and THANKS to all you awesome scouts who let me know~