My family has been using cloth bags to wrap gifts in since the Christmas that I was a year old and couldn't quite work out what to do with wrapping paper, so reusable wrappings are nothing new to me. All the present bags live in a drawer in my mother's dresser, and anytime there's a gift giving occasion in the family, everyone sorts through and picks out something the right size to hold whatever gift they're wrapping. Our Christmas tree ends up looking rather like this:
Of course, sometimes people have fun with it (I will always remember the year that my father made a box into a dragon with an old sock, a marker, plastic popcorn, and a cardboard roll neck) and sometimes we have strings that lead off to other parts of the house (like the freezer in the garage, the year my mother got an entire Baskin Robbins tub of her favorite ice cream) and I have a bad habit of doing things like wrapping handmade socks separately...
This year, the challenge for me was that I'd promised my brother a digital download of Spore, which was packaging free and economically responsible but left me with nothing to wrap. So I pulled out a few colors of yarn I'd just gotten in the little odd yarn ball swap, and made an electron:
I printed up a tag (on the back of a sheet of scrap paper, where it came out beautifully on the only part of the page that was blank on both sides) with a graphic from the gift tag downloads from Girl Genius
, a comic both my brother and I enjoy. Then I wrote up the other side of the tag, and played around with fonts to give it a similarly steampunky feel. (because, I mean, what other kind of labeling would you put on an electron, really?)
Here's a close-up of the label side (which sadly lost resolution when I copied it out of the PDF.)
And then I pulled out the one loop I hadn't cut on the electron, looped it through the hole I punched in the tag, and tucked the end back in with a yarn needle.
Here it is on the tree, hiding out from the cat and waiting for Christmas morning.
Of course, the ironic thing about all this is that when I went to do the download, it turns out that they still don't have digital downloads in Mac format, so I had to buy him the box edition after all.