I was inspired by a post on the Dollar Stretcher forums about DIY stocking stuffers to make a few "mug rugs" for Christmas, then got a little carried away. The upshoot of it was this heart mug rug, published by Favecrafts.com
Cute Heart Mug Rug
Which brings me to the point of this post: Making quick gifts and stocking stuffers for Christmas. Knitting, crocheting or sewing are all pretty quick and can use salvaged or second hand materials, even when making gifts. It's really hard to tell whether a yarn or piece of material has been used for something else before or has been stuck in the back of someone's closet for ages.
How to get that material or yarn? Check thrift stores, of course, but if you don't see skeins of yarn for a low price, look at the sweaters on the racks. The yarn in hand made sweaters can be ripped out, washed and used again. Wash it by hand and wind it into a loop, then weight it and let it hang to dry.
No material for sale there? Look at their sheets! If you can find a good quality sheet, there is a lot of material in it. Don't overlook full skirts, bedspreads or anything else that has a lot of material.
Wash material and use a vinegar rinse to help ease old fold or pleat lines. If that doesn't do it, iron the piece, misting with a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water. The smell will disappear quickly.