I’d like to apply a texture to a single 3D mesh, without having to break it down into individual 2D components. For example, I’m making a wall that uses a stone wall texture, but when I apply the material to the 3D mesh of the wall, it only tiles the texture on the top of the mesh, and stretches the edge pixels down the sides. I’d like the texture to wrap around the whole thing.
Check the manual for sections on UV mapping and unwrapping here.
To have control of how your textures are wrapped around your object I’d suggest looking at UV unwrapping. It can look complicated at first but is really quite straight forward.
wiki entry http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual/Textures/UV
some video tutorials http://www.blendercookie.com/category/all/tutorials/texturing/