Your children are nestled all snug in their beds … which, this time of year, only means one thing. You and your better half are frantically wrapping presents under a cover of darkness. But like all the best-laid plans, yours is bound to run into a few glitches. So whether you run out of tape, bows or need to wrap that odd-sized gift, we’ve got the tricks that’ll get you through. Scroll down to see them all.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

1. Use a TP Roll to Create a Perfect Petite Package

Whether you want to wrap up a few Minifigs or a random assortment of Shopkins for your kidlet, small boxes are hard to come by. When you’re fresh out, use a finished toilet paper roll instead. To transform one into a DIY box, fold down one side and tape it. Throw in your little treasure and then fold and tape the other side. Finish it off with baker’s twine and a small bow, and it’ll be the cutest package your mini-me unwraps all season.

2. Upcycle Foil & Plastic Wrap Boxes for Treats

Start saving your waxed paper and aluminum foil boxes now, because they’ll come in handy when you need extra baked-goods boxes to deliver decadent treats to everyone on your “nice” list this year. Aunt Peaches has the low down on this DIY cookie-packaging hack.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

3. Use Cereal Boxes in Place of a Gift Bag

Gift bags are your total go-to when it comes to wrapping packages for your sidekick. No wonder you run out so quickly! To DIY one in a crunch, grab a cereal box from the pantry, and cut out the top or side (depending on the shape of your gift). Then wrap it with your favorite holiday paper (remember to leave the opening exposed), punch holes in the top and thread yarn or ribbon through to finish it off. It’s a super cute, not to mention sturdy, trick you’ll use again and again!

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

4. Never Lose Your Tape Edge Again!!

If you find yourself constantly searching for that impossible-to-find end of the loose clear tape roll (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t), use a bag clip to hold your place. It’s almost too easy!

5. Use Grocery Bags for Elegant Wrap

Yours don’t have to be tied up with string, but when you’ve worked through that last roll of your wrapping paper stash, brown grocery store bags come in handy. Cut the seams so that the bag lays flat; then use it to wrap your best holiday finds. Bonus points if your grocery bag already has pre-printed winter scenes on it!

6. Use Double-Sided Tape

Seams on your holiday packages are so last year. Give your gifts that “wrapped at the mall” look by using double-sided tape where the wrapping paper overlaps. It’s so clean your little elves will think you’re magic!

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

7. And When You Run Out of Tape, Try This

When your clear tape roll fails you, sift through your craft box to find some alternatives. Festive stickers, photo mount tape, and even glue dots can keep your packages wrapped just as easily as standard tape. Give them a try!

8. Wrap Odd-Shaped Items in a DIY Gift Bag

There’s always that one gift that doesn’t fit any bag, box or sack you have. Tackle it like a pro by fashioning a perfectly-sized gift bag using the wrapping paper you have on hand. Learn how by watching this short video. Pure genius!

9. Color Code the Wrapping Paper By Kid

Color-code all your holiday packages to make it easy for non-readers to pass out gifts on the big morning. To try this trick at home, assign each family member a color or wrapping paper pattern. Then wrap all the presents accordingly. No need for gift tags here!

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

10. Make a Glitter Bow with Tape

You might reconsider ever buying another bow again after trying out this glittery trick to use when you’re low on ribbon. Stick double-sided tape onto your wrapped gift in a pattern that’s typically reserved for curl-able ribbon (think: cross, t-shape or even dapper double parallel lines). Then simply roll the package in a colorful glitter of your choice, give it a quick tap, and voila, you’ve got a sparkly finish to your gift. Psst … this is especially stunning on solid colored papers.

11. Trade Chips for Cookies

You’ve got the perfect excuse to finish off that can of Pringles that’s been calling your name from the pantry (you’re welcome). Use it to stack your baked goods for teachers, neighbors, and friends this holiday season. Watch this easy-to-follow vid to get the deets. Bake on!

Which one will you try this season? Share your thoughts in a comment.

— Allison Sutcliffe

featured image: Ben White via Unsplash