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Left Christmas wrapping too late? We’ve got you covered… so to speak.

We feel your pain: it’s the night before Christmas, you’ve run out of wrapping paper and the situation looks bleak. Chances are, however, you’ve got everything you need right there at home.

No gift wrap? No problem! Road maps make beautiful substitutes for patterned wrapping paper. Just make sure you’re happy to part with them before you start cutting.

Newspaper is also a good option if you’re not willing to cut up any maps. Look for pages with feel-good stories (no depressing headlines on Christmas!) or go straight for the financial papers.

Remember that ribbon drawer you never open? Put the stockpile to good use and wrap small or awkwardly-shaped gifts in ribbon. Glue the ends together for longer strands and have fun mixing and matching colours.

Furoshiki is your friend. This Japanese practice of enfolding gifts in fabric instead of paper is perfect when you’re in a pinch. Use a scarf you don’t mind re-gifting, or cut up old fabric or tablecloths you can part with.

Wax paper (the kind you use for your kids’ sandwiches) can make a great stand-in for wrapping paper. Use several layers for a soft, diffused look and finish with a ribbon, string or washi tape.

Mandy Allen