I will be the first one to admit that beautifully wrapped gifts aren't meant for everyone. I normally don't pull out all of the stops unless I know that the recipient will appreciate the work and style presented with an amazingly wrapped gift.
Yet, this doesn't excuse the gift giver from the responsibility of a nicely presented and wrapped package. Similarly, if you have a coordinated look under your holiday tree, you can still wrap a gift so that it blends with the other ornately wrapped gifts.
In other words, you can still wrap a gift for an age-appropriate recipient that looks good under your tree.
For the next two days, I will share how to turn an ordinary gift into a thoughtful gift that still matches your other gifts.
Wrap gift in base wrapping. In this case, I use craft paper once again.
Use a coordinating paper that you are using under your tree. Here, I chose to use the holiday themed paper as a belly band. Feel free to stop here or add a commercially manufactured bow. For little children, this can be sufficient.
Add some fun as appropriate. Here, I used baker's twine instead of ribbon. This is a great option for kids as you aren't using expensive ribbon that might not be appreciated. If you use twine, be sure to wrap around the gift several times in each direction so it doesn't seem to be an afterthought. You can stop here if you want. Even on this level be sure to make it look professionally wrapped by making sure that the loops are the same size. Similarly, make sure the tails are the same length.
Add additional embellishments as desired. Here a pair of jingle bells add a touch of shine that kids might enjoy.
Choose to add a personal touch/gift within the gift. In Japan, the gift wrapping is considered an added gift in addition to the item that is wrapped. Here is a handmade ornament that can be added to the tree if the recipient so desires. This ornament was made with sprinkles. The topping is modeling paste that has been adorned with sprinkles as well.
Wrapping Tip #1
If you were sloppy when folding/measuring the flaps, cover them up with the belly band. There is nothing in gift wrapping protocol that says the belly band has to run parallel to the flaps--even though most people wrap this way. Break the rules some times.