How I dealt with having my designs copied and copyright advice.

Creative industries in the UK annually bring in £71 billion pounds and this is growing by 10% each year. I am surrounded by creative people and designers, and one of the biggest concerns is copyright and IP issues (known as Intellectual Property),  so I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post sharing my own experience, with advice on how to deal with designs being copied.

I have always loved experimenting, designing and making my own things whether it be handmade cards, upholstery, calligraphy, textiles and crafts.  Having your designs copied when you’re in business can be a real time consuming and costly headache. As many of you will know, I have had several experiences of being copied and you dread the expense, legal fees, wasted man-hours and the huge effort to fight your case.

 

Author and designer Jane Means

Many small designers and businesses have shared similar experiences or asked for help. Even the big fashion houses who launch their new collections on the catwalk will have copycat designs out in days. This can sometimes be a positive thing, buyers may wish to try out the cheaper version, and may eventually buy the ‘real thing’.

 

So what do you do when you think your idea has been copied? Well in my case it was to talk it over with my family, friends and staff to see what their thoughts were incase I was over reacting. You will get an honest answer here, but I usually trust my own instincts. I would then seek some legal advice and look for help online.

Apple mac keyboard

Photo courtesy of tutsplus.com

 

My first experience of being copied was by a family friend. She had started her own gift wrapping service which I had no problem with (It’s a free world and I believe competition is healthy), however I was horrified to see the content of her website.  It had virtually been a copy and paste job directly from my own website.  I’ve also had experiences where photos of my work have appeared on competitors websites (I will talk to you about this later) and usually a short ‘to the point’ letter or phone call will rectify the situation.  Competition is healthy but copying isn’t.

Ribbon storage dispenser

I am a firm believer that those who work hard and put in the effort will get results.  As Theo Paphitis recently quoted at an awards event in Birmingham “You only get out what you put in”.  There is nothing like an original and when you see a copycat design, in my eyes it’s a second class product.

jan costantine

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Constantine

One classic case I regularly see is lookalike cushions from the Jan Constantine range.  Although her designs are very Union Jack (which you can’t copyright), they are unique in their own way and often copied. The company pretty much have a constant legal battle protecting their work.

 

Jane Means dogs and cats ribbon

My first legal case was with Berisfords Ribbons.  For years I had a really good relationship with them as one of their stockists.  I had designed a classic dog and cat ribbon for Liberty and decided to use Berisfords as my manufacturer. I gave them my artwork and had the range made.  Much to my horror, they produced their own designs a few months later.  They were so similar that it fooled most of the industry.  I took legal action and won my case.

Berisfords dog cat ribbon

Despite it being a costly and upsetting process, the main thing here for me was to hold my head up high, stay professional and keep designing.  We were inundated with emails and customer comments but for me it was the support of clients, customers and fellow ribbon competitors. My staff were also upset so it was crucial to stay calm and weather the storm. I am lucky to have a loyal following on Social Media who were very supportive, however I know of a company who had been copied and went to the extreme lengths of deactivating their social media accounts so their business activity could remain private, with competitors (and customers) being left in the dark.

 

I have worked in the gift industry for nearly 20 years and have heard so many stories with small designers finding their work copied and on the shelves of High Street stores.  I sat next to a buyer of a well known discount home store on a flight back from Hong Kong chatting away about my work.  Months later a customer got in touch congratulating me on stocking the chain, except that wasn’t the case.  This was a classic case of being copied.

Bookishly v marks-and-spencer

Louise Verity from Bookishly took on Marks and Spencers after seeing typographic arts prints similar to hers. After a series of lawyers letters, M&S claimed it was unfounded.  Rather than taking further action which would have been a financial nightmare, Louise used lawyers to highlight the experience on social media.  It got a lot of support from the public, press and the design community, but Marks & Spencer maintained their position. They said the product was a short print run and wouldn’t be reprinted. M+S eventually removed it from their website and sold through their stock.

Louise says “I’m not exactly happy with the situation, but I have come to accept that the best thing to do is to rise up and move on. Getting caught up in the unfairness of the situation isn’t going to get the creative juices going”.  I was mesmerised by Louise’s experience on the Folksy Blog and her feature has some great advice.

 

Jane Means and Dids Macdonald ACID

With my various experiences, It gave me food for thought so I decided to speak out and become an Anticopy campaigner helping other designers.  For this feature I have got together with a couple of top experts in this field.  Dids Macdonald (D) is the CEO of ACID and has had over 25 years experience in the design industry, and Niall Head Rapson (N) is a leading copyright lawyer for McDaniel and Co.  We filmed a feature together and here are some of the most common issues that designers can face.

 

How can designers protect their work if their budget is very small?

N: Most of the work that a designer creates does not require formal registration as it is automatically protected by Unregistered Design Right and Copyright You don’t have to pay any fees to protect your work.  What you must do though is make a thorough design history of your work and make sure the work is dated.  Ideally this should be by someone else.  A©ID, as part of their membership offer a Deposit Scheme where you send them your designs.  This is crucial to ensure you get an independent verification of a date before which the designs must have been created.

You can also registered your Designs and Brand names but these come at a cost.  A registered design will cost you a minimum of £60 and a trade mark a minimum of £200.

JM: As well as ACID, You will find lots of useful information on the UK Copyright Service website.

 

What do you do if someone asks to take a photograph of your work for exhibition stand?

 

N: Say no.  It is the easiest way for your designs to be published, sent around the world and copied.  If someone wants images of your products, ask them what they want them for.  If you think you want to send them some images then make sure you have all the details of the contact.  If they have your images and not theirs and you know who they are then you have more control over what they do with the images

 

D: Be very careful as designs can be the other side in seconds and on a production line in minutes so the word is caution.

 

JM: For me I would always ask for a business card.  Quiet often the photographer could be an admirer, blogger or journalist and it’s always a good idea to ask the permission before you snap away, whether you are on holiday or admiring someones work.

British ribbons wholesale

What can you do if you find your photograph on another website?

 

N: It is annoying especially if it is without your permission.  The first thing to do is to as the website to remove the image.  If they won’t do that, then you send what is called a “Take Down Notice” to the web host.  The web host will more often than not remove the offending web page.  This is because if they don’t they can be liable for the use of the photograph.

 

Is there an easy way you can track where your photographs are being used online?

 

N: There are some imaging software products available but ideally you need to make sure that you have a record of who you have given your images to, and more importantly told them what they can and cannot do with them.  If you can, make a secure area where someone needs a password to download images (such as Flickr) and have terms of use of the photograph

JM: There’s a great little app called Picnic that will easily find where your images are being used online. Photo sharing websites such as Pinterest will have a facility where you can report if your image is being used without your consent. A simple search on google images can soon pick out similar images as well as your own.

 

Deckchair stripe ribbons

 

When do you distinguish when something has been copied?

 

N: It is possible that someone has created something that is the same as yours but done so independently.  However, if the person who has the copy is someone you know or has seen your work because, for instance, they are a customer or they made an enquiry. then it is likely that they have copied your work.  In legal terms if they have had access to your design then it is for them to prove they did not copy your work

 

What is the first step to take once you realise that your design has been copied?

 

N: You need to write to them and let them know that you think they have copied your work.  Ideally this should come from a lawyer to make sure that you don’t make threats which you shouldn’t make.

 

D: First of all don’t panic, gather all your evidence for your design audit trail and try and buy a copy of the product, and obtain the receipt this is really important. You then need to get professional advice but you can do a lot yourself.

 

 

What is the process for taking legal action?

 

N: If they won’t stop or acknowledge you then you need to decide if you want to issue court proceedings.  You will need to have court papers drawn up which sets out your claim.

 

D: Normally a letter from your solicitor will do the trick highlighting the case. This can be sorted out of court with direct correspondence. Only a very very few cases actually go to the final court hearing

 

What type of costs are involved?

 

N: Well if it doesn’t involve Registered Designs or Patents you can use the IP Small Claims court which is cheaper.  It will also depend if you use a lawyer or not.  If you don’t use a lawyer it will cost up to £735 for the Court fee to start the claim.  If you use a lawyer then it can cost up to £10 000.  If you need to use the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court then the cost is up to £50k.

 

D: That really depends on how long the and the legal letters take to go backwards and forwards that’s why the first letter before action is really important so you got all the evidence is strong case and to put together side which can’t be legally challenged.

JM: The small claims court is the low-hassle way to take legal action for up to £10,000 against a firm or individual. You can represent yourself quite easily and the Citizens Advice Bureau can also offer additional support. I would strongly suggest that you use a solicitor to draft a strong letter at the start.  You will then appear serious with a legal team behind you.

goody bag ideas

Is it true there are seven points of difference?

 

N: No.  Each case is taken on the facts of the case.  What a Court looks for is if the essence of the design has been taken.  They look to find the intellectual skill and effort a designer has put into the design.  There can be one point of difference which defeats a claim or there can be 20 points of difference which make no difference to the Court.  Generally if you have a design that someone has set out to copy then you will have a strong case.  See the images in the Red Bus Case

 

What legislation is there to protect designers?

 

N: There are lots of Acts of Parliament and European Legislation which protects Designer interests.  Most of it is covered by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.  If you have registered trade marks or designs then these are covered by the Trade marks Act 1994 and the Registered designs Act 1949.  There was an Intellectual Property Act 2014 which brought in Criminal Sanctions for infringement of Registered Designs

 


brown paper gift wrapping

I am being followed on Pinterest and Twitter by my competitors should I block them?

 

N: It is up to you but if they copy you, then you will have proof that they have had access to your designs.  They will still be able to look at your designs on your web site, on any sites you sell on, or your stockists sites so blocking them isn’t going to stop them seeing your products, but it will make it easier to prove they know about you.

 

D: In one word yes

 

Are any rules or legislation coming into force to protect designer’s rights?

 

N: There is a lot out there already which covers you.  It would be nice if there were criminal sanctions for unregistered design right as there is for copyright.  There isn’t anything in the horizon at the moment that isn’t covered already

Can you insure yourself against copyright?

 

N: You can take out an insurance policy that will pay your legal fees if you are infringed.  A©ID have one of the best ones on the market for designers which pays out up to £100k to take legal action

 

D: Yes.  This is an exciting time because there is an insurance that’s just come in called  ACID IP Insured. We insure our cars, we insure our homes, we insure our possessions, so why not a business and future?

 

cat and dog ribbon

 

Everyone loves a story behind a product and for me when I am designing a new ribbon collection, I have usually been inspired by something I’ve seen or experienced.  The dogs and cats designs were from actual photos of pets belonging to my friends and family and made in to silhouettes.

 

Colours that I bring in to a collection can have a story too.  The fuschia designs were from a flower I’d photographed whilst on honeymoon in Tahiti, the vibrant dots and stripes from my favourite sweets, Liquorice Allsorts!

Jane Means Dotty Ribbons

 

Copying is often referred to as underlying form of flattery.  To me it is just lazy business behaviour, and I am really pleased to see that several High Street stores have signed up in support of the “Don’t copy it Campaign’ including John Lewis and Selfridges.

My biggest annoyance is participants who come on a gift wrapping workshop, and then turn around and start teaching that same course, with similar descriptions, price and content. They then start drifting on to the same websites and forums using identical keywords and hashtags. I have even had requests from people who want to ‘shadow’ a course for free before starting their own – unbelievable!

20 Years ago when my business was born there was no internet, It took me years of teacher training, researching the old fashioned way, course writing, long hours, unpaid work, sweat and tears to get the workshops off the ground.  I think it is now easier than ever to be copied and to be accused of copying in this digital age. Through the years I have kept a log of photos, notes, scrapbooks which not only bring back lots of great memories but acts as my IP proof.

On a final note, the best thing for me is that people fly from all over the world to come on the courses.  I am shortly starting my first creative classes in Singapore and the only way to carry on and strive ahead, is to be a leader, and not a follower.

 

 

Jane Means filming ACID feature

We’d love to hear any comments below.  For all other enquiries please email us directly at info@janemeans.co.uk

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Categories: Gift Wrapping Courses, Projects & Demos, Ribbon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Easter DIY Craft and Decorating Ideas

Here are some really quick and easy Easter DIY Craft ideas to make your home or dinner table a Spring masterpiece. I’ve rummaged my craft room and put together my 10 favourite decorating ideas…

 

pink speckled eggs

1. To make an easy Easter tree, fill a plant pot or attractive planter with soil or sand. Plunge twigs into the base and cover the soil or stand with straw or Moss.   You can then hang Easter egg decorations on to your new tree!

easter decorations

2. An Easter wreath is very versatile and doesn’t only have to be displayed on a door or wall. You can place the wreath flat in the middle of a dinner table which makes a great centrepiece.

easter wreath table

You can then place a plant, jug of flowers or bowl of eggs in the centre of the wreath

easter table setting

3. Add an instant spring theme to your dinner table by tying feathers, a fresh flower or foliage into your napkins with some strands of raffia or a length of ribbon

tissue pom pom

4. Pom poms can be easily made with a few sheets of tissue. For this project you will need roughly 10 sheets of tissue, some sharp scissors and some craft wire. They make an ideal decoration for the table, hanging from a chandelier or window (follow our step by step pom-pom tutorial)

Spring plants

5. Wrap up plants with small panels of fabric, netting or paper tablecloths and secure with ribbon or raffia.

ribbon flag

6. Make it quick and easy ribbon flags using kebab sticks and remnants of ribbon. These will look great added to plants or tied in to napkins.

Here we have used some Pink and Brown Stripe ribbon.

easter bulbs

7. Wrap spring bulbs in napkins or a kitchen cloth with ric rac for an inexpensive gift. These look great in an Easter basket for a neighbour or for place settings.

daisy party bags easter spring

8. If you are trying to cut costs or calories, you can bag up a small collection of home-made treats and tie with ribbon and a tag in some decorative cellophane bags.  The recipient will love this home made creation.

pink blue eggs

9. In a hurry to decorate your table? Place an elegant bowl in the centre of your table and add eggs, twigs and raffia. They can be artificial decorations or simply paint plain fresh eggs with a paint tester pot

 

Pink spot ribbon

 

10. Make some miniature bunting with a length of fine string or thread. Cut up small pieces of ribbon, at double sided tape and fold them in half over the string or twine. Cut the ends into an angle. This is ideal for decorating cakes and adding over small mirrors or a mantelpiece. It is also a brilliant way of using those small offcuts and roll ends of your favourite ribbon. In this project I have used some pink and white spotty ribbon

spring bunting

 

…or why not go larger in scale and make some of your own bunting. You can recycle duvet covers, bed sheets, tea towels and old napkins in this project.

easter chocolate bar

Don’t forget that I have some great ideas on my Spring and Easter Pinterest Board, and I’d love to hear what you are making over the Easter holidays!

Enjoy x

kraft LA stripe bags


                    
Categories: Easter, Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cool party favours and great goody bags

I remember as a kid, I loved going to friends parties and it was such a treat when we were presented with a goody bags (often stuffed full of sweets). Nowadays I am asked how to make wedding and party favours look fabulous, or have that last minute present I need to wrap super quick.

DIY gift bags

 

With just a few simple steps you can turn a simple paper bag into a gift wrapped creation

paper goody bags

I am often doing press launches or preparing giveaways for an event. It is usually quite last minute and I don’t have the time to be gift wrapping each pack individually.

pink party bags

With decorative paper bags you can just slot the gift or sweets inside

If you’re unsure what items to put in your goody bags, think about the recipients and have a budget in mind.  Immediately for children you may think of candy or sweets, but maybe a trip to the Pound Shop or Dollar Store will open your eyes.

 

If you are launching a new product as a business pop in a sample of what you are giving with a little bit of company information like a business card or a simple flyer.

Torie Jayne dognuts

If you’re selling something which is too expensive to give away like silver jewellery, you could always include an invitation to loan or try the product with a discount code to entice the buyer in mind, or make something edible with the same theme in mind

(I love these gluten free donuts by Torie Jayne)

block bottom paper bags

Once the item(s) inside, I tend to fold the top over neatly and secure using some Double Sided Tape

Here I have used some block bottom bags for more bulky gifts

yellow paper bags

 

Alternatively you could fold in the top corner at an angle in to the centre so it resembles an envelope shape.

Kate Landers doily bags

If you have decorative punches and scissors you could decorate the top of the bags. This is a great idea from Kate Landers Events

chevron paper bags

 

Turquoise paper chevron bags

I am a huge fan of colour and we have just got these funky chevron and stripe bags from LA.  I cannot wait to use them in my own projects and will try not to eat too many edible goodies in the process!

chevron party bags

 

Don’t forget this idea can soon be used for wedding favours and here I have done a version using some lace

paper bags and laceHere’s some more simple ideas that I have used with some ribbon remnants and decorations – Ideal from anything from Fathers Day to a last minute Valentine surprise.

monochrome paper bags

 

If you buy something in a non branded paper bag, reuse it and do a bit for the planet.

Happy Wrapping x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Father's Day, Projects & Demos, Uncategorized, Valentine, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 recycling & eco friendly gift wrapping ideas

I’m often asked about recycling tips and eco friendly gift wrapping ideas, so I decided to dedicate a chapter in my book ‘Giftwrapped‘ about it. It is also an important part of my business so we recycle everything from ribbon spools, packaging and remnants.

financial times gift wrapping

Although I’m not a hoarder, I hate throwing away small offcuts, leftovers and remnants so here’s my top ten gift wrapping ideas to help the planet.

Fabric wrapping

Fabric leftovers

1. If you’ve got to tackle an awkward shape, raid your sewing stash and use a fabric remnant. Here I’ve used a thick linen and frayed the edges by hand, adding a luxury ribbon and embellishment to wrap a vintage vase.

 

pleated ft gift wrapping

Pleating leftover newspaper

2. Give boxes the luxurious touch by pleating a leftover Financial Times newspaper.  Use double sided tape for a professional finish.

To pleat the paper you make small folds in the paper (ensuring they are straight) and add some sticky tape to the reverse to avoid the paper stretching when you start wrapping the box. (There’s an easy step guide in my book)

dvd roses

Wrapping plants

3. When gift wrapping a plant, use a fabric remnant or a used (but clean) paper tablecloth.

These are both flexible for awkward shapes and are suitable for a damp base as the moisture will soak in to the wrapping.

 

recycled gift wrapping ideas

Adding Sticks and feathers

4. For a rustic finish add in sticks and feathers to your gifts collected on country walks using brown paper with raffia or string.

You can also recycle creased or used brown paper and this is a suitable style when wrapping gifts for men.

egg box eco gift wrapping

Pop small gifts in to empty egg boxes

5. Empty egg boxes can be decorated and are perfect for small gifts, chocolates or soaps.  Add a band of decorative paper or fabric and tie a bow to finish

wrapping a magazine subscription

Use old scarves for that element of luxury

6. I love the Japanese form of fabric wrapping (known as Furoshiki).  Old silk scarves make great wrapping for awkward shapes.

In this project we’ve rolled up a magazine with a subscription and tied it neatly in a scarf.

eco friendly gift wrapping idea

Joining paper leftovers

7. If your paper isn’t long enough to go around a large box, join an extra piece and cover the join with ribbon.

This looks very creative if you mix 2 opposite papers and is ideal for using those short leftovers you would normally throw away.

A roll of brown paper is an ideal paper that goes with most colours and designs.

music paper gift wrapping

 

Scrolls and straws

8. Small scraps of paper such as music sheets can be easily added as a decoration. Roll them up with a paper straw underneath and tie in with ribbon.

Eco wrapping tips

Tie in fragrant herbs and foliage

9. Add an extra sense by tying in fragrant herbs or foliage. The most suitable for gift wrapping are Rosemary, Bay, Laurel and Ivy.

You can also write on foliage to make rustic gift tags too.

 

paper cones

10. Paper cones can easily be made with vintage music script and are perfect for children parties, sweets and snacks.

If you wish to giveaway a small gift, the cone can be sealed at the top with some skinny ribbon.

 

I would love to hear about any of your own recycling projects and hope you will now look through your garbage with new eyes!

 

Happy wrapping…

 

 

 

 

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ribbon Bunting: DIY Craft Tutorial

Here’s a quick and easy ribbon bunting DIY craft tutorial for you, which will only take around 10 minutes to make

Pink spot ribbon

Its now time to raid the drawers and find those roll ends and remnants of fabric and ribbon.
This is a wonderful craft project to spruce up a basket of flowers, a cake or a table decoration.
 ribbon bunting 0
In this project I have only used some double sided tape, sharp scissors and around half a metre of fuchsia dotty ribbon with a couple of kebab sticks and thread.
I have used raffia in this project to be different!
 ribbon bunting 1
Add some double sided tape at the top of each kebab stick and wind around the ends of the raffia
ribbon bunting 3
Cut your ribbon into small pieces approximately 6-7cm long
 ribbon bunting 4
Add double sided tape on the reverse of the ribbon
ribbon bunting 5
Fold the ribbon in half over the raffia so it sticks together
 ribbon bunting DIY craft project
With a sharp pair of scissors, cut the ends of the ribbon into angles
Jane Means ribbon bunting
Your decoration is now ready to use. Just plunge the kebab sticks into plants or a cake. You can also use paper straws as an alternative to kebab sticks.
cake bunting by zoomyummy.com
Photo courtesy of www.zoomyummy.com
bunting by thetomkatstudio.com
Photo courtesy of www.thetomkatstudio.com
We would also like to thank Clifton Nurseries for allowing us to use their beautiful venue for the shoot.
Even the resident cat Mrs Miggins popped along to see what all of the fuss was about and joined in!
Mrs Miggins at Clifton Nurseries Cat
Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Make Ric Rac Flowers: DIY Craft Project

ric rac flower tutorial

I love the quirky look of ric rac and after lots of requests, I finally decided to stock it a couple of years ago. For me it is not an ideal ribbon choice in gift wrapping as I haven’t mastered how to tie a bow with it yet.

ric rac sets

With Valentines Day approaching I decided to try something new, and the great thing is that you can make these super cute flowers, just by using a small length of ric rac.

This was the first time I had a go at this and used approx. 80cm of trim

red ric rac copy

Ideally you will need a sewing machine, or you can hand sew instead.  You’ll also need a needle and thread.

 

With your 80cm length fold it in half in the centre

ric rac project

 

 

Lay the ric rac like this and you will need to either hand stitch ot machine stitch all the way along one edge.  This will hold the 2 layers together.

ric rac red

Start with the 2 rough ends (not the folded in half end) curling them very tight to form the centre of the flower.

ric rac idea

As you go along hand stitch underneath to keep the flower together (pins may help)

 

When you get to the end you may want to cover the base with a small piece of felt with a glue gun.

ric rac rose

You can them add it to a gift, headband, or piece of clothing with a safety pin

pink ric rac flower

Or how about adding it to a necklace or make it in to a funky ring?

Photo courtesy of thecraftingchicks

pastel ric rac

Photo courtesy of Craftgawker

If you have any other great uses for ric rac we would love to hear from you

Also don’t forget that I will be gift wrapping and doing lots of crafty projects live on Create on Craft TV (channel 36) on February 27th at 4pm

white red gift wrapping

Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Projects & Demos, Spring, Valentine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Make your own gift hampers with this basket weaving DIY tutorial

I love to give gift hampers and whilst on a recent trip to the Yasawa Islands, I was lucky enough to see an inspiring basket weaving demonstration which really grabbed my attention.

Tokoriki beach Fiji

I am a huge fan of botanical prints and anything natural and luckily I had a camera to hand to cover this amazing project.

plam trees

I was so impressed that I started having crazy ideas about running my gift wrapping courses in a tropical climate covering gift hampers with a bit of basket weaving thrown in!

photo 2-1

The basket was made out of part of a palm tree leaf, and I realise that sadly many of us don’t have access to a palm tree in the back garden.

photo 1-1

Firstly you cut approximately one third of the bottom of the leaf including stem (you will need a really large carving knife for this so it’s not something you can easily take away on holiday to do this!)

basket making

The palm leaf will consist of a thick stem with a row of leaves either side. You will start on the first side of the leaf brading in leaves in 3′s working your way along. Suni our lovely demonstrator made this look so easy!

basket weaving

It will resemble a really clean herringbone pattern as shown here.

weaving palm leaves

You will then repeat the same the opposite side.

weaving a fresh basket

With both sides of the leaf now braided you will need to bring the two edges together. You will then start braiding this all the way across.
palm tree leaf weaving
You will then plait the two ends of the leaf (as you would long hair) then cut the ends neatly.

photo 1-3

It will now resemble an oval weaves balloon shape. Take the carving knife and cut out the middle of the stem along the leaf.

fresh basket weaving

 Some of the stem will remain each side to act as a border.
basket weaving

 

Bring the 2 long plaited ends together and double knot the ends together so you have a good size handle
The middle stem that has been cut out  but can also act as a shoulder axel to carry the basket if it’s heavy.
fresh basket weaving

 

Even though I don’t currently live in a tropical climate, I love this idea and it would be a great hamper idea filled with fresh fruit or to store towels in a guest room
You can also use it as a base for a hamper and add some clear cellophane and raffia to decorate. You will find some hamper ideas in my book ‘giftwrapped
palm tree bowl
I also noticed lots of other ideas on Pinterest including a fresh bowl made from palm tree leaves (courtesy of Erin Bouma)

palm tree wreath

Another idea is a neat woven door wreath (courtesy of Crafty and Beyond ) and I love the one below by  Coastal Living

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 20.57.45

 

After the hectic 2014, I had a thoroughly good holiday and have come back ready to face the world.

This is another exciting year with lots in the pipeline and we will keep you posted!

 

jane means blog copy

 

From myself and my team we would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2015

Jane x

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to tie the perfect bow in gift wrapping

One of the most asked questions I get asked on our gift wrapping workshops is “How do you tie the perfect bow?”.  We all have our own way of tying a shoelace or a bow and through my experience of teaching gift wrapping, I’ve found it’s very hard to change your technique after tying the same bow all of your life

tying a bow

I did a day skipper sailing course several years ago and thought the knot tying part would be so easy.  To my horror I failed my knot exams and was all fingers and thumbs. Although I had to resit the exam, it gave me food for thought and made me realise that many people will struggle to tie the perfect bow.

 

I have seen so many ways of tying a bow and my advice is to use the same technique that you’ve used all of your life with a couple of changes that will help you enormously.  Many of us tie a loop at a time, however some will form 2 loops and tie them together (known as the bunny ears).  During my workshops I have seen many different techniques and everyone can tie the perfect bow.

the perfect bow

The ideal bow should resemble a perfect angled letter ‘X’ so it is a good idea to imagine this X and follow the outline as you are tying your bow.  The 2 loops should be at 10 and 2 o’clock and the 2 tails should sit at 8 and 4 o’clock.

ribbon bow

The critical point is the part just before you pull the bow tight. Take a pause and look at the outline of your bow.  This will give you a chance to re arrange the bow so the loops and tails are in the correct position. If your bow looks messy or out of proportion, if you rush ahead and pull the bow tight it will still look a mess and out of proportion.

Turquoise ribbon

Another helping hand is to choose a double sided ribbon that has the same finish on both sides. Many of my students say that tying a wired ribbon is a lot easier. If you are working with a printed ribbon like this turquoise spotty design, ensure that you twist the ribbon to the correct side as you tie your bow.

For lots more bow techniques and gift wrapping projects, grab a signed copy of my new book ‘giftwrapped

Happy bow tying!

 

Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Join Jane Means at the Giftwrapped book launch

In a few weeks my new book giftwrapped will be launched to the world and going on sale worldwide.

giftwrapped book isbn1909342564

Many people have not wanted to wait until the end of November when it hits the shops, so I’ve had a busy couple of weeks signing copies and personally gift wrapping each one that has been ordered from our own website at Jane Means HQ.

Giftwrapped Christmas present

 

I have been overwhelmed with the orders and feedback from readers. On our first day of delivery a lady rang from Denmark to order, and the next call was someone wishing to order 6 signed copies of Giftwrapped…Incredible!

Giftwrapped book launch

Interviews, signing events and book launches are lined up in November so it’s a busy month ahead, plus we are doing our Christmas Fairs around the country, where I will be doing gift wrapping masterclasses and book signings.

giftwrapped country

 

Our book launch in London will be taking place in the fashionable Notting Hill and we are giving away 2 VIP tickets for you and a friend to attend on November 17th. We are also giving away a personally signed copy of the book to the lucky winner.  Just head over to our Facebook page with a chance to win this incredible prize that cannot be bought.

giftwrapped pleating

I have loved putting together this book with many interesting and funny tales from behind the scenes. You can tune in to me chatting about my book launch to Nicola Gilroy on BBC Lincolnshire on November 19th at 2pm, as well as Gulf Radio and a few others in the pipeline.

JaneMeans Twitter

If you have read the book I would love to hear your comments and don’t forget you can grab a signed copy now with 10% discount.  Just enter promo code bkt14 at checkout at www.janemeans.com

BBC1

 

On a final note, I was recently on a new BBC1 television series called Home away from home. You will get an insight in to my personal life, bijou London home and pet hates. If you are in the UK you can view it on BBC iplayer until November 15th

 

Categories: Christmas, Gift Wrapping Courses, Gift Wrapping Service, Luxury Wrap & Stationery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gift Wrapping and DIY Craft Projects for Halloween

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If you’re heading off to any Halloween parties this season, here’s a really clever decorating idea.  I have chosen some Orange tissue. To add depth and luxury to the gift wrapping, I have pleated the wrap and you can find out how to do this on page 48 of my new book Giftwrapped 

jane means orange wrapping

 

I decided to mix two ribbons together, a black stitched grosgrain and a narrow saffron stitched ribbon.  These can be stuck together using Double Sided tape.

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halloween gift wrapping

 

To add some extra fun I found a tub of plastic toy spiders and these are great.  They are inexpensive and can be tied on with ribbon or added in to a hamper. If you have a basket of sweets for trick or treaters these too can be added as an extra decoration.

rolls of orange tissue

For Halloween it’s a good idea to make some easy decorations with tissue. (You will love our tissue as it’s not in packs but rolled so you get crisp sheets without any creases)

orange tissue pom pom

To decorate your home or party you can make some tissue pom poms.  They are quick, easy and inexpensive and I have just used a single sheet of tissue to make the pom pom above. Find out how to make your own DIY Tissue Pom Pom right here on my blog.

The orange stripe paper bags also make great favour bags or for bagging up sweets for trick or treat callers

 

 

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Here I have made my own gift bags with wallpaper and teamed it with some rich copper wired ribbon and dried orange slices, perfect for Autumn gifts.

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Give simple brown paper boxes some jazz by adding lengths of  vibrant orange ric rac.  This will look great teamed with a black paper too.

halloween ribbon sm

Finally here’s the chance to win a pack of our very own British made 1″ wide Halloween ribbon. Just leave us a Halloween comment in the box below telling us what you would use the ribbon for (we love hearing your ideas!)

The winner will be chosen on Tuesday 28th October

Good luck folks x

 

ps. On my next blog post I will be sharing photos of my forthcoming giftwrapped book launch in London for the industry and press.
Don’t forget you can grab your own pre publication signed copy with a 10% promo code (see my previous blog post).

 

 

 

Categories: Halloween, Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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