Here’s a quick and easy ribbon bunting DIY craft tutorial for you, which will only take around 10 minutes to make
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.
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
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
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.
Start with the 2 rough ends (not the folded in half end) curling them very tight to form the centre of the flower.
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.
You can them add it to a gift, headband, or piece of clothing with a safety pin
Or how about adding it to a necklace or make it in to a funky ring?
Photo courtesy of thecraftingchicks
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
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.
I am a huge fan of botanical prints and anything natural and luckily I had a camera to hand to cover this amazing project.
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!
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.
It will resemble a really clean herringbone pattern as shown here.
You will then repeat the same the opposite side.
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!
From myself and my team we would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2015
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
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 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.
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.
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!
In a few weeks my new book giftwrapped will be launched to the world and going on sale worldwide.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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)
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
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.
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).
We’re delighted to have taken delivery of the new book Giftwrapped, and now have our first orders coming in.
We had queues pre-ordering the gift wrapping book at the Handmade Fair last week, and have had people calling from as far away as Sweden wishing to secure a signed copy before it’s launched to the world
Publication date isn’t until November 20th but you can get your very own signed copy now, and all early bird orders received by October 7th will be personally ‘giftwrapped’ by my own fair hands. I thought it would be a nice extra touch seeing as that is the title!
You’ll also be entitled to a 10% discount on our website at www.janemeans.com
Just enter promo code bkb14 at checkout to get it for the special price of £18
Every copy will be signed and I’m also very happy to write a small personal message (do be warned that I am on the road running Gift Wrapping Courses and shows from mid October until Christmas so there may be a little wait during this period).
I feel totally blessed for the endeless support I’ve had whilst writing my first book and would love to hear any comments from those of you who’ve ordered a first copy of Giftwrapped.
This is a dream come true and although I have aching hands from the book signings, I am smiling non stop!
For years this has been a dream. To put all of my creative ideas in to my very own Gift Wrapping Book.
I’ve been approached by others, but wanted to write my signature book, with a specific look and feel, oozing with beautiful photography and simple steps.
I approached one publisher only, one whos books I buy, read and admire, and one who was highly recommended by other authors. It was Jacqui Small.
After several meetings and shoots, my book idea was sent off to the book fairs in New York and Frankfurt. I had to wait patiently to see what the reaction was.
Last December whilst I was in an ITV dressing room waiting to go on air with Paul O’Grady, I got the news that I had been praying for all year. I had landed a worldwide book deal.
On my return from honeymoon, I realised that I had no time to spare. I had 5 weeks to put it all together, and headed up to Lincolnshire to write it, with my staff around me so I could focus without any distractions.
I had to be ready with all of the products, ideas and content ready for the four photo shoots totalling 11 long days. This was my first book and it was mentally exhausting.
Luxury marble papers were flown in from Florence, and all of our suppliers worked in record time to meet the tight deadline
The team and myself had great fun during the shoots, re arranging, styling, and getting the finishing touches perfect. Little did I realise that the area in Clifton Nurseries where we shot the majority of the book, would end up being my London ribbon shop.
Although the book will be launched in November, we’ve managed to secure some pre publication copies and we will keep you updated when you can grab one of the first copies before it’s launched to the world. If you don’t want to miss out leave us a comment below and we’ll ensure you get a newsletter about it.
In the meantime here’s an insight and press release of the gift wrapping book from my publisher Jaqui Small…
Published by Jacqui Small | £20.00 | 20th November 2014 | Hardback
In this digital age, anything tangible somehow feels more significant or appreciated, and nowhere is that more evident than in the world of paper and giftwrapping. Wherever you look, blogs or magazines offer ideas for enhancing a humble gift by embellishing it with vintage or reused materials.
Giftwrapped builds on this trend, but takes it to a new and much more luxurious level while still keeping it real. ‘Gift Wrap Guru’ Jane Means, who wraps for the stars, royalty and high-end companies, offers her signature style and personal take on wrapping any present so that it is transformed into a gloriously gorgeous gift. Whether it’s a simple box, a tube or an awkwardly shaped tin, Giftwrapped describes how to achieve wrapping perfection with simple step-by-step instructions and Jane’s myriad tips, so that you can learn what really works for impact and elegance.
The personal touch is Jane’s forte along with an innate thriftiness. She’ll show you her ‘tricks’ on how to upcycle vintage treasures and reuse unusual wrapping papers, such as sheet music and old maps, to the best effect, as well as how to choose the perfect style for the gift’s recipient.
All projects are shown with clear and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. Giftwrapped delivers inventive ideas and designs along with the all-important know-how, so that you can create your own magical parcels whatever the occasion or celebration whether Christmas, birthday or wedding favour.
You’ve bought the gift and have found a nice little box to pop it in but have no idea how to do the tissue bit. This is something I am always asked to cover on my gift wrapping workshops and when I trained the staff in Harrods recently, they were desperate to find a quicker way, so here’s help at hand…
You will need to find a box to house for product or gift and in this project I am using one from our Turquoise Gift Box Sets. I love this colour as it’s suited to any occasion or genre and the recipient will be able to use gift boxes again and again for storage.
You will need a sheet of tissue and some ribbon as we are going to give it a surprise bow detail inside
Firstly you need to measure the inside of the box (3 sides) with ribbon and then add about an extra 20cm for the bow. This will be enough ribbon to tie a single bow around the gift.
Place your cut length of ribbon inside the box
Fold your tissue so it is slightly narrower than the box. I keep the box at the side of the tissue as a visual guide (you will then measure the correct amount). Fold under any edges to give a polished finish.
Place the folded piece of tissue on top of the ribbon
Add another sheet(s) of tissue and scrunch it in to a cushion and place in the box.
In this case I have used a China Mug from Beverley Hewitt and ensuring there is plenty of padding around it
Fold the 2 sides in neatly. If the sides are too long you can cut them down or fold them under for a polished finish.
Even if you’re giving a small inexpensive gift, popping it in a gift box and following these easy steps will give it a luxurious finish and look like that you’ve spent a lot more on the purchase and thought.
Finally decorate your gift box to give it that really luxury element with inexpensive embellishments and Teal wired ribbons. The recipient will love it!
I am a huge fan of gift boxes as they’re so handy for storing nick nacks, make up and jewellery.
If you’re wrapping a large item such as a tea set, follow these instructions and add a band of paper around the large box to make it look more balanced.
I would love t hear what you are all wrapping, and my next post will be about my forthcoming ‘giftwrapped’ book!
We are often faced with gift wrapping awkward shapes, and something that has always been a challenge is tying a bow around something fragile or flexible