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


                    
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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…

 

 

 

 

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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

IMG_5972

 

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.

IMG_1588

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

 

 

IMG_1631
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.

IMG_3333

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: , , , , , , , ,

Grab a signed copy of my new gift wrapping book ‘Giftwrapped’

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

Jane Means book signing

 

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!

 

photo 4

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

giftwrapped books copy

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).

 

gift wrapping expert

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.

 

choc amor lancashire

This is a dream come true and although I have aching hands from the book signings, I am smiling non stop!

Happy reading.

Jane x

 

Order your signed copy of Giftwrapped now

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