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!

 

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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

 

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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).

 

 

 

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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

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A peek inside the new Jane Means gift wrapping book ‘giftwrapped’

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.

Jane Means book Giftwrapped cover

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.

giftwrapped papers moodboard

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.

handmade gift bags

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

giftwrapped book

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…

 

 

giftwrapped book by Jane Means

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.

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Gift Wrapping Project – Lining gift boxes with Tissue and Ribbon

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…

 

turquoise stacked gift boxes

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.

Turquoise trio box set

You will need a sheet of tissue and some ribbon as we are going to give it a surprise bow detail inside

gift boxes turquoise

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

Turquoise Gift 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

Gift Boxes Turquose

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

Turquoise tissue and box

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.

Gift Box Set

Tie a bow to finish and add a tag if you wish.  I have used a length of our Pink Gingham Ribbon and a Small white tag which I have punched by hand with a lace detail. (Available from The Range)

turquoise gift boxes

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.

Christmas gift boxes

 

Finally decorate your gift box to give it that really luxury element with inexpensive embellishments and Teal wired ribbons.  The recipient will love it!

gift boxes

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!

Categories: Gift Wrapping Courses, Gift Wrapping Service, Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Spring, Tips + Techniques, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gift wrapping awkward shapes with a tailored ribbon bow

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

 

gift wrapping biscuits

If you tried to tie a bow around a silk scarf wrapped in tissue, or a pile of delicate biscuits, it would crumple up and be hard work to tie, so here I am going to show you a simple and effective ‘tailored ribbon bow’ technique using some classic Black stitched ribbon.
Black stitched ribbon
It is really popular with mail order companies as it travels extremely well and you only need to use a minimum amount of ribbon.
Jane Means Gift Wrapping
To make this bow you will only require a reversible ribbon and some Double sided tape. In this DIY project I am going to add the bow around a gift voucher placed in an envelope
You will firstly cut a small piece off the end of the roll and this will need to be approximately three times the width of the ribbon (if your ribbon is 1 cm wide you will need to cut off 3 cms). Add double sided tape along this small piece that you have cut off.
Black stitched ribbon project

 

Next you need to add a small piece of double sided tape at the end of the roll.  You’ll now need to roll the ribbon into a circle and stick so it now looks like a figure of ’9′
Black ribbon DIY bow project
Squeeze the circle and add a small sticky piece in the centre, sticking the sides around the back.
Finally you will measure your ribbon by going around the item ensuring there is a slight overlap of approximately 2 inches (5cms).
grey stitched
You can also add more than one bow to give an eye-catching and luxurious effect.  Here I have pleated the paper Japanese style.
bow ribbon belt
And I love the simplicity of this white leather bow belt, such a timeless piece.
pastel gift wrapping
I’ve decorated a Mother’s Day gift in scented floral drawer liners and added some lace along with this simple bow to give the gift wrapping a chic statement.
cake bow
This is also a great technique to decorate a cake, and here I have layered a couple of ribbons for a dramatic effect for the forthcoming Cake and Bake Show I will be exhibiting at in October.
Gift wrapping cupcakes
I hope that you have great fun making this bow and please pop by and say hello if you’re at the Cake and Bake Show, I will be there making an odd appearance!
cakebakeshowlogo

 

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Gift wrapping awkward shapes with tissue

One of the main questions I am asked on my gift wrapping courses, is how to tackle the gift wrapping of awkward shapes. To many it fills them with horror yet I believe wrapping awkward shapes is easier than a square box, which is more strict with measurements.

You may have bought a shirt or scarf in a smart boutique and have wondered how they wrap it without using any tape.  They have done it so quickly that you’ve missed how they’ve done it.
gift wrapping

Today I’ve picked a fabric apron, and there are numerous ways you can wrap this but I’m going to share a quick and easy technique.

Firstly fold it into a nice compact square or oblong, to keep it neat I tend to fold from the edges into the centre, so you end up with no visible hems or ties.
You will need an enough tissue to go around the object and some excess tissue at both sides. I have chosen contrasting tissue  in white and burgundy.
gift wrapping awkward shapes
Fold one of the end over so it forms a decorative band. Place this band in the centre of the gift and tuck in the other edge underneath, I refer to this as wrapping backwards!

gift wrapping challenge

It may also help if you initially use double sided tape to hold everything in place although it’s good if you can get in to the habit of doing this freehand with practice.   For the sides you will now tuck the decorative band underneath the object so it resembles a pillow case.

gift wrapping by Jane Means


Finally you will tuck in the remaining side in on itself so you end up with a neat finish.  You can also lightly dust the tissue with your favourite fragrance or room spray to add to the senses.  When I’m wrapping fabric items I also like to play safe and have a layer of white tissue as the base colour.
gift wrapping tissue wrapping

The tissue wrapped creation then can be placed in a box, gift bag, or decorated with ribbon and embellishments.  You could also make a tissue pom pom with any remaining tissue.

Gift wrapping with tissue

 

I am also delighted to announce that I have landed a Worldwide book deal, and my hardback book ‘giftwrapped’ will be launched in November 2014, so if you love gift wrapping and want to pick up lots of techniques this is the perfect book for you.

Happy wrapping folks!

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Jane Means will be sharing her Gift Wrapping Secrets

 

Gift Wrapping Secrets

 

Those of you who’ve been on one of our Gift Wrapping Courses will have had access to our ‘Gift Wrapping Secrets’

Jane Means Gift Wrapping Courses

We’ve lots of changes going on at Jane Means HQ with a more streamlined website experience, so we will be integrating our ‘Gift Wrapping Secrets’ on to our Blog right here.  All information and products will be condensed in to one website www.janemeans.com

gift wrapping Courses

We have also closed our Haberdashery Closet Ribbon Store at our Lincoln HQ, so we can make room for new online and wholesale business. Rest assured you can still order online and if you’d like any samples please give us a call on 01522 522544

Categories: Projects & Demos, Uncategorized |

Papercraft DIY and Pinwheels

If you’re clearing out your craft room and have lots of little remnants of wrapping paper (which you’re reluctant to throw away), we have just the project for you

urple pinwheels

 

It involves a little time and patience but this papercraft DIY project is great fun, and will keep the kids happy for hours!diy papercraft

With my love for luxurious wrapping papers (I call it this addiction paperlove ), I thought I’d dedicate this post to the classic ‘Pinwheel’ and ‘Paper Fan’ and show you how to make them.

Jane Means fan box

We have been making these for years on my Gift Wrapping Workshops, and they look great when added to a box or a circular tin.

 

Purple pleated boxPurple pleated box

Here I’ve pleated the paper before wrapping a simple box to get a really dramatic and polished effect

Jane Means craft theatre

Recently at the Country Living Fair, I wanted to create some fun projects as we have so many kids popping along, plus I wanted to bring in the recycling and Eco aspect to this

pinwheel class

 

To make a paper fan or a pinwheel, all you need is some pretty paper, a small piece of wire or cord, and double sided tape (you can also add a button if you wish)

 

 

 

If you have the time and the patience, why not make a set and make a decorative wreath out of a different collage of pinwheels?

pinwheel wreath

 

Or even a paper tree decoration? (courtesy of  www.amusestudio.com)

paper-christmas-tree

And I love the pretty pastel colours used in this wedding backdrop ( Courtesy of www.thesweetestoccasion.com )

pinwheel wall

 

These pinwheel flags are the perfect accessory for kids parties, and you can also add decorative buttons for a dramatic effect,  Simply wire or stick them straight on to straws or sticks.

(Courtesy of www.papervinenz.blogspot.com )

pinwheel flags

 

Apologies my blog post has been late coming, I’m involved with a huge project which I hope I will be able to tell the world about and go public shortly…watch this space!

 

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