International Gift Wrapping ideas to suit all cultures

After 20 years in the business, I’m now finding myself travelling the globe sharing my knowledge and decided it was time to write my latest post ‘International Gift Wrapping ideas to suit all cultures’. My in laws live in Japan, my second home is in Singapore, plus I have Scottish ancestry and run courses in Glasgow and have American relatives, so I’m fascinated how to wrap presents differently to suit the different nationalities and cultures. With all of this and my courses in UK, Singapore and Australia, I’ve dedicated a section in my book ‘Giftwrapped’

I’m a firm believer that first impressions count and it’s what is on the inside that counts…we’ve all heard that saying ‘Packaging is everything’

There are obvious symbolic similarities between Chinese and Japanese theming but two beautiful and very different oriental giftwrapping styles can easily be created.  The similarities come in the use of lavishly embellished silk and symbols such as fans and chopsticks, together with their respective and beautifully illustrative, calligraphic characters. I also love to wrap items creatively and constrasting colours like Yellow and Red

Chinese styled giftwrapping.  The flag of China inspires the use of red and golden yellow, and stars are very much a symbol.  A gift wrapped in shiny, red paper or red, silk fabric, tied with a golden yellow silk, sash ribbon needs only the addition of chop sticks slotted into the bow and a gift tag in the shape of a large, yellow star to achieve the required look.  Add a carefully chosen and perfectly positioned Chinese symbol or two to your wrapping paper.  With a little practice and painted in black, these symbols will instantly define your oriental theme.

Red stitched ribbon by Jane Means

Japanese styled giftwrapping.  With its red circular sunburst design on a white background, the Japanese flag is a good source of inspiration.  With a focus on the traditional colours of red, black and white, embellishments of chop sticks or tassels and the use of painted, red, Japanese symbols onto white paper with red, silk ribbon, a very traditional, Japanese style can be created.

Reversible Gift Wrap by Jane Means
Image Courtesy of The General Co

In addition, the ancient art of Japanese paper folding is ideal to introduce to this theme.  Using origami to add embellishments of simple fans or more complex flowers will, no doubt, make your gift look very pretty.  Paper pleating is a Japanese technique, which looks rather stunning and will impress any recipient.  It is an interesting fact that, historically, an odd number of pleats on the gift was used for a happy occasion, whilst an even number of pleats would have meant the gift was intended for a sad occasion.

Image courtesy of The French Tangerine

American styled giftwrapping.  Well, it is hard to think of America and not think of stars and stripes and red, white and blue.  Any combination of these colours is a great place to start.  For example, red and white striped paper with a blue ribbon, blue paper with red and white striped ribbon (see my red and cream striped grosgrain ribbon) or a combination of contrasting blue paper with white paper, centrally separated by a red ribbon.  To add American stars, position white star stickers on the blue paper.

Tartan by Scotland Shop

Scottish style giftwrapping.  I have various tartan ribbon designs in my range and when they are used generously against navy blue, red, forest green or parcel wrapping paper and combined with embellishments of heather or thistles, the Scottish theme is clear.  Add celtic symbols in the form of brooches, trinkets or hand painted emblems on homemade gift tags to enhance the theme. Having Scottish ancestry I also love to use Tartan and Tweeds in my Gift wrapping projects.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Indian styled giftwrapping.  Famous for its vivid and spice-derived colours, India evokes thoughts of silk saris, bangles and opulent golden necklaces, lavishly embellished with precious stones.  The peacock, with its iridescent feathers, is the national bird of India and vivid blue, a rich green green and intense purple, the colours of the peacock, combined with embellishments of gold coloured chains,  pendants and varying textures of gold ribbon can form the strong basis of an Indian theme.  Brightly coloured layers of tissue paper offer the image of saris whilst tying in several golden bangles with a brightly coloured chiffon scarf adds to the embellishment of your gift.  Bright colours and opulence are the main features and the presence of a peackock feather, elephant charm or pendant or a handmade circular gift tag featuring the ‘Ashoka Shakra’, a 24-spoke blue wheel that appears on the Indian flag.

I am a huge fan of India. I have been several times and hope to run some future courses there.

Red Ribbon by Jane Means
Map Paper by Clifton Nurseries

Pick a country and try to capture the essence of its nature as you wrap your gift.  Perhaps the gift originates from that country or is to be given to a person from that location or to someone who is going to travel there soon…  Creating a personalised theme only serves to increase the meaning and quality of both the gift giving and receiving experience.

Jane Means is a Worldwide Gift Wrapping Consultant who works for Luxury Brands, Celebrities and Royalty

If you are stuck on what to give as a gift, check out Minding Manners who cover perfect Gift Giving on their brilliant etiquette workshops

Happy Wrapping

 

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Perfectly gift wrapped wedding cakes and favours to take home

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog post ‘Perfectly gift wrapped wedding cakes and favours to take home’ as our shoots have been swarming with homemade biscuits, yummy cakes and calorie ridden treats. We’ve all been there, enjoying a wedding with a lavish meal, only to find that we are too full to eat any of the cake, so you ask if you can have a gift wrapped wedding cake slice and favours to take home (we’ve all done it!)

wedding cake

 

Cake and Props by Lyndsey James, Ribbon by Jane Means

…It is time for guests to leave the party with their traditional piece of wedding, birthday, christening or celebration cake.  This departure will not be enhanced for anyone by being handed a parcel of soggy serviette.  However, there are many creative ways to send your guests happily on their way with a piece of cake perfectly wrapped.

 

Folded paper plate baskets.
Simple, inexpensive paper plates, available in so many colours and designs, can be easily cut, folded and secured to make a high-sided basket in no more than 5 minutes.  Tie a pretty ribbon around the basket’s edge and finish off with a bow and possibly attach a personal message with a paperclip.

Pink green ribbon

 

Pistachio and Pink Ribbon by Jane Means Paper plates by Meri Meri

Wrapped in a layer of greaseproof paper first, each piece of cake can then be wrapped in a colour co-ordinated, paper napkin and tucked inside the basket for safe carriage home.

paper tablecloth gift wrapping

Gift wrapping by Jane Means

Plastic glasses or beaker wrapped in cellophane or napkins.
A variety of shapes and sizes of plastic beaker and goblet are available and they come in varying transparent shades of clear, pink, blue and many other colours.  Disposable plastic cups can also be used.  With the portion of cake inside the cup, a large piece of cellophane can safely wrap the entire package and be tied tightly with colourful ribbon, leaving a frothy explosion of cellophane at the top.

killner jar

Kilner jar by Lakeland. Ribbon by Jane Means

jar of wedding cake

 

Image by NellieBellie

Glass Jars filled with cake.
These jars can be bought in every conceivable size and, for those with a celebration cake consisting of many cupcakes, small, chunky kilner jars can be perfect to house each cake.  With ribbon around the neck of the airtight jar, the cake is safe to take home in its own little presentation pack.  The addition of a handmade tag also provides a personal touch. Guests will also be able to re use the jars for storing biscuits etc.

 

Lace wedding favour bags

White lace bags, tags and ribbon by Jane Means.  Calligraphy by Judy Broad

Decorated mini bags.
My clear plastic, white lace print bags would be perfect as a pretty and simple solution. Tuck the cake into the plastic bag, fold over and secure the top of the bag and attach a (ruffle) bow for a neat, compact package. Alternatively you can secure with some ribbon (check out my YouTube tutorial to learn how to tie the perfect bow)

cakes

Ribbon sets by Jane Means

Boxed simplicity.
It is possible to buy cake portion boxes but what about making triangular cake slice shaped origami boxes yourself?  I will be preparing online tutorials at a later date to demonstrate a variety of very useful decorative origami projects.

Origami may look fiddly at first but with a little patience and practice, it is possible to achieve such beautiful, handmade, inexpensive designs, which are bound to draw comment and curiosity.

 

wedding cake box

Box: Stylists own, Paper by Fox and Lark, Ribbon and Tags by Jane Means, Calligraphy by Judy Broad

A gift box.
Take a simple, small box and dress it up like as a gift.  It’s purpose may be merely to contain a slice of cake to take home, but it can be a beautiful miniature presentation with a coloured tissue paper lining, a ribbon around the coloured body of the box and an embellished lid.  Coloured crafting jewels, origami or artificial flowers, spike bows, ruffle bows or your preferred applied accessories.  Have fun and make it a gift to your guests.

Bloved Blog

 

Image courtesy of Bloved Blog 

Remember:  Wrap your cake portions in greaseproof paper.

I think after writing this blog post we now need to indulge in a bit of Afternoon Tea

Jane x

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Jane Means launching new products at Pulse Trade Show, London

Pulse is the UK’s ultimate boutique trade event for inspiring new gifts, modern living and fashion and Jane Means will be there next week to launch new wholesale products to the industry

 

As well as our British made Reversible gift wrap, we will be launching our new ribbon cubes which make the ideal gift for craft addicts and are perfect for the bottom drawer.


At the show we will be offering a trade minimum order for £50 which is perfect for a small business or a cottage industry. Wholesale orders can also be placed online so if you have a business or require a large order, please Contact Us

 

We look forward to catching up with our existing suppliers and meeting new customers and you can find us at Stand M24

The trade show will be held at Olympia on May 14-16th

Venue:
Olympia London
Hammersmith Road
Kensington
London
W14 8UX

Nearest tube: Kensington Olympia

Opening Times:

Sunday 14 May 2017          09.30-18.00
Monday 15 May 2017          09.30-18.00
Tuesday 16 May 2017        09.30-17.00

 

If you’re coming to Pulse, please pop by and say hello to us. We’re stand M24

For more details and for registering please head to the Pulse website

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