Gift Wrapping at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with Jonathan Moseley

I am thrilled to have been invited to team up with leading floral designer and floristry industry consultant, Jonathan Mosely for a wonderful Winter Workshop event at the breathtaking location of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Created by the celebrated chef, Raymond Blanc OBE, this renowned and stunning manor house hotel and cookery school, nestled in the village of Great Milton, in Oxfordshire, has been somewhere I have wanted, so much, to visit for a very long time and now I am so lucky, not only to be staying there, but, to be demonstrating, alongside Jonathan, on December 19th, this year.

Le Manoir

Image courtesy of Amara

This fine hotel has held 2 Michelin stars since 1984, is synonymous with high quality, elegance and luxury and I cannot wait to see how the festive season is presented in such a wonderful location.

The special one-day event, entitled, ‘Deck the Halls’ will see Jonathan and myself teaming up to assist participants in their quest to craft an unforgettable Christmas.  Jonathan will be making some stunning seasonal flower displays whilst I will be presenting some imaginative and styles of festive gift wrapping.  Due to the prestigious location, there will also be an opportunity for all concerned to sample some spectacular dining in sumptuous surroundings and, I must confess, I am looking forward very much to spending a December day at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

jonothan moseley

For those who do not know, Jonathan Mosely is a freelance floral designer, based in Derbyshire.  He is known for his humorous, friendly approach and, aside from appearing on ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’  BBC programme recently, he works as a floristry industry consultant, teaches the art and skill of floral display and takes commissions to design and execute ‘event flowers’ on a large scale.  He is famous for his floral artistry and skill and for combining his love of nature with his distinctive and innovative arranging techniques.

Christmas wreath

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

I am excited to be sharing the spotlight with someone who is so highly talented and, given my own experience as a florist, I am looking forward to picking up some advice and advanced creative tips on December 19th.

The Manor house itself is one of the most treasured manor house hotels in the UK and the gardens have a reputation for being something very special to behold.  Aside from the lavender lined pathways, extensive English lawns and vegetable and herb gardens, the hotel has its own orchards, a mushroom valley which, among other varieties, produces shiitake mushrooms and there are rows of cloche tunnels, under which various flowers are grown for creative use in the hotel kitchen.  The hotel also boasts a water garden, dating back to the 16th Century.  It was created, by monks, who occupied the site at that time.

 


Jane Means cover girl

 

Photo courtesy of Journal Magazine

For those who are attending the event, I hope we can make it everything and so much more than you are hoping for.  It plans to be a most welcoming, enjoyable , sociable and creatively educational day and I look forward to meeting everyone there.

For more details head over to the Belmond Events Page

See you there x

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Celebrating National Wrapping Day and joining Kirstie Allsopp on TV

With less than a week until Christmas, the last few months have been a whirlwind at Jane Means HQ. We’ve hired additional staff for our London Gift Wrapping Service and have been featured heavily in the press this Christmas. We even wrapped Shirley Bassey’s gifts on the front cover of the Christmas edition of Hello Magazine and can’t wait to see it on the shelves next week. I’ve also done several shows and continue to do lots of ‘giftwrapped’ book signings and have joined Kirstie Allsopp on stage and infant of the camera.  I’m now getting ready for National Wrapping Day with Scotchtape (crikey it’s all go!)

London Gift wrapping service

 

Many of us this weekend will be busy doing our Gift Wrapping in time for Christmas, so we thought it would be a perfect time to celebrate National Wrapping Day. As the Brand Ambassador for Scotchtape, we’ve filmed several handy videos which will help you tackle those awkward shapes.

Many techniques can also be found in my book ‘gift wrapped’ (which you can get personally signed if you order from us by Monday)

 

National wrapping day

On Sunday 20th December, I will be doing a live chat with ScotchUK on Twitter where I’ll be answering questions, plus there will be its of tips and ideas. Just follow the hashtag #NationalWrapDay to join in with the gift wrapping party.

National Wrapping Day logo

We would love to see photos of your best wrapped present and I will be choosing a winner on Monday morning. The lucky person will take a signed copy of ‘gift wrapped’ plus goody bag full of ribbons, tags, tape and craft items. To enter all you have to do is head to Twitter and include the hashtag #NationalWrapDay when sending your photo.

Jane Means on Kirsties Handmade Christmas TV Show

This week I appeared with Kirstie Allsopp on ‘Kirstie Handmade Christmas‘ on Channel 4. Despite being a judge for a competition, I still couldn’t resist having a few laughs.

Kirstie

 

I’d love to hear your comments if you saw it and you can still watch it on Catch up.  It was a tough decision being a judge for a Gift Wrapping Competition but I loved the Japanese style that was displayed.

I also filmed the Christmas gift wrapping commercials for WHSmith.  It even included me gift wrapping a bottle in 10 seconds which blew my own record! Soon after it was launched online it ended up all over the press

Christmas gift wrapping

I look forward to you joining the Gift Wrapping party on Sunday, and in my next Blog Post I will be sharing some very exciting news

Happy wrapping x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Join me for a gift wrapped Champagne lunch at Coworth Park

I’m really looking forward to hosting a festive gift wrapping day on Monday 14th December.  It’s being held at the gorgeous Coworth Park (sister of the Dorchester Hotel), nestled just outside of Ascot.

Jane Means at Coworth Park

Guests can enjoy a glass of champagne on arrival and a three-course lunch in Restaurant Coworth Park with a glass of wine, coffee and chocolates.

Coworth Park speaker event

Events start at 12 noon and cost £50 per person, including a glass of champagne on arrival in the Drawing Room and a three-course lunch in Restaurant Coworth Park with a glass of wine, coffee and chocolates.

Luxury Gift Wrapping

After lunch I will be hosting a gift wrapping masterclass, which will be packed with lots of Christmas tips and ideas. At the end of the day guests can grab a signed copy of ‘Giftwrapped’ and enjoy some shopping in the adjoining conservatory.

There are a few places left so be sure to book your place. Get Christmas gift wrapped  and I will see you there for some festive fun, present wrapping and champagne!

For more information and booking please contact Coworth Park

Happy Wrapping!

 

 

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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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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 a luxurious Christmas hamper basket

There is nothing more I love at Christmas than to receive a wicker hamper packed with speciality foods and luxury wine.  It is a perfect gift for anyone and can be made bespoke with personalised presents.
fortnum and mason hamper
Fortnum and Mason are renowned for their hampers, which are filled with gourmet biscuits, speciality teas, crackers, petty fours, and wine and Champagne.
I remember as a child when my parents received one, and they still use the branded hamper to this day for blanket storage (Wicker hampers are particularly good for this as fabrics are able to breathe).
Fortnum and Mason Hamper
Hamper baskets come in different shapes and sizes, and the most popular ones are with a box and lid.  I love this style as it makes a great storage box once you’ve consumed the contents.  We wrap lots of hampers for clients and these by far are the favourite.
There are many variations of hamper boxes on the market including your wicker hamper through to boxes made with card, wood and leather (prices vary considerably).
pile of baskets
It is a good idea to choose your packaging first as there are limited options when buying hampers and boxes. If you are giving hampers away at Christmas do by your supplies and gift wrapping early as suppliers may run out of stock.
There are several basket makers in the UK who could also make a bespoke size and shape for you.  You will also find some great baskets on Ebay
Once you have chosen your box or basket it is time to fill it.   You will need some padding such as shred, foam peanuts, tissue and Cellophane.
hamper filling
I always line it first with cellophane then add the tissue on top.  You can also sprinkle pot pourri in the basket (think of Rowan Atkinson in ‘Love Actually’) or lightly spray the tissue with a winter fragrance (M+S do some great ones for £5)
Dried rosebuds for weddings
Bear in mind that if you have bought lots of products they may not all fit in, so it’s a good idea to have a practice run using your own groceries before you go shopping.
fortnums tea
Once you have chosen your products, look at the whole range and imagine them in layers.  I tend to segregate them in to piles of robust, medium and fragile
Pack the heaviest and rigid items at the bottom such as bottles, ensuring they or packed tight (or there is plenty of padding between them) and the label is showing.
Paper-and-Parcel-sweater-wine-sleeve
You will then start layering the products and filling the hamper.  Play safe and wrap breakable jars and bottles with bubble wrap (they can have an additional layer of tissue or be wrapped in a thick fabric to make them look more elegant). It would be a disaster if anything breaks in transit.
Delicate items such as Pannetone, crackers and mince pies should be placed at the very top to avoid them being crushed.
daylesford-organic-christmas-pudding
To add extra luxury to the hamper, line it with a rich metallic tissue such as this gold one. I fold the sides in to a slightly narrow width so placement is easy. It gives a polished interior finish.
Once you have completed the layering process of your products, Close the lid and add your written and decorations. If you have any spare space at the sides pad it well with tissue.
pleated box by jane means
Finishing detailing is really important so in this one I have pleated the paper whilst wrapping a box of biscuits to give that luxurious effect. When I am gift wrapping for Dior, we always do this pleating process with tissue and add it to the top of the bag (The French term is called ‘applice’).
carved angel jam
I also add paper lids and decorations to jars, and love the luxury range of chutneys and Jams from Carved Angel (Their Christmas Puddings were voted ‘The Best’ by the Times and they are always mobbed at the Country Living Fair)
Christmas-Fortnum-Mason-London-Christmas-Crackers
Large gaps in your hamper can soon be filled with Pannetone or Christmas Crackers.  If you have any small spaces they can be filled with candy canes or small bags of festive treats. You can buy these from luxury outlets such as Daylesford or Fortnum and Mason although you can get a cheaper alternative  from Aldi or Lidl
If your hamper is heavy it is a good idea to add some bricks, wooden blocks or rolls of ribbon under the corners so you can access the underneath easily with your ribbon.
dior hamper basket
If you are packing a hamper  that is open with or without a handle,  it is a good idea to have the smaller items at the back. I packed this luxury hamper for the Dior in Paris and had to get the balance right. In the gaps I made some handmade ribbon roses to highlight the floral theme.
We have gift wrapped many hampers for clients and one note of advice is don’t rush. The interior needs to be the focal point and you want the wow factor to happen when the lid is opened.  I hope this helps your Christmas hamper project and I would love to see any photos on our Twitter or Facebook Page.
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Gift Wrapping ‘Live’ in the windows at Liberty

One of my favourite stores is Liberty located in the heart of London. The iconic building is located just off bustling Regent Street. We were over the moon when Liberty decided to stock our range of ribbons last year.

Liberty building copy

I am delighted to be involved with their forthcoming ‘Get Creative’ event which will showcase their designers, artisans and makers. Already Stella McCartney, Etsy and Rosie Wonders have signed up to be involved.


Liberty get creative logo

On Monday 28th of October I will be gift wrapping live in one of their windows from 5.30pm-7pm, infront of the London press, bloggers, visitors and shoppers.

 

Liberty Christmas ribbons copy
Their Christmas shop is one of the best in London and the surrounding streets are always bustling and their windows attract crowds from around the world, so it will no doubt be a buzzing atmosphere.

Liberty Christmas shop floor copy

I will be inspiring passers-by with really handy gift wrapping techniques and plenty of ideas for Christmas. Already I have put together a mood board for the window to give you a taste of what is to come. Their Christmas products on the 4th floor are incredible so pop in and see the collections.

Liberty gift wrapping event copy

I will be back in store on October 31st to work yet more magic. Come and learn how to gift-wrap in style with me in the Christmas Shop.  I will demonstrate how to wrap the perfect gift at Christmas and will show you how to jazz up an envelope with a few tips.

For more information log on the the Liberty website.  See you there!

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Christmas Gift Wrapping Projects

Christmas was very exciting this year with lots of new clients and projects, with some booking a year in advance!
Late November I did a gift wrapping service for Ralph Lauren at their Bond Street flagship store, and ended up spending some of my wages on Christmas presents during their Charity evening.
Their windows were a Christmas wonderland with crowds gathering outside to admire the reindeer in a magical scene.
December then kicked off with a gift wrapping demonstration at Liberty in Regent Street, and I was delighted how many people popped by including bloggers, journalists and radio producers.
Celia Lacy provided live blogging at the event and it was a huge online success too. It was such a treat to be surrounded by gazing customers, sparkly decorations, bowls of ribbons and crates of fine wine!
We then headed up to Selfridges in Manchester to do a gift wrapping event in the Trafford Centre.
I was transfixed by the ballerinas dancing in front of us.
It was then back down to London for the team to tackle 170 books for the Guardian Newspaper.  We certainly didn’t need the gym that day!
With a very short lunch, stiff necks and sore hands we managed to finish the job in a day to meet the tight deadline.
At the end of a hectic week we then joined Selfridges and Clarins to do gift wrapping events in Central London.
This year I noticed how many gifts from Sisley were bought and loved using their luxury papers and stylish ribbons.
The Clarins counter was inundated with customers grabbing gift hampers and it certainly proved that good presentation sells.
Another fun job was gift wrapping 100 bottles of Bollinger champagne for a new client in Soho. I was dubious about the Black Christmas packaging, however it looked stylish and the client was delighted.
I also did a gift wrapping demonstration at Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly, although by mid December there were very few of our ribbons left in the store which proved a challenge!
After a quick trip up to join BBC Lincolnshire in the studio to talk about Christmas gift wrapping ideas, I then headed over to Paris to finish my last job of the season! (Read my next blog on this)
With so much work I ended up working 14 hour days, but loved every minute. Luckily through the year, I had been making handmade envelopes which proved very helpful as everyone received vouchers this year!
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