Wrapped, stacked and strapped. Great Gift Wrapping ideas and Inspiration

As we approach certain times of year when multiple presents mean many hours of wrapping and there is creative desire to find a personal theme for the season. One possible solution may be a little quirky paper designing and some ‘wrapping, stacking and strapping’, such a  great gift wrapping idea

It is always good to get the children involved with present preparations and potato printed, hand drawn, polka dot and stripe painted, family photo montaged, collage glued, home-made wrapping paper is great fun to make.

When it comes to stacking presents, creating a mix and match range of paper designs really pulls your presents together and this can be achieved in perfectly when you are in charge of the designs.

Using inexpensive, brown parcel paper as a base, you can have fun adding red and green spots and stripes and strapping a pile of wrapped and stacked gifts together with red or green ribbon.

Present wrapping service

Ribbons by Jane Means

Colourful, seasonal stickers, paper-cut, stuck on snowflakes or Christmas tree and snowman shapes are some of many other options.  Select a combination of theme and colour and then design, print, pritt stick and paint until you have enough personally produced paper.

Construct your neatly stacked ‘tiered layer cake’ of carefully wrapped gifts and finish by strapping together with an appropriate and impressively seasonal ribbon.  Wide, wired ribbon is perhaps a wise choice for larger boxes, as it offers greater stability to your ‘stack’ but wide ribbon and big bows on small boxes look equally as appealing.  Whatever you choose to do, execute it precisely and aim to give ‘gift bundles’ that stand out and impress at first glimpse.

If you have four or more gift boxes of stacked, decreasing size, using tissue paper, wrap the bottom one in red, the next in dark green, then light green and top with gold.  Strap together with a golden ribbon and add a generous golden bow to the top.  Adding a few Christmas baubles to embellish your bow will add to the Christmas tree styled appeal of this pile. This was one creation that I did for a recent Scotchtape commercial

 

jane means for scotchtape

Image courtesy of 3M Scotchtape

Tips.  When using tissue paper, always use several sheets together to strengthen the stability of the wrapping.  A little double-sided tape between each precisely placed parcel is the secret to sustained stacking positioning and selecting gift boxes of steadily descending size will create a perfect pile of presents.

Whether you are giving multiple gifts or creating mini wrapped, stacked and strapped, table centre pieces, this is a highly enjoyable project and can be themed for any occasion or time of year.

If you are in the habit of giving table gifts, then a perfectly colour coordinated, central stack of wrapped goodies, with name tags could be a lovely starter to sit down to before dinner… As long as people understand that the biggest gift box at the bottom does not conceal a superior gift to that hiding in the tiny box at the very top!

It is possible to find inexpensive sets of cardboard stacking boxes in stationers, gift shops and toyshops.  Used for storage and playing, as well as for gift giving, these boxes can be brightly coloured and require no further wrapping or they may be constructed of buff coloured cardboard and be perfect to directly print or paint onto, if you are brave enough.

camillestyles.com

 

Image courtesy of Camille Styles

This is a great way to recycle outgrown, early learning cardboard stacking boxes, which can be over-painted or carefully wrapped with paper.  Now you have a beautiful set of size ranging  gift boxes.

Stacked, cubed boxes in plain colours can be easily painted to look like dice or you can use appropriately scaled round, white stickers.  This is a perfect theme for a board gamer of any age.

Jane Means throwing presents copy

 

Giving a stack of books this way is particularly lovely at any time of year.  Ibooks may be very popular these days but charity shops are a gold mine of inexpensive literary possibilities and wrapped, stacked and strapped, they make the perfect gift for any studious type.

Whether you are stacking two boxes or seven boxes, the idea of receiving, not one gift, but one presentation of multiple gifts, all combined and coordinated and tied together as one, makes quite a dramatic impression.

 

Happy Wrapping Folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Raffia ideas in your gift wrapping and craft projects

I’m a huge fan of Raffia Palms (also known as Raphia) and thought i’d share with you some great raffia ideas in your gift wrapping and craft projects.

Using raffia in giftwrapping immediately introduces a natural and rustic feel to your presentation creation.  When used sparingly, it punctuates your nature loving, natural intentions but when used in abundance it conjures up country living and rustic farm kitchens and makes a strong statement of simplicity and environmental awareness.

feather eco gift wrapping

Combining raffia with combinations of wood, parcel paper, string, twigs, herbs, dried fruits, feathers and other materials such as hessian or linen, creates a style that is, altogether, one of simplicity and it can be presented as elegantly plain or can be full of subtle details and perfectly suited embellishments.

raffia jar

If you are giving a potted plant, a generous bouquet style wrapping of tissue paper, tied with raffia and ribbon is all that is required to serve up a rustic present that could be placed directly onto a country kitchen table.  There is something about a raffia bound bouquet of sunflowers or a pot of homemade preserve, topped with gingham and wrapped with raffia that just says ‘country living’ and sometimes this is exactly what you wish to say.

 

If you are giving a mini hamper, filled with preserves, wine, crackers and cheese, a bed of raffia in a basket tied with a bow of raffia sends a message of wheat field walks and open, flower-filled meadows.  A few folded, red and white checked napkins would also emphasise your picnicking intentions. In the evening, jars filled with tea lights will look stunning decorated with raffia

craftoholicsanonymous

Image courtesy of Craftoholics Anonymous

Try wrapping gifts in a country check napkin or tea towel and using double-sided tape and a raffia-tied bow to secure.  Embellish with simple country flowers, a few stems of wheat or some fresh, scented herbs and you have a complete country package, perfect for wrapping boxes of preserves, home-baked goodies or for someone who loves countryside living. A jar filled with flowers decorated with raffia looks great too

the wild orchid

Image courtesy of The Wild Orchid

 

When using brown parcel paper, replacing ribbon with multiple, entwined strands of natural raffia to wrap around and tie in a bow, tying in a brown luggage or wooden label, complete a very rustic package.  Perfect for ‘no nonsense’ dads, gardeners and people who appreciate simplicity.

raffia presents

Raffia by Jane Means

Making lots of bows from grouped lengths of raffia and attaching them down the centre of your wrapped gift box will make your parcel look very neatly fastened.

 

Platting grouped lengths of raffia will make a rustic raffia rope to wrap your gift with.  Binding your gift box with several such ropes with achieve a very attractive basket weave effect.  It’s a little time consuming but fun to do and very effective and satisfying to achieve.

 

Raffia can be natural but can also be dyed and be brightly coloured.  Using coloured raffia with parcel paper adds all the colour you may need but purple raffia on lime green paper can simply add an acidic twist to what was originally a very natural, rustic wrapping style. You can eve dye your own with beetroot juice and black coffee, or cheat and buy it ready coloured!

Jane Means Raffia

A natural raffia bow around a clear cellophane or brown paper bag is perfect for wrapping sweets or cookies.  Punching holes along the closure of a bag and weaving raffia, rather like stitching, and slotting on small wooden beads is also fun and effective.  Brown paper luggage labels add to the natural tones of the colour combination.  With brightly coloured bags, raffia, beads and labels, these packages would take on a whole new identity, of course.

raffia

Small changes make big differences and perfectly executed details make impressive presentations.  Whatever style you choose and whichever materials you use, ensure you take the time to position and secure everything precisely.  A simple and rustically wrapped gift, using a combination of newspaper, wrapping paper, brown paper and natural or coloured raffia can look a million dollars, given the appropriate styling, time and attention.

 

raffia napkin

Finally a great trick for keeping your raffia tidy, is to store loose strands in a carrier bag and pull the required amount out of the bag.  It will save you vacuuming the floor!

Enjoy x

Image by Marie Claire 

Ingrid HenningsonImage Courtesy of Ingrid Henningson

 

 

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An insight in to our Australian Gift Wrapping Courses in Melbourne & Sydney

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me as I headed back to run some gift wrapping courses and giftwrapped book signing events in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia

Giftwrapped book Australia

After a brief weekend enjoying the sights of Sydney, I headed to Melbourne to the upmarket district of Toorak.

Melbourne cityscape

I had a great time hosting a ladies lunch, book signing and gift wrapping course for 30 at the Manhattan restaurant. Dee and Isabelle, the two lovely organisers did a fantastic job putting it all together and I met some wonderful people.

gift wrapping event melbourne

Tables were beautifully decorated with Vibrant Green Pom Poms, Fresh Flowers, Party Boxes and Polka dot napkins complimenting rich white linens.

lime green table decoration

Table decoration lime green

Straight after a yummy lunch we got stuck in to a gift wrapping masterclass and everyone had a great time. Georgia and Brad couldn’t do enough for us (thank you chaps)

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Melbourne Gift Wrapping Class

Several days later I hosted my very own giftwrapping courses at the Windsor workshops in Melbourne. As soon as I walked into the venue I fell in love with the beautiful space.

Gift wrapping class Melbourne

Windsor Workshops Melbourne

We were spoilt by Bree with a huge fruit platter, cookies and refreshments and several of us enjoyed a lunch nearby.

Gift Wrapping Course Australia

If you are ever hosting a workshop or event in Melbourne I can’t recommend this place highly enough. It’s amazing and in such a cool area (sadly I had no time to go shopping!).

Melbourne Gift Wrapping Workshop

Jane Means

I met some fantastic people and we managed to squeeze in a quick lunch at a local cafe.

One of my Instagram followers Dear Mabel came along and it was wonderful to put a face to a name, and I was spoiled rotten with lots of goodies (thank you Samantha)

Dear mabel

I then headed back to Sydney to run a workshop in conjunction with Sew Make Create, it’s a wonderful haberdashery shop in Chippendale owned by the delightful Melissa and her super cute dog called Pepper. During the course we made lots of bows, decorations and covered some gift wrapping projects too.

Sew Make Create Sydney workshop

 

I had a wonderful trip and many of you asked when I will be returning to run future courses and events. I am planning to be back in February 2017 so if you would like to hear about our future Australia events please drop us an email at info@janemeans.co.uk so we can add you to our newsletter list

Bondi Beach

Luckily I enjoyed a rare day off on Bondi Beach before heading back to London, and it’s already given me inspiration for my wrapping projects. I love Turquoise so much that some of my ribbons are inspired from the sea

giftwrapped

I’ve had a fantastic trip to Australia and one thing I will really miss are the incredible Melbourne sunsets which were different every night

Melbourne Sunset skyline

Have a great week folks

X

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Melbourne and Sydney Gift Wrapping Courses in Australia to be launched

Jane Means will be launching Melbourne and Sydney Gift Wrapping Courses in Australia later this year, to coincide with the Australian launch of her book ‘giftwrapped’

Sydney gift wrapping courses

 

The gift wrapping expert says “It’s an exciting time taking the courses overseas.  For years I have had clients travelling from all over the world to attend the UK courses, but not everyone can afford the luxury of a long haul flight.  I am planning to do one off events, demonstrations and courses, catering for all budgets and already there’s been plenty of interest”

Melbourne Gift Wrapping Course copy
Aboriginal Artwork courtesy of Gary Spicer

Jane is currently in Australia on a research trip and there’s plenty going on behind the scenes with several shops and businesses keen to do a collaboration. Events may start as early as April and Jane will also be offering demonstrations and private courses for craft meet ups, groups of friends, social groups and charities.

Australia gift wrapping course

If you are interested in the Australian courses, demonstrations and events please drop us a line. Gift Wrapping Courses in Singapore will also continue this year so make sure that you are subscribed to our newsletter for early bird deals. Just drop us an email at info@janemeans.co.uk

Happy wrapping!

gift wrapping courses Australia copy

 

 

 

 

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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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