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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10 Creative ideas using reversible Gift Wrap

So many ideas with just one sheet of gift wrap…

Gift Wrap by Jane Means

When you think of gift wrap you automatically think of wrapping paper for presents, however there’s a myriad of projects and ideas that you an do with you sheet of gift wrapping paper, especially if it’s reversible (mine are). Having just designed my first collection of papers, I thought I’d share 10 creative ideas using reversible gift wrap

Papercraft continues to be a huge trend and we are surrounded with an abundance of lanterns, pom poms and pinwheels. All which can be made with your own fair hands

 

Colonial Grey Giftwrap by Jane Means

Pinwheels can easily be made by pleating a square of paper. I love to wire a bead or button and add to the centre for an additional decoration. On hot summer days these can be glued on to a wooden stick (you’ll always find these in your favourite coffee house) and transformed in to a fan

  1. Cards and Envelopes

Image courtesy of Ramblecraft

Cards can easily be made by adding a decorative page of gift wrap on to a piece of card, securing it in place with some ribbon or double sided tape. Do be warned that you are not allowed to sell these unless the designer of the gift wrap has authorized the use. I also love to line envelopes too

  1.  Decoupage

Image courtesy of diybastelideen

This is a wonderful way to decorate a photo frame, plantpot, a tray, waste paper bin, a storage box, or even some clothes pegs. Intricte details can be cut out and glued on to item and sealed with layers of clear varnish.

  1. Cones for kids

Colonial Grey Gift Wrap by Jane Means

Sweets for childrens parties can be placed in to homemade cones. Cut a triangle of reversible paper and stick 2 sides together with double sided tape. You can decorate the top with lace or ribbon, or seal the whole cone

 

  1. Cake band or decorative cups

Decorate a cake or paper cups with a band of pretty paper and secure with double sided tape and ribbon. It will look so gorgeous that you wont want to eat it

 

  1. Paper Lampshade

We love this Origami shade.  Image courtesy of Postris

Image by Rosie’s Vintage Lampshades

Lampshades can be given a new lease of life with a piece of decorative paper and some spray adhesive. You can also trim the edges with some ribbon or ric rac for that additional eye catching feature. Do be careful not to catch the shades with the hot bulbs or leave them unattended.

 

  1. DIY Pillow boxes

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Handmade pillow boxes can easily be made by adding paper on to a cardboard tube with spray adhesive. Fold in the 2 sides after you’ve placed your gift inside and add ribbon

  1. Origami Lanterns

Pretty little lanterns and decorative creations can be made by following a few steps. I love to check out the Japanese blogs for Origami tutorials and ideas

 

  1. Paper flowers

These are hugely popular and I love to see a wall or backdrop full of these beautiful decorations.
Petals can easily be curved by using a pencil.


Colonial Grey paper by Jane Means
I also love these Japanese pleated flowers and will be covering this tutorial in a future blog post and in our Handmade Decorations workshops in Singapore

  1. Paper bunting

Image courtesy of La Mia Casa

Bunting can easily be made by cutting triangles out of a sheet of paper and adding them on to a length of ribbon with glue. You could also use patterned scissors for a scalloped detail. If you’ve got a sewing machine try stitching hearts together.

Enjoy being creative with your gift wrap folks, and do share your ideas with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #janemeans x

 

 

 

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Luxury Gift Wrapping Sets by Jane Means up for grabs

We are so excited that our wrap has finally been launched and have some Luxury Gift Wrapping Sets by Jane Means up for grabs at a snippet of the price

For a limited time, our bespoke sets which are worth £40 will be available for £25 including postage and colours include Pink Peony, Plantation Green, Vintage Lilac and Colonial Grey.

Designed by Jane Means herself she says “To see my first collection of wrap is wonderful after being behind the scenes of my design studio for several months. I’m delighted it’s not only made in the UK, but you can do so many different styles of gift wrapping with it”

Colonial Grey Gift Wrap by Jane Means

As well as 4 sheets of reversible wrap, you’ll be treated to 40 metres of contrasting ribbon, 30 gift tags and 2 rolls of double sided tape. Perfect for the bottom drawer, the collection will have your wrapping sorted for the rest of the year.

The design led wrap will be rolled out in to stores and is now available wholesale.

Pink Peony Gift Wrap by Jane Means

We’d love to see your creations so do tag us in using #janemeans to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter 

Happy Wrapping x

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Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas with Magazines and Newspapers

I often hear funny stories about about cheap and cheerful gift wrapping often using newspaper on our gift wrapping courses, , so I thought I’d show you some creative gift wrapping ideas with magazines and newspapers.

In an age where we are trying to reuse and recycle, using some glamorous pages of your favourite glossy magazine will add that touch of couture to your gift wrapping

Narrow Red Ribbon by Jane Means

Teamed with a red ribbon made in to a flower, the gifts will dazzle. I love to choose vibrant colours and trend led pages as a backdrop

Red Ribbon by Jane Means

Another great look is the classic monochrome, which is classic, timeless and perfect for any genre. Black and White pages can receive an instant eye catching lift with a vibrant ribbon such as fuchsia pink or red

Even Newspapers can look great teamed with accessories. I love to use coloured pages such as the Financial Times. In this project I have introduced lots of small pleats to add a feature (it also helps disguise the gift underneath as newspaper is often see through)

Sage Ribbon by Jane Means

You could impress even more by making a handmade gift bag. As newspaper is a very thin paper to use, I’ve also added a thin card to add stability and definition. Decorated with a doily and some green ribbon this gift bag looks too good to open (I cover this project in my book ‘Giftwrapped)

Image courtesy of Pinterest

You could even make your own paper flowers out of newspaper. All you need is scissors, glue and patience (a cup of tea on the side always helps)

Image by The Penny Hoarder

So next time you think about turfing out your magazines and newspapers, have a rifle through for your favourite pages first and upcycle them in to a wrapped creation or crafty masterpiece

Happy Wrapping! x

 

 

 

 

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Jane Means to launch gift wrapping courses at Burghley House in Summer 2017

Despite running our gift wrapping courses for 18 years we’ve some exciting news…

Jane Means is to launch gift wrapping courses at the iconic Burghley House

 

History

Burghley House is a grand sixteenth century house, with its park laid out by Capability Brown. The Elizabethan estate is home to the Cecil Family and is regarded as one of Britain’s best non-royal palaces, a prodigy house built for Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer, Lord Burghley.

Located in Stamford, Lincolnshire it is on the border of Northamptonshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire, with the centre of Peterborough only 10 miles away

Ribbon by Jane Means
Gift Wrap by Chocolate Envelope, Paperchase and dotcomgiftshop

The gift wrapping courses at Burghley House will start in the summer of 2017 with the inaugural course taking place on Friday 16th June. We’d love you to join us for this wonderful day out learning skills for life in a beautiful setting. Early Bird Places are available but do book early to avoid disappointment as these places get snapped up quickly.

Our gift wrapping courses

On our gift wrapping course, you’ll be greeted with morning refreshments and during the day you’ll be learning hands on how to wrap any shape, how to tie the perfect bow and pick up lots of tips and inspiration. You’ll enjoy lunch at Burghley House and can also grab a signed copy of Jane’s book giftwrapped and buy lots of ribbons and wrap at the end of the day at discounted prices.

Jane Means will also be exhibiting at the Burghley Horse Trials in September plus the gift wrapping expert will be running a further course in October, for those wishing to practice their skills in time for Christmas.

We look forward to seeing you there

Jane and team x

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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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My top 10 must see hidden gems in Paris

I thought I’d collaborate my top 10 must see hidden gems in Paris as I’m now doing a lot of Photoshoots, Filming and Gift Wrapping Services for Clients there.  I fell in love with the French Capital when I first visited back in 1995, and have been returning there regularly since 2010 for work.

Jane Means gift wrapping

Julius Caesar conquered Paris in 52 B.C. It was then a fishing village, called Lutetia Parisiorum (the Parisii were a Gallic tribe), on the Île de la Cité. Under the Romans the town spread to the left bank and acquired considerable importance under the later emperors. The Renaissance reached Paris in the 16th century and at this time the Louvre was transformed from a fortress to a Renaissance palace. The city now remains the most visited one in the world ahead of London and New York.

I have been lucky to find some hidden gems during my spare time there and thought I’d collate my 10 favourite ‘must visits’ in Paris.

Gift Wrapping in Paris

 

Ribbons by Jane Means

The Eiffel Tower
This elegant and beautiful tower of wrought iron lattice work and rivets on the Champ de Mar is the most iconic symbol of the stunningly inspirational and stylish city that is Paris. Named after Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who designed it, the tower was supposed to be a temporary addition to the Parisian skyline during the Paris Exposition of 1889 but, thankfully, it was saved from deconstruction in 1909 and lives on to be the most visited paid monument in the world. Walking beneath its four huge, weight-bearing legs gives you a real sense of the scale and intricately interlaced beauty of this structure and, whilst it is, admittedly, rather tiring climbing the 328 steps to the first floor, the Parisian air and atmosphere are wonderful and, after 2 lift rides to the top, the views are utterly breathtaking. After all, at almost 1000ft, it was the tallest structure in the world in 1889 and it still remains the tallest structure in Paris.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame
There are beautiful photographs to be taken all over Paris and it is nature, as well as architecture that impresses and inspires me so much.   The medieval cathedral of Notre Dame is a splendid example of Gothic architecture and can be seen from the relaxation of a cruise along the Seine or explored in more close up, awe-inspiring detail.  Her full name is Notre-Dame de Paris, our lady of Paris, and she is located on the ‘Ile de la cite’, in the heart of the city.

Thought to be the best example of French Gothic architecture in the world, Notre Dam is visited by around 13 million people each year.  It was interesting to note that Victor Hugo’s famous gothic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, published in 1831, was written to increase interest in the cathedral he loved so much. I was lucky enough to see this amazing place during blossom season.

 

Paris gardens

Luxembourg Gardens
I personally have a love of topiary and within these magnificent gardens  belonging to the beautiful Luxembourg Palace there are some splendid, playful and sometimes surprising examples of skillfully and well-groomed topiary treats.  Walking the elegant and well maintained pathways of pristine precision and stunning shrubbery, I could not fail to be inspired by my creative surroundings

Petit palais

Petit Palais
This ‘small palace’ was built for the 1900 Universal Exposition, when it served to solidify France’s position as an artistic world leader and it now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts.  This is a very grand and elaborate building with a blend of traditional and modern architecture, which stands amidst other architectural gems on Winston Churchill Avenue.  One of its facades also faces the Seine and one faces the Champs Elysees.  It is an absolute pleasure to explore this delightful building, with its paintings, tapestries, sculptures and exquisite objects.  I could feel myself soaking up the centuries of creativity as I walked

Sacre Couer

Sacre Coeur & fairground
Well, yet another building that just omits magnificence.  The Basilica of the sacred heart of Paris is another of the most visited monuments of Paris and stands at the top of the hill of Montmartre.  It evokes thoughts of Indian temples and was built in the Romanesque-Byzantine style in the most wonderful Chateau-Landon stone which has been bleached by wet weather and now shines bright white against the skyline.

Montmarte pretty street

Walk the pretty streets of Montemarte
Surrounding the Sacre Coeur, the cobbled streets slope away and form a tempting network of streets and stepped pathways, absolutely bursting with creativity.  Historically, much like a village within the city, it is where the artists used to live but now, filled with tourists, it offers shops and cafes and is a place where many wonderful hours can be lost finding inspiration.

Paris Macaroons

Saint Germain Quarter
Here dwells, St-Germain-des-Pres, the oldest church in Paris.  The essence of the surrounding streets was once that of a café society full of poetry, art and literature but Lagerfeld, Dior and Armani now command the shop fronts and the scent is one of high fashion, opulence and prestigious addresses.  Picasso and Oscar Wilde once resided here and frequented the very famous cafes on the Saint Germain Boulevard. This is a neighbourhood for your Sunday best, for window shopping, art museums and languid lunches in bistros and brasseries, where observing Parisian society is always inspiring.

 

Trocadero

Trocadero
Another breathtaking location within Paris and the ideal place to get a picture-perfect view of the Eiffel Tower.  The Trocadero gardens feature beautiful sculptures and the famous Warsaw Fountains which offer impressive water displays.  This large area includes several museums, meaning more culture, creativity and inspiration and it is dominated by the Palais de Chaillot, a stunning building, designed to frame and compliment the view of the Eiffel Tower.

Pretty Paris Cafe

Enjoy the cafes
Whether you prefer to be surrounded by grand interiors, full of gleaming mirrors, columns, polished brass and sumptuous seating or if you prefer to sit outside, beneath a canopy, amidst scented shrubs in the sunshine as you watch Paris stroll by, there are an almost infinite number of cafes to choose from in Paris and I could spend more time than I care to admit to sampling the coffees and cakes at many of them.  Paris certainly takes café society seriously and does it exceptionally well.

By far my most favourite and ‘must see’ café experience within a city full of wonderful cafes, is the ‘Au Vieux Paris’, with its lilac blossomed, wisteria draped walls and its hot pink al-fresco dining, this place epitomized understated, exquisite, Parisian chic to me.  It was utterly delightful…

Paris shopping

Shopping
Need I say any more, with Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and the French Fashion Houses oozing glamour, you can’t resist a shopping trip whilst you are in Paris.  There are plenty of Flea markets and independent stores located all over the French capital.

Paris gift wrapping

Working for new clients in Paris has opened up a wonderful opportunity to really explore the finer, more elegant and exquisite cultural details that this unique city has to offer.

Soaking up the atmosphere and being surrounded by such impressive architecture and style, with its distinctly different formal greetings, dressed up personal presentation and social formalities illustrates the charm and individuality of Paris and Parisians themselves.  I certainly feel inspired to add a little Parisian chic to my own creations in the near future, and will be sharing all my travels and finds on my Instagram Page

 

Au Revoir!

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Check out our London Gift Wrapping Service throughout the year

Our London Gift Wrapping Service is now in full swing with the with the weeks numbered until Christmas.

Months have been spent sourcing beautiful embellishment from the New York, luxurious papers from Europe and every type of ribbon has been sourced around the globe. We believe that the wrapping of a gift is as important as the gift inside

 

London Gift Wrapping Service

Over the years we’ve had the honour of wrapping for brands and private clients in Monaco, Geneva, Singapore, Paris and Milan as well as throughout the UK

Many of our clients are well known and luxury brands, private families, time poor professional individuals, celebrities and royalty

Every job to us is special so there’s nothing more we love than to get the exact look you want.  With and myriad of papers and over 100,000 ribbons in stock you are spoilt for choice

Gift Wrapping Service london

If you can’t face the task of wrapping or simply haven’t got the time, get in touch with our professional gift wrapping team who have been personally trained and hand picked by the expert herself, Jane Means.

With so many choices and styles available, we tailor each job individually so you get exactly what you want. We can come to your home or workplace and do the gift wrapping service while you wait. Weddings and other occasions are also catered for, plus we work weekends and evenings right through until Christmas eve

black wedding favours

If you want your gift tags personally written with an ink calligraphy pen, we’ll do it

calligraphy tags

With expertise in high profile jobs, our experienced gift wrapping team are professional, dressed in a uniform and highly discreet. We are always looking for new recruits so if you love wrapping, come and join us

Gift wrapping staff London

For more information about our Gift Wrapping Services and a quote please contact our Head Office

Email info@janemeans.co.uk
Telephone +44 1522 522 544

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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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