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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Join Jane Means and Kirstie Allsopp at The Handmade Christmas Fair Manchester

This month Jane Means will be sharing her Gift Wrapping Tips with Kirstie Allsopp live at The Handmade Christmas Fair at Manchester Central. The duo will be on stage in the Super Theatre on Saturday 21st November at 4pm.

Jane Means and Kirstie Allsopp

Jane will will be sharing stories about her career, talking about her plans to start courses in Asia and Australia and she will also be signing copies of her book ‘Giftwrapped’

GIFTWRAPPED COVER v9

As well as the demonstrations, expert talks and workshops, the fair is packed with handpicked exhibitors selling crafts, jewellery, haberdashery and gifts for Christmas.

We are giving away 2 tickets to the fair which takes place from 20th-22nd November, so head over to our Facebook page to enter.

The Handmade Christmas Fair

In September the team exhibited at the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court and had a great time. Jane did workshops for 300 people at a time, the largest number for her to teach ever!

Jane Means at The handmade Fair

 

 

It was great to see so many people on the stand, with many visitors travelling from as far as Melbourne and Jakarta!Jane Means Ribbons

 

We are now in the middle of our busy Christmas season doing our Christmas shows and Gift Wrapping Courses.  Jane has been filming Christmas commercials for WHSmith and has been busy behind the scenes with Kirstie, so make sure that you keep an eye on your TV screens at Christmas!

 

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10 Easy Fall Craft Projects for Autumn

Autumn is now upon us, I’m looking forward to the myriad of burnt orange and reds in our woodlands. I often use these spice colours in my gift wrapping services and Fall craft projects.

With the chilly nights approaching and some winter walks planned here’s a few Fall projects for you to try at home.

Some of these projects make great gifts too.

 

wood logs

 

1. Fall Mason Jars

fall mason jars with raffia

This is such a simple idea and very inexpensive to do. You can use either real foliage or decorative leaves (available from a craft store)

Simply add your leaves with PVA glue on to a mason jar, or clean jam jar, and tie a raffia bow to finish

These will look stunning in a fireplace or as a table centrepiece

via Spark and Chemistry

 

2.Rustic Fall Wreath

autumn wreath

If you have a glue gun the world is your oyster.

With some fresh twigs like dogwood (approx 80cm long) you can bend them around and wire them in to a circle.  You can then glue various decorations on to the base including pine cones, sticks, feathers, berries, artificial decorations.

I then love to add a pretty burlap ribbon bow to add the finishing touch. This can be hung from a door or can be used as a stunning table centre piece

Via Sweetsomethingdesign

 

3. Autumnal Gift Wrapping

brown and orange ribbon

Add presence to your presents with some sticks and dried oranges. Just slice your oranges and place them on a wire rack in a low oven.

Tie the decorations in with some pretty orange autumnal ribbon and your gift will look so much more luxurious

Via Jane Means

 

4. Rustic Table Centrepiece

Autumn table vase

 

On a country walk you can collect pine cones, feather and dried sticks.

Place them in to a vase or decorative mason jar and this can look stunning as a rustic centre piece on a mantlepiece or dinner table.

 via Love my dress

 

5. Twig Candle Holders

twig candles

Give jars and vases a new lease of life by adding some moss and sticks.

These can easily be picked up from country walks or bought from florists. Just add with a glue gun. You can also decorate by adding a string or raffia bow

 via Dawn Wedding Designs

 

6. Glitter Acorns

Glitter acorns

Decorate some cones or acorns with paint and glitter.

These can be placed loose in to a vase or you could make an easy garland by gluing them along a length of twine

via Pinterest

 

7. Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf project

We love this idea. Paint a handful of large dried leaves with gold paint, then write your message with a sharpie pen.

They make great gift tags and place settings

via Elements of Style Blog

 

8. Book Page crafts

upcycle book pages project

The big trend at the moment is to upcycle old books in to works of art with some clever cutting and folding techniques.

 

Pages can be slightly burnt at the edges with an iron to give an antique look and you will be overwhelmed by the projects on Pinterest

 

9. Autumnal headpiece

Autumn headband

Wearing flowers and decorations in your hair is very on trend, so decorate an old hairband or slide by adding some Autumnal flowers and leaves

via Etsy

 

10. Make your own Sloe Gin

Sloes

The Autumn is the perfect time to pick Sloes from the hedgerows and make your own flavoured gin (it is one of my favourite tipples!).

If you can’t get your hands on Sloes you can always use damsons or blueberries as an alternative.

Add a good handful to a bottle of gin and leave it to distill for at least a year. I also tend to prick the berries to get a more intense flavour.

This also makes a great present and I will be sharing my special recipe later in the year.

via Hello Magazine

Sloe Gin

 

Image by Rock My Wedding

Need more inspiration and ideas? You can also find lots more ideas on my Pinterest Craft Loves Board

Enjoy x

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An insight into our new Singapore Gift Wrapping Courses

We recently launched our first creative Singapore gift wrapping courses at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with press in attendance. The creative classes were scheduled to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Singapore Independence, known as SG50.

Singapore day courses

With several recent visits to South East Asia to promote the publication of the Giftwrapped book, the inaugural creative workshop was held on 11th July.

Singapore events SG50

mandarin oriental

We teamed up with Singapore’s number one course provider LessonsGoWhere who did a fantastic job marketing our Asian courses.

pastel gift wrapping

On arrival Delegates were treated to sumptuous homemade cookies and signature coffee’s made by our personal barista Jean.

Jane Means at Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Singapore creative courses

The morning session was a hive of activity involving luxurious gift wrapping, papercraft and bow making, and we were lucky enough to enjoy a spectacular view from our meeting room.



Singapore creative classesSingapore creative courses

Mandarin Oriental Singapore events
Although finger sandwiches were provided, guests enjoyed lazing under breezy canopies at the poolside bistro tempted by the tropical salads and signature juices.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore Class

 

During the lunch break I took time out with the delightful Tara Barker, Editor of Singapore Women’s Weekly, who was reviewing the course. You will be able to see her feature on the magazines Facebook and Instagram Page

Singapore creative class

Gift wrapping course Asia

craft course singapore

Creative juices were flowing with plenty of fun and laughter in the afternoon, where we tackled gift wrapping awkward shapes and making hand made decorations.

 

gift wrapping training certificates

Creative workshop Singapore

The happy delegates received their well earned certificates after indulging in to complimentary tea, cookies and pastries

Singapore training courses

On departure they were treated to a goody bag before heading home. At the end of a special day we were treated to a spectacular display as part of the Singapore SG50 celebrations.

SG50 celebrationsmarina bay sands singapore

Crowds flocked to see the fly pasts and fireworks displays over the breathtaking City skyline, and we were lucky enough to grab a great view from the roof terrace.

Singapore celebrating 50 years

 

Singapore SG50 fireworks

 

I will be running another Gift Wrapping Course in Singapore on August 1st. With the busy festive season approaching, I will be returning in the Spring of 2016 to run some more events.

luxury gift wrapping

If you would like any updates about our worldwide courses with early bird offers up for grabs, make sure that you’re on our mailing list by emailing us at info@janemeans.co.uk

Happy wrapping!

Singapore gift wrapping course

 

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10 recycling & eco friendly gift wrapping ideas

I’m often asked about recycling tips and eco friendly gift wrapping ideas, so I decided to dedicate a chapter in my book ‘Giftwrapped‘ about it. It is also an important part of my business so we recycle everything from ribbon spools, packaging and remnants.

financial times gift wrapping

Although I’m not a hoarder, I hate throwing away small offcuts, leftovers and remnants so here’s my top ten gift wrapping ideas to help the planet.

Fabric wrapping

Fabric leftovers

1. If you’ve got to tackle an awkward shape, raid your sewing stash and use a fabric remnant. Here I’ve used a thick linen and frayed the edges by hand, adding a luxury ribbon and embellishment to wrap a vintage vase.

 

pleated ft gift wrapping

Pleating leftover newspaper

2. Give boxes the luxurious touch by pleating a leftover Financial Times newspaper.  Use double sided tape for a professional finish.

To pleat the paper you make small folds in the paper (ensuring they are straight) and add some sticky tape to the reverse to avoid the paper stretching when you start wrapping the box. (There’s an easy step guide in my book)

dvd roses

Wrapping plants

3. When gift wrapping a plant, use a fabric remnant or a used (but clean) paper tablecloth.

These are both flexible for awkward shapes and are suitable for a damp base as the moisture will soak in to the wrapping.

 

recycled gift wrapping ideas

Adding Sticks and feathers

4. For a rustic finish add in sticks and feathers to your gifts collected on country walks using brown paper with raffia or string.

You can also recycle creased or used brown paper and this is a suitable style when wrapping gifts for men.

egg box eco gift wrapping

Pop small gifts in to empty egg boxes

5. Empty egg boxes can be decorated and are perfect for small gifts, chocolates or soaps.  Add a band of decorative paper or fabric and tie a bow to finish

wrapping a magazine subscription

Use old scarves for that element of luxury

6. I love the Japanese form of fabric wrapping (known as Furoshiki).  Old silk scarves make great wrapping for awkward shapes.

In this project we’ve rolled up a magazine with a subscription and tied it neatly in a scarf.

eco friendly gift wrapping idea

Joining paper leftovers

7. If your paper isn’t long enough to go around a large box, join an extra piece and cover the join with ribbon.

This looks very creative if you mix 2 opposite papers and is ideal for using those short leftovers you would normally throw away.

A roll of brown paper is an ideal paper that goes with most colours and designs.

music paper gift wrapping

 

Scrolls and straws

8. Small scraps of paper such as music sheets can be easily added as a decoration. Roll them up with a paper straw underneath and tie in with ribbon.

Eco wrapping tips

Tie in fragrant herbs and foliage

9. Add an extra sense by tying in fragrant herbs or foliage. The most suitable for gift wrapping are Rosemary, Bay, Laurel and Ivy.

You can also write on foliage to make rustic gift tags too.

 

paper cones

10. Paper cones can easily be made with vintage music script and are perfect for children parties, sweets and snacks.

If you wish to giveaway a small gift, the cone can be sealed at the top with some skinny ribbon.

 

I would love to hear about any of your own recycling projects and hope you will now look through your garbage with new eyes!

 

Happy wrapping…

 

 

 

 

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Make your own gift hampers with this basket weaving DIY tutorial

I love to give gift hampers and whilst on a recent trip to the Yasawa Islands, I was lucky enough to see an inspiring basket weaving demonstration which really grabbed my attention.

Tokoriki beach Fiji

I am a huge fan of botanical prints and anything natural and luckily I had a camera to hand to cover this amazing project.

plam trees

I was so impressed that I started having crazy ideas about running my gift wrapping courses in a tropical climate covering gift hampers with a bit of basket weaving thrown in!

photo 2-1

The basket was made out of part of a palm tree leaf, and I realise that sadly many of us don’t have access to a palm tree in the back garden.

photo 1-1

Firstly you cut approximately one third of the bottom of the leaf including stem (you will need a really large carving knife for this so it’s not something you can easily take away on holiday to do this!)

basket making

The palm leaf will consist of a thick stem with a row of leaves either side. You will start on the first side of the leaf brading in leaves in 3’s working your way along. Suni our lovely demonstrator made this look so easy!

basket weaving

It will resemble a really clean herringbone pattern as shown here.

weaving palm leaves

You will then repeat the same the opposite side.

weaving a fresh basket

With both sides of the leaf now braided you will need to bring the two edges together. You will then start braiding this all the way across.
palm tree leaf weaving
You will then plait the two ends of the leaf (as you would long hair) then cut the ends neatly.

photo 1-3

It will now resemble an oval weaves balloon shape. Take the carving knife and cut out the middle of the stem along the leaf.

fresh basket weaving

 Some of the stem will remain each side to act as a border.
basket weaving

 

Bring the 2 long plaited ends together and double knot the ends together so you have a good size handle
The middle stem that has been cut out  but can also act as a shoulder axel to carry the basket if it’s heavy.
fresh basket weaving

 

Even though I don’t currently live in a tropical climate, I love this idea and it would be a great hamper idea filled with fresh fruit or to store towels in a guest room
You can also use it as a base for a hamper and add some clear cellophane and raffia to decorate. You will find some hamper ideas in my book ‘giftwrapped
palm tree bowl
I also noticed lots of other ideas on Pinterest including a fresh bowl made from palm tree leaves (courtesy of Erin Bouma)

palm tree wreath

Another idea is a neat woven door wreath (courtesy of Crafty and Beyond ) and I love the one below by  Coastal Living

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 20.57.45

 

After the hectic 2014, I had a thoroughly good holiday and have come back ready to face the world.

This is another exciting year with lots in the pipeline and we will keep you posted!

 

jane means blog copy

 

From myself and my team we would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2015

Jane x

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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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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

 

Categories: Christmas, Gift Wrapping Courses, Gift Wrapping Service, Luxury Wrap & Stationery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gift Wrapping and DIY Craft Projects for Halloween

IMG_5972

 

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.

IMG_1588

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

 

 

IMG_1631
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.

IMG_3333

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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