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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Celebrate our Company Milestone – Jane Means is 20 years old

It all started from the kitchen table back in 1995, when the Jane Means Brand was born. Whilst recovering from an illness, I started making Handmade cards and little did I know it would transform in to a global Ribbon and Gift Wrapping business, working with some of the worlds famous people and stocking luxury brands.

Jane Means Ribbons

This September we are reaching our company milestone and would love you to join in the fun celebrating our 20th year. And what a year it has been with the ‘Giftwrapped’ book launch, winning a business award from Theo Paphitis, landing my own TV show, and launching our Gift Wrapping Courses in South East Asia!

Jane Means Logo 2015

We’ve upgraded our branding and love our new company logo and 20th anniversary signature stamp designed by the talented Charlotte Malkin

Turquoise gift wrapping

In the run up to our special birthday we will be doing some special giveaways on our Facebook page, running events, launching brand new products and I will be making some special appearances at forthcoming exhibitions including Burghley Horse Trials, Autumn Fair (Trade Show) and Top Drawer Autumn (Trade Show).

wedding ribbon

 

This Autumn I am delighted to be joining the honourable TV presenter, business woman and journalist, Kirstie Allsopp on stage at The Handmade Fair.  We will be gift wrapping together in front of an audience so keep an eye out for ticket giveaways and prizes on our Facebook page for the event.

Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair

After our International Gift Wrapping Courses in Singapore, we are looking at more worldwide locations (and we’d love to hear from you). With lots in the pipeline it is sure to be an exciting year ahead!

Jane means-105

On a final note I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 20 years.  I have the best job in the world and it’s all stations go ready for the season ahead!

Jane x

Silver glitter paper

 

 

 

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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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How I dealt with having my designs copied and copyright advice.

Creative industries in the UK annually bring in £71 billion pounds and this is growing by 10% each year. I am surrounded by creative people and designers, and one of the biggest concerns is copyright and IP issues (known as Intellectual Property),  so I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post sharing my own experience, with advice on how to deal with designs being copied.

I have always loved experimenting, designing and making my own things whether it be handmade cards, upholstery, calligraphy, textiles and crafts.  Having your designs copied when you’re in business can be a real time consuming and costly headache. As many of you will know, I have had several experiences of being copied and you dread the expense, legal fees, wasted man-hours and the huge effort to fight your case.

 

Author and designer Jane Means

Many small designers and businesses have shared similar experiences or asked for help. Even the big fashion houses who launch their new collections on the catwalk will have copycat designs out in days. This can sometimes be a positive thing, buyers may wish to try out the cheaper version, and may eventually buy the ‘real thing’.

 

So what do you do when you think your idea has been copied? Well in my case it was to talk it over with my family, friends and staff to see what their thoughts were incase I was over reacting. You will get an honest answer here, but I usually trust my own instincts. I would then seek some legal advice and look for help online.

Apple mac keyboard

Photo courtesy of tutsplus.com

 

My first experience of being copied was by a family friend. She had started her own gift wrapping service which I had no problem with (It’s a free world and I believe competition is healthy), however I was horrified to see the content of her website.  It had virtually been a copy and paste job directly from my own website.  I’ve also had experiences where photos of my work have appeared on competitors websites (I will talk to you about this later) and usually a short ‘to the point’ letter or phone call will rectify the situation.  Competition is healthy but copying isn’t.

Ribbon storage dispenser

I am a firm believer that those who work hard and put in the effort will get results.  As Theo Paphitis recently quoted at an awards event in Birmingham “You only get out what you put in”.  There is nothing like an original and when you see a copycat design, in my eyes it’s a second class product.

jan costantine

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Constantine

One classic case I regularly see is lookalike cushions from the Jan Constantine range.  Although her designs are very Union Jack (which you can’t copyright), they are unique in their own way and often copied. The company pretty much have a constant legal battle protecting their work.

 

Jane Means dogs and cats ribbon

My first legal case was with Berisfords Ribbons.  For years I had a really good relationship with them as one of their stockists.  I had designed a classic dog and cat ribbon for Liberty and decided to use Berisfords as my manufacturer. I gave them my artwork and had the range made.  Much to my horror, they produced their own designs a few months later.  They were so similar that it fooled most of the industry.  I took legal action and won my case.

Berisfords dog cat ribbon

Despite it being a costly and upsetting process, the main thing here for me was to hold my head up high, stay professional and keep designing.  We were inundated with emails and customer comments but for me it was the support of clients, customers and fellow ribbon competitors. My staff were also upset so it was crucial to stay calm and weather the storm. I am lucky to have a loyal following on Social Media who were very supportive, however I know of a company who had been copied and went to the extreme lengths of deactivating their social media accounts so their business activity could remain private, with competitors (and customers) being left in the dark.

 

I have worked in the gift industry for nearly 20 years and have heard so many stories with small designers finding their work copied and on the shelves of High Street stores.  I sat next to a buyer of a well known discount home store on a flight back from Hong Kong chatting away about my work.  Months later a customer got in touch congratulating me on stocking the chain, except that wasn’t the case.  This was a classic case of being copied.

Bookishly v marks-and-spencer

Louise Verity from Bookishly took on Marks and Spencers after seeing typographic arts prints similar to hers. After a series of lawyers letters, M&S claimed it was unfounded.  Rather than taking further action which would have been a financial nightmare, Louise used lawyers to highlight the experience on social media.  It got a lot of support from the public, press and the design community, but Marks & Spencer maintained their position. They said the product was a short print run and wouldn’t be reprinted. M+S eventually removed it from their website and sold through their stock.

Louise says “I’m not exactly happy with the situation, but I have come to accept that the best thing to do is to rise up and move on. Getting caught up in the unfairness of the situation isn’t going to get the creative juices going”.  I was mesmerised by Louise’s experience on the Folksy Blog and her feature has some great advice.

 

Jane Means and Dids Macdonald ACID

With my various experiences, It gave me food for thought so I decided to speak out and become an Anticopy campaigner helping other designers.  For this feature I have got together with a couple of top experts in this field.  Dids Macdonald (D) is the CEO of ACID and has had over 25 years experience in the design industry, and Niall Head Rapson (N) is a leading copyright lawyer for McDaniel and Co.  We filmed a feature together and here are some of the most common issues that designers can face.

 

How can designers protect their work if their budget is very small?

N: Most of the work that a designer creates does not require formal registration as it is automatically protected by Unregistered Design Right and Copyright You don’t have to pay any fees to protect your work.  What you must do though is make a thorough design history of your work and make sure the work is dated.  Ideally this should be by someone else.  A©ID, as part of their membership offer a Deposit Scheme where you send them your designs.  This is crucial to ensure you get an independent verification of a date before which the designs must have been created.

You can also registered your Designs and Brand names but these come at a cost.  A registered design will cost you a minimum of £60 and a trade mark a minimum of £200.

JM: As well as ACID, You will find lots of useful information on the UK Copyright Service website.

 

What do you do if someone asks to take a photograph of your work for exhibition stand?

 

N: Say no.  It is the easiest way for your designs to be published, sent around the world and copied.  If someone wants images of your products, ask them what they want them for.  If you think you want to send them some images then make sure you have all the details of the contact.  If they have your images and not theirs and you know who they are then you have more control over what they do with the images

 

D: Be very careful as designs can be the other side in seconds and on a production line in minutes so the word is caution.

 

JM: For me I would always ask for a business card.  Quiet often the photographer could be an admirer, blogger or journalist and it’s always a good idea to ask the permission before you snap away, whether you are on holiday or admiring someones work.

British ribbons wholesale

What can you do if you find your photograph on another website?

 

N: It is annoying especially if it is without your permission.  The first thing to do is to as the website to remove the image.  If they won’t do that, then you send what is called a “Take Down Notice” to the web host.  The web host will more often than not remove the offending web page.  This is because if they don’t they can be liable for the use of the photograph.

 

Is there an easy way you can track where your photographs are being used online?

 

N: There are some imaging software products available but ideally you need to make sure that you have a record of who you have given your images to, and more importantly told them what they can and cannot do with them.  If you can, make a secure area where someone needs a password to download images (such as Flickr) and have terms of use of the photograph

JM: There’s a great little app called Picnic that will easily find where your images are being used online. Photo sharing websites such as Pinterest will have a facility where you can report if your image is being used without your consent. A simple search on google images can soon pick out similar images as well as your own.

 

Deckchair stripe ribbons

 

When do you distinguish when something has been copied?

 

N: It is possible that someone has created something that is the same as yours but done so independently.  However, if the person who has the copy is someone you know or has seen your work because, for instance, they are a customer or they made an enquiry. then it is likely that they have copied your work.  In legal terms if they have had access to your design then it is for them to prove they did not copy your work

 

What is the first step to take once you realise that your design has been copied?

 

N: You need to write to them and let them know that you think they have copied your work.  Ideally this should come from a lawyer to make sure that you don’t make threats which you shouldn’t make.

 

D: First of all don’t panic, gather all your evidence for your design audit trail and try and buy a copy of the product, and obtain the receipt this is really important. You then need to get professional advice but you can do a lot yourself.

 

 

What is the process for taking legal action?

 

N: If they won’t stop or acknowledge you then you need to decide if you want to issue court proceedings.  You will need to have court papers drawn up which sets out your claim.

 

D: Normally a letter from your solicitor will do the trick highlighting the case. This can be sorted out of court with direct correspondence. Only a very very few cases actually go to the final court hearing

 

What type of costs are involved?

 

N: Well if it doesn’t involve Registered Designs or Patents you can use the IP Small Claims court which is cheaper.  It will also depend if you use a lawyer or not.  If you don’t use a lawyer it will cost up to £735 for the Court fee to start the claim.  If you use a lawyer then it can cost up to £10 000.  If you need to use the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court then the cost is up to £50k.

 

D: That really depends on how long the and the legal letters take to go backwards and forwards that’s why the first letter before action is really important so you got all the evidence is strong case and to put together side which can’t be legally challenged.

JM: The small claims court is the low-hassle way to take legal action for up to £10,000 against a firm or individual. You can represent yourself quite easily and the Citizens Advice Bureau can also offer additional support. I would strongly suggest that you use a solicitor to draft a strong letter at the start.  You will then appear serious with a legal team behind you.

goody bag ideas

Is it true there are seven points of difference?

 

N: No.  Each case is taken on the facts of the case.  What a Court looks for is if the essence of the design has been taken.  They look to find the intellectual skill and effort a designer has put into the design.  There can be one point of difference which defeats a claim or there can be 20 points of difference which make no difference to the Court.  Generally if you have a design that someone has set out to copy then you will have a strong case.  See the images in the Red Bus Case

 

What legislation is there to protect designers?

 

N: There are lots of Acts of Parliament and European Legislation which protects Designer interests.  Most of it is covered by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.  If you have registered trade marks or designs then these are covered by the Trade marks Act 1994 and the Registered designs Act 1949.  There was an Intellectual Property Act 2014 which brought in Criminal Sanctions for infringement of Registered Designs

 


brown paper gift wrapping

I am being followed on Pinterest and Twitter by my competitors should I block them?

 

N: It is up to you but if they copy you, then you will have proof that they have had access to your designs.  They will still be able to look at your designs on your web site, on any sites you sell on, or your stockists sites so blocking them isn’t going to stop them seeing your products, but it will make it easier to prove they know about you.

 

D: In one word yes

 

Are any rules or legislation coming into force to protect designer’s rights?

 

N: There is a lot out there already which covers you.  It would be nice if there were criminal sanctions for unregistered design right as there is for copyright.  There isn’t anything in the horizon at the moment that isn’t covered already

Can you insure yourself against copyright?

 

N: You can take out an insurance policy that will pay your legal fees if you are infringed.  A©ID have one of the best ones on the market for designers which pays out up to £100k to take legal action

 

D: Yes.  This is an exciting time because there is an insurance that’s just come in called  ACID IP Insured. We insure our cars, we insure our homes, we insure our possessions, so why not a business and future?

 

cat and dog ribbon

 

Everyone loves a story behind a product and for me when I am designing a new ribbon collection, I have usually been inspired by something I’ve seen or experienced.  The dogs and cats designs were from actual photos of pets belonging to my friends and family and made in to silhouettes.

 

Colours that I bring in to a collection can have a story too.  The fuschia designs were from a flower I’d photographed whilst on honeymoon in Tahiti, the vibrant dots and stripes from my favourite sweets, Liquorice Allsorts!

Jane Means Dotty Ribbons

 

Copying is often referred to as underlying form of flattery.  To me it is just lazy business behaviour, and I am really pleased to see that several High Street stores have signed up in support of the “Don’t copy it Campaign’ including John Lewis and Selfridges.

My biggest annoyance is participants who come on a gift wrapping workshop, and then turn around and start teaching that same course, with similar descriptions, price and content. They then start drifting on to the same websites and forums using identical keywords and hashtags. I have even had requests from people who want to ‘shadow’ a course for free before starting their own – unbelievable!

20 Years ago when my business was born there was no internet, It took me years of teacher training, researching the old fashioned way, course writing, long hours, unpaid work, sweat and tears to get the workshops off the ground.  I think it is now easier than ever to be copied and to be accused of copying in this digital age. Through the years I have kept a log of photos, notes, scrapbooks which not only bring back lots of great memories but acts as my IP proof.

On a final note, the best thing for me is that people fly from all over the world to come on the courses.  I am shortly starting my first creative classes in Singapore and the only way to carry on and strive ahead, is to be a leader, and not a follower.

 

 

Jane Means filming ACID feature

We’d love to hear any comments below.  For all other enquiries please email us directly at info@janemeans.co.uk

ACID logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Easter DIY Craft and Decorating Ideas

Here are some really quick and easy Easter DIY Craft ideas to make your home or dinner table a Spring masterpiece. I’ve rummaged my craft room and put together my 10 favourite decorating ideas…

 

pink speckled eggs

1. To make an easy Easter tree, fill a plant pot or attractive planter with soil or sand. Plunge twigs into the base and cover the soil or stand with straw or Moss.   You can then hang Easter egg decorations on to your new tree!

easter decorations

2. An Easter wreath is very versatile and doesn’t only have to be displayed on a door or wall. You can place the wreath flat in the middle of a dinner table which makes a great centrepiece.

easter wreath table

You can then place a plant, jug of flowers or bowl of eggs in the centre of the wreath

easter table setting

3. Add an instant spring theme to your dinner table by tying feathers, a fresh flower or foliage into your napkins with some strands of raffia or a length of ribbon

tissue pom pom

4. Pom poms can be easily made with a few sheets of tissue. For this project you will need roughly 10 sheets of tissue, some sharp scissors and some craft wire. They make an ideal decoration for the table, hanging from a chandelier or window (follow our step by step pom-pom tutorial)

Spring plants

5. Wrap up plants with small panels of fabric, netting or paper tablecloths and secure with ribbon or raffia.

ribbon flag

6. Make it quick and easy ribbon flags using kebab sticks and remnants of ribbon. These will look great added to plants or tied in to napkins.

Here we have used some Pink and Brown Stripe ribbon.

easter bulbs

7. Wrap spring bulbs in napkins or a kitchen cloth with ric rac for an inexpensive gift. These look great in an Easter basket for a neighbour or for place settings.

daisy party bags easter spring

8. If you are trying to cut costs or calories, you can bag up a small collection of home-made treats and tie with ribbon and a tag in some decorative cellophane bags.  The recipient will love this home made creation.

pink blue eggs

9. In a hurry to decorate your table? Place an elegant bowl in the centre of your table and add eggs, twigs and raffia. They can be artificial decorations or simply paint plain fresh eggs with a paint tester pot

 

Pink spot ribbon

 

10. Make some miniature bunting with a length of fine string or thread. Cut up small pieces of ribbon, at double sided tape and fold them in half over the string or twine. Cut the ends into an angle. This is ideal for decorating cakes and adding over small mirrors or a mantelpiece. It is also a brilliant way of using those small offcuts and roll ends of your favourite ribbon. In this project I have used some pink and white spotty ribbon

spring bunting

 

…or why not go larger in scale and make some of your own bunting. You can recycle duvet covers, bed sheets, tea towels and old napkins in this project.

easter chocolate bar

Don’t forget that I have some great ideas on my Spring and Easter Pinterest Board, and I’d love to hear what you are making over the Easter holidays!

Enjoy x

kraft LA stripe bags


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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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Ribbon Bunting: DIY Craft Tutorial

Here’s a quick and easy ribbon bunting DIY craft tutorial for you, which will only take around 10 minutes to make

Pink spot ribbon

Its now time to raid the drawers and find those roll ends and remnants of fabric and ribbon.
This is a wonderful craft project to spruce up a basket of flowers, a cake or a table decoration.
 ribbon bunting 0
In this project I have only used some double sided tape, sharp scissors and around half a metre of fuchsia dotty ribbon with a couple of kebab sticks and thread.
I have used raffia in this project to be different!
 ribbon bunting 1
Add some double sided tape at the top of each kebab stick and wind around the ends of the raffia
ribbon bunting 3
Cut your ribbon into small pieces approximately 6-7cm long
 ribbon bunting 4
Add double sided tape on the reverse of the ribbon
ribbon bunting 5
Fold the ribbon in half over the raffia so it sticks together
 ribbon bunting DIY craft project
With a sharp pair of scissors, cut the ends of the ribbon into angles
Jane Means ribbon bunting
Your decoration is now ready to use. Just plunge the kebab sticks into plants or a cake. You can also use paper straws as an alternative to kebab sticks.
cake bunting by zoomyummy.com
Photo courtesy of www.zoomyummy.com
bunting by thetomkatstudio.com
Photo courtesy of www.thetomkatstudio.com
We would also like to thank Clifton Nurseries for allowing us to use their beautiful venue for the shoot.
Even the resident cat Mrs Miggins popped along to see what all of the fuss was about and joined in!
Mrs Miggins at Clifton Nurseries Cat
Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

 

Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Categories: Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gift wrapping awkward shapes with a tailored ribbon bow

We are often faced with gift wrapping awkward shapes, and something that has always been a challenge is tying a bow around something fragile or flexible

 

gift wrapping biscuits

If you tried to tie a bow around a silk scarf wrapped in tissue, or a pile of delicate biscuits, it would crumple up and be hard work to tie, so here I am going to show you a simple and effective ‘tailored ribbon bow’ technique using some classic Black stitched ribbon.
Black stitched ribbon
It is really popular with mail order companies as it travels extremely well and you only need to use a minimum amount of ribbon.
Jane Means Gift Wrapping
To make this bow you will only require a reversible ribbon and some Double sided tape. In this DIY project I am going to add the bow around a gift voucher placed in an envelope
You will firstly cut a small piece off the end of the roll and this will need to be approximately three times the width of the ribbon (if your ribbon is 1 cm wide you will need to cut off 3 cms). Add double sided tape along this small piece that you have cut off.
Black stitched ribbon project

 

Next you need to add a small piece of double sided tape at the end of the roll.  You’ll now need to roll the ribbon into a circle and stick so it now looks like a figure of ‘9’
Black ribbon DIY bow project
Squeeze the circle and add a small sticky piece in the centre, sticking the sides around the back.
Finally you will measure your ribbon by going around the item ensuring there is a slight overlap of approximately 2 inches (5cms).
grey stitched
You can also add more than one bow to give an eye-catching and luxurious effect.  Here I have pleated the paper Japanese style.
bow ribbon belt
And I love the simplicity of this white leather bow belt, such a timeless piece.
pastel gift wrapping
I’ve decorated a Mother’s Day gift in scented floral drawer liners and added some lace along with this simple bow to give the gift wrapping a chic statement.
cake bow
This is also a great technique to decorate a cake, and here I have layered a couple of ribbons for a dramatic effect for the forthcoming Cake and Bake Show I will be exhibiting at in October.
Gift wrapping cupcakes
I hope that you have great fun making this bow and please pop by and say hello if you’re at the Cake and Bake Show, I will be there making an odd appearance!
cakebakeshowlogo

 

Categories: Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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