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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Gift wrapping awkward shapes with tissue

One of the main questions I am asked on my gift wrapping courses, is how to tackle the gift wrapping of awkward shapes. To many it fills them with horror yet I believe wrapping awkward shapes is easier than a square box, which is more strict with measurements.

You may have bought a shirt or scarf in a smart boutique and have wondered how they wrap it without using any tape.  They have done it so quickly that you’ve missed how they’ve done it.
gift wrapping

Today I’ve picked a fabric apron, and there are numerous ways you can wrap this but I’m going to share a quick and easy technique.

Firstly fold it into a nice compact square or oblong, to keep it neat I tend to fold from the edges into the centre, so you end up with no visible hems or ties.
You will need an enough tissue to go around the object and some excess tissue at both sides. I have chosen contrasting tissue  in white and burgundy.
gift wrapping awkward shapes
Fold one of the end over so it forms a decorative band. Place this band in the centre of the gift and tuck in the other edge underneath, I refer to this as wrapping backwards!

gift wrapping challenge

It may also help if you initially use double sided tape to hold everything in place although it’s good if you can get in to the habit of doing this freehand with practice.   For the sides you will now tuck the decorative band underneath the object so it resembles a pillow case.

gift wrapping by Jane Means


Finally you will tuck in the remaining side in on itself so you end up with a neat finish.  You can also lightly dust the tissue with your favourite fragrance or room spray to add to the senses.  When I’m wrapping fabric items I also like to play safe and have a layer of white tissue as the base colour.
gift wrapping tissue wrapping

The tissue wrapped creation then can be placed in a box, gift bag, or decorated with ribbon and embellishments.  You could also make a tissue pom pom with any remaining tissue.

Gift wrapping with tissue

 

I am also delighted to announce that I have landed a Worldwide book deal, and my hardback book ‘giftwrapped’ will be launched in November 2014, so if you love gift wrapping and want to pick up lots of techniques this is the perfect book for you.

Happy wrapping folks!

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Gift wrapping a luxurious Christmas hamper basket

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

I have always been a huge fan of Dior perfume and have often gazed at their displays and windows filled with luxurious bags and couture fashion
Several years ago I landed a dream job and headed out to Milan on my first assignment. I travelled throughout Europe working in their boutiques gift wrapping for their VIPs which was very exciting.
This year I returned to Paris and worked at their new pop-up boutique in Le Printemps department store
My long enjoyable days were spent gift wrapping in front of customers, Discreetly going at record speed to avoid queues.
I lost count of how many gifts I wrapped in the days I was there, and after wrapping so many small circular items I headed back home for Christmas to give my hands a very well earned rest!
To give you a flavour of the boutique pop up shop in Paris, you can view the Dior advert on YouTube
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