International Gift Wrapping ideas to suit all cultures

After 20 years in the business, I’m now finding myself travelling the globe sharing my knowledge and decided it was time to write my latest post ‘International Gift Wrapping ideas to suit all cultures’. My in laws live in Japan, my second home is in Singapore, plus I have Scottish ancestry and run courses in Glasgow and have American relatives, so I’m fascinated how to wrap presents differently to suit the different nationalities and cultures. With all of this and my courses in UK, Singapore and Australia, I’ve dedicated a section in my book ‘Giftwrapped’

I’m a firm believer that first impressions count and it’s what is on the inside that counts…we’ve all heard that saying ‘Packaging is everything’

There are obvious symbolic similarities between Chinese and Japanese theming but two beautiful and very different oriental giftwrapping styles can easily be created.  The similarities come in the use of lavishly embellished silk and symbols such as fans and chopsticks, together with their respective and beautifully illustrative, calligraphic characters. I also love to wrap items creatively and constrasting colours like Yellow and Red

Chinese styled giftwrapping.  The flag of China inspires the use of red and golden yellow, and stars are very much a symbol.  A gift wrapped in shiny, red paper or red, silk fabric, tied with a golden yellow silk, sash ribbon needs only the addition of chop sticks slotted into the bow and a gift tag in the shape of a large, yellow star to achieve the required look.  Add a carefully chosen and perfectly positioned Chinese symbol or two to your wrapping paper.  With a little practice and painted in black, these symbols will instantly define your oriental theme.

Red stitched ribbon by Jane Means

Japanese styled giftwrapping.  With its red circular sunburst design on a white background, the Japanese flag is a good source of inspiration.  With a focus on the traditional colours of red, black and white, embellishments of chop sticks or tassels and the use of painted, red, Japanese symbols onto white paper with red, silk ribbon, a very traditional, Japanese style can be created.

Reversible Gift Wrap by Jane Means
Image Courtesy of The General Co

In addition, the ancient art of Japanese paper folding is ideal to introduce to this theme.  Using origami to add embellishments of simple fans or more complex flowers will, no doubt, make your gift look very pretty.  Paper pleating is a Japanese technique, which looks rather stunning and will impress any recipient.  It is an interesting fact that, historically, an odd number of pleats on the gift was used for a happy occasion, whilst an even number of pleats would have meant the gift was intended for a sad occasion.

Image courtesy of The French Tangerine

American styled giftwrapping.  Well, it is hard to think of America and not think of stars and stripes and red, white and blue.  Any combination of these colours is a great place to start.  For example, red and white striped paper with a blue ribbon, blue paper with red and white striped ribbon (see my red and cream striped grosgrain ribbon) or a combination of contrasting blue paper with white paper, centrally separated by a red ribbon.  To add American stars, position white star stickers on the blue paper.

Tartan by Scotland Shop

Scottish style giftwrapping.  I have various tartan ribbon designs in my range and when they are used generously against navy blue, red, forest green or parcel wrapping paper and combined with embellishments of heather or thistles, the Scottish theme is clear.  Add celtic symbols in the form of brooches, trinkets or hand painted emblems on homemade gift tags to enhance the theme. Having Scottish ancestry I also love to use Tartan and Tweeds in my Gift wrapping projects.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Indian styled giftwrapping.  Famous for its vivid and spice-derived colours, India evokes thoughts of silk saris, bangles and opulent golden necklaces, lavishly embellished with precious stones.  The peacock, with its iridescent feathers, is the national bird of India and vivid blue, a rich green green and intense purple, the colours of the peacock, combined with embellishments of gold coloured chains,  pendants and varying textures of gold ribbon can form the strong basis of an Indian theme.  Brightly coloured layers of tissue paper offer the image of saris whilst tying in several golden bangles with a brightly coloured chiffon scarf adds to the embellishment of your gift.  Bright colours and opulence are the main features and the presence of a peackock feather, elephant charm or pendant or a handmade circular gift tag featuring the ‘Ashoka Shakra’, a 24-spoke blue wheel that appears on the Indian flag.

I am a huge fan of India. I have been several times and hope to run some future courses there.

Red Ribbon by Jane Means
Map Paper by Clifton Nurseries

Pick a country and try to capture the essence of its nature as you wrap your gift.  Perhaps the gift originates from that country or is to be given to a person from that location or to someone who is going to travel there soon…  Creating a personalised theme only serves to increase the meaning and quality of both the gift giving and receiving experience.

Jane Means is a Worldwide Gift Wrapping Consultant who works for Luxury Brands, Celebrities and Royalty

If you are stuck on what to give as a gift, check out Minding Manners who cover perfect Gift Giving on their brilliant etiquette workshops

Happy Wrapping

 

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Jane Means launches first collection of Gift Wrap on Live TV

Hot off the press this month is….Jane Means to launch first collection of Gift Wrap on Live TV. Jane will be live on Create and Craft TV on Tuesday 14 th March at 7pm UK time and we can’t tell you how excited we are at Wrapping HQ

Ribbon and wrap by Jane Means

With a love of stripes and florals (Jane used to be a florist), the collection has been designed with these elements in mind.

Jane has been a designer herself for over 12 years and put the collection together , with help from graphic designer Leona Baldwin at Fox and Lark

Ribbons and wrap by Jane Means

Our new designs

The 4 designs are unique as they are cleverly designed so you can get up to 6 different looks with a single sheet, using Jane’s clever techniques.

The papers are reversible and printed in the UK on high quality paper. We cannot wait to start using them on our Gift Wrapping Courses

Jane says “I’m delighted to be launching this first ever collection. For years I have been thinking about designing my own gift wrap but felt the market was already flooded with Gift Wrap.

It was only when I had that lightbulb moment when I realised I’d designed something unique, that I decided the time was right”

Ribbons and wrap by Jane Means

She adds “The papers have been designed to compliment the ribbon collections and are suitable for occasions including birthday, anniversaries and weddings. For the last six months there have been many tweaks and amendments in her design studio, and now the team are busy with photoshoots and styling projects. It’s a very exciting time”

The collection will be available exclusively through Create and Craft from Tuesday 14th March, and will be available to wholesale customers at the end of March

Ribbons and wrap by Jane Means

Students attending a Jane Means Course will gain valuable tips when using the unique papers and be able to buy the collection on the day

Share your ideas

We would love to see you Gift wrapping using our new gift wrap papers so please ensure that you tag us in to your Social Media with #JaneMeans on Instagram and Twitter

Giveaway

You will also have a chance to win some giveaways next week so keep an eye on our Facebook Page 

Happy Wrapping!

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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Grab a signed copy of my new gift wrapping book ‘Giftwrapped’

We’re delighted to have taken delivery of the new book Giftwrapped, and now have our first orders coming in.

We had queues pre-ordering the gift wrapping book at the Handmade Fair last week, and have had people calling from as far away as Sweden wishing to secure a signed copy before it’s launched to the world

Jane Means book signing

 

Publication date isn’t until November 20th but you can get your very own signed copy now, and all early bird orders received by October 7th will be personally ‘giftwrapped’ by my own fair hands. I thought it would be a nice extra touch seeing as that is the title!

 

photo 4

You’ll also be entitled to a 10% discount on our website at www.janemeans.com

Just enter promo code bkb14 at checkout to get it for the special price of £18

giftwrapped books copy

Every copy will be signed and I’m also very happy to write a small personal message (do be warned that I am on the road running Gift Wrapping Courses and shows from mid October until Christmas so there may be a little wait during this period).

 

gift wrapping expert

I feel totally blessed for the endeless support I’ve had whilst writing my first book and would love to hear any comments from those of you who’ve ordered a first copy of Giftwrapped.

 

choc amor lancashire

This is a dream come true and although I have aching hands from the book signings, I am smiling non stop!

Happy reading.

Jane x

 

Order your signed copy of Giftwrapped now

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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.

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