Melbourne and Sydney Gift Wrapping Courses in Australia to be launched

Jane Means will be launching Melbourne and Sydney Gift Wrapping Courses in Australia later this year, to coincide with the Australian launch of her book ‘giftwrapped’

Sydney gift wrapping courses

 

The gift wrapping expert says “It’s an exciting time taking the courses overseas.  For years I have had clients travelling from all over the world to attend the UK courses, but not everyone can afford the luxury of a long haul flight.  I am planning to do one off events, demonstrations and courses, catering for all budgets and already there’s been plenty of interest”

Melbourne Gift Wrapping Course copy
Aboriginal Artwork courtesy of Gary Spicer

Jane is currently in Australia on a research trip and there’s plenty going on behind the scenes with several shops and businesses keen to do a collaboration. Events may start as early as April and Jane will also be offering demonstrations and private courses for craft meet ups, groups of friends, social groups and charities.

Australia gift wrapping course

If you are interested in the Australian courses, demonstrations and events please drop us a line. Gift Wrapping Courses in Singapore will also continue this year so make sure that you are subscribed to our newsletter for early bird deals. Just drop us an email at info@janemeans.co.uk

Happy wrapping!

gift wrapping courses Australia copy

 

 

 

 

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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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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

 

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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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Gift Wrapping Project – Lining gift boxes with Tissue and Ribbon

You’ve bought the gift and have found a nice little box to pop it in but have no idea how to do the tissue bit.  This is something I am always asked to cover on my gift wrapping workshops and when I trained the staff in Harrods recently, they were desperate to find a quicker way, so here’s help at hand…

 

turquoise stacked gift boxes

You will need to find a box to house for product or gift and in this project I am using one from our Turquoise Gift Box Sets. I love this colour as it’s suited to any occasion or genre and the recipient will be able to use gift boxes again and again for storage.

Turquoise trio box set

You will need a sheet of tissue and some ribbon as we are going to give it a surprise bow detail inside

gift boxes turquoise

Firstly you need to measure the inside of the box (3 sides) with ribbon and then add about an extra 20cm for the bow.  This will be enough ribbon to tie a single bow around the gift.

Place your cut length of ribbon inside the box

Turquoise Gift Box

Fold your tissue so it is slightly narrower than the box.  I keep the box at the side of the tissue as a visual guide (you will then measure the correct amount).  Fold under any edges to give a polished finish.

Place the folded piece of tissue on top of the ribbon

Gift Boxes Turquose

Add another sheet(s) of tissue and scrunch it in to a cushion and place in the box.

In this case I have used a China Mug from Beverley Hewitt and ensuring there is plenty of padding around it

Turquoise tissue and box

Fold the 2 sides in neatly.  If the sides are too long you can cut them down or fold them under for a polished finish.

Gift Box Set

Tie a bow to finish and add a tag if you wish.  I have used a length of our Pink Gingham Ribbon and a Small white tag which I have punched by hand with a lace detail. (Available from The Range)

turquoise gift boxes

Even if you’re giving a small inexpensive gift, popping it in a gift box and following these easy steps will give it a luxurious finish and look like that you’ve spent a lot more on the purchase and thought.

Christmas gift boxes

 

Finally decorate your gift box to give it that really luxury element with inexpensive embellishments and Teal wired ribbons.  The recipient will love it!

gift boxes

I am a huge fan of gift boxes as they’re so handy for storing nick nacks, make up and jewellery.

If you’re wrapping a large item such as a tea set, follow these instructions and add a band of paper around the large box to make it look more balanced.

 

I would love t hear what you are all wrapping, and my next post will be about my forthcoming ‘giftwrapped’ book!

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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

 

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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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Valentine Shortbread Biscuits

You may be struggling to find the perfect present for your loved one (beautifully gift wrapped of course) or may not have the pennies to splash out on something expensive, so i’ve devised a little something for your loved one.  Biscuits!

Jane means Pink Gingham

There’s nothing I love more than a homemade biscuit with a cup of builders tea (in a china cup of course) so here’s an easy recipe.  Homemade biscuits are always a favourite and these shortbread hearts can be packaged beautifully so it looks as though it has come out of a chic deli in Paris or Milan.

cup of tea

Your loved one will love the fact that you have spent a little time making something personal.  You can also add nuts and some finely chopped fruit such as strawberries to add a flush of colour.

wholesale gingham ribbon

Ingredients:

4oz Butter
2oz Sugar
6oz Plain Flour

 

Pre heat the Oven to 190C or Gas Mark 5
Beat the sugar and butter until silky smooth
Add the flower to make a smooth paste
Roll to around 1cm thick and cut in to hearts with a cutter (Lakeland have a great set)

Pop on a baking tray (you can sprinkle some sugar if you wish)
Bake in the oven until golden brown (approx 20mins) then pop on a wire rack to cool

 

If you have some leftover strawberries these could be added with whipped cream to make a great dessert or tea treat

Sophie Conran pink plate heart

They could be served on a gorgeous pink heart plate from Sophie Conran 

 

If you’re short of time you can buy macaroons and flowers or buy some heart shaped biscuits, and serve you’re loved one a pot of tea in bed before work.

Sophie Conran Portmerion Plate

I managed to pick up a wonderful cake stand and have threaded through some pink gingham ribbon.   After our photoshoot we naturally had to have a well deserved tea break…with biscuits.

wholesale gingham ribbons

 

 

If you have any lovely biscuit recipes we’d love to hear from you… Enjoy!

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Our hectic Christmas gift wrapping season

We are now in to the peak time of the gift wrapping calendar, and are busier than ever with our London gift wrapping services and events until Christmas

For the last few weeks we have been busy gift wrapping wicker hamper baskets for a private client in Mayfair (over 300 of them).  You can also see how to pack the perfect hamper basket in my previous blog post.

gift wrapping hamper baskets

It was wonderful to have a packed house for my gift wrapping demonstrations and workshops at the Spirit of Christmas and Country Living Fairs in London and Glasgow.

Gift wrapping masterclass

Kirstie Allsopp popped along to the Country Living Fair in London to sign copies of her new book ‘Kirstie’s Christmas Crafts’ on our stand.  We are delighted to be featured in it, and can’t wait for the TV series.

Jane Means featured in Kirstie Allsopp book

I was also involved with the ‘Get Creative’ Event at Liberty in London and spent a fun 90 minutes gift wrapping live in their window on a busy Thursday evening infront of crowds. The iconic London store stock our ribbons and I popped in several days later to run a free ribbon masterclass for customers in their magical Christmas shop on the 4th floor.

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Clifton Nurseries, another stockiest of our ribbons invited me to run a mini gift wrapping workshop in their heavenly ‘Quince Café’ in Little Venice.  We all had lots of creative fun whilst sipping fizz and getting in to the festive spirit.  I can’t wait to be back there on the evening of December 9th to do another festive event and tickets are £20

clifton event

I headed over to Kent and East Sussex to run 3 separate events in one day for Millbrook Garden Centres.  It was a race against time to reach each garden centre in time but we did it albeit tight, and it was wonderful to meet so many of you.

Selfridges gift wrapping service

We have now started our Gift Wrapping Service in Selfridges flagship store in London. You will find us in the Beauty Hall on the ground floor every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until Christmas from 5-10pm.  The service is complimentary when you buy any products from the Selfridges Beauty Hall (minimum £70).

Jane Means gift wrapping at Selfridges

I am delighted to be working behind the scenes for Chanel in Bond Street in mid December.  You will also find me gift wrapping at the Ralph Lauren Fulham Road Store at a VIP charity event, and for Jack Wills and Dior just before Christmas.  This year I will have no lack of luxury stores to buy my presents from and already I am drafting my Christmas list. I just need time to wrap them!

Jane Means gift wrapping with Paul O'Grady

It’s also been an incredible season for filming and media. I appeared live on the Paul O’Grady Show on December 2nd (You can view it on ITV1 catch up).

Jane McDonald and Jane Means

I was lucky enough to be joined by Il Divo, Brendan O’Carroll and Jane McDonald and enjoyed a quick tipple at the aftershow party.

Red cotton gingham ribbon

You’ll also see me appearing on a BBC2 Christmas Programme on December 19th and I also had great fun filming with Lyndsey James for her forthcoming Craft blog in January.  The short outakes clip on Youtube is worth a watch and very funny.  I also have a Kuwait film crew popping over to film my work sometime before Christmas.

Jane Means on BBC Radio

 

I will be joining presenter Melvyn Prior on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on 11th December.  We will be discussing everything Christmas and it will no doubt be fun and chaos in the studio. I will then be heading to do a Christmas gift wrapping evening event at one of Rutlands best loved boutiques, Vanilla in Oakham.

Christmas Ribbon Jane Means

We’ve had some great press lately with features in the Observer, Times and Telegraph. Our ribbons have been featured in many magazines including Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Essentials, Woman and Home, Country Living, Prima and Bella to name a few! You will also see them in the second series of The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2.

Jane Means Ribbons

With such a crazy season, I will have little time to celebrate Christmas myself as I don’t pop my scissors down until late on December 24th.  It will be a quick family supper and as I have worked non stop since my wedding, I will finally be heading off on honeymoon on Christmas Day for a well earned holiday!

London gift wrapping service

 

If you have any general enquiries about our Gift Wrapping Services, Events and Courses please email us at info@janemeans.co.uk or contact us

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and we would love to hear about your festive wrapping in our comments box below

 

 

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