Raffia ideas in your gift wrapping and craft projects

I’m a huge fan of Raffia Palms (also known as Raphia) and thought i’d share with you some great raffia ideas in your gift wrapping and craft projects.

Using raffia in giftwrapping immediately introduces a natural and rustic feel to your presentation creation.  When used sparingly, it punctuates your nature loving, natural intentions but when used in abundance it conjures up country living and rustic farm kitchens and makes a strong statement of simplicity and environmental awareness.

feather eco gift wrapping

Combining raffia with combinations of wood, parcel paper, string, twigs, herbs, dried fruits, feathers and other materials such as hessian or linen, creates a style that is, altogether, one of simplicity and it can be presented as elegantly plain or can be full of subtle details and perfectly suited embellishments.

raffia jar

If you are giving a potted plant, a generous bouquet style wrapping of tissue paper, tied with raffia and ribbon is all that is required to serve up a rustic present that could be placed directly onto a country kitchen table.  There is something about a raffia bound bouquet of sunflowers or a pot of homemade preserve, topped with gingham and wrapped with raffia that just says ‘country living’ and sometimes this is exactly what you wish to say.

 

If you are giving a mini hamper, filled with preserves, wine, crackers and cheese, a bed of raffia in a basket tied with a bow of raffia sends a message of wheat field walks and open, flower-filled meadows.  A few folded, red and white checked napkins would also emphasise your picnicking intentions. In the evening, jars filled with tea lights will look stunning decorated with raffia

craftoholicsanonymous

Image courtesy of Craftoholics Anonymous

Try wrapping gifts in a country check napkin or tea towel and using double-sided tape and a raffia-tied bow to secure.  Embellish with simple country flowers, a few stems of wheat or some fresh, scented herbs and you have a complete country package, perfect for wrapping boxes of preserves, home-baked goodies or for someone who loves countryside living. A jar filled with flowers decorated with raffia looks great too

the wild orchid

Image courtesy of The Wild Orchid

 

When using brown parcel paper, replacing ribbon with multiple, entwined strands of natural raffia to wrap around and tie in a bow, tying in a brown luggage or wooden label, complete a very rustic package.  Perfect for ‘no nonsense’ dads, gardeners and people who appreciate simplicity.

raffia presents

Raffia by Jane Means

Making lots of bows from grouped lengths of raffia and attaching them down the centre of your wrapped gift box will make your parcel look very neatly fastened.

 

Platting grouped lengths of raffia will make a rustic raffia rope to wrap your gift with.  Binding your gift box with several such ropes with achieve a very attractive basket weave effect.  It’s a little time consuming but fun to do and very effective and satisfying to achieve.

 

Raffia can be natural but can also be dyed and be brightly coloured.  Using coloured raffia with parcel paper adds all the colour you may need but purple raffia on lime green paper can simply add an acidic twist to what was originally a very natural, rustic wrapping style. You can eve dye your own with beetroot juice and black coffee, or cheat and buy it ready coloured!

Jane Means Raffia

A natural raffia bow around a clear cellophane or brown paper bag is perfect for wrapping sweets or cookies.  Punching holes along the closure of a bag and weaving raffia, rather like stitching, and slotting on small wooden beads is also fun and effective.  Brown paper luggage labels add to the natural tones of the colour combination.  With brightly coloured bags, raffia, beads and labels, these packages would take on a whole new identity, of course.

raffia

Small changes make big differences and perfectly executed details make impressive presentations.  Whatever style you choose and whichever materials you use, ensure you take the time to position and secure everything precisely.  A simple and rustically wrapped gift, using a combination of newspaper, wrapping paper, brown paper and natural or coloured raffia can look a million dollars, given the appropriate styling, time and attention.

 

raffia napkin

Finally a great trick for keeping your raffia tidy, is to store loose strands in a carrier bag and pull the required amount out of the bag.  It will save you vacuuming the floor!

Enjoy x

Image by Marie Claire 

Ingrid HenningsonImage Courtesy of Ingrid Henningson

 

 

Categories: Inspiration, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A summer photo shoot

I was utterly delighted when photographer Lyndsey James wanted to pop over to do a feature at the Haberdashery Closet. Her photography workshops caught my eye earlier on in the year as they are designed for anyone who creates or sells small products who want to showcase their work with eye-catching photography.

haberdashery closet ln42ta

I couldn’t wait to meet her and pick her brains. I do a lot of my own styling and photography and we had a morning playing around with ribbons, trimmings, raffia, gift wrap and all sorts of decorations.  I got to work in the studio whilst we chatted away, and the time flew by.

jane means raffia pink

I spoke about how I started in business with the ups and downs I’ve experienced.  So many times I nearly gave up my dream but persisted with the hard work and long hours.  It was great comparing notes with a fellow business woman and we chatted away about marketing, running workshops and creative photography which are huge parts of our businesses.

jane means ribbon lampshade

 

I am always trying to dream up new ways to use ribbon.  So many people who buy from us transform mundane items in to brilliant creations.  I had a go at recreating the ribbon lampshades that Bay Designs do (although my effort is no where near as perfect as theirs) and plan to make a chandelier from wooden bobbins for a future shoot.

jane means ribbon roll

In the Haberdashery Closet you are never short of ribbon and we had piles of pretty trims everywhere.  Currently we have over 10,000 rolls of ribbon in stock and I’m always dreaming up new designs and keeping an eye on forthcoming trends, and new crafty projects.

jane means ribbon shelf

I have a real love for depth and textures and soon pulled out the velvet collection for Lyndsey to photograph.  I love velvet as it seems to have that quintessentially British luxury and royal feel about it.

jane means ribbon stockroom

The stockroom is a huge part of Ribbon HQ, we spend a lot of time in there busy packing up our online and wholesale orders on a daily basis.  I’m often rummaging through the stock when I am heading off to do a show or course somewhere.

jane means tying raffia

Wrapping gifts has always been a huge part of my life and I always left the nicely wrapped gifts last to open as a child.jane means raffia pink

I’ve always said you can add a few small touches to a gift to give it a huge transformation.  Here I’ve made a Fabric Rose just by using half a metre of wired ribbon and you can see the video tutorial on how to make your own.

jane means vibrant pink ribbon

I found this great cake stand from TK Maxx and threaded some of our ribbon through it for a dramatic effect.

vibrant pink ribbon

On the day Lyndsey and I managed to find some biscuits and cakes to go on it. I couldn’t resist a purchase when I popped in to Fortnum and Mason a few days earlier for a meeting!


jane means at work

After lunch I did a few step by step wrapping projects and you will be able to see these on the Lyndsey James blog over the next few months

jane means bow tying copy

Vibrant wired ribbons were being added around luxurious gift boxes, with recycled Christmas decorations being tied in as a feature.  I found these glass heart baubles in a florist in Paris and couldn’t resist them!

jane means bow tying

 

To add extra luxury I decided to layer several ribbons around gifts.  The recipient needs to be very special for this kind of treatment!

jane means lincoln studio

 

Wallpaper remnants, jars of buttons and more decorations were found…I got completely carried away with Lyndsey and her SLR camera clicking away.  She was such a joy to work with that the day was over before I knew it.

jane means papers

One of my favourite decorations are rustic orange slices.  They have that rich citrus smell and look great tied on to rustic and vintage style gifts.  I also love to use old music sheets in my gift wrapping projects.

jane means paper straws

The Haberdashery Closet is always full of quirky products, with some of them that you can try out.  Papers straws in an old milk bottle go down a storm when customers pop in and enjoy a glass of cloudy lemonade.

jane means pink stripe ribbon

One of my favourite products are wooden spools.  I’m a huge collector of anything vintage and I have been lucky enough to source some old bobbins from old silk mills in the UK. They are a great way to display your ribbons even if you only have a few remnants in your bottom drawer.

Jane Means Haberdashery Closet

 

If you have a small craft business, great photography is an absolute must and can be done on a tight budget.  I always remember a PR agency in London telling me that advice years ago and it has always stuck.  I always spot poor or dark photography and when you sell online or create your own adverts or marketing material it is so important to have clear photos in daylight.

Lyndsey James photography

All in all it was a fantastic day and I will be hiring Lyndsey in the future to help with our product photography, and hope to enrol on one of her courses soon.  If you have a small craft business, great photography is an absolute must and can be done on a tight budget, with the help of free photography software and apps like Instagram.

Categories: Haberdashery Closet, Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,