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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Categories: Gift Wrapping Courses, Gift Wrapping Service, Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Spring, Tips + Techniques, Weddings | 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

 

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Jane Means to open London Shop at Clifton Nurseries

We’re delighted to be adding a Haberdashery Closet in the capital.  We are often mobbed at our London shows including Top Drawer, Spirit Fairs and Country Living

Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries

Haberdashery Closet at Jane Means

For years I have been asked where is your London shop, and after opening our doors in Lincoln in 2012, I always wanted the next quirky outlet to be in London, but it had to be the right place and not necessarily a permanent fixture on a busy High Street.  Last year we starting stocking our ribbons at Clifton Nurseries which is London’s Oldest Nursery over 160 years old. (Images courtesy on Flowerona)

Jane Means new shop at Clifton Nurseries

Clifton Nurseries London W9

 

It’s one of my favourite places in Central London, and you enter this hidden oasis in Little Venice with flowers, topiary, decorations, furniture and gardens.

clifton nurseries

You will also see Matthew Wilson wandering around there who is not only the presenter on the Channel 4 programme ‘The Landscape Man’ and a regular panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time, but also the Managing Director of Clifton Nurseries. (Image courtesy of Achica Living )

Matthew Wilson

Recently I have been doing several photo shoots there and have done gift wrapping services and demonstrations in the Quince Tree Cafe there which have been very popular.

Clifton Nurseries Gift Wrapping Room

Gift wrapping event London

They have regular parties, launches and events at Clifton Nurseries, and even Jimmy Choo had an event there last year filled with celebrities.

Jane Means gift wrapping at Clifton Nurseries

Luckily I live nearby and love to pop to the cafe (a sunny conservatory surrounded by flowers) for a spot of brunch outside before the buzzing lunch crowd arrive.

quince tree cafe

The Ribbon and Wrapping Room at Clifton Nurseries will be  a pop up shop through the summer, stocked full of ribbons, haberdashery, trimmings, bespoke papers, decorations, gift boxes and bags and other gift wrapping accessories.

Gift wrapping room London W9

We will also be offering complimentary gift wrapping services on selective days, and be hosting several events during the summer months.

Jane Means London pop up shop

Having worked as a florist, we will be in our element surrounded by flowers and Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries will be opening it’s doors on April 25th and will be open from 11am-3pm every Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer.

Jane Means London Shop

We are also looking for some friendly part time staff to cover this opportunity and would love to hear from you if you’re interested in joining us. Just email us at info@janemeans.co.uk  (Please do not use the comments box or contact Clifton Nurseries)

London ribbon shop

We will keep you updated with events, sale days and news about our exciting London pop up shop through our Facebook Page and Twitter and look forward to seeing you there!

 

Jane Means Ribbons London Shop

Even if you’re visiting the capital and need to escape from the hustle and bustle, this is the perfect place to escape to stock up on ribbons and flowers and enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea with your favourite book!

Afternoon Tea at Clifton Nurseries

Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries, 5A Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH, United Kingdom. Phone: 020 7289 6851.
If you have any queries please contact us at info@janemeans.co.u

Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries Map

Visit the Quince Tree Cafe at Clifton Nurseries

Clifton Nurseries quince tree cafe

Quince Tree Shop at Clifton Nurseries

Quince tree Cafe at Clifton Nurseries

 

 

Categories: Autumn, Gift Wrapping Service, Haberdashery Closet, Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Summer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Spring, Valentine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Press Release: Jane Means IP issue with Berisfords Ribbons

PRESS RELEASE:  JANE MEANS BUSINESS OVER IP ISSUE WITH BERISFORDS

 Original Dog Cat ribbons by Jane Means

Award winning ACID member Jane Means is a ribbon designer and wrapping design expert and used to use a supplier named Berisfords.  She was very disturbed to discover that Berisfords had produced and were selling what could only be said to be a remarkably similar ribbon product.  After correspondence from ACID Affiliate Lawyers McDaniel & Co., Berisfords agreed to give an undertaking and pay £893.26.

berisfords dog cat ribbon

 

Niall Head-Rapson said, “Often a simple letter before action can achieve a result and in this case, whilst not admitting liability, Berisfords have agreed not to produce this ribbon design further and paid Jane Means’ costs.

 

Following the payment, Jane Means said, “I have spent many years building up my name and reputation as a ribbon designer and I am pleased that this matter has been concluded. I will do anything necessary to protect my signature designs”.

 

Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said, “It is good that Berisfords responded positively to Jane Means’s IP claim and that the matter has been resolved without the need to take further legal action”.

A personal note from Jane…

” We have a very good relationship with suppliers, and you trust your manufacturers with your artwork. I was very shocked that Berisfords an established company who I’ve had a long standing relationship with, and given plenty of repeat business to over the years, would do this.  It’s poor behaviour to copy others and I would’ve hoped this could have been resolved so we could’ve continued working together but how can I work with a company who I don’t trust?”

And finally…

Berisfords vintage stitched ribbon copy

“I would like to thank those of you for your endless messages of support which have meant so much during this case, and welcome any comments”

ACID Press Release

 

 

 

 

 

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Creative DIY Projects with Vintage Lace

I have always had a love for lace.  It reminds me of my late grandmother, and how we would enjoy afternoon tea, surrounded by lace jam covers, vintage china tea cups, beautiful edges tablecloths and napkins with intricate detail.

bloved wedding macaroons

 

She always had lace place mats for the pot of tea so her polished dining table didn’t suffer heat marks, and her pearls were often left on the kitchen sideboard (Image via Bloved Weddings)

IMG_6336

Nowadays I find any excuse to use it in my gift wrapping projects, and it looks great as an extra feature, used with other vintage embellishments.

10

The nearby city of Nottingham is renowned for it’s lace market and I used to trawl through the market to find bespoke pieces when I made handmade wedding stationery in my earlier years.

IMG_6025

In this project I have kept the lace theme by half wrapping a brown paper box with a simple paper doilie.  I love the simplicity of it but it can also be edged with ribbon.

lace edge

 

I then got completely carried away and decided to make some lace themed gift bags using doilies and double sided satin ribbon.

lace dolilies

In this creative idea, lace can be added around jam jars with glue or spray adhesive to give an eye-catching effect (Image via Jadorable Home)

Lace jam jars

Remnants of Lace were used in a collage to make my wedding ring cushion by the very talented textile artist Polly O’Connor

wedding ring cushion

 

Recently I wanted to add lace to a monochrome  gift wrapping feature and chose tissue in a black lace design (which we sold out of within days of it going online), I added lace with our black stitched ribbon.

Lace gift wrapping by Jane Means

 

Here’s another project that I couldn’t help myself with a few bits of blue remnant lace added with our Duo Stitched Linen Ribbons

lace and jane means wholesale ribbons

This project I have half wrapped the box in a remnant of vintage floral tissue and added some of our popular Raspberry Stitched Ribbon 

wholesale pink ribbon

 

Another clever idea via Pinterest is this Jewellery display idea. Just use an old picture frame and add lace with a staple gun.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 21.54.01

On a recent buying trip, I was somewhat overwhelmed looking at the hundreds of lace variations.  It made decision making very hard for my ‘Handpicked Collection’ (this is where I chose my absolute favourites that blow me away and share them with my customers via our online shop).

Lace shop

 

It has also be a huge trend in Fashion with Issey Miyake and many other designers showcasing lace in their collections.  Karen Millen have certainly lead the way here in the UK.

Karen Millen Romantic embroidery dress pale pink DN163_3

Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration and here I found some brilliant lampshades by Andrea Daniels – These are such a joy to the eye.

lace shades

 

 

 

I love the fact that lace is such an individual masterpiece. No lace is ever the same and it is filled with unique detail and I am full of admiration for those who design lace collections. I have introduced my own favourites in the Handpicked Collection and these are available by the metre or in bundle packs.

lace collection by Jane Means

If you have any great lace ideas we’d love you to share them with us.

 

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,