Ribbon Curtains and Canopies for Weddings, Parties and Occasions

With my love of haberdashery I couldn’t wait to write this blog article featuring Ribbon Curtains and Canopies for Weddings, Parties and Occasions

 

Ribbon is a pretty and versatile accessory and our creative and innovative curiosity perpetually searches for new ways to use and reinvent ways to weave these beautiful lengths of colourful fabric into our lives.

We look back through ribbon’s finely woven history to be inspired, look to fashion for ideas and constantly try to create something new by looking at the competition and trying to establish what is missing from the ribbon world.

Pink spot ribbon

Pink Dotty Ribbon by Jane Means

Ribbon Curtains and Ribbon Canopies are a wonderful way to dress and personalise so many celebrations and occasions.  They transform your venue and can be themed and colour-matched perfectly to your individual needs.  A ribbon curtain’s light, feminine simplicity makes it ideal as a backdrop to a wedding ceremony or for wedding or christening photographs.   Ribbon Canopies can adorn the finest restaurant or can dress a barn for a more refined rustic celebration.

Themed events.  Red, white and blue ribbon curtains draped all around your function room would define a very royal or British affair, whereas baby soft pastel shades of ribbon would be ideal for a baby shower or christening celebration.  Sumptuous red, green and gold could form a seasonal backdrop in your home, whereas a purple, green, orange and black ribbon curtain ‘scream’ Halloween party.

stylemepretty

Image courtesy of Jose Villa Photography

Inside out.  Ribbon curtains can be constructed in a compact or more sparse, open way.  It is not uncommon to tie long ribbons into tree branches for garden-based receptions or parties.  These ribbons should, of course, be well beyond billowing range of burning barbeques and away from outside heaters.  Ribbon curtains created in trees add a romantic, colour-matched feature to your garden party.  They can seamlessly continue the distinctive decoration of your venue from the inside to the outside.

 

Image courtesy of Bailes and Light

Creative Canopies involve a little ladder work and safe securing of ribbons (most usually, to a bamboo or plastic pole) to prevent any cascading of strands into soups or sorbets!  Temporarily transforming a cold, hard ceiling into a rolling cavern of colour for your celebration will make your venue distinctive and very pretty.  Draped between beams, disguising a conservatory roof and, optionally, combined with fairy lighting, ribbon canopies can add intimacy to high ceilinged rooms and bring magic to an ordinary space such as a village hall.

We love this spectacular look with fairy lights taken at the Amadeus Centre where we run our London Gift wrapping Courses

OhMYcharley

Image courtesy of Oh MY Charley

 

Ready made or ready to make?  It is, of course, possible to buy ready-made ribbon curtains and they come in a range of colours.  Making a bespoke ribbon curtain yourself, however, lets you control the combination of ribbon colours, fabrics, widths and overall length.

Your personal choice of curtain pole and possible addition of pole top embellishments means that your design feature is purely in the hands of your imagination and, of course, your budget.  Simple or sumptuous ribbon can be used or you can mix and match to create an impressive overall impact.

Our 100m rolls of ribbon are perfect for making ribbon curtains and canopies, when it is often necessary to have an endless supply of your specifically selected ribbons. My recent pop up shop at Clifton Nurseries was adorned with ribbon backdrops.

 

Whilst ribbon curtains and canopies are more synonymous with weddings, these features can be beautifully adapted to birthday parties, family portrait photography, interior design, retail display, Easter and Harvest festival celebrations, Halloween, christenings and Christmas, to name but a few.

MyHomeStylist

Image courtesy of MyHomeStylist

Interior Design.  Whilst a ribbon curtain can be a delightful, feminine feature above a bedhead, along a bedroom wall or as an actual bathroom or bedroom, light diffusing, tied back, drape, hooped curtain canopies suspended over bedheads make an extremely pretty, light and airy adornment.

theglitteredbarn

Image courtesy of The Glittered Barn

Hooped ribbon mobiles.  These colourful creations make a great kids craft project, can make use of many leftover short ribbon lengths and they make lovely features for a child’s playroom or bedroom. Even with small remnants of ribbon these can be used to make miniature bunting

jane means ribbons

Fuchsia Dotty Ribbon by Jane Means

Versatile.  Ribbon is a fabric of very versatile persuasion.  Let your imagination run wild.  Ribbon is not merely for wrapping presents.  It comes in so many stunning designs, fabrics and colours that sometimes you just want to bring ribbon into everyday use on garments, within the design of your home and as part of seasonal decor

style me pretty

Image courtesy of Style me pretty

So when you’re next looking at your rolls of ribbon in the bottom drawer, not knowing when you are going to use them, or if they are too pretty to cut up and add to gifts, remember they can be added as a feature to your decor so you can enjoy hours of pleasure looking at it

Enjoy! x

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 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

 

Categories: Inspiration, Luxury Wrap & Stationery, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Creative Ribbon DIY Project: Covering a Stool

I’ve always had a love for upcycling and there’s nothing more I enjoy than doing up an old piece of furniture. Many years ago I did a furniture restoration course but sadly due to work commitments I have very little time nowadays to do these hobbies.
We have an old stool that we use for our exhibitions which you will find us perching on at the end of the day and I decided it needed some TLC
DIY stool
I wanted to give it a creative finish and somehow incorporate ribbons, so I dusted down the sewing machine and got to work…
ribbon tea towel
I decided to cover the seat pad and back support using an old linen tea towel as a base and remnants of ribbon
ribbon unscrew stool
Firstly I unscrewed the seat pad (making sure that I didn’t lose any of the screws)
ribbon seat
I cut the tea towel in a slightly larger template.  I then arranged my ribbon remnants on top of it
DIY ribbon project
When I found a design that I liked, I took a photo of it (unless you pin the ribbons in place they will probably move whilst you are using the sewing machine)
 ribbon red sewing
One by one I then stitched the ribbons on to the tea towel with my sewing machine, trying to keep my lines straight.
ribbon back
I then unscrewed the back support and cut my tea towel into a slightly larger template
ribbon blue sewing
This time to make it a bit more quirky I decided to use an alternative colour of ribbon.
I then stitched this on with the sewing machine
ribbon stool
To help with the covering process, I used double sided tape to keep the fabric in place
ribbon seatpad
Finally I screwed the pads back in place…and voila I have a creative ribbon stool.
ribbon chair
At the end of a long day on our feet, we can now perch on an elegant stool which reflects our brand and creativity.
ribbon creative stool
If you have used ribbon in any similar projects we would love to hear from you…
DIY ribbon stool
Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Top Drawer Spring 2013

We were back at Earls Court in London to exhibit at Top Drawer, a design led trade show for gift companies and retailers

The stand was full of ribbons, piled high in a dresser that I had bought off Ebay and painted cream.

We also displayed ribbons in old fashioned crates off my fathers’ farm which were really eye catching, with everyone asking “Do you sell these?”

The stand was also adorned with our sample ‘mood board’ cards.

Each ribbon I’ve designed has a story behind it with many childhood memories or travels behind the inspiration.

Our ribbons adorned boxes wrapped up in floral wallpaper.

We very much went for the vintage floral theme and tied in artificial flowers from a local cake shop.

I love to include flowers on my stand and ribbons were tied around little vintage milk bottles with bluebells.

Our Easter collection was also showcased, and our faux speckled eggs are a favourite with Country Living Magazine.

Last year many shops ordered these purely as decorations for the window, and ended up stocking them as customers were asking to buy them.

The new range of nostalgic paper bags were launched, very versatile for parties, small gifts, sweets and favours.

I even decorated one for a Valentine style shoot, and I know these will be so popular for Christmas too.

A big trend coming through is monochrome and patterns, so our Black and White dotty ribbon proved popular.  The design came from liquorice allsorts (being my favourite, the sweets didn’t last long after this photoshoot!).

We all had a super time at Earls Court, there are so many brilliant products at Top Drawer, that I ended up placing lots of orders.

 I now can’t wait to get my new ranges for the Haberdashery Closet, Wed Craft event and Country Living Fair.

On a final note, we were so busy with the run up to Christmas that our annual staff party had to be postponed.

 Luckily some of the team enjoyed a lovely meal at Sartoria in London over the show weekend, and we aim to have a small staff bash in the Spring in Lincolnshire.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,