Okay, so for those who don’t know me well, I am probably the biggest gift wrapping/stationery geek you can find – my family and friends can definitely vouch for that! Ever since I was a little girl, I used to intently watch my Dad wrap all the gifts with such precision and finesse that it wasn’t long before I started to try my hand at it and slowly gained the trust to take on ‘gift-wrapping’ role at home! ;) I would even find myself gravitate towards gift-wrapping counters in department stores and shop window displays simply to swoon over the various styles and techniques….perhaps even take mental notes! (yep, I’m that much of a nerd!) And to this day, whether wrapping up a gift for a special occasion or simply parceling up an order for Made by Molu, I get such a high from experimenting with different materials and pretty details to add that personalised touch. I may not be a gift-wrapping expert (nor get enough time these days) but this is one area I know I can let my ‘perfectionism’ take over and feel completely at peace! ;) Besides….who wouldn’t want to receive a beautifully wrapped gift….I know I would!! :D
So, you can only imagine how excited I was when the lovely Marie (aka ScribbleYoga) invited me to come along to the beautiful Clifton Nurseries in Little Venice (north of Paddington) for a gift-wrapping workshop with ribbon designer and gift-wrapping extraordinaire Jane Means! If you are unfamiliar with the name, Jane is highly renowned for her expertise in luxury gift-wrapping having provided her services for large firms and fashion houses like Claridges, Selfridges, Harrods and Dior, not to mention for the Queen and other celebrities (which I found out later!)….and even runs her own series of workshops and classes, spreading the love and ‘Art of Gift Wrapping‘ – and boy was I glad for the chance to go to one!
This was my first trip over to the Clifton Nurseries and I was hugely impressed to find (even at night time!) this stunning oasis of a garden, hidden away in heart of Maida Vale, West London, surrounded by gorgeous Georgian townhouses. What I later found out is that it’s been there since 1851 so I vowed to myself that I would return some weekend during the day to get a good feel for the place!
Anyway, the workshop was held in the equally gorgeous glasshouse (which houses the cafe and shop) and as we settled around the big wooden table with our glasses of bubbly in hand, Jane took us through some fabulous wrapping styles and techniques, even sharing some very useful tricks of her own! We learnt several ways of creating bows and flowers out of ribbon, making clever little envelopes and gift bags out of luxury wrapping paper, adding personal touches for that extra bit of ‘oomph’ to your gift, as well as the more challenging methods of pleating and wrapping odd-shaped objects. It’s all about show-stopping presentation that can be achieved through simple yet ingenious detailing and styling! No matter how much you’ve done or seen it before, you’d be amazed that there’s always plenty more to learn! :)
Of all the amazing things made that night, I must admit I found the gift bag, the ribbon roses and the pleat-wrapping technique (around a biscuit tin) the most enthralling. Had I known more about ribbons and the endless things you could make out of it at the time of our wedding last year, I probably could have explored more options and even taken my handmade boutonnieres to a another level! :) It’s such a nifty little skill to have – don’t you agree?
It’s really is amazing how much was covered in the two-hour session. I was tempted to share a lot more photos on here (quite surprised I managed to take so many in between all the fun and concentration that night!) but thought it was best to avoid a visual overload and give you a teaser instead of what the masterclass entailed. I must say, every time I look at these photos, I’m itching to get my hands on some wrapping paper, ribbon and all kinds of trimmings and ornaments for a gift-wrapping fix……. so it’s a good thing Christmas is just round the corner! ;)
Ooohh…. and on that note, I’m excited to tell you that Clifton Nurseries are holding another masterclass with Jane Means on the 9th of December with a focus on festive gift-wrapping seeing as Christmas is only a few weeks away! So, if you are interested in broadening your gift-wrapping skills in time for the festive season or simply fancy an evening immersed in creative goodness and great banter then I would highly recommend attending this workshop. Jane is truly amazing at what she does and ever so friendly too which made the class all the more enjoyable :) For more details or to book yourself a place (they are limited!) click here.
Well then, have I tempted you enough to sign up? ;) Perhaps, fellow crafter and stationery geek, Marie could help with her account from the night ;)
“Gift wrapping is a delight for a paper nerd like myself; it allows me to put my ever-growing craft collection to use and hopefully make someone feel special in the process. At Jane’s masterclass, beautiful wrapping papers, ribbons and prototypes adorned the table and set the scene for some fun. It was thrilling to learn unexpected tricks of the trade including turning an ordinary wide ribbon and a button into a beautiful rose with just a little help from florist wire and tape. Like Jane I’m self-taught, but there’s always something to learn (that’s why we love Pinterest right?) I’d love to tell you more but I don’t want to give it away for the next class, so instead I’ll share some photos later of my gift wrapping adventures.” (You can follow Marie on IG and Twitter)
A huge and heartfelt thank you to Marie and Wendy of Clifton Nurseries for having me, and to Jane for whisking us off into this wonderful world of luxury gift-wrapping! Had an amazing evening and an absolute pleasure meeting all the other wonderful ladies there too! You can find more of Jane’s masterclasses over on her website or follow all her gift-wrapping antics on her blog, Facebook and Twitter……you may find yourself spending hours drooling over hundreds of tantalising images so don’t say I didn’t warn you! :)
Right, I shall keep you posted of any experimenting I do in the run up to Christmas. Until then, happy gift-wrapping folks!! xx
[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]