DIY Reusable Beeswax Wraps
DIY | Plastic Wrap Alternative: How to Make Reusable Beeswax Wraps
February 26, 2018

You’ve probably seen them around in your local health food store or online somewhere, needless to say, Beeswax Wraps are really having a moment. And for good reason. These little beauties are the sustainable and sexy alternative to that nasty plastic cling wrap (ew!). I have been meaning to buy some to use at home, but after a little online investigation, I decided to give one of the DIYs a go and save those precious dollar bills.

There are a few varying methods of making Beeswax Wraps at home. One is with the oven, the other is with an iron. I decided to try out the iron version as it seemed simpler, easier to control and I didn’t really want to put the oven on in this hot Aussie Summer!

How I went

This was a great little after work DIY! Really easy to follow and I had almost all of the things needed to make them. The only things I needed to buy was the Organic Beeswax and the 100% cotton fabric. Who knew you could change your plastic usage so drastically in one night!

What you need

  • Organic Beeswax – I bought a block that you grate straight onto the fabric. In hindsight, I would go for either flakes or pellets, as it took quite a bit of elbow grease to get the amount of beeswax needed.
  • 100% Cotton Fabric (Organic preferred) – the fabric needs to be 100% cotton as any synthetic fabric will not absorb the melted beeswax and will result in wraps that are just not right. If you can find organic fabric even better. These will be touching food so anything without any unnecessary chemicals is always better.
  • Grater – If you have the block wax.
  • Scissors
  • Parchment (Baking) Paper
  • Iron

Method

  1. Turn iron onto cotton setting and let it warm up as you prepare your fabric.
  2. Cut fabric into the preferred size. It’s best to see what you plan on using them for (tops of bowls/wrapping fruit/top of a mason jar) and cut an appropriate size for the intended use.
  3. Cut parchment paper a bit bigger than your fabric (about 10cm extra on all sides – beeswax will melt and spillover of the edges).
  4. Lay one piece of parchment paper down on a heatproof surface and lay one piece of fabric on top.
  5. If you have a beeswax block, grate over the entire fabric ensuring it covers all areas right up to edges and corners. If you have pellets of flakes, simply sprinkle over the fabric.
  6. Lay the second piece of parchment paper over the top of the fabric.
  7. Gently iron over all of the fabric ensuring it is melting evenly. At this point, you can spread the liquified wax into areas of less wax.
  8. When all wax has melted, remove the paper. You can see where the wax has absorbed and where it hasn’t by the coloring of the fabric (see image below). In the lighter patches, you will need to add more wax and repeat step 7.
  9. Repeat step 8 as many times as it takes to get to a point where the parchment paper looks a little bit moist (see image). You don’t want to drench the fabric, but it does need to be completely covered with melted wax and slightly wet and sticky from it.
  10. Once complete, hang to dry on a clothesline or simply hold outside in your hands for about a minute. It doesn’t take long to dry, so when you don’t feel any wet spots anymore, they are ready!

That’s it! Super easy isn’t it!

These make adorable gifts for someone. Imagine baking some delicious cookies and wrapping them up in one of these with a bow. Double the present, and double the brownie points!

Beginner’s notes

  • I needed to repeat the process of sprinkling more wax and iron about 3 times. I was using the block and grating myself, so I feel like I wasn’t getting enough wax needed. I would recommend finding pre-grated wax or pellets, as it did take a bit to grate that much wax. My poor hand!
  • Don’t be shy with how much wax you use, however, there is a point of using too much. You will know when you’ve gone too far when it melts and you can see clumps of hardened wax on the surface of the fabric. You can save it, however! Simply scrape the excess wax off with a knife and re-melt with iron to spread wax off the edge of the paper.
  • There are other methods that use jojoba oil or pine resin. I’m not sure exactly what effect these have on the final product, however, I think they might have something to do with the stickiness of the wrap when molded over the container. Mine needed a little bit of warming with my hands for it to stay in a secure position. If you find this is happening to yours, you can simply put a rubber band over the rim or tie a string.

A few points on use

  • To secure around containers or pieces of fruit/veg, simply wrap around and heat up slightly with the warmth of your hands. This is a slightly longer process than normal cling wrap, but hey, it’s all for the good of our planet.
  • You can use these on any vegetable, fruit, cheese, sandwich, cold cuts, etc. However, using them for raw meats is not advisable.
  • To wash, simply run under cold or lukewarm water with some mild soap. If the water is too hot, the wax will start to melt and change the structure of your wrap.
  • Your wrap should last around a year, however, if you start to see it the wax wear out a little, simply repeat the process stated above with some more wax.

I absolutely love these beautiful wraps. It’s a wholesome and rewarding way of moving your household to a more sustainable future. It’s a great little project to do with children (minding the heat of the iron and oven of course) and they will love being apart of the process of eliminating bad habits and introducing new better ones.

Good luck friends and long live our beautiful planet, one beeswax wrap at a time!

Interested in seeing more? Check out some of my other blog posts.