Today I have an amazing tutorial to share with you: DIY beeswax wraps. Reducing my plastic usage, particularly in the kitchen, is one of my main goals for 2019 so this past month I have been researching sustainable swaps for my plastic products. Cling film/plastic wrap was first on my list because it gets used for so little time and is just thrown away! I looked in to buying beeswax wraps but they are pretty pricey and I knew I could make them myself for way cheaper! So today I am going to share how to make your own beeswax wraps that actually stick!
These are a great replacement for plastic wrap, plus they are quite a bit more attractive to look at – you can choose any fabric you fancy! The key to making these wraps work just like the ones you can buy is two ingredients: oil and pine resin. You can make them with just beeswax, but you will not get the same result that you can buy in a shop. The oil (usually jojoba or coconut) adds pliability to the wraps and the pine resin is what makes them slightly sticky and able to stick to themselves. If you make them without the resin, you will likely find that they don’t stick and you will have to use an elastic band or twine to keep them closed.
Okay, let’s get started!
You will need:
- Lightweight 100% cotton fabric – mine are all from the Fabric Fox
- Pine resin – preferably powdered, I bought mine in chunks and then crushed it in the bag with a rolling pin.
- White beeswax – you can use yellow, but it may add a yellow hue to your fabrics!
- Coconut oil (melted) or jojoba oil
- Pinking shears – you can just use normal scissors, but pinking shears help prevent fraying and also add a decorative edge!
- An iron
- An oven
- A baking tray
- Baking/parchment paper
- An old towel or a silicone mat to protect your surfaces
- Using the pinking shears, cut your fabric in to your desired shapes/sizes. I went for 7″ squares, 9″ squares, 11″ squares and 14″ squares. Feel free to do circles too!
- Preheat your oven to 100 degrees celsius (200f). Heat your iron to medium heat.
- Lay down your towel or silicone mat, then add a layer of parchment paper.
- Lay down your first piece of fabric (for small squares you can usually do two at a time).
- Sprinkle over the beeswax, pine resin and a few drops of your chosen oil. Making sure to get those corners and edges!
- Lay over another sheet of parchment paper then slowly iron over the top.
- It will take a few minutes, but keep ironing until you can see all of the pellets have melted and spread out.
- Peel back your parchment paper, if you see any spots that are lighter/dry, sprinkle over some beeswax, lay the parchment paper back down and iron again.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, pick the bottom sheet up with the fabric on top and place on the baking tray.
- Heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes until everything is nicely distributed.
- Pick up off the tray (it won’t be too hot!) and wave around for a few seconds to start cooling it. Hang on a washing line or drying rack to allow it to dry completely.
- Repeat for the rest of your fabric and then allow to cool for an hour before use. Be sure to check out the care instructions below too!
These DIY beeswax wraps make a wonderful alternative to plastic wrap, but they cannot be used for everything. They aren’t suitable for things like meat and fish or anything particularly mucky because you can’t clean them with hot water and you run a risk of a buildup of bacteria. What they are perfect for though is wrapping up half a piece of fruit or vegetable, a sandwich, covering the top of a jar, or covering a casserole dish/mixing bowl.
They work using the warmth of your hands which helps warm and mould the beeswax around your jar/food and also helps it to stick. If you have cold hands and it is winter (hello me), I recommend putting them on the dish while it is still warm if it is something like a casserole dish or popping the wrap in the microwave for a few second. Or get a warm-handed friend to help you!
If you are looking for a more sustainable option to keep meat & fish in, or to replace sandwich bags. I highly recommend picking up some silicone food bags. They are reusable and last forever, plus you can put them in the dishwasher and clean them easily! These* are the ones I have.
This is also the first video up on my brand new YouTube channel! I am excited to share wellness and lifestyle videos with you all – I hope you like it, please do subscribe if you do!
Once you have made these lovely wraps, it is important to look after them! Wash them with cool water and soap, nothing hot otherwise you will melt the beeswax again. Hang them to dry and then they are ready to go!
If after a bit of use, your wraps are looking a bit shabby, simply pop them back in the oven again for a few minutes, just like the you made them, and they will be good as new.
I hope you guys enjoy these DIY beeswax wraps as much as I do, I would love to see your creations so please tag me on Instagram @essentially.emma