In this post I will walk you through how make your own easy DIY beeswax wraps for a plastic-free kitchen. Even homeschoolers have to pack lunches sometimes, and there are so many at-home uses for these food wraps as well that they are a perfect addition to your kitchen.
In this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you the easiest, most mess-free way to make your own homemade beeswax wraps. This is a great way to upcycle old cotton fabric or use up scraps, if you’re a sewist. If you already have fabric kicking around, these wraps are extra affordable. If you make them with really cute printed fabric, they are totally gift-able and would make a fantastic stocking stuffer or hostess gift.
What is a Beeswax Wrap?
A beeswax food wrap is a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. It is made of cotton cloth, beeswax, and optional pine resin. It is used to wrap over fruits, breads, make into sandwich bags, cover mason jars, among other things.
6 Reasons Why DIY Beeswax Wraps Are Great
Beeswax food wraps are gaining popularity, and for good reason. Here are some of the main reasons beeswax wraps are great!
1. These beeswax wraps are environmentally friendly
The average family uses 24 rolls of plastic wrap per year. That’s a lot of plastic in the landfill annually! Many environmentally-conscious consumers are looking to at least partially reduce their use of disposable plastics. This is actually a great upcycle project, as a thin piece of cotton like from an old sheet works very well.
2. DIY Beeswax Wraps work well
Beeswax, by it’s very nature is antimicrobial and antifungal, and it keeps food fresher for longer. Plus, no more battling with the plastic wrap roll! I was amazed how well even the DIY version of beeswax wraps worked for me in my kitchen.
3. Beeswax Wraps are minimalist
DIY beeswax wraps are a single item (or a few items) that replace an ongoing purchase. They are also very versatile because they can be used in a variety of ways.
4. Beeswax Wraps are non-toxic
Plastics contain toxins such as BPA, DEHP, and BPS, and those toxins do leach into our food and drinks. In fact, the World Health Organization has linked these toxins to health risks like hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance, and cancer. Essentially, by making and using these easy DIY beeswax wraps, you can be making a simple switch for better health for your family.
5. Beeswax Wraps are compostable
Beeswax wraps work for about a year until they need to be DIY re-waxed or replaced. But since they are 100% biodegradable, they are safe to place in your regular compost bin.
6. These DIY Beeswax Wraps are affordable
If you are regularly buying plastic wrap and bags, you may be spending over $200 per year on plastic that ends up in the landfill after just one use. A set of DIY beeswax wraps will quickly add up to savings in your pocket. In this tutorial, you won’t even use a whole bag of beeswax pallets, and you could have more leftover for candle making or skin care products. And as I mentioned above, upcycling old cotton fabric works amazingly well for this project, which reduces the cost even more.
Where Can I Buy Beeswax Wraps?
If you’d rather not DIY, I have great news for you. Beeswax wraps are very popular. That means there are many adorable beeswax food wraps in local stores, such as my local eco store, Sustain. I love seeing these great products on the market and I think its wonderful to support small companies. I also really like this made in Canada company.
However, my family of 6 on a single income just can’t afford to purchase all the beeswax wraps that we require in our from-scratch kitchen. Thankfully, I figured out that it is a super simple DIY project that I can get my kids to help me with!
Materials and Tools Used for Easy DIY Beeswax Wraps
For this project, you will need:
- 100% cotton fabric (not stretchy) These fat quarter bundles work great and look super cute if you don’t have any old fabric lying around to upcycle. Be sure to wash your fabric first!
- pinking shears These are the ones I have, and they may be indestructible.
- beeswax pellets* You only need about 1-2 tbsp per wrap depending on the size of fabric.
- pine resin, crushed to a fine powder. You only need 1/2 tsp per wrap.
- jojoba oil (optional)
- parchment paper
- drying or cooling rack of some kind, or a hanger and clothespins
*You can use a beeswax block, but you will need to grate the wax first
**If you don’t have an iron, you can use the oven for this project too. If you use the oven you will need a baking sheet that you are willing to slave away cleaning or keep for crafts only.
What Sizes of Wraps Are Best?
The really cool thing about making your own beeswax wraps is that you will be able to customize them to the exact sizes you use at home. For example, you can cut one to fit your favourite type of sourdough bread to bake!
To start you off, I recommend cutting your fabric into these three sizes:
Small 20cm x 20cm (8″x 8″)
Medium 25cm x 30cm (10″ x 12″)
Large 35cm x 35cm (14″ x 14″)
The cool thing about this DIY is that you can easily cut the sizes and shapes you like to use in the kitchen. I have an extra large wrap that is perfect for a loaf of sourdough.
Is This DIY Really Easy?
If you have never used beeswax before, the thought of purchasing materials for a DIY that may fail isn’t very appealing. I know the feeling! However, I assure you that this DIY is so easy my kids mostly did the whole thing. And the method I recommend with an iron instead of the oven makes it very difficult to ruin anything. For me, making sure the kids understand safety around a hot iron is the worst part. It is truly easy!
How Do I Take Care of My DIY Beeswax Wraps?
Store these wraps in a cool dry place while not in use. For lightly soiled wraps I recommend rinsing under cool water then allowing it to air dry. If further cleaning is necessary, try washing your beeswax wraps by hand in cool water with a mild eco-friendly dish soap before hanging to dry. Remember to avoid any heat such as hot water, microwaves, or ovens that will cause the beeswax to melt. You can re-wax your wraps as needed, probably at least once per year. They can be composted when they are no longer useful.
- 100% Cotton fabric, thin woven fabric works best such as from an old sheet or men's shirt but you can also use any woven cotton, a bundle of fat quarters work great! You will need to cut this to the desired sizes.
- Beeswax Pellets
- Crushed Pine Resin, optional, adds stickiness so your wraps will stay folded on themselves better
- Olive or Jojoba Oil, optional
- ** If you choose to use pine resin, this can be combined with the beeswax pellets before you begin at a ratio of about 4 parts beeswax to 1 part resin. I have also seen people add a little bit of jojoba or olive oil to this recipe. I would say, feel free to play around! I have also made these with only beeswax and they turned out just fine.
- Pinking shears or sewing scissors
- Flat work surface covered by a drop sheet or old fabric
- A mortar and pestle to crush your pine resin if it is not already a fine powder
- Cut your cotton fabric to the desired sizes with pinking shears or sewing scissors.
- Lay your fabric on parchment paper in a safe place to iron.
- Scatter your beeswax pellets and sprinkle a pinch of pine resin in a thin layer over the fabric.
- Place a layer of parchment paper over your project (we also layered an old sheet for extra protection).
- Iron your project until the wax is all melted. We had the iron on high/cotton.
- Check that all the wax is melted and there are no bare spots or wax lumps. Through the parchment you should be able to see which parts of your fabric are saturated and push the wax mixture into the correct areas.
- Quickly peel apart the parchment paper and remove the wrap.
- Hold it in the air, hang it over a hanger or place it on a rack until it is cool.
Always use caution and adult supervision around a hot iron.
Thanks for reading my DIY Beeswax Wraps tutorial! Please let me know if you try them. I have more DIY tutorials in my homemaking category.
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