Some posts here on ARoseTintedWorld may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy a product or register, then I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I may also use products from the companies mentioned in these posts. Thank you for supporting my blog!
Are you looking for a more zero waste alternative to plastic wrap or cling film? I am constantly trying to find new ways to reduce the amount of plastic I use, especially in the kitchen. I buy loose fruit and vegetables, use sandwich wraps, reusable containers or a mason jar for my leftovers, but still find that cling wrap and aluminium foil have been used too much. An alternative is needed. So I thought that I would find out how to make beeswax wraps – which is a great plastic free solution!
How To Make Beeswax Wraps
Sometimes you just want a quick and simple way to keep your food fresh for a day or two. And these DIY beeswax wraps are an easy way to do just that, whilst also reducing your single use plastic consumption into the bargain!
Beeswax is naturally antibacterial and anti fungal, so by infusing cloth with beeswax you are making a sanitary, sturdy and longlasting reusable food wrap.
I am going to show you two ways of making beeswax food wraps. And also show you how to use them in your daily life. So read on for one of the easiest DIY tutorials I think I’ve ever done!
You Will Need
- 100% Cotton Fabric
- Natural Beeswax pellets
- Natural Pine Tree Resin – powdered or solid
- Pure jojoba oil ( – or olive oil works just as well)
- Pinking shears
- A pan / double boiler OR an oven and baking tray – I keep a tray separate as I don’t want to use it for food afterwards!
- Greaseproof / Parchment paper
- also useful – a pastry brush or small paintbrush & a makeshift washing line and pegs.
In fact, some would say you don’t need the jojoba oil and pine resin. But I am going to show you both methods and discuss the pros and cons of both then let you decide for yourself.
The 100% cotton fabric is the most important part. I would choose a lightweight cotton or even a muslin to make these. It is a great way of upcycling 100% cotton shirts or old cotton baby muslins – which is an added win-win if you are as obsessed with upcycling as I am!
The beeswax mixture does make the fabric take on a yellow tinge, so it may be worth remembering this when you are choosing your material. I chose this gorgeous bee fabric and black 1/8 inch gingham check, and also decided to upcycle this old cotton shirt to do my homemade beeswax wrap diy.
What Size Should I Make My Wraps?
Firstly, you do have to decided how large to make your wraps. I took a look at some of the wraps available on Etsy to see what seems to sell well. Most of the wraps I found were around 12inches big. But some sellers sold a range of sizes in a pack. I think having 3 different sizes is a great idea.
- 8 inches square ( 20cm x 20cm) – are useful for over jars, mugs, small pieces of fruit, cheese or half an apple.
- 12 inches square ( 30cm x 30cm) – are useful for sandwich wraps and over bowls.
- 16 inches square ( 40cm x 40cm) – are useful for larger items, bread etc
I decided to make a range of bees wax wrap sizes for all my needs.
So now you just need to decide whether to use pine tree resin and jojoba oil or not…
How To Make Beeswax Wraps WITHOUT Resin
The simplest method for making bees wax wraps is to not use the jojoba oil and pine resin.
Wash and iron your cotton fabric. Cut a square of fabric to your chosen size using pinking shears
Preheat oven to around 75ºC (170ºF).
Take a baking sheet, cover it with parchment paper or greaseproof paper. Then lay your fabric flat onto this. If the fabric is too large, you can place it onto the baking tray folded.
Sprinkle some beeswax pellets onto the fabric. Place the tray into the oven for around 5 minutes. Be careful not to leave it too long or it may burn!
Remove from the oven and give the melted wax a brush around the fabric using the pastry/paint brush. You may need to add more pellets. Otherwise you do need to be quick as the wax starts to harden almost straight away.
Using tongs lift the fabric from the tray. Let it drip a little until all the excess wax has drained, then hang onto your washing line. I used a rack I have in my kitchen. Because the wax sets very quickly there is very little mess, though you may want to put some newspaper under the draining wax wraps.
And you are done!
The only downside i have found with these wraps is that they do not stick to bowls or themselves as well as when I’ve used pine resin. And they are a little more stiff in use. So here is the second method.
How To Make Beeswax Wraps WITH Pine Resin
This method is a bit more complicated, and is more of a beeswax wraps recipe!
Adding pine resin and jojoba oil really does improve your own beeswax wraps in my opinion. This is because the resin makes the wraps stickier, and the jojoba oil makes them more pliable when using.
You can find pine resin in powdered form, but it does tend to come more as a sticky solid that I find quite hard to manage. My tip is to use gloves with the resin as it does stick to everything! The first time I used it I needed orange solvent to remove it from my hands afterwards…
- a quarter cup (4 tablespoons – about 35g) of beeswax pellets or shaved beeswax
- 2 tablespoons of pine resin
- 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil (or olive oil also works well)
Heat all of these together in a double boiler or bowl suspended over a pan of boiling water. ( I tried to heat them just in an old pan the first time I made these, but you do find the mixture burns easily! And again I use a pan/bowl that won’t be used for food use in the future)
Wash, iron and cut your chosen 100% cotton fabric to the desired size.
Place the fabric on a piece of greaseproof parchment paper, and use a paint brush to apply the molten mixture to the fabric. Again, if the mixture is hardening too quickly, you can use a preheated oven to evenly distribute the mixture.
Again, once saturated, let drip dry. And you have a finished wrap that is a bit more sticky and supple. The remaining mixture in the double boiler is also quite soft and can be placed in a container to be reused if you need to refresh your wraps at a later date.
How To Use Reusable Beeswax Wrappers – Do’s and Don’ts
There are plenty of pros and cons of beeswax wraps, mostly because of the melting point of the wax. They have lots of uses, but aren’t suitable for everything.
Don’t wash your wraps in the dishwasher or washing machine. In fact, once you have used a wrapper, wash it in cold or luke warm water and then leave to air dry (but not on a radiator!) The best thing to use to wash your beeswax wraps is a mild soap such as Dr Bronner’s Natural Castille Soap.
Don’t use the wraps in the oven or microwave
Do choose the appropriate size and wrap it totally around the item you wish to preserve. The beeswax wrapping does stick to itself, or with the heat of your hands it moulds around the food remnant. Have a bowl you need to cover? Again, use the heat of your hands to mould the wrap to the edges. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
Don’t use the beeswax wrapper on hot items of food. Let the food cool first.
Don’t use the wraps for long times in hot weather. he wraps aren’t really useful for long term storage in very hot weather. Wax melts above a certain temperature, so do keep this in mind. You can freeze the wraps, but they aren’t really good for long term freezer use. I’d tend to use reusable containers for this.
Do refresh the wax and/or resin mix from time to time by reusing one of the methods above, and once the fabric looks to be fraying too much or reaching the end of its life DO compost it. These wraps are fully biodegradable.
DON’T use these wraps to wrap raw meat, eggs or fish.
Other Posts On This Subject
I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to make reusable food wraps. If you have, you may also enjoy my posts on
- How to have a zero waste kitchen
- How to make unsponges – reusable kitchen sponge scrubbers
- Composting tips
In fact I have a whole section on zero waste living. Why not take a look?
Do you think you’ll be making beeswax wraps in the future? I’d love to hear your comments or suggestions. Why not leave me a message below, or find me on my social channels.
Facebook: A Rose Tinted World
And please do pin this post for later.