DIY: Beeswax Wraps
We’ve been using beeswax wraps as a plastic free alternative in our kitchen for a while, but only just discovered how easy they are to make. During Plastic Free July, Caitlin from our finance team turned a pile of fabric offcuts from our design room into wraps to use in the kitchen at Spell HQ as an alternative to plastic wrap. You simply make a wax and resin coating (tree resin available here) that covers the fabric with a thin waxy layer. Once the wax cools it stiffens and the beeswax allows the wrap to stick together, creating a perfect and oh-so beautiful alternative to plastic wrap. We love seeing our fabrics reused and up cycled – especially for something that replaces plastic and helps us walk a little lighter on the earth!
The beeswax in the wraps makes them naturally antibacterial, and with proper care you should be able to use them for at least a year. They are perfect for storing food such as fruits and veggies, covering salads or your lunch, and carrying snacks. You simply fold them around the food and the beeswax will stick to itself or your container, sealing the food. We’ve also been experimenting with other uses for our wraps – so far we’ve discovered they work well for wrapping toiletries when we’re flying and to keep our surf wax in. They’d also also make for a beautiful handmade present, and you could gift a few sizes tied up with string. We hope you’re inspired to make wraps of your own and would love to hear any other uses you get out of them!
How to make Reusable Beeswax Wraps:
What you need:
– 1 cup of beeswax
– 1/4 cup of tree resin
– 2 Tbls jojoba oil
– Large glass jar
– Pot to boil water in
– Baking Tray
– Baking paper or aluminium foil
– Soft bristle brush (a paint brush will work)
Makes approximately 6-8 medium sized wraps
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Choose your fabric offcuts or cut up some clean clothes that you want to up cycle! We found that cotton, linen, and rayon work best, and preferred light coloured fabrics, as you can see the wax coating on dark fabrics.
- Cut your fabric into an assortment of sizes. These can be any shape but we would recommend squares and rectangles.
- Boil a pot of water on the stove (use an old pot that you don’t mind getting wax on it), once boiling you can reduce to a simmer to keep the water hot.
- Fill a large glass jar with the beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil, and set the jar in the pot of water.
- Melt the mixture in this double boiler – simply stir occasionally until it has completely melted in the jar.
- Line a baking tray with aluminium foil or baking paper.
- Lay out one of your pieces of fabric onto the tray with the patterned side facing up.
- Drizzle melted beeswax onto the fabric (approx 2-3 tablespoons).
- Place tray in the oven for a couple of minutes to allow the mixture to melt further and spread into the fibres of the fabric.
- Once melted take the tray out of the oven and use a brush to evenly spread the mixture, ensuring the whole piece of fabric is covered. You only need to apply the mixture to one side as it will melt through the fabric, coating it completely.
- If the wax is clumpy in some areas, simply place the tray back in the oven for a few more minutes to reheat it and then repeat step 10.
- Hang piece of fabric to dry. The wax dries really quickly, it should be cool in 5-10 minutes.
- Once dry you can trim the edges to give a more finished look and even out the fabric as it may have stretched or lost its shape when applying the wax. Otherwise leave the edges as they are for a raw look.
- Your wraps are ready to use!
Looking after your wraps:
To clean your wraps we recommend rinsing them with cold water and a natural detergent. Washing them in hot water may cause the wax to melt and be washed off.