How to make your own beeswax wraps
Beeswax wraps, what is it? How can I make my own? Is it worth buying ready made one?
Beeswax wraps are an old solution to a new problem, plastic. The usage of clingfilm as a way to cover our leftover food or food on the go has taken to levels never seen before. I was having a chat with a friend at the park having our picnic and watching over our kids when the conversation turned green. By green I mean how can we make our picnics food packaging more eco friendly and finally ditch clingfilm and fruit packages. So I remembered that I had a chat with my mother-in-law and she knew somebody that had a homemade recipe for beewax wraps.
Before showing the recipe for Beeswax wraps, lets talk about Beeswax.
Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.
Beeswax has been used since prehistory as the first plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in lost wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather and for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting.
I would avoid buying ready made ones as they tend to be very pricey and as we are going to see below Beewax wraps are quite easy to make.
Here you go, how to make your own Beeswax wraps.
• Cosmetic-grade beeswax pellets
• 100% cotton fabric
• Scissors or pinking shears
• Parchment paper
• Baking sheet
• Hanger (optional)
• Binder clips or clothespins (optional)
• Ruler (optional)
TIP: Some tutorials call for jojoba oil or powdered pine resin, but we found that these more expensive ingredients didn't add any major benefits in our tests.
1. Cut the fabric.
Preheat the oven to 100 degree celsius.
Cut the fabric into sizes that will fit on your baking sheet. For a snack bag, use a 15cm by 17cm piece of fabric. A 17cm by 17cm square will cover most sandwiches. Pinking shears will help prevent your swatches from fraying, but scissors will also get the job done.
2. Place on a baking tray.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the fabric on top. If your fabric is one-sided, place the patterned side face down. Use a fresh piece of parchment paper each time you make another wrap.
3. Sprinkle the pellets.
Evenly distribute a liberal amount of beeswax pellets all over the fabric. Make sure you get pellets near the edges too.
4. Melt and spread the beeswax.
Place the sheet in the oven for about 4-8 minutes. When the pellets melt completely, take the tray out and use a paintbrush to spread the wax evenly over the entire fabric.
NOTE: The beeswax will stick to the brush, so use one you're okay discarding or saving to make future beeswax wraps.
5. Let dry.
Using tongs, remove the fabric from the baking sheet. It should feel cool to the touch after waving it for a few seconds in the air. Hang the fabric up to dry or set it on the back of a chair with the beeswax side facing up.
6. Customize your wraps.
Once the beeswax has set and is not very tacky, you can add buttons or hand-sew them into small pouches.
Snack Bags: Use a 17cm x 17cm piece of fabric. Once dry, fold the fabric in half with the non-treated sides facing inward. Hand sew the two sides together, leaving the top open. Turn the bag inside out, and add a button as a closure or stitch Velcro to both sides.
Sandwich Wraps: Use a 17cm x 17cm piece of fabric. On the patterned side, sew a button in two adjacent corners. To close, put the side with the buttons face down. Fold the fabric into thirds around the sandwich. Flip and fold the ends of the fabric up so the buttons are on top. Wrap twine around them in a figure-eight pattern for a secure closure.
Vuala you have a sustainable, eco friendly and lasting solution for your sandwiches on the go and any food that needs to be covered in the fridge or pantry/ladder.
Mother Earth thanks you :)
FillinGood green team