How to Make Your Own Beeswax Food Wraps
One of the many beeswax uses that goes beyond candles and lip balm is making beeswax food wraps. These reusable food wraps help reduce the use of plastic. They are easy to make and use.
Beeswax is a natural product made by honey bees. It is used to make honeycomb. The natural structure of beeswax makes it a great choice for so many uses!
Beeswax wraps are a perfect replacement for plastic food wrap in many instances. And because it comes from bees, beeswax is a natural and renewable resource.
Choose a Buzzy Design
Choose colorful cotton cloth squares that match the theme of your kitchen. Now, your wraps have become a part of your home décor.
Make some wraps for gifts using material related to the recipient’s interests. For teachers choose cloth with school designs. If you have a favorite music instructor, wraps with notes would be cool. Use fabric with bees and make a very, special bee gift for a new beekeeper.
Beeswax Wrap DIY Recipes
The process of making beeswax food wraps sounds so simple. Brush some melted beeswax on a piece of cloth and you are done! Right?
No, not quite. In fact, you will find several different recipes for making beeswax food wraps.
When I made my first beeswax wraps, I thought why not just brush the wax on my cloth. Well, that doesn’t work well. After the wax cools, it will crack when you bend the material.
The recipe in this post includes pine resin (though you can use other types of resin) and olive oil . You can use another oil such as jojoba or coconut if you desire.
Let’s start with this basic recipe. Finding the best beeswax recipe for your climate may require just a bit of experimentation. Humidity and temperatures can affect how well the end product works.
But the creation process is fun and easy. Just be prepared for a bit of recipe tweaking. More on that in a bit.
How to Make Beeswax Wraps
The first step is to choose the type of material that you want to use. Thin cotton usually gives the best results. Sheeting material or cotton quilting squares are the easiest to work with. But, feel free to experiment with other material.
Your cloth squares should be washed and dried prior to beginning. They can be cut to any size but 10” – 12” is most common. You may wish to make different sizes to accommodate various bowl sizes.
If you have special scissors called pinking shears, these will give your cloth a sassy edging and reduce raveling. But regular scissor cuts are okay.
Materials Needed for Beeswax Wraps:
- cloth squares – cut to desired size
- beeswax – 50 gm
- pine resin -10 gm
- olive oil – 1 1/2 teaspoons
In addition, choose a melting pot (anything you want to melt wax in) and have some aluminum foil handy.
Overview of Steps for Making Beeswax Wraps
- Beeswax 50 gm – break into chunks and place in melting pot
- Measure 10 gm of pine resin – add chunks or powder to melting pot
- Add 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil to melting pot
- Line a flat pan with aluminum foil, lay 1 piece of cloth on it and place in a preheated (175 degrees F) oven for 2 minutes-then remove.
- Use paint brush to apply light coat of beeswax mixture to 1 side of cloth.
- Return to oven for 5 minutes – then remove
- Carefully lift the waxed cloth off the pan by the 2 top corners – fan gently in the air for a minute or 2.
- Set aside to cool.
In Step 1: Measure the proper amount of beeswax. I always use weight (by grams) to measure materials when using my beeswax recipes.
You may purchase beeswax pastilles. They are easy to work with and measure. However, if you buy a block of raw beeswax from an area beekeeper, it is easy to break into chunks.
Beeswax is brittle and will break into chunks when hit with a hammer or chisel. Place your beeswax chunks in a melting pot.
Consider having a dedicated pot for melting beeswax, and use of a double boiler is recommended. The double boiler has water in the bottom pot with your recipe materials in the top pot.
This is a safer way to melt beeswax. Gently stir the beeswax as it melts. Caution: Oils, resins and even beeswax is flammable. Use caution when melting your ingredients to avoid burns of danger of fire.
In Step 2: Measure the pine resin crystals. Resin helps make the cloths slightly sticky. If they end up being “stickier” than you prefer, use less resin next time.
The chunks of resin will melt in the beeswax but very slowly. For faster melting, wrap the pine resin chunks in a cloth and beat them with a hammer. ( Or the handle of a big kitchen knife – no don’t do that. ? )
This will reduce the resin to powder form for faster melting. Pour resin into the melting beeswax and stir well.
In Step 3: Now we are ready to add a bit of oil. I use Olive Oil because that is what I have on hand.
Other crafters enjoy using Jojoba oil or even coconut oil. Measure and pour the oil into the melting pot.
Keep the heat at a medium to low level and continue to slowly heat the mixture until everything is liquid.
Stir well as the pine resin will tend to clog at the bottom. When all is melted and mixed well, it is time for the next step.
In Step 4: Preheat your oven to 175 degree F. Line a flat pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cloth square on the pan and place in the oven for 2 minutes.
Warming the cloth helps it absorb the melted beeswax mixture. The heat of the pan prevents the wax from cooling too quickly. After 2 minutes, remove from oven – using an oven mitten.
In Step 5: Place the warm pan on a heat safe surface that you have covered with aluminum foil. (for easy clean up).
Use your brush to paint a light coat of your recipe on the cloth. Do not put too much, we only want just enough to coat the surface. Only paint one side.
In Step 6: Place your pan (and cloth) back in the oven for 4 minutes. Then, remove and carefully lift up the edge of the cloth.
Does it look wet or dark on the back? If not, lightly brush more of your mixture on the spots that look dry and place back in the oven for a minute or two.
In Step 6 & 7: If the back of the cloth looks damp and saturated, it has enough wax. Using tongs or your fingers if not too hot, lift the cloth straight up by 2 corners.
Gently fan it in the air for a minute or two. The beeswax will set quickly. Then you can lay the beeswax wrap down flat on a piece of aluminum foil to allow it to cool.
Continue until you have completed the process with all of the cloth pieces you prepared. You did it! You have made your own DIY Beeswax Wraps – you are helping to save the planet – what a hero.
Using Your Natural Food Wraps
Once your beeswax food wrap has cooled, it is ready to use. Place the wrap on top of a bowl, and gently form a seal by pressing down around the edge.
Work slowly as the heat of your hand helps soften the beeswax. Naturally, not every food storage task is suitable for these reusable beeswax wraps.
Do not use them for meats, raw or cooked, or things that are gooey. The wraps can be gently cleaned with a damp cloth.
If you wash them, you will have to reapply your beeswax mixture sooner.
My favorite way to use them in the kitchen is for simple bowl covers. The wraps stay very clean, and yet keep dust and (nosy cat noses) out of things I have left on the counter.
Finding the Best Recipe May Take Some Time
There are many variations of this recipe online. The heat and humidity of your location may cause you to tweak the ingredients a bit.
If you live where it is hot and humid, you may need a bit more oil or resin. People in cold climates may use more beeswax. Do you find them a bit sticky? Perhaps you should use less resin or oil?
Here is a tip to keep in mind when you are making your first beeswax wraps. Don’t make a lot of them on your first attempt.
Make 3 or 4 beeswax wraps and test them out. It is much better to tweak the recipe and get them like you want them first. Do this before ending up with 20 beeswax wraps that you hate.
Beeswax food wraps are fun and easy to make. They are yet one more of the many uses for beeswax.