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How to Make Your Own Beeswax Food Wraps
If you want to reduce the use of plastic in your kitchen, making beeswax food wraps is one easy way to do so. There are many different recipes for making beeswax wraps. This one is very simple and does not involve a lot of different materials. Using the adhesive properties of beeswax is just another way we can use beeswax to make useful items for our homes.
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.
There are so many recipes to make homemade wraps that it can become a bit overwhelming. Ultimately you will need to experiment a bit because each one has various levels of “cling” depending on the exact ingredient used.
Can You Make Homemade Wraps with Just Beeswax?
One popular method of making beeswax wraps is to simply use beeswax and no other ingredients. This idea will work to a degree.
Getting the cotton cloth to absorb the wax is not problem. However, you may have cracking when actually using the only beeswax wrap on anything. Also, it will be rather stiff as cool beeswax is not a pliable.
Making DIY Beeswax Wraps With Oils Instead of Resin
In addition to beeswax, some common instructions call for the use of oils such as jojoba or coconut instead of using resins. This too can be a workable solution.
However, if too much oil is used in the recipe (and here again you have to experiment) problems can arise.
Sometimes the wrap fails to cling to the bowl and sometimes it leaves behind bits of coconut oil residue.
Comparing Beeswax Wrap 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, there are numerous options for creating your reusable 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.
In my experience, the ones that use resin in the recipe have the highest rate of success.
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.
Best Way to Make Reusable Beeswax Food 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.
Choose colorful cotton cloth squares that match the theme of your kitchen. Now, your wraps have become a part of your home décor.
What Size Should Beeswax Food Wraps be?
Your cloth squares should be washed and dried prior to beginning. Beeswax wraps 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 to Make Wax Food Wraps
- 4 cloth squares- cotton – cut to desired size – 10″-12″ most common
- 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.
Time needed: 2 hours.
Directions for making homemade beeswax food wraps
- Melting Beeswax
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 as well.
Beeswax is brittle and will break into chunks when hit with a hammer or chisel. Place your beeswax chunks in a melting pot.
- Measure and Grind 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.
This will reduce the resin to powder form for faster melting. Pour resin into the melting beeswax and stir well.
- Adding Oils to Melting Mixture
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 clump at the bottom. When all is melted and mixed well, it is time for the next step.
- Preheat and Line Pan
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.
- Brush Beeswax Mixture on Cloth
Place the warm pan on a heat safe surface that you have covered with aluminum foil. (for easy clean up).
Use your brush or 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.
- Bake Cloth 4 minutes
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.
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.
You have made your own DIY Beeswax Wraps – you are helping to save the planet – what a hero.
Tips to Consider Melting Beeswax for Wraps
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.
How to Use Beeswax 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 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.
But, 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.
How Long Does a Beeswax Wrap Last?
While these natural wraps are a wonderful addition to the kitchen, they are not without some challenges.
After a while, (how long depends on many factors), the wraps will need to be replenished.
This can be as simple as reapplying the beeswax, resin mixture but it is a maintenance task to consider.
Natural Food Wraps Make Special Gifts
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.
Finding the Best Recipe May Take Some Time
There are many variations of this recipe online. 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 and test them out. It is much better to tweak the recipe and make your beeswax food wraps just the way you like them.