Plastic Free July: Simple Actions
As we continue through Plastic Free July, I’m revisiting a project that I had attempted previously, but failed at: DIY beeswax wraps. I moved away from regularly using cling wrap some years ago but still had a couple of things I would use it for — and cringe every time. Thankfully I found beeswax wraps as an alternative, which are made of natural and biodegradeable ingredients such as cotton cloth and beeswax. However, purchasing them can be expensive, so I decided to try making my own budget-friendly version.
Making my DIY Beeswax Wraps
The more complicated versions of these wraps blend beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin to give cotton the qualities it needs to stick to bowls, limit airflow, and even stick to itself to make a pouch or wrap around a large object such as a loaf of bread.
For my first attempt I sourced beeswax and tree resin, and used the jojoba oil I already had at home. I melted and blended the ingredients and applied to the cotton to make my own wraps, but they never really cured or dried and were far too sticky to use. However, a recent Plastic Free July post referenced a simpler way to make these wraps , so I decided to give it a try!
Beeswax Wrap Materials
- Beeswax pastilles
- Cotton cloth
- Parchment paper
- Cookie tray
Step 1: Find suitable cloth
Find a tightly woven cotton material to use for your wraps. If the weave is too loose, then the beeswax can flake off more easily than when using a tighter weave. I purchased some organic quilting cotton on sale and it worked great!
For sizing, measure the bowls or items you most use cling wrap to cover, and cut a piece of fabric (or several pieces if you’re making more than one wrap) that will effectively cover those items. Alternatively, check the websites of companies that make wraps and determine what sizes they offer to make a decision about the sizing for your own wraps.
Step 2: Prepare for ironing
I placed one sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, then laid down my cotton and spread around what seemed like a reasonable amount of beeswax pastilles. It would be difficult to give an idea of how much to use but you can see from the pictures how I spaced them out. When I make more wraps I’ll likely start with a bit less, then add a bit more to the areas needed. Leave a bit of space around the edge of the fabric as the wax will melt and spread out to the edges.
Step 3: Melting the wax
I put down two pieces of parchment on top of the fabric and beeswax and turned my iron to medium-high. It didn’t take long to melt the wax and it spread fairly easily once melted. I just used the iron to spread the wax to areas where it didn’t quite get to on the first pass.
Once the melted wax was spread evenly over the fabric, I pulled it off of the parchment and it cooled down very quickly.
How to use your DIY Beeswax Wraps
Search around online and you’ll see many ideas for ways to use and re-use your beeswax wraps. I tend to use them most often to cover bowls or to wrap fruits like cantaloupe. However you can see below that it’s simple to make a snack pouch, or you could even add a button to make a sandwich wrap.
How to Clean your DIY Beeswax Wraps
Clean your wrap by wiping with a damp cloth and then letting it air dry before putting away. And if you’re curious how long these last, I’ve been using my wraps for a few years now and they’re still going strong!
Have you ever tried making or using beeswax wraps?