DIY – Beeswax Wraps

As part of my journey to live a more sustainable lifestyle I have got into taking DIY beeswax wraps workshops. This all started with a girls crafting night (which by the way is the best way to make beeswax wraps) and has continued from there.

Beeswax wraps are a great environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling film. They are reusable and keep your food fresher for longer. You can use them for lunches, storing cheese in the fridge and keeping cut vegetables fresh. The best example of this is with an avocado - I can store a half-cut avocado in the fridge for a week wrapped in my beeswax wraps, all you need to do is cut a thin layer of the top before you use it next. 

There are multiple ways and different ingredients you can use to make beeswax wraps, however, I use beeswax, pine rosin and jojoba oil. The beeswax is naturally anti-bacterial, pine rosin is water resistant and also naturally anti-bacterial and the jojoba has anti-fungal properties. 

DIY Beeswax Wraps Workshop plastic Free Food Storage The Eco Society 

The wraps are simple to use as well - all you need to do is use the warmth of your hands to shape the wraps over your food or containers.  However, make sure you avoid using your wraps with raw meat. To clean them, all you need to do is wash them in COLD water with a mild, natural dish soap and hang out to dry. Do not use warm or hot water as it will melt the wax and the wrap will no longer be usable.  Beeswax wraps can last anywhere between 6 months to a year depending on how you look after them, and if they lose their wax or stickiness, you can simply re-apply the ingredients to give them a new lease on life. 

My DIY beeswax wraps recipe

Ingredients

This recipe makes about 6-8 wraps, I buy my ingredients from Pure Nature, though there are multiple places you can get them from, and if you are not in New Zealand you shouldn’t have too many issues being able to find these locally. 

  •  115gms Beeswax
    •    3 tbsp Jojoba oil
    •    20gms Powdered pine rosin (if you can’t find a powdered option then you can crush it up yourself using a mortar & pestle or hammer)
DIY Beeswax Wraps Workshop plastic Free Food Storage The Eco Society Equipment
  •  100% cotton fabric - lightweight
    •    Pinking shears (normal scissors will also work)
    •    Ruler & pen (this is to measure your shapes)
    •    Baking paper & baking tray (make sure your fabric fits on your tray) 
    •    Large natural bristle paint brush (plastic bristles are difficult to use)
    •    Oven (or iron depending on how you wish to make these)
    •    Saucepan and metal or glass bowl
    •    Stirring stick (either a wooden spoon or a metal knife works fine). 
    •    Metal tongs
    •    Clothes horse (or similar) & pegs for drying

Before you get started, please note that this can get a bit messy - the pine rosin is very sticky and can be difficult to remove from stuff, so I suggest that you don’t use your very best equipment.   

DIY Beeswax Wraps Workshop plastic Free Food Storage The Eco Society

Directions 
  1.  Preheat your oven to 110°C
  2.  Mark out your fabric and cut to your desired sizes using pinking shears. Guideline: Small - 16cm x 16cm, Medium - 25cm x 25cm, Large - 32cm x 32cm. You can also cut these into circles. 
  3.  Melt the beeswax, powdered pine rosin and Jojoba oil together in a double boiler (like you would for chocolate). To do this, bring water to the boil in a saucepan and reduce to a simmer. Add a metal or glass bowl over the saucepan with all the ingredients and stir regularly to ensure they are mixed together. 
  4.  While this is melting, line the baking tray with baking paper and place your piece of fabric flat onto the baking tray. Top tip: make sure the baking paper is larger than your fabric and that the baking tray is larger than your largest wrap as well, I use the guideline of at least 5cm on all sides.  
  5.  Once the ingredients are melted together to form a liquid, brush the mixture onto your fabric. The mixture dries quickly so you will need to work fast and be careful not to apply the mixture too thickly as it will run/drip later.
  6. Place in the oven for 5mins – this ensures the beeswax mix is totally infused into the fabric. You can also do this process using an iron by placing the beeswax covered fabric between two sheets of baking paper and ironing over top. Be careful that the beeswax mix does not go outside of the baking sheets and onto the iron!
  7.  After 5mins in the oven, take the tray out and use the metal tongs to remove the fabric. Make sure you grab 2 corners as the fabric can stick together and give you an uneven coating. Hang the fabric on the clothes horse to dry, this should only take a few minutes.  
  8. And you are finished! 

DIY Beeswax Wraps Workshop plastic Free Food Storage The Eco SocietyIf there is any excess mixture, you can scrape this off using the back of a knife and pop it back into the oven and hang it out to dry. 

This is a really fun group activity, so I would highly recommend organising your own DIY beeswax wraps workshop with your friends. If you do, make sure you tag The Eco Society in your pics as we would love to see you in action!

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