Beeswax wraps have long been cited as an alternative to foil and clingfilm, but who knew they were so easy to make at home? Try this easy DIY tutorial for yourself.
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We all know single-use plastic is a huge environmental problem and cling film is one of the worst offenders. British households use more than 1.2 billion meters of cling film every year – that’s enough to circle around the circumference of the world 30 times.
Reusable beeswax wraps are an eco-friendly alternative to cling film. Not only will they improve your green credentials, but it can also help make your food last longer and reduce your food waste too.
Beeswax acts as a natural barrier allowing food to breathe. This means, unlike plastic, it stops fresh foods from wilting. The wraps are also incredibly durable with a lifespan of up to five years.
Fran Beer realised the potential of beeswax wraps when she started making them to store her food in. She founded The Beeswax Wrap Co. in 2017 aiming to create a simple swap to reduce waste.
You might be surprised how simple it is to make beeswax wraps at home, especially when using Fran’s tried-and-tested method for making them. She has shared her tutorial with The Curiosity Academy, including a beeswax recipe that ensure your wraps are durable and long-lasting.
“When you make your first beeswax wrap, don’t expect it to be perfect,” is Fran’s only caveat before you start. Although the tutorial is simple it can take some time to perfect. While you’re practising Fran suggests making double the amount beeswax mixture and having some spare pieces of cotton to hand.
Fran also suggests using pinking scissors to cut your material to stop the fabric from fraying.
UK beeswax, which you’ll be able to find online, is also preferable because the UK laws mean it’s less likely to be filled with other chemicals.
What you’ll need to make beeswax wraps
To make two medium wraps (30cm x 30cm)
- Two 30cm x 30cm pieces of cotton (you can use an old sheet or any scrap cotton lying around, as long as it’s 100% cotton)
- Organic cotton
- 30g local beeswax
- 2g pine resin
- 1g jojoba oil
- 2 sheets of baking paper (5cm to 10cm bigger than your fabric)
- An iron
- A pyrex jug or pan
- A metal spoon or a paintbrush
1. Lay out all your equipment on a flat surface, with a cloth and piece of baking paper underneath your cotton material.
For the cloth underneath, use an old cloth that you don’t mind getting dirty.
2. Combine the beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil in a pyrex jug or a pan.
If you use a pyrex jug, put it in the oven at about 70 to 80 degrees (don’t go over 80 degrees because it will burn). The time will vary depending on the size of your oven and the beeswax you’re using. Remove it from the oven every five to 10 minutes and stir it. Repeat this process until it’s melted.
The process is the same using a pan. Simply stir the mixture in a pan on the hob until it has melted, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
3. Use a metal spoon or paintbrush to apply half of the beeswax mixture to the cotton material
Whatever you choose to use, gently spread the mixture across the fabric. Make sure it’s evenly distributed.
4. Apply the baking paper onto the wrap.
Once the mixture is evenly covered, place a piece of baking paper flat over the piece of cotton.
5. Using a hot iron, flatten the baking paper over the top of the cotton material.
Make sure the mixture is distributed evenly across the whole piece of fabric and that the edges are sealed.
6. Peel the baking paper off while it's hot.
Make sure to peel it off while it’s still hot or the sheet will get stuck.
7. Waft your wrap for five to 10 seconds.
That’s it! Your wraps are now ready to use.
Clean the equipment by placing the jug or pan upside down on a baking tray covered in newspaper. The wax will melt off onto the paper. The rest will come off by putting it in the dishwasher or hand washing your pan or jug.
How to clean your bees wax wraps
Beeswax wraps are easy to clean. After every use, simply wash them with cold water and washing up liquid. If your wraps have started to crease, Fran recommends putting two sheets of baking paper between your wrap and ironing it every couple of months.
“After 12 months, they may start to lose their stick,” Fran says. “This is when you can re-apply your wax mixture to the wraps.”
This ensures the wraps really are reusable. If you look after them like this they should last up to five years.
Not interested in making your own bees wax wraps right now? Lucky for you, you can buy them directly from The Beeswax Wrap Co.
Images: The Beeswax Wrap Co.
Fran Beer, founder of the Beeswax Wrap Co
Fran Beer founded The Beeswax Wrap Co. in 2017 with a mission to create simple swaps to reduce waste.