DIY Beeswax Food Wrappers, Easy Peasy Style
Don't you love a project where there's no downside? As we all strive to reduce single use plastic, beeswax food wrappers are a great solution. And once I found this Canadian wax puck, they are so easy.
I don't have to go into all the benefits of these wraps, right? They've been around a long time—eco-friendly, reusable so you save on plastic, better for food storage so less food waste, better for the environment, even compostable when you're done!
Making reusable food wrappers myself was always the plan. One, I'm a crafter. I sew, knit, crochet, build, if I can do it myself I try. Two, I have lots of gorgeous fabric in my stash—organic and batiks. And three, the retail price is pretty expensive, I knew one or two would never be enough in my household. So I spent months reading how to make reusable DIY beeswax wraps. As I said, finding fabric wasn't the problem :) But the wax ingredients were a different matter. The basics are beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin (which adds the stickiness). I'm a pro at online shopping, but I couldn't find one place that sold all 3, so there was shipping, how much, did I really need pine resin and well... I was going around in circles and kept putting it off.
But then a few weeks ago I was on the Lee Valley Tools website looking for door handles for my Flare Fabrics Playhouse and voila, I found the perfect solution: pre-made Beeswax Wrap pucks! These pucks come with the correct ratio of beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin all blended together. And a bonus they are made by a Canadian company. (I am NOT receiving a commission for these comments; I am writing about products I find that I use and like.)
This puck from Made by Bees solves all my sourcing and mixing problems! I tried out one puck as a sample test and thought I'd share my findings. One puck costs $4.95 CDN and I was able to make three beeswax wraps; two are 10" by 10" and one is 12" by 12". The instructions are really clear and easy to follow. The whole thing took me less than an hour!
It suggests a double boiler or an old pot, but I was only using one puck, I used an empty jam jar and a small brush from the dollar store. You'll also need a cookie sheet and parchment paper—plus your fabric of course.
It took about 20 min. for the wax to melt. One thing I learned—you have to move quickly once you take the wax off the stove! I kept the jar in the hot water pot which helped keep the wax liquid as I don't have a large counter right beside my stove to hold the cookie sheet. But if you do then I'd keep the jar simmering in the water on the stove while you work.
Above is a before (left) and after (right) photo of the waxing. If you're wondering if you need to wax the back — and yes I thought that — no you don't as the hot wax seeps through the cotton and wax is applied to both sides. (That's why you need the parchment paper!)
You'll need a place to hang the fabric to dry. This happens quite quickly but you can't put it down somewhere while it's wet as the wax then sticks to that surface. (Don't ask me how I know that.)
The size of the sheets you can wax really depends on the size of your cookie sheet and oven! I had planned to try a batik fat quarter but it was too large for my tray. So for this experiment I was able to do these three smaller pieces.
We've been using our wraps for about a week now. My husband loves them, particularly for wrapping his homemade sourdough bread and cheese. They get a quick rinse in cool water and are left to air dry in our drying rack. I fold them into fours and store with the dish towels.
I just purchased a set of disposable tin oven liners and they're large enough to wax a piece of fabric that is 15" by 15" so that's the next size I'm going to try. It should cover a whole sourdough loaf! I'll also use a larger brush next time which will speed up the waxing process.
Another use for my wonderful fabric stash as I play in the Flare Fabrics Playhouse!
Do you make beeswax wraps? I'd love to hear your experiences.
Take care and stay safe.