When you start to switch out items in your home for more natural or reusable items, the kitchen is a great place to start! We’ve been using containers like this or just good old mason jars for most of our leftovers (these bags are great too!), but sometimes you want to have something like cling-wrap to wrap something up like an avocado half, part of a cut up fruit or vegetable, the rest of an uneaten sandwich or to use as a cover for a bowl or cup in the fridge. That’s where beeswax wraps come in! These cloths are lightly coated with jojoba oil, beeswax, and tree resin to make the cloth moldable and sticky enough to stay in that molded position until you unwrap it. I had been buying my wraps for a few years, but they can get rather expensive and if you make your own you can simply re-wax them once they eventually loose their stick. I looked into a few different DIY methods and this is the one that I think is the easiest and least messy once I tweaked it a bit:Supplies:
-thin cotton material like quilters cotton (organic would be preferred since this will be touching food); I used this pattern for mine.
–organic beeswax pellets (they also have white ones that would yellow your fabric less)
–powdered pine resin
–pinking shears (optional but helpful)
-baking sheet and parchment paper
Wash your fabric to remove any chemicals still on the fabric and dry. Cut your fabric into 8″ x 8″ squares with pinking shears (this will help your fabric not unravel at the ends). You can cut squares much larger and adjust the amount of your ingredients, but I just stuck with an 8″ x 8″ since that’s what fits best in my smaller oven cookie sheets (I have one of those smaller apartment-sized ovens—thanks, house designer!).
Lay out parchment paper on your cookie sheet and place your fabric square on the sheet. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons pine resin, and 2 teaspoons beeswax pellets over the sheet as evenly as you can. Preheat your oven to 225° and place your sheet in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until you can see that all the elements have melted. Once you see everything has melted, use your paintbrush to smooth out the mixture all over the sheet. One thing I added to the process is that I also used the brush to lightly squeegee the excess mixture from off the sheet so only a light coating remained. When I just brushed and evened out what was on there and let it dry, it was too thick and I had to put them back in, let it melt again, and remove the excess. I’d rather have a little too much though and squeegee it off than too little, so I would suggest doing it that way.
Once you have thin coating after brushing, place the sheet back in the oven for 1-2 more minutes.
Use tongs to pick up the sheet off the tray and wave it around in the air for a few seconds to allow it to cool (it cools pretty quickly), and then hang it over something to allow it to fully set. I see that some people use them right away after they have cooled, but I waited 24 hours to give them time to fully dry. Once your sheets have set, they are ready to use! Oh, and it may take a little longer to get the resin powder and beeswax off, but you should be able to clean up your tools with just hot water and soap.When it come to caring for your wraps, wash in cold water (hot will melt your wax off), use mild soap, and allow your sheets to air dry before their next use. You don’t want to use these with items that you would want to wash in hot water/soap after touching (like meat) so this is more for wrapping up fruits and veggies, bread, and cheese, or as a bowl cover.
While I love using these for food storage, be advised that they are not completely sealing in your item like it would be in a glass container with an airtight lid. So if you want a little extra closure, you can also use a rubber band or a piece of string to tie your item with to keep it a bit more closed. So it’s more like sticky wax paper that you can reuse over and over rather than an airtight jar situation. In case you don’t feel like making your own, I’ve bought these several times in the past and they work really well, but I think you’ll have fun if you decide to give these a try! xo. Laura