Beeswax wraps: easy, but messy

So making food is awesome and all, but what do you do with the leftovers (or with things that need to spend some time in the fridge)? Plastic wrap? Aluminum foil? Plastic sandwich baggies? I’ve been eyeing these beeswax wraps for a while now as a natural, reusable alternative to plastic wrap, but they’re hella expensive.

As it turns out, they’re super easy to make! It sticks to metal, plastic, glass, and even itself (I hear you can fold them to make little snack or sandwich bags, or wrap fruit or vegetables with it…I’ll let you know how it works out). And, as it just so happens, I had this adorable bee print fabric that’s been waiting for the right project to come along. (And some homemade coleslaw that needed to be covered)

There are a bunch of recipes and methods floating around out there, but this is what I did and it worked out beautifully. You want to use a thin fabric for this. Something about the thickness of a bed sheet would do nicely. Cotton is ideal. This recipe was enough for me to make (with a little extra):

2 12″x12″ squares

1 10″x10″ square

1 8″x8″ square

Beeswax reusable wraps

5 tbsp beeswax pellets

4 tbsp pine resin powder (if you don’t tap, crystallize and grind your own pine resin into a fine powder, store bought is fine)

1 tbsp jojoba oil

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the ingredients in a glass bowl and melt together either in a double boiler or microwave. Using a cheap brush (this stuff won’t wash out, so get a brush dedicated for making wraps or buy a cheap one to throw out afterward), paint the liquid onto your pre-cut cloth (make sure to do this on your lined baking sheet – this stuff is messy). Get the edges really well so they don’t unravel (sewing isn’t needed if you wax it properly – if you have pinking shears to cut the edges, even better). You don’t need to gob it on, we just want enough so it’ll melt into the fabric once it goes in the oven. Periodically reheat the mixture in your bowl if it starts to solidify. Bake wraps for 10 minutes. When they come out of the oven, pick them up (I was able to use my hands, but they were definitely toasty) and wave them around to harden the wax. The end result is a little tacky, but not actually sticky. I hear the tackiness mellows out over time.

That’s it! Easy peasy. Heads up, though. This stuff is hard to wash out of the bowl. It’s easiest to melt the wax again and then wipe it out with a paper towel. Boiling water (via the microwave) took care of the rest for me.

To use the wraps, just press them wherever you want them to go. Hold them in place for a second for the wax to melt a bit and they’ll hold their shape better. If they get dirty, wash by hand with soap and cool water (hot water will melt the wax and you’ll have quite a mess). Because they need to be washed with cool water, don’t use them to wrap raw meat.

So that’s it! If you want to try it yourself, check out these links (if you purchase anything I’ve linked in this post, I’ll earn a small percentage of the sale at no extra charge to you). Or, if you don’t need a pound of pine resin (Seriously, WTF, why isn’t it available in a smaller size? Now I need to find other things to make with pine resin), I can make it for you! Let me know in the comments (or email me at [email protected]) with what sized wraps you’d be interested in and I’ll post them for sale in my store! Prices are TBD, but check the store for more info soon.

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