Intro: Beeswax Wrap - Reusable Substitution for Plastic Wrap
My friend, who is originally from Canada, walked into our canteen at my dance company with a weird looking something around her plate with leftover dinner, and I was curious to what this was. She explained to me that this was called a 'Beeswax Wrap'. You fold it around your plate, sandwich, tupperware (how many lids did you loose already?... ;) ) etc. and with the help of your warm hands, the beeswax will melt a little and will stick together, just like regular plastic wrap. The great thing about this is that you can reuse them. (Yay for the environment, Yay for saving money!) Just rinse them off underneath some cold water, and you're good to go.
I already try to make small changes in my life that help me reduce using plastic. And this sounded like a great opportunity to reduce my use of plastic some more.
I was super excited to buy some of these beeswax wraps, but I couldn't find them in any shop in the Netherlands, so I decided to make some myself. (Which is also a lot cheaper, yay!) It costed me about 7 euros to make 5 beeswax wraps and making these isn't hard at all! (Yay again! ;) )
Step 1: Supplies
What you will need:
- 0,5 meter (or 0,5 yard) 100% cotton fabric
- Beeswax (I used about 60 grams)
- Scissors (preferably fabric scissors)
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Parchment paper
- Cooling rack
I couldn't find any whole pieces or flakes of beeswax in the stores in my neighborhood, so instead I bought a candle made out of 100% beeswax in my local eco-friendly grocery store. Which works totally fine as well. You could also go to a beekeeper, for 100% pure beeswax, which would be even more awesome but a little bit more effort.
Step 2: Decide Your Sizes
The first thing you should do is decide how many pieces you want to make, and what size they should be. I made 5 pieces of beeswax wrap in three different sizes:
- 18 cm by 18 cm (about 7 by 7 inch)
- 20 cm by 25 cm (about 8 by 10 inch)
- 30 cm by 30 cm (about 12 by 12 inch)
Step 3: Measuring Out
Next up: measure out the sizes you decide you want to make on the fabric. I put little dots at the right lengths.
Step 4: Cut the Fabric
Now it's time to cut the fabric. Before you start to cut, fold the pieces in two exact halfs. (Either diagonally for a square, or just in the center for a rectangle) This way, when you cut, the pieces will be symmetrical.
If you want to make more than one piece of one size, I also recommend folding the fabric so you cut multiple pieces at the same time. Time saver! :)
Step 5: Rasp the Beeswax
Because I bought a candle I had to rasp this first before I was able to use it. If you were able to find beeswax flakes you can skip this step (lucky you ;) ).
I had to rasp around the wick which, surprisingly, wasn't hard at all. Just rotate the candle every once in a while. After a little bit, the beeswax softened a little because of the warmth of my hands. Because of this I was able to pull out the wick without any effort. Now it is even easier to rasp. For the five pieces I made, I used about 2/3rd (60 grams) of a candle.
Step 6: Prepare for Ironing
Now it's time to grab your iron and ironing board. Make sure the steam option on your iron is turned off. You only need the heat.
Step 7: Sprinkling the Beeswax on Your Fabric
Place a piece of parchment paper on your ironing board and place your piece of fabric on top. Now cover the piece of fabric with the flakes of beeswax you just rasped.You only need to sprinkle them on top of the fabric. Once you heat it up, the beeswax will also reach the bottom. Don't sprinkle too sparingly, the more beeswax you sprinkle on it, the better it will stick together. (Next time I will do a little more than shown in the last picture)
Place another piece of parchment paper on top.
Step 8: Melt the Beeswax
Now it's time to melt the beeswax. Grab your iron and move it over the parchment paper. You will see that the beeswax will spread evenly over your piece of fabric. Don't worry if not all the fabric is covered. Just lift the top piece of parchment paper and add some more beeswax in the places where the fabric is still 'dry'. Grab your iron again and let the beeswax melt.
Step 9: Let It Cool Down
Ones your done ironing your piece, place the whole package on a cooling rack and let it cool down for a couple of minutes. I went on with my next piece of fabric. It's no problem at all to place multiple packages on top of each other!
Step 10: Reveal Your Beeswax Wraps
Now it's time to see your beeswax wraps for the first time. Slowly remove the top half of the parchment paper. Now gently grab a corner of your wrap and pull it of the bottom half. I placed mine back on the cooling rack so they were laying flat to cool and settle down a little bit further.
Step 11: Clean Up the Edges
Now as you can see in the pictures, the wraps might have some fabric strings or flakes of beeswax on them. I used a knife and scissors to clean the edges up.
Step 12: Try Your Finished Product
And there you have your hand made reusable beeswax wrap! You use it just as regular plastic wrap, only you don't throw it away. :) Wrap your sandwiches with it, save some leftover dinner with it for tomorrow or use it for your lost tupperware lid..
Use the warmth of your hands to make the wrap stick together and stay in place. To help it stay in place even more you can place some rubber band around the tupperware boxes but if you used enough beeswax that shouldn't even be necessary, it will stick together on it's own.
If you have used them for quite some time, you might want to touch them up a little. Just place some new beeswax on the wrap, let it melt with your iron, and they are as new!
Feel free to ask me any questions and I would love to see your results!
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Runner Up in the
Stick It! Contest