Beeswax Wrap - Reusable Substitution for Plastic Wrap

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About: Hello there! My name is Katrien and I am a ballet/contemporary dancer from the Netherlands. Besides dancing I enjoy cooking, baking, plants and lots of other stuff. Feel free to ask me anything :)

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:

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!

Katrien

Katrienn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon(.com, .co.uk, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

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    26 Discussions

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    DawnCLove63

    Question 7 weeks ago

    I love this and would love to make these. Would it work if you melted the wax in a pan and put the fabric in, covering both sides and laying flat in between the parchment paper to cool? Thanks for your input.

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    NoBoxEver

    2 months ago

    In the US we can buy 18" sq pieces of fabric called 'fat quarters.' From this size one can make four 9x9 wraps, or a single 18' sq wrap. My local herbalist sells loose crumbs of beeswax, which shortens the time needed to rasp big chunks.

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    sunriderksy

    2 months ago

    I see you just shared this a few weeks ago. How have they been working out for you?
    I too have thought about investing in some of the commercially sold ones, but didn't know if they really worked. With this instructable, I find I have everything I need to make my own - including a large bag of beeswax pellets (because I also make my own soap).

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    Katriennsunriderksy

    Reply 2 months ago

    I have used them quite a few times now. I mainly use the biggest ones. They don't stick together perfectly, so you could add some resin as suggested in the comments below to make it stick more. I'm not completely sure if that helps or not, as I didn't try it myself yet. Most of the time, especially if they are big enough you don't need a rubber band, but sometimes I use one to keep the wrap more in place. They clean very easily. I make my dinner for a few days all at ones, so I mainly use them around the pre-made plates/bowls to keep the dinner fresh, which works really nice! If you decide on making some, feel free to send me a picture and what you think! I would love to see the results.!

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    DominiqueR2

    2 months ago on Introduction

    Thanks for this. Always wanted to try these but didn't want to spend $30 on the readymade ones I used some cotton from my stash and serged the edges then grated a beeswax mini lite that had been in a package in the drawer for many years. Total cost $0! One tea light was enough to make two 10 x 10 in squares

    IMG_3562.JPG
    1 reply
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    KatriennDominiqueR2

    Reply 2 months ago

    Wauw beautiful fabric used!! Hope you like them. Thank you for sharing, super nice to hear and sea. It's really appreciated!

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    hellohilly

    Tip 2 months ago

    you can also add a bit of pine resin to the recipe to make the wrap clingy.

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    JesperE2hellohilly

    Reply 2 months ago

    That's interesting! Just collect some resin from a "bleeding" pine and then what, grating it together with the wax? How much should I use? Does it get sticky, stiffer, or more malleable?

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    tim_n

    2 months ago

    How easy are they to clean? I use beeswax for my leather tankards, but I can't imagine it's easy to get red sauce off them etc.

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    Katrienntim_n

    Reply 2 months ago

    They are very easy to clean! As said in the instructable, you just rinse them under some cold (or at least not too warm so the beeswax doesn't melt) water and you can also use a cloth to wipe it clean!

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    imerrymaryKatrienn

    Reply 2 months ago

    I think you meant, "at least not too warm so the beeswax doesn't melt." Right?

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    Katriennimerrymary

    Reply 2 months ago

    Yes! Thank you for pointing it out! I corrected it. :)

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    Katriennattosa

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you! Glad you like it :)

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    jessyratfink

    2 months ago

    Such gorgeous photos! I've been meaning to try this out for a long time. :)

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    Katriennjessyratfink

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you!! If you decide on making some, feel free to send me a picture! I'd love to see the result. :)