DIY Beeswax Food Wrap – Get Rid of Plastic Wrap!
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I’m positively thrilled with how easy and how awesome this project turned out to be. Making your own DIY beeswax food wrap is one of the easiest projects I’ve ever done. And it’s super satisfying to know that I’ll be cutting way back on how much plastic wrap we use as a family.
Because you can’t wash these in hot water, this won’t entirely replace plastic wrap for things like raw meat, but it is great for a bunch of other things – like cheese, crackers, salads, veggies, fruits, rising dough, etc. I made two round ones because I don’t have covers for my wooden salad bowl or my Kitchenaid mixer bowl. And I use both of those containers multiple times a week.
What You’ll Need
A few things to note here – you can choose a beeswax brick or bar, but then you’ll need to grate it. That’s hard work, but if that’s all you’ve got – make sure you also gather up a grater (that will be your wax grater from then on). I recommend pre-washing the fabric with no fabric softener ahead of time. And both the cookie sheet and the small brush will also be the “wax” things from then on – the beeswax is VERY difficult to get off so use a cheap brush and an old cookie sheet. Or pick one up at your local second hand shop.
- beeswax pellets
- cotton fabric
- pinking shears
- cookie sheet
- small brush
Step 1 – Prepare your material
First, cut your material into the size you’re after. Any size will work (within reason!) For my first pass – I created a rectangle that was 10″x 8″ and then two circles. To create my circles – I put both my Kitchenaid bowl and my wooden salad bowl upside down on the wrong side of the fabric and drew a circle about 1 inch larger than the bowls.
Then, use your pinking shears to trim all around the edges of your fabric. This will help (but not totally prevent) your fabric from fraying. Plus, it also just looks kind of cute. The circles aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t matter at all.
Wash your cut fabric before applying the wax with no fabric softener. I also ironed mine flat since cotton likes to get a little wonky and I thought that might help to apply the wax evenly.
Step 2 – Wax your material
Preheat your oven to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the cookie sheet and lay your fabric flat on it. If it’s too big to lay flat – that’s okay – just lay it neatly folded.
Now, sprinkle some wax pellets evenly all over your fabric.
Then pop it in the oven and watch closely. It took about 5 minutes for my wax pellets to completely melt into the fabric.
Once the wax is melted, carefully pull it out of the oven and use the brush to smooth the wax all over the fabric as evenly as possible. If you didn’t use enough wax (like I did above), simply put more pellets on your fabric and pop it back in the oven.
My rectangle mostly fit into my cookie sheet, but my circles didn’t at all. So I decided to try folding them and seeing what happened. Turns out – they come out exactly the same because the wax melts down through the fabric. You might just need to use a few more pellets.
The completely waxed rectangle!
In order to get the food wraps to stick to the storage containers (I tried wood, metal, and glass) you just have to mold it down and hold it a second to let the heat from your hands form the shape. Then, it sticks better than traditional plastic wrap!
How to Clean
These are easy to clean. The only real consideration is to remember to wash them with cold water. Hot water will melt the wax and make a mess. Since these are new to me, I have no idea how long the wax will hold up, but based on what I’ve read online, I expect it to hold up for at least 6 months of active use.
And when the wax needs to be replaced, you could use the same fabric and just re-apply wax to it again via the same process as above.