Not only is single-use plastic cling wrap wasteful, but it can also be cumbersome and awkward to use. Next time you’re in search of a food covering to preserve a piece of produce’s freshness or keep leftovers secure, opt instead for a homemade beeswax wrap.
These simple DIYs create a liquid-tight seal and can mold to any shape with just a bit of body heat from your hands. So, instead of crowding your refrigerator with stacks of plastic tubs, create a variety of beeswax wraps to save on space and move your kitchen toward fewer single-use items. With just a few materials needed, these beeswax wraps can also cut down your monthly grocery budget by prolonging the life of your fresh produce and eliminating the need for plastic wrap.
Equipment / Tools
- Pinking shears (or a sharp pair of scissors)
- Paint brush
- Baking sheet
- Ruler or tape measure
- Cosmetic-grade beeswax pellets
- Cotton fabric
- Parchment paper
Gather Your Materials
First, preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Line a clean medium baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour 3 to 4 ounces of beeswax pellets into a bowl for easy access. Select cotton or cotton-blend fabric for this project—it's a great DIY to use your leftover scraps or quilting squares for as well.
Cut The Fabric
Using your pinking shears, cut the fabric into a variety of sizes of squares and rectangles. To cover a standard mason jar, a 6" x 6" square is perfect, but include a couple of larger shapes for bigger containers, too. The pinking shears keep fabric edges from fraying too much, but a sharp pair of scissors will work just fine in a pinch.
Place Fabric on Baking Sheet
Lay a square or two of your trimmed cotton onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. If you are able to fit multiple squares of fabric onto one sheet, be sure their edges are not touching. Lay your fabric pattern-side down to be sure to coat the interior with beeswax.
Add the Beeswax Pellets
Scatter the beeswax pellets over the top of each cotton square, keeping them fairly evenly distributed. Don’t forget to take special care to reach the edges of each piece of fabric with the pellets, too. Finally, don't overcrowd your fabric with wax; too much melted wax makes this craft unnecessarily messy (and you can always add another coat once everything is set if you'd like).
Melt and Spread Beeswax
Place the baking sheet carefully into the preheated oven for six to eight minutes or until your beeswax pellets have melted. Once the pellets have completely liquified, remove from the oven with an oven it and place onto a heat-safe surface. Using a paint or pastry brush, spread the melted beeswax so it evenly coats one side of each of your fabric squares. Be sure to work quickly, as the beeswax will set into place once it cools back down to room temperature. Also, beeswax is difficult to remove from a paintbrush, so use one you’re ok with tossing out at the end of this project. Place the wax-coated fabric onto a parchment-covered countertop to cool completely. Repeat for remaining fabric squares.
Put The Beeswax Wraps To Use
Once your wraps have set, they’re safe to use (and reuse) to cover containers and keep food fresher. Simply cover a piece of produce or a bowlful of leftovers with a single wrap, clinch it into place with your hands for a few seconds to warm the wax slightly, and the wrap should remain tightly secured once it cools back to room temperature. You can even stitch a larger wrap into an easy sandwich or snack bag, just be sure to keep the beeswax-coated side on the interior of the baggie. To care for your beeswax wraps, rinse with warm (but never hot) water and allow to air dry by laying flat or propped up in a drying rack.