These DIY beeswax wraps only need two simple ingredients and are made without pine resin.
Safely wrap your food and bowls in eco-friendly “cling wrap” that is coated with a food grade wax and oil blend.
You will no longer have to peel that annoying plastic cling wrap from the roll with your finger tips. And you will be dramatically reducing the mountain of single use plastic we use on a daily basis!
Key Ingredients for Beeswax Wraps
A not so surprising ingredient that you’ll need to make your own faux cling wrap is of course beeswax.
Ingredient #1: Beeswax
You can use the classic beeswax that you can source from many places these days, which has a golden, yellow color.
You can also opt for white colored beeswax which has been filtered to remove its color.
If you don’t own beeswax right now or have never bought it before don’t worry about quantities.
You can make plenty more DIY projects aside from these homemade beeswax wraps. Check out my Essential Guide to Ingredients for DIY beauty for ideas.
I added a little bee in the corner of my fabric squares with embroidery thread.
Not only does this make the beeswax wraps more fun, it will also make it easier to tell them apart from the vegan alternative beesless wraps I am working on!
Ingredient #2: Castor oil
A lot of tutorials that I have found to make your own beeswax wraps seem to use jojoba oil.
I can understand why jojoba oil is such a popular choice. This oil is essentially a liquid wax.
What I don’t like about jojoba oil is that it’s not recommended for food consumption.
Of course the amount of wax blend that rubs off on your food is tiny, you won’t be eating teaspoons of jojoba oil every time you’ve used your beeswax wraps.
But if there are perfectly viable edible alternatives to make DIY beeswax wraps, why not go for those?
Another ingredient I often come across in these DIY tutorials is coconut oil.
Coconut oil has antibacterial properties, making it a perfect candidate.
But because coconut oil is liquid at higher temperatures and solid at lower temperatures, it can be quite unpredictable.
I don’t want to end up with a sticky mess in my cupboard on a hot summer day or a rock hard wrap with cracks when stored in the refrigerator.
Knowing I did not want to add pine resin to this recipe, I wondered about what other sticky ingredients I know of and currently have in my DIY beauty stash.
And then a light bulb went off in my head. What if I used castor oil?!
It has a similarly long shelf life as jojoba and coconut oil: up to 2 years.
And it is sometimes taken orally for, err, its own special properties.
Again, the amount that rubs off from the beeswax wraps onto the food is tiny, but if you do not want to use castor oil, you can easily swap it for olive oil.
This DIY beeswax wraps recipe is the result of many trial and errors, using different ingredients and methods. In the end, I found the beeswax and castor oil blend the best. Especially when applied by using an iron.
There is one ingredient you will not find in this list.
These DIY Beeswax Wraps are entirely made without pine resin.
One of the ingredients you won’t find in this list is pine resin. Sometimes it’s also called pine rosin.
Pine resin or rosin is used to give the wraps that iconic cling wrap stick.
Basically when you wrap the piece of cloth around a food item or bowl the edges will fold and the fabric will stick to each other. This way you can make sure no water or air can get to it.
Although made from the sap of a tree, the use of pine resin around food items has been the center of debate lately:
- It’s a difficult ingredient to source. Especially if you want your wraps to be organic.
- Pine resin is not a food grade ingredient.
For the sake of this tutorial I experimented with benzoin resin instead of pine rosin.
Benzoin resin has a gorgeous sweet vanilla scent and is used as a flavoring agent in food items.
I didn’t notice much of a difference however with or without the benzoin resin in how the beeswax wraps acted and felt.
The amount of wax blend and the way it’s applied to the fabric seems to play a much bigger role in my opinion.
(Organic) Cotton Fabric
We’ve decided on the main ingredients for our wax blend, now all we need of course are pieces of cloth.
This is the perfect opportunity to reuse old cotton sheets, kitchen towels or fabric scraps.
When you make your own beeswax wraps you can decide what colors you want to use.
And, more importantly, you can decide what sizes your beeswax wraps will be. You can make them customly tailored to fit your bowls and pottery.
Most DIY tutorials start by cutting the fabric with pinking shears. I skipped this step because:
A. I don’t own a pair of scissors like that.
And B. Images of elementary school craft projects come to mind when I see these edges.
I just used a regular pair of sewing scissors. If you don’t own this either, you can just use your sharpest pair of scissors.
The pinking shears are meant to stop the edges from fraying. I’ve noticed that if you make a straight, clean cut the wax mixture works fine on its own to stop the edges from fraying.
How To Use Beeswax Wraps
You can use your homemade beeswax wraps for a variety of food related occassions.
Wrap your lunch for work or school in a homemade beeswax wrap and you will be the eco warrior of the cantine. Pack a quick snack, store your bulk finds or use the wraps as a funnel – yep, apparently that is a thing.
Be careful when using these DIY beeswax wraps in the refrigerator or freezer.
These are typically humid environments.
This Beeswax Wraps recipe doesn’t need a preservative because it’s an oil based mixture. But when these oils come into contact with water, mold can start to grow.
Try to avoid contact with water or liquids as much as possible.
Use a sponge or cloth with hot water and dishwashing soap to clean your wraps. Rinse the sponge or cloth first until it’s only slightly damp.
Give the wraps plenty of time to air dry before storing them again for their next use.
These Beeswax Wraps are best stored rolled into a tube. You can wrap a piece of string around them to avoid them from unrolling in your kitchen cabinet. Although I have noticed that this is not necessary.
- 1/4 cup (1 oz) beeswax pellets
- 1/2 tablespoon (0.2 oz) castor oil
- Organic cotton fabric
- Parchement paper
- Double boiler
- Wash and dry your fabric first. Cut your fabric in the desired shapes and sizes. Use your bowls as a template.
- Melt the beeswax using the double boiler method. Once the beeswax has almost melted, add the castor oil. Stir until the castor oil is fully dissolved and you have a liquid mixture.
- Pour the wax blend into a flexible silicone mold and set aside to harden. Once hard take the bar out of the mold and use a grater to finally grate the wax bar.
- Place a piece of parchment onto your iron board. Lay the fabric on top, right side facing down. Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of the grated wax blend evenly over the fabric.
- Place a second piece of parchment on top. Use a hot iron to carefully melt the wax blend into the fabric. Check regularly to see if the wax is evenly distributed. Add some wax to open spots and continue. Keep going until the fabric looks completely saturated. Places that have enough wax will look darker and wet.
- When the fabric is cool to the touch, peel it from the parchment paper and hang it to dry.
- Once dry roll the fabric pieces into tubes and store until you are ready to use them.
- Store your beeswax wraps in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.
- These beeswax wraps can keep up to 6 months or even a year.
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I have also tried the oven method for this DIY beeswax wraps tutorial, but in my experience the iron method works best to leave a thin even coat onto the pieces of fabric.
First you will need to melt your beeswax. Measure the wax and add it to a double boiler.
As soon as the beeswax has melted you can add the castor oil or olive oil. Stir until you have a liquid consistency.
Take the double boiler off the heat and pour the mixture into a flexible silicone mold. This could for example be an ice cube mold.
Once the wax blend has solidified, pop it out of the mold and use a grater to make a fine “wax blend dust”.
Place a piece of parchment paper on top of your ironing board. Make sure the piece of parchment is larger than your fabric.
Place the fabric on top, right side facing down. Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of grated wax blend on top. Distribute evenly.
Lay another piece of parchment paper on top. Use your iron to gently melt the wax blend into the fabric.
Make sure the wax doesn’t come into contact with the iron. The wax will stick to the iron and start to smoke. Always use the same side facing up when you iron the parchment paper.
Once the wax has melted into the fabric and it looks evenly saturated, you can peel off the top parchment paper. Add more wax and repeat the previous step if there are still some blank spots left.
As soon as the fabric has become cool to the touch you can peel it off and hang the fabric up to dry.
Repeat until all of the wax blend is finished or until you have enough beeswax wraps.
Here’s to a zero waste kitchen!