It seems that 2020 has given me a clearer view of what I can do to lower my own footprint. Plastic use in the grocery store is not always avoidable, but there are things I can do at home to make a difference. If you are interested in reducing the use of plastic and waste, one simple way is to start in your own home! I have been working to create a plastic-free kitchen, and a step I am taking this year is to replace my plastic wrap with some yummy-smelling DIY beeswax wrap.
Bee the change you want to see
I was reminded of these old-fashioned goodies when I visited my urban homestead store here in Portland. They were selling these wax-covered cloths for $8 a pop, and I knew this was a perfect DIY project. All you need is organic beeswax that you can grate or get in pellets and some cotton scraps. I picked up my cotton cloth in the quilter’s bin of pre-cut fat quarters. They were only a few dollars each. So for less than a latte, I have these pretty plastic wrap replacements!
I am loving this DIY beeswax wrap for my cheese and sandwiches and have made several for my favorite metal bowls that often go into the fridge. To form the wrap around the bowl, let the warmth of your hands soften the wax. You can also make bands from strips of elastic or tie your square bundles with twine. For cleaning, remember to not wash in the dishwasher, but use lukewarm water and some organic soap between uses. Check out my step-by-step tutorial below!
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- Pinking Shears
- Baking Sheets
- Cotton Quilting Fabric — Herb Garden Navy, Amalfi Waves Coral, and Sienna Pebbles Stone
- Beeswax Pellets
- Baking Paper
- Elastic (optional)
How to Make DIY Beeswax Wrap
- Gather your craft tools and materials. Then download the full tutorial below.
- Mark circles onto fabric larger than your bowls by using plates or round pizza pans as your templates.
- Cut rounds and squares from your fabric with pinking shears to keep edges from fraying.
- Cover baking pans with baking paper (not wax paper) or foil.
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i can download the pattern
Hi Jo. There isn’t a pattern for this project, just a tutorial and instructions.
I tried it but my cloth got so white after cool, and when i tried to wrap someting with it it wont hokd it. What im doing wrong?
It could be the brand of beeswax you’re using. Make sure it’s fresh and melted completely before cooling.
Love this idea – I want to do this with kids for an activity. Do you think in can melt the wax in a crock pot and then let the kids dip a paint brush in and spread it on the fabric?
Hi Jody! I haven’t tried anything like this, but from my experience beeswax hardens pretty quickly and don’t know if it would work to melt in a crock pot.
How do you let the beeswax cool without leaving it on the tray? I read that it cools quickly and if you leave it on the tray too long it is hard to remove.
I didn’t have trouble removing it from the foil-lined pan after it cooled. If the fabric is too thin, some of the wax may seep through and make it more difficult.
Mine didn’t come out very sticky…. I don’t know how they will work.
Try adding a bit more wax and reheating!
[…] DIY BEES WAX CLOTH WRAPS […]
[…] Out Lia Griffith’s Blog On Making Beeswax […]
My beeswax wrap got soaked in water too long and now the wax is all flaky. Can it be saved?
You could try to re-melt the wax by warming it up in the oven. Some brands of beeswax are more forgiving and last longer than others!
[…] beeswax, although any food grade beeswax works. There are lots of tutorials around here are 2 ONE TWO. The wax wraps work really well, covering food instead of cling film. Cheese doesn’t […]
I love this idea and was wondering if adding a couple drops of Melaluca (tee tree) essential oil would help even more to prevent bacteria issues. Has anyone tried it?
Great suggestion! We haven’t tried that but would love to know if others have.
Does this work kind of like glad’s press and seal?
Hi Sara, it’s not as tacky as that product.
Any experience using these in the freezer or something like some bread or any non meat product? Fruit maybe?
No, I haven’t tried them in the freezer. Let us know if you try it!
Hi Lia.. I’ve tried making a few wraps but the colour seems to run on most of them? Any suggestions why? cheers, Juli
Hmm it’s likely the fabric. You could try washing it a few times then testing a small part, or try a different blend of cotton.
Hello i love this idea and i’m planning on making them but i have seen some that use tree resin with the bees wax. do you know if that makes a difference or not? will it make it stickier? have you tried it before?
i’m just not sure if i should use just bees wax or if i should try and find tree resin as well.
I don’t have any experience using tree resin so I’m not sure how this would work. Please let us know if you end up trying it!
I’m a beekeeper and tree resin is what the bees use to make propolis. They use propolis to glue everything in the hive together and seal up cracks to keep out drafts. I use wax from my hives so there is some propolis in there too. Adding the tree resin/propolis makes the wraps less brittle and a bit more malleable. So that would be the benefit of adding it. Also all the beeswax and propolis are antibacterial and antifungal so it’s all great for food storage. Hope this answers your question!
Thank you for weighing in, Michelle!
[…] Finding plastic-free alternatives can be a challenge, but Google and Pinterest have your back. Just by being aware and scrolling through options to de-plastify, you’re on the right track. This Pinterest user found a way to kick her plastic wrap problem by making DIY bees wax cloth wraps. […]
Can you use any cotton based fabric for the wraps? Do they have to be 100% cotton or is that the preferred fabric? (I have cotton linen fabric scraps on hand but every instructable I’m reading either says 100% cotton fabric or just non-specific cotton fabric)
I don’t think it HAS to be 100% cotton, but the material needs to be very thin. Some blended materials are just too thick for this to work properly.
Do you think these would work if I lined my homemade market bag with a beeswax covered fabric (like your wraps) to make it waterproof? Would they last very long? Thanks. Shannon
I like your idea, but I’m not sure it will work unless the liner was removable. The wax does rub off some, and over time would need replacing or to be re-coated.
If not using how to you store them?
I wipe them down clean with a lukewarm cloth, then once dry I simply roll them up and tuck them away 🙂
Thanks for the tutorial. Beautiful and will make some asap. Wondering if you only have to coat one side in bees wax? Does it seep through and coat both sides? Thanks.
The warm wax just soaks through the fabric. 🙂
[…] start to become very sticky. Fold in chocolate chips and cover bowl with plastic wrap. (I use my bees wax cloth or you can use a wet towel). Let dough rest for 30 minutes. This is really important to let the […]
Lia, do you find that these crack at all? Or is the wax such a thin coat that it doesn’t do that? I am seriously intrigued by this idea but I wondered about cracking. Also, can you store them folded? How do you store yours when not in use?
I see these as a really nice cover for bowls of bread dough, as I use the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day approach and keep my dough in the fridge as I use it. Thank you for the tutorial!
I have not had mine crack. If they do, just pop them back in the warm oven for just a few minutes. I do think they are best if they are not over covered with wax. Thin is best. For storage, I roll mine together and place them in a drawer. That saves space and keeps them uncreased. I love these for those bowls that don’t have lids, or even something that does not need to be completely sealed. I think they will be perfect for your bread. YUM!
I do hate all the plastic in my kitchen and love this idea. I will be on the look out for some inexpensive fat quarters and get started. I will also have to source the beeswax. Thank you so much for sharing x
You are welcome Denise! Enjoy!
This has been on my to-do list ever since I’ve read about the idea. Is it pretty good at keeping food fresh? Also, does the beeswax eventually wash off after repeated use? We’re getting bees this Spring and I love hearing about eco-friendly ways I can use honey and beeswax.
I thinks it works as well as plastic but I don’t leave things in my fridge for more than a few days. If you don’t use water that melts the wax it stays on pretty well, of course you can always rewax your cloth. My favorite is the smell. LOVE the bees wax smell.
I am definitely going to give these a try! Some questions since I have never used wax wraps before…
Do you put the wax on the wrong or right side of the fabric?
How do you clean them?
When you melt the wax the fabric will get completely soaked, so it doesn’t really matter. These can be cleaned with cold water. A bit of natural soap used sparingly when really needed.
I am so excited to do this! I have been wanting to buy some of these wraps but they are expensive and I always talk myself out of it. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this post! Is there any concern about the chemicals or dyes in the fabric seeping into the food?
Great Carolyn! You can certainly choose an unprinted, unbleached organic cotton instead of a print. I think a mix is perfect, the prints to go over bowls and the unprinted for wrapping items.
What a great post! I am thinking this would be a wonderful way to make my hubby and son’s lunches so fun and festive!, also for a those foodie gifts during the holidays 🙂
What a great post! I am thinking this would be a wonderful way to make my hubby and son’s lunches so fun and festive! 🙂
Sorry for the duplicate reply, my internet stalled and didn’t see it.
No worries. I loved them both.
How fun Betsy!
Hi Lia, so happy to find this wonderful DIY! I will definitely do this tomorrow. So excited! Blessings~
Would you use these to wrap up things in a kids lunch? Like my daughter’s sandwich or her carrot slices? I feel like I go through more zippered bags then any 3 people should. I would like something that is reusable for all those lunches.
I actually have a post idea to make some lunch bags with this material. You can also wrap the sandwich like I did the cheese in the photo. Stay tuned.
Quina pena avui quasi no entenc res brrrrrr, he traduït tot l’escrit però no entenc massa la traducció em sembla que diu algunes coses estranyes !! ha ha ha ,
És per cobrir el drap amb cera oi? i després embolicar aliments … posem un paper de alumini o de forn , el drap damunt i cera d’abelles per sobre , al forn a 350 graus uns minuts? És això?
Però si és així (vull provar-ho) son 350 graus centígrads o fahrenheit??
Gràcies i perdona per tanta pregunta, però avui lidioma se’m resisteix!!! Bbrr
Vaig a tractar de traduir per a vostè aquí a google. Utilitza una tela de cotó i es va trobar a la safata de forn coberta amb paper d’alumini. Escampar-cera d’abella (no massa) i posar en un forn a 177 graus centígrads. Es fon ràpidament i la tela ha d’absorbir la cera. Deixar refredar i servir!
Crec que ho he entès bé ara, de vegades les traduccions de google son una mica estranyes i amb paraules errònies, però penso que ara ho entenc i ho faré bé, quan jo pugui anar a fora compraré la cera , aquí on jo visc no hi han botigues (bé,hi han dos però només tenen lo bàsic i d’alimentació, aquest és un poble molt petit ),
De retalls de roba cap problema , això si que en tinc un munt , a mi m’agrada cosir i …faig de tot una mica…no puc parar !!!
També m’interessa molt la qüestió ecològica i vull fer tantes coses com pugui per no utilitzar plàstics i materials nocius,
That is great Anna! Glad you can figure it out.
Finalment ho vaig fer la cera que vaig trobar no sé si la més ideal, però no en vaig trobar d’altra, , cera pura d’abelles, això em van dir, unes fulles molt primes i com a groga , que no és podia triturar perquè era com enganxosa, la vaig anar fent a trossos petits com vaig poder amb els dits (una feinada) però va anar bé(crec) he he he, però la roba va variar una mica el seu color de fons , és va tornar una mica groga, clar, la cera ho era, també et va passar a tu?
Bé el cas és que em va molt bé, en vaig fer 4 de diferents mides.
Kisses and thank you
El meu cera era groga pel que va donar volta la tela una mica groc també. Crec que és bo recordar que sempre es pot escalfar i fondre la cera. La meva primera, poso massa cera a la tela, així que vaig haver escalfar i fregar una mica de la cera. Jo els estimo ara i l’ús d’ells per a tot.
Absolutely brilliant idea Lia! I love it.
I love this craft! Been trying to find a way around using plastic wrap over my leftovers–mostly I’ve been using tons of tupperware for a single meal.
Since I grew up with Tupperware (and despise it) I am using all glass containers with the blue or red lids. This works for most, but sometimes this beeswax wrap is just what I need. 🙂
What an excellent idea! Thanks for sharing. Just wondering if you have any tips for washing beeswax off of a grater or knife? Whenever I use beeswax it seems impossible to clean off my kitchen utensils.
I have had the best luck with really hot water (wax melting temp), a scratch pad and soap. If you can put the item in the oven for just enough time for it to melt then use a paper towel to clean the liquid wax, that works too. I hear you about it being a sticky one.
I love this idea! I have been trying to cut plastic out of my life as well. Some of the best ideas are some of the oldest ideas and this rocks my world! These would make the cutest gifts too for my friends. 🙂
I love the old fashioned ideas. We have a shop in my area called the Portland Homestead Supply. I am in heaven when I step in the door.
i love this idea. what a great way to make taking a lunch to work or on a picnic look speacial
I know! I now want to get an office job just so I can pack a lunch. Okay maybe not. haha.
What a wonderful DIY ! Je suis vraiment impressionnée je ne connaissais pas cette technique, mais c’est merveilleux ! Merci pour ton DIY j’adore tout ce que tu fais.
I love this idea! I have a love/hate relationship with plastic wrap…
I always have a twinge of guilt with I get it out of the drawer. 🙂
Great idea. I’ll have to try it.
Let me know what you think!
This is such a wonderful idea, I hate to use foil or plastic wrap, and just throw it away. Pinning, and thank you for an amazing giveaway too!!
Thanks Tanya! I am so excited to try these for packing a lunch too. My cheese is loving them!
Yes that would make a great blog post about filling a picnic basket with containers covered with these bees wax cloths.
Do you have an old fashioned picnic basket? I have a few thankfully I bought in KY, even have one of the metal ones which is actually my favorite, smaller than others but has the wood look paint and metal handles.
My husband made a great craft supply container out of one of other baskets, put a board on bottom and wheels so I can roll it around the house where I need it. I painted it aqua and yellow and stenciled branches and birds on top. I was really surprised when a guy that was here fixing some thing commented how pretty it looked. I love it. Happy days Lia
Loved your project with the cloths.
I have TWO old wooden baskets that I have picked up for a few dollars at garage sales. LOVE them. What a great idea for using them for everyday. What a sweet hubby you have. 🙂
great idea & nice gifts to take to friends house.
It would be.
I’ve seen these but just plain boring (but useful) ones for sale. I can’t wait to find some bees wax! As a quilter, I have lots of great fabrics to use. Thanks so much!
I loved picking my own fabrics. Yes, the ones at the store were pretty ugly. These make me smile.
Awesome post! I just finished packing my lunch for tomorrow and felt pangs of guilt as I wrapped my bowl of salad with plastic wrap. This will be a fun project for the upcoming 3 day weekend, and I have plenty of pretty fabric scraps to use. Thank you so much! : )
Haha. Oh dear! Well just enjoy that salad anyway. The bees wax isn’t sticky so you could make an elastic band to hold it in place if you are taking it to the office.
What a fabulous idea Lia! I’m going to try this for some of those little food gifts I love to give away…it’s like a pretty wrapping paper for food 🙂
Do! I can’t wait to see what you put it with. I just made your lentil soup for dinner and am eating that yummy cheese in the photos with it. Heaven!!
I will definitely be making this reusable wrap idea! And your dinner sounds pretty awesome – too bad we aren’t neighbors or I would have brought you over some scallion gougères (wrapped in beeswax cloth of course!) to go with everything 🙂
That would have been so awesome. 🙂
Great tip! Do you sprinkle the foil covered sheet pan and the top or just the top?
I just sprinkled the top. You really don’t need much and you can add more and melt again it need be.
Great idea! I don’t know if we’d cut out plastic wrap completely but these would sure help cut down a lot of use and make one roll last longer! I’d love to see what you do to replace Tupperware containers!
It is hard to ditch the zippy plastic bags for me. I am working on it though. I use glass bowls with plastic lids rather than Tupperware. My daughter grew up knowing how not to break glass since I didn’t have any plastic dishes. I did it because it looked prettier, but now I do it for the eco impact.
I want to win!!!
Great tip! I never quite considered replacing plastic wrap, yet when I think about it, its silly I haven’t. It is bad for landfills, plus it can be harmful to aanimals that might get ahold of it. Thanks, Lia!
Thanks Tasha! I really love the smell of these too. I want to make a whole picnic basket filled with adorable eco containers including these. Ooohh. That is a blog post. 😉