I Tried Making My Own Beeswax Wraps

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©. K Martinko – Grated beeswax on a piece of cloth, awaiting melting in the oven

It's a surprisingly simple DIY project.

The moment I saw a post on Waste Free Planet's Instagram page, explaining how to make homemade beeswax wraps, I knew I had to try it. I'm a big fan of the product, as it's an excellent eco-friendly replacement for plastic wrap and missing lids.

Although I've seen directions before, the recipes always seemed to include specialized ingredients like powdered pine resin and jojoba oil, which I did not have on hand. But this one called only for beeswax, and I've had a large block of that sitting in my pantry for seven years. Finally, it had a purpose!

I started by cutting up an old muslin receiving blanket. I figured that the thinner the fabric, the more the melted wax would soak through and make the entire thing pliable. I am no seamstress and do not own pinking shears, so the edges are rough and unhemmed.

beeswax wrap 1

© K Martinko

Next, I preheated the oven to 200F and spread a baking sheet with parchment paper. I laid the cut fabric on top, making sure that it fit within the edges of the pan and that the pan was protected fully by the parchment. I didn't want to be scraping beeswax off the baking sheet later.

Then I grated a small bowl of beeswax and sprinkled it on top as evenly as possible, approximately 1/4 cup. I put it in the oven for 5 minutes, at which point it was fully melted but looked blotchy. I tried to spread out the wax with an old paintbrush but there didn't seem to be enough to go around. I added another 2 tbsp of grated beeswax and put it back in the oven, focusing on the edges. That did the trick and the whole thing was nicely soaked through in another 3 minutes.

melted wax

© K Martinko

The cloth hardened up very quickly. Within a half-minute I lifted it out of the pan and hung it on the back of a chair. Then I transferred it outside, where the 14F/-10C weather cooled it thoroughly. There's just enough stickiness for the cloth to hold on to a cookie jar, but I think I'll add considerably more wax next time. I like the thick, hefty feel of the Abeego wraps I own and am aiming for that. Curiously, the Waste Free Planet directions say "less is more" when it comes to adding wax, but I'll have to play with that a bit.

wrap on a jar

© K Martinko

I am pretty thrilled that I've discovered how to do this, as it's a much cheaper option than buying pre-made beeswax wraps. Plus, the wax does not obstruct the fabric pattern in any way, so it would be a fun way to revive pretty napkins or tablecloths that have passed their prime.