I’ve been keen to make DIY beeswax wraps for ages but I didn’t want to buy a whole bunch of equipment I might not use again. Yes, I’m looking at you clothes steamer. We BOTH knew I wasn’t going to use you but you HAD to make eyes at me at Aldi when I was in a moment of weakness. *glares at clothes steamer*
So most online tutorials recommend using a craft iron (one without little holes) or buying oven trays that you dedicate specifically for making DIY beeswax wraps. I hate single use items so I decided to improvise with whatever I had at home. You can buy craft irons like this little guy here and you can actually just iron the wax directly on the fabric but if you don’t want to buy yet another gadget just for making DIY beeswax wraps then here’s a method where you can your regular clothes iron. Hot tip – make sure no wax touches your clothes iron because you REALLY don’t want to wax up your very exxy dress you want to wear to your favourite cousins wedding okay?
What you need
A metre of medium weight 100% cotton fabric (not too heavy, not too light and 100% cotton to absorb all the wax). I bought my fabric because I’m not much of a sewer but definitely check what you have at home first – these wraps don’t need to be super fancy!
250gms of beeswax (I bought 2 blocks from Beechworth honey and it was the perfect amount)
An old cheese grater (I got this as new one at Vinnie’s)
Pinking shears (optional)
An iron (just the one you use to iron your clothes will be fine)
A large wooden chopping board or similar surface
What you do
1. Cut your fabric into 25 x 25cm squares or whatever sizes you want for your DIY beeswax wraps using pinking shears if you have them, regular scissors if you don’t. I made several 25 x 25cm wraps and much larger 50 x 50cm wrap for bread. Pre-heat your iron to the highest setting, usually cotton/linen.
2. Cover chopping board or heat proof surface with a large sheet of baking paper and place fabric on top, right side up.
3. Grate beeswax thinly and evenly over the fabric and place another sheet of baking paper over the top (so the fabric and wax is sandwiched in between).
4. Gently but firmly iron over the top layer of baking paper and melt the wax into the fabric.
5. Lift the top layer of baking paper and flip over your fabric. You might be able to see patches where there isn’t much wax. Grate a little wax over these areas and cover with baking paper and iron again.
6. Remove DIY beeswax wrap from paper and hang on a clothes horse to dry (this takes like 30 seconds).
7. Repeat until you’ve completed all your DIY beeswax wraps.
Toubleshooting and Tips
- Beeswax is messy and it will get everywhere so clean up properly. 35 degree days on wooden floors when you didn’t sweep very well results in a terrible impromptu floor wax job.
- Irons are hot. Be careful not to burn yourself like I did twice.
- Pay attention and make sure all the melted wax stays between the sheets of baking paper otherwise it will get all over your iron and chopping board.
- You can use the same baking paper over and over, just make sure you keep the outside layers clean so you don’t wax up your iron.
- To do a larger wrap just work a section at a time if you don’t have a big enough heat proof surface to do a giant wrap in one go.
- Be careful not to over wax – do just enough so that the fabric doesn’t have any ‘dry’ spots where it hasn’t absorbed the wax.
- If you’re not keen to grate beeswax you can buy pellets here.
- I already owned pinking shears but if I was going to buy some now I’d get Fiskars pinking shears. I bloody love anything Fiskars.
How to use your DIY beeswax wraps
- Use them instead of glad wrap – to wrap up left over fruit and veggies, to keep bread fresh and to cover bowls of leftover food. Just use the warmth of your hands to mould the wrap around whatever you’re covering with it.
- Wash with cool water and dish soap and re-use when dry.
- It’s not recommended to use these wraps on raw meat.
- You can totally use them in the freezer – they’ll keep baked goods fresh for about 2 to 3 weeks.
- You can use each DIY beeswax wrap for about a year if you take care of it and when it’s all thin and papery and you can’t use it anymore just chuck in your compost.
- Fold or roll them and store them in a drawer in your kitchen.
These also make great gifts if you’re starting to get a bit conscious about giving people useful items.
DIY Beeswax Wraps gift ideas
- Buy some wax and fabric and gift a DIY beeswax wraps kit.
- Tie a bundle up with string and attach a swing tag.
- Bake some cookies and wrap them up in DIY beeswax wraps for them to keep.
- Give a few with a wooden spoon and spatula for a house warming party.
- Bake a pie, cover it with a wrap and gift the pie, wrap and dish all at once.
- Pop a few together with a bottle of wine for someone’s birthday.
- Gift some with a lunchbox for a work colleague or kid.