Beeswax wraps are a wonderful, natural, breathable, and reusable alternative to plastic cling film. I lead a Boomerang Bags community in my home town of Stanthorpe, Qld and we make them as a way to raise awareness and funds. They are made from reclaimed fabric – washed, sun dried and then infused with a blend of beeswax, gum resin and jojoba oil. If you want to make them yourself consider using reclaimed fabric from a linen cupboard or sewing stash as it is environmentally better than buying fabric new. Wraps can be made from beeswax alone, but I find they are very rigid. The gum resin and jojoba are an extra expense but they definitely add value to the final product in my opinion. The gum resin creates the cling factor and the jojoba oil helps to soften the wrap. The quantities I’ve listed here are in batches of 5 or 10. However, you’ll find it tricky to buy the ingredients in small quantities. I suggest you buy 500 grams (of wax/gum resin). If you are wanting to make just a few for your own use then you might consider getting a few friends or family members onboard and you can share the costs and then the pile of amazing wraps you’ll end up with.
TO USE A WRAP:
Cover bowl or food with wrap and use warmth of hands to mould into shape. The wraps sticks to ceramic/glass and itself.
Hand wash with cold water and a mild detergent/soap. Hang to dry.
Perfect for cheese, vegetables, fruit, sandwiches and snacks.
Not suitable for meat or wet items like watermelon.
Store flat or rolled for a longer useful life.
Wraps can last a year before re-waxing is needed. To re-wax place on a flat baking tray on a sheet of baking paper and heat in oven to melt ingredients again. Or place between two sheets of baking paper and iron.
Check out this previous product review for more photos and methods for using a beeswax wrap. You can buy wraps ready made if you decide you don’t want to make your own.
MAKE YOUR OWN
• 50 grams of beeswax
• 50 grams of gum resin
• 3 teaspoons of jojoba oil
• Makes approx. 5 wraps
• 100 grams of beeswax
• 100 grams of gum resin
• 6 teaspoons of jojoba oil
• Makes approx. 10 wraps
Phase 1 – Prepare fabric
• 100% cotton fabric
• Pinking shears or pinking blade on rotary cutter
• Invisible fabric pencil/marker
• Ruler or tape measure
• Cutting mat
• Wash, dry and iron fabric.
• Make squares 20cm or 30cm.
• Measure and mark with invisible fabric pencil/marker and cut with pinking shears or rotary cutter fitted with pinking blade.
• NOTE: Sharpen shears/blade using aluminium foil.
Phase 2 – Infuse fabric
• Pine rosin (powered preferable)
• Jojoba oil
• Paintbrush (can only be used for this purpose henceforth)
• 2-3 baking trays – flat and at least 30cm square
• Deep pan
• Saucepan and large tin can (double boiler set up)
• Parchment paper/baking paper
• Wooden bench/wooden chopping board/piece of wood (larger than 30cm square)
• Clothes horse
• Turn oven on.
• Boil approx. 5cm of water in saucepan.
• Add beeswax, jojoba and gum rosin to a large clean tin can. Put can into boiling water (double boiler style). Allow ingredients to melt and combine. This set up remains until all mixture has been used. Replenish water in saucepan as needed.
• Add 2-4cm of water to large deep baking dish and add to heat. Above this you will position the flat square baking tray covered in a layer of baking paper. The heat of the water underneath with stop the mixture on the wrap from cooling and setting.
• Position the fabric right side down on the baking paper covered baking tray.
• Use a paintbrush to get the mixture and apply it to the fabric. Paint the mixture onto the edges of the fabric then continue into the centre until all fabric is covered.
• Transfer the tray into the oven for a few minutes to finish off the infusion and ensure it is fully melted even.
• Remove from oven and pick up the fabric with your hands and wave in the air until it is cool enough to rest on a wooden bench/chopping board. Once cooled further transfer to a clothes horse.
• Buy equal quantities of gum resin and wax. (e.g. 1kg of beeswax and 1kg of gum resin or 5oo grams:500 grams). And proportional jojoba (eg. 300ml per 1kg of beeswax).
• White beeswax will not leave white sections of fabric yellow like yellow beeswax will.
• Brush beeswax mixture onto the wrong side of the fabric.
• Remove the infused fabric while still warm so it does not leave excess mixture sticking to baking paper.