I recently learnt how to make Beeswax wraps with my friend Annie at an eco event in Singapore. I’ve wanted to make these for a while but I was daunted by the whole process. But actually I needn’t have been worried, its quite straight forward and they’re so useful in the kitchen for covering food.
I thought I’d share the process on my blog and persuade you to give up clingfilm and use these wraps instead. This post on clingfilm can help you kick the habit if for the health reasons alone. Plus clingfilm or plastic wrap can take 100s of years to decompose in landfill sites and frankly there are other options which do a better job and don’t impact the environment.
What you’ll need
- Cotton fabric (with a tight weave, not linen, think bed sheet quality)
- Beeswax (I got mine from Lazada but UK and US peeps look at amazon for options)
- Pinking scissors
- Old towel
- Baking paper
- Cheese grater
How to make a beeswax wrap
Firstly make sure your cotton fabric is pre-washed, dried and ironed. I got my fat quarters from Spotlight in Singapore, but lots of fabric shops sell fat quarters. I wanted a variety of patterns, but you can use any old cotton sheets or fabric you have at home too. I’ve heard a few people mention using organic cotton when making these beeswax wrap too. One I’ll look for next time.
You need to cut the fabric to size, if you’re making a few in the same size it can be useful to cut yourself a template from cardboard. I made mine 20cm x 20cm and a couple 20cm/30cm as I wanted them for my rectangular pyrex dishes. This is a good time to warm your iron up, a low to med-low setting is best.
Tip: when cutting your material use the pinking scissors to stop the edges fraying.
Lay an old towel out on a table or your ironing board (I forgot this step and stained my NEW ironing board cover). Then lay baking paper out and put the cotton fabric on top.
Grate your beeswax and sprinkle it over the fabric, you can always add more but it’s hard to take it away if you add too much. I also found it better to have less on the edges, but to push the wax into those areas from the middle with the iron, so it doesn’t leak out.
Tip: make sure you have a good couple of inches of extra baking paper at the edge of the fabric for over spill.
Then add another sheet of baking paper onto the top and start melting the wax with your iron. Pushing the wax all over the fabric and making sure it’s totally covered. Add more if you need too. Once it’s covered, turn the fabric over and run the iron on the underside too. Remembering to keep it covered with baking paper.
Tip: if you’re worried about your iron you can use a tea towel in between too.
Once it’s all covered, carefully pick up the fabric and airwave till it’s dry. Then it’s ready cover food, the warmth of your hands should be enough to mould it to the shape of the dish or food you’re covering.
Caring for the beeswax wraps is quite easy, you simply wash the wrap with warm mild soapy water or cloth. From time to time it’ll need topping up with more wax, this all depends how often you use it, just follow the same steps as above.
Please only use these on veggies/fruit and not on meat or fish, they can’t be washed hot enough to kill the bacteria from uncooked meat. If you’d like them tackier/stickier, you can also add a couple of drops of jojoba oil to the wax sprinkles on the fabric just before you iron it.
Or if you’re impatient and would rather just buy these my friend Sian sells some lovely packs of wraps very reasonably which she’s hand makes over at Artisian.