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Arts & Crafts, Life & Style

How to Make Beeswax Wraps Cheaply & Easily

beeswax food wrap diy

Are you looking to make beeswax food wraps? Let me show you just how easy and cheap it can be with this full DIY guide.

Hello!  It’s been a little while since I shared a DIY with you, but today I want to share my tried and tested technique for how to make beeswax wraps.  If you’re looking to reduce your single-use plastic consumption, then these beeswax wraps make for a great alternative to using cling film, tin foil, or plastic Tupperware to store food in.  And the best part is they are really easy to make.

We actually stopped using cling film and tin foil a long time ago.  We switched to using parchment paper to wrap our food in before popping it in the fridge or freezer or storing food in glass jars or Tupperware tubs.

All of this has been doing the job pretty well.  However, I’ve been trying to find an alternative to parchment paper as I’d like to be able to not buy so many single-use products, like parchment paper.  I also wanted to find a way to transport my lunch without the need for bulky Tupperware tubs.  Those things are a pain to carry around all day!  So, lo and behold, the answer I was looking for: the beeswax food wrap!

how to make beeswax wraps

I had seen some pretty nice ones for sale online, but the statutory maternity pay I’m on at the moment sadly doesn’t quite stretch to beeswax wraps.  I had some fabric scraps left over from an old craft project.  And I also some beeswax pellets leftover from making beeswax candles and homemade nappy rash cream so decided to try my hand at making my own.  How hard could it be? Turns out, not very hard at all.  Let me share with you now my easy method on how to make beeswax wraps.

how to store food without plastic

How to Make Beeswax Wraps

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You will need

Freshly washed and dried fabric scraps* – a variety of sizes.

Beeswax pellets*

A silicone basting brush*

Oven tray

Tongs*

Method

Preheat your oven to 85°C (185°F)

Lay your piece of fabric flat on your oven tray.  Sprinkle the fabric liberally with your beeswax pellets.

Place in the oven for around 5 minutes, until the beeswax has all melted.  Keep an eye on it the whole time to avoid burning.

Once all the beeswax has melted remove the tray from the oven and quickly use your silicone basting brush to evenly distribute the beeswax.  The beeswax will start to set as soon as you take it out of the oven so you want to do this bit very quickly.

As soon as you’ve done this use the tongs to remove the fabric and hang it up to dry.  It will take only minutes to set and then it’s ready for use. To do this, using the tongs, I hold my fabric above the tray for a minute to allow the beeswax to set (and to catch any drips), then I drape the fabric on my washing line.

If you find you’ve got too much beeswax on your fabric then simply place it back in the oven for a few minutes until the beeswax has melted. Then brush down with your silicone brush again.

To remove the beeswax from your oven tray and basting brush, wash them in hot soapy water.

Have fun making these beeswax wraps – I find it can get a bit addictive!

How to use beeswax wraps

You can use beeswax wraps in practically any way you see fit – for example wrapping cheese.  Just wrap the cheese in the wrap and use the heat from your hands to seal the ends.  Got a leftover bowl of food?  Simply place a beeswax wrap on top and again, using the heat from your hands, seal the wrap around the edges.  The uses are endless!

See my notes on usage below for some more handy hints.

Beeswax Snack Pouches

how to fold beeswax wraps

My eldest daughter loves the little snack boxes of raisins.  I’ve found it’s cheaper and less wasteful on the packaging front to buy a big 1 kg bag of raisins and make my own little snack packs of raisins using the beeswax food wraps and a bit of origami.

how to fold beeswax wraps uk

1. Take a square of beeswax coated fabric and fold diagonally, as in picture two.

2.  Fold down the left-hand corner, as in picture 3.

3.  Next, fold down the left-hand corner like in picture 4, lining up the edge with the previous fold.

4.  Now fold down the triangle that’s sticking up at the top.

5.  Flip it over and fold down the other triangle.

6. Finally, open it up and fill it with raisins or any other snack of your choice

To seal, fold down the flap on the side that doesn’t have any folds in it. Then you are good to go!

origami fold

Beeswax Wraps Usage Tips

There are a few points to remember when using beeswax wraps.

Heat & Cold Considerations

Firstly, the most important thing to remember is beeswax melts at a low-ish temperature. To be precise, the melting point of beeswax is around 62°C to 64°C. Therefore, any use that is going to be around or above that temperature is a big no-no.  Think cold.

I, therefore, wouldn’t recommend using your wrap directly on hot food.  Let the food cool first before wrapping it.

And like cling film, your beeswax wrap is for food storage only. Don’t use them in your oven or microwave.  The beeswax will melt and will leave a big mess that will not be fun to clean up.

You can freeze your fabric wraps.  I wouldn’t use it for long-term freezer storage though – only for the food that you plan on freezing in the short term.  I would suggest that your wraps spend no longer than one month at a time in the freezer.

How To Wash Beeswax Wraps

With these heat considerations in mind, wash your beeswax food wrap in cold soapy water using a gentle eco-friendly washing-up liquid, like Bio D*.  I would avoid using alcohol-based washing-up liquid as it can degrade your beeswax.  I would also recommend leaving your wraps to air dry. Whatever you do, don’t leave them on your radiator to dry!

I also wouldn’t recommend putting your wraps in your dishwasher or washing machine.  And definitely not your tumble drier!

beeswax food wrap

Food Safety

If you eat meat, then I would avoid placing your beeswax wrap in direct contact with raw meat. This is because you can’t wash your wrap in hot water to sterilise it.  If you want to store raw meat using your wrap, I would put the meat in a bowl and use the wrap to cover the bowl.

What To Do When Your Wrap Stops Folding

When your beeswax food wrap stops losing the ability to fold, simply wash and re-wax it in the same manner as above.

How to make beeswax wraps cheaply and easily
Arts & Crafts, Life & Style, Special Occasions

How To Make A Popcorn Garland for Your Christmas Tree

Are you looking to make a popcorn garland for your tree this Christmas? Here’s a full, easy-to-follow guide on how to make this visually stunning plastic-free and zero-waste garland.

I’ve written before about eco-friendly Christmas decorations for your eco-friendly Christmas tree, but what about if you want to make your own Christmas decorations? Well, you are in luck, because today let me show you just how easy and effective it is to make a popcorn garland. You can then use this garland to decorate your Christmas tree as an eco-friendly alternative to tinsel. Or you could string it up on your banister or walls or wherever you want to add a festive touch to your home.

This is really great craft to make whilst getting cosy watching a festive movie, or as a fun family Christmas crafting activity. As a guide, I’d say kids who are age 7 or 8 and upwards might be able to make this. However, as this craft involves using a large needle, then I’d leave it to you to make your own judgment as to whether this activity is within your kid’s capabilities.

How To Make a Festive Popcorn Garland

Image of a popcorn garland, with popcorn and cranberries and pinecones in a bowl, with a blue text box that says how to make a popcorn Christmas tree garland

Here’s the full guide to make this beautiful garland for your Christmas tree:

You Will Need

  • Freshly popped popcorn
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Dental floss (I would use a compostable natural dental floss, like this one*, rather than plastic based floss to make it zero-waste and plastic free). Alternatively, you could use 100% cotton embroidery thread, but I prefer the floss.
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors

Popcorn Garland Making Method

  • A couple of days before you want to make your garland, pop your popcorn using your prefer method (in a pan or in the microwave). Then leave it sitting uncovered in a bowl in your kitchen for around 1 to 2 days. I know this sounds odd, but I’ve made popcorn garlands a couple of times. If you try to thread fresh popcorn then it is just too brittle, and prone to splitting in half when you pop the needle through it. It’s incredibly frustrating, especially if you are making your garland with kids. Letting it go stale means the popcorn is softer and less prone to breakage during the threading process. It’s an additional step in the garland making process, but trust me, so worth it.
  • Once your popcorn is sufficiently stale (1 to 2 days sitting on your countertop should be sufficient) you’re ready to make your garland. First start by pouring your cranberries into a bowl and composting any visibly off cranberries. You don’t want to use any that feel squishy to the touch.
  • Next cut a length of dental floss (or embroidery thread) to your required length. Make it a little longer than you’d like to allow for loss of length when you knot the ends.
  • Once cut, knot one end using a double knot. If you’re planning on using your popcorn garland on your walls or somewhere else in your house that isn’t your Christmas tree, then make a loop at the knotted end at this stage to help you out when hanging it up.
  • Thread the darning needle with the floss or thread.
  • Next, decide on a pattern (e.g. three pieces of popcorn, one cranberry and three pieces of popcorn).
  • Once you’ve decided a pattern, it’s time to start assembling your popcorn garland.  To do so, simply thread your pieces of popcorn and cranberries in the pattern that you’ve chosen.
  • Once you’ve reached the last piece of popcorn, thread it through. Now you will want to tie the floss or embroidery thread with a double knot to secure your garland. Again, if you require a loop, make one at this stage.
  • You’re done. All that’s left to do now is deck your halls (or your Christmas tree) with this pretty plastic-free and compostable Christmas decoration!

Important Notes To Consider

eco-friendly alternative to tinsel

I’ve found it best to save your popcorn garland for indoor use only. If you hang your garland outdoors then local wildlife will eat it. This is no bad thing in itself, however, popcorn offers little nutritional benefit for birds and other creatures. In winter, birds and other wildlife need highly nutritious and fatty foods, so popcorn is best to be avoided.

After Christmas is over, you’ll no doubt be wondering what to do with your garland. As it is made with natural materials it can be composted in your garden waste bin. Please note, if you use PLA-based dental floss, then do not home compost this. This needs to be composted industrially in order to fully break down.

PS: more zero-waste Christmas decoration ideas to make at home right this way, as well as my tutorial on how to dry orange slices so you can make a dried orange garland too.