Monday, April 4, 2016

DIY Re-Usable Beeswax Wraps: For Packed Lunch, Leftovers & Preserving Produce.


These re-usable beeswax wraps are the handy kitchen tool you didn't know you needed! The blend of anti-microbial and anti-viral essential oils and beeswax help the wraps keep your produce, leftovers, and packed lunches fresh and safe. These wraps will also save you money (and save the environment) from saran wrap and aluminum foil purchases. Here's how you can make some of your own.

Ingredients & Supplies:


- 2-5 oz of Beeswax, depending on how many you're making
- Bay Essential Oil
- Cotton Fabric or a Mostly Cotton Polyester Blend
- A clean, cheap new paint brush you'll use only for beeswax crafts ever-after!
- Aluminum Foil
- Oven

I liked Bay Essential Oil because it's from an edible plant and it's extremely anti-viral. You can also use Thyme, Cypress, or Pine.


Instructions:

I've tried making these several ways. My initial idea was to dip the fabric into the beeswax but unless you have a large crockpot or double boiler you use for this purpose only it's not practical, the wax will harden immediately once removed from the heat.


Dipping a brush in the warm wax doesn't work well either. It hardens to the brush before you can even spread it! Here's the best method for even application of beeswax.

Step 1: I used two large sheets of aluminum foil to melt my beeswax into the cloth. Once you get wax on any of your baking sheets you may never get it out (without a heat gun and/or a lot of patience with a paint scraper) so you probably want to do the same!

Step 2: Heat the oven to the lowest setting, mine was 170. You want it low to preserve the antimicrobial properties of your beeswax and your essential oil. Bay essential oil doesn't evaporate until 200 Degrees Fahrenheit, anything over and you'll lose the medicinal properties of your oil. Check the flash point of the essential oil of your choice.

Step 3: Grate Your Beeswax and stir a few drops of essential oils on the grated wax.


Step 4: Place your fabric pieces in the oven on top of the tin foil and sprinkle your grated wax evenly on top. Leave it to melt for a few minutes, then open the oven and use your paint brush to ensure an even spread. You want the fabric to be evenly soaked through with beeswax.



Step 5: Hang wraps to dry, they dry quickly. You may need to do 2-3 layers particularly on the bigger sheets which are harder to cover evenly. You know your wraps have enough wax when they cling easily to any of the cups/bowls/produce/etc. that you're covering.

Forgive my loose threads on these, my pinking shears are missing. 

I made mine in a wide variety of sizes: small ones for cut produce like above, big ones for wrapping bundles of herbs or covering big bowls or pans and medium ones for my mugs and bowls. You can even trace your existing bowls and cups to ensure you get the desired size and shape. By the by, if you want some of these but don't want to spend the time and effort to make them let me know and I'll hook you up with a local artisan who makes these with artisan crafted fabrics. Nope, not paid to promote anyone here, just helping out a local business owner- and maybe you if you'd rather just buy the damn things. We all have those things we'd rather just buy!

I hope this post inspires you to make your own or think creatively about produce/leftover protection. I have a bunch of Spring Cleaning / Organizing / Green Living posts planned for all of April, come on back every other weekday to check them out for DIYS and inspiration!
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14 comments:

  1. Good work. Thanks for sharing the method...

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  2. Very interesting! I try not to use the standard paraffin wax ones, but this sounds great:)

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    1. Beeswax trumps paraffin wax so hard, it's amazingly anti-viral and anti-microbial and smells sweet, too.

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  3. I did not know about this method, it is very interesting, thanks for sharing.

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    1. No prob :) I didn't know about it until I saw them at our local art market. I have to keep beewax and essential oils on hand for projects so I had try making them.

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  4. What a neat idea, Vanessa! Plus you can use all sorts of cute fabrics :)
    I like the use of beeswax!

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    1. The beeswax smells so yummy :) Agreed on the cute fabric use, I bought this fabric yeaaaaars ago (I think I was a teenager?!) and finally found a use for it.

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  5. Oh my goodness!! I usually use foil so I can reuse it × infinity squared and recycle. But this is so amazing g!!! Great idea!

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  6. This is cool vanessa! You are right when you say these are something you didn't even know you needed because I've never heard of them before! I'm curious how many times they can be reused...what do you do if they get dirty? Can you just wipe them clean?

    Tania

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    1. Yep, you just wipe them clean each time. I have separate ones for meat dishes and veggie/vegan/vegetarian dishes.

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  7. In my circles with the renaissance faire and medieval reenactment nerds, they wax plain linen to make little covers for their cups and tankards and it usually has a little hole in it for your straw like a medieval fast food cup.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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