Beeswax wraps are an excellent alternative to using plastic wrap and a great way to use up your scraps. There are several ways to make them, but today we're sharing a method that we use to teach in person classes.
- Cotton fabric, pre-washed & dried.
- Beeswax pellets or grated beeswax
- Jojoba Oil
- Pine Resin
- Non-stick foil or parchment paper
- An old iron
- A bowl & spoon (you'll want one that you can dedicate to this project alone because it'll be hard to wash later)
- Pinking shears (optional)
A few notes before starting:
You can absolutely skip the pine resin & jojoba oil if you're allergic or don't have them, but they do help to prevent the beeswax from cracking and aid in the wrap clinging to surfaces. The pine resin, in particular, is fairly sticky so you will want to cover whatever surface you're working on to protect everything. Try working on an old cookie sheet or covering your table with foil or parchment paper. If you want to make them vegan friendly, you can substitute the beeswax with Candelilla or Carnauba wax.
Let's get started!
This method will make approximately 3-4 wraps, depending on the size you cut your fabric.
1. In a bowl, mix together: 3 Tablespoon Beeswax, 1 Tablespoon Jojoba Oil, 1.5 teaspoon Pine Resin.
2. Cut your fabric into your desired size and shape. 9" squares are great for smaller items while 12" squares can be folded over sandwiches or fit bowls. We like to use pinking shears to prevent the fabric from fraying while working on it, but you can skip if you don't have them.
3. Place a piece of non-stick foil or parchment down on your covered surface. Make sure that it is larger than the piece of fabric you're working with by several inches.
4. Working with one piece of fabric at a time, place it onto the foil. With a spoon, spread a small amount of the beeswax mixture over your fabric. You can add more as needed once you start to melt the mixture.
5. Put another sheet of foil/parchment paper on top of the fabric/beeswax. With your hot iron, press down on the top to start melting the mixture.
6. Pull back the foil to check to see if you've added enough of the beeswax mixture. You'll want your fabric to be completely saturated. It should look almost transparent once it's fully saturated. If there are some dry spots, at more wax and continue to melt.
7. Once your fabric is completely saturated, flip the fabric over and cover again with your foil. Using firm pressure with the iron, start at the edge closest to you and press away from yourself. This will ensure that the mixture isn't took thick on the fabric. If any of the mixture escapes outside the foil, just be careful not to touch your iron to it. It will not be fun to clean up!
8. Remove the fabric and lay on a rack or hang to dry. It should only take a few minutes to dry.
9. More than likely there will be remaining beeswax inside the foil/parchment, which you can continue to use for subsequent pieces of fabric.
Caring for your wraps
To clean the wraps, wipe with a wet rag or wash with a mild soap and cold/lukewarm water. You want to make sure these don't end up in your washing machine or dryer as the wax will melt and potentially ruin those appliances. Store in a cool, dark place. I usually like to keep mine inside a cotton drawstring bag.
If you notice that they're no longer clinging, you can repeat the process of adding more beeswax mixture to the fabric. Depending on how often you use the wraps, you may need to refresh them with more of the mixture every year or so.
You may need to adjust the ratio of ingredients depending on your fabric, measuring tools, source of materials, or where you live.
If you notice that the wraps are cracking, you'll first want to check that only a thin layer of the beeswax mixture is coating the fabric. If it's too thick, place another piece of fabric over top of it, in between foil, and reheat with the iron. If this does not solve the problem, reduce the amount of beeswax in subsequent mixtures.
If the wrap is too sticky, reduce the amount of pine resin.
If the wrap is too oily, reduct the amount of oil.
Let us know if you made them and tag us on Instagram @threelittlebirds.sewingco. If you'd like to check out a quick video of us making a wrap, visit us on TikTok.