I tried my hardest to make these today which is why I’m still writing about it but I will try again another day and hopefully be more successful! In the meantime, please enjoy my first attempt at making zero-waste Beeswax Wraps.
I never use plastic sandwich bags because they just don’t biodegrade and I've been put off using foil just because of the vast amounts we all throw away using on the bits and pieces we have for lunch, so when I was looking for a more eco-friendly way to pack my lunch I found Beeswax wraps. Now sure, you can just buy some wraps from amazon for £30 but I wanted to try and make them for myself, but…it wasn’t quite as simple as I thought it was gonna be!
To the make the wraps all you need is some 100% cotton fabric and some beeswax!
I used a 7-inch x 14-inch cut piece for sandwiches and then a 7-inch x 7-inch for biscuits/fruit/snacks.
I bought the fabric from a local market and it was £7 a metre so I just bought 1 metre. You don't really need 1 metre of fabric but this gave me a lot to work with for my many trial and error attempts. 2
I managed to buy some blocks of beeswax really easily from Amazon, it was £4 for 4 blocks and I didn’t even use half a block for these two wraps so it’s great value for money.
To start with make sure you cut your pieces to the size you want and lay them out flat (I find putting them on a baking tray is easiest).
This is where the problems began…I had seen countless ways of melting the beeswax onto the fabric so I ended up trying about 3 different methods.
Method 1: Melt the wax onto the fabric in the oven
Each method starts out the same by grating the beeswax into a mug to sprinkle/pour onto the fabric. In this method, you sprinkle dry beeswax onto the fabric making sure it covers the entire thing (including corners) and put in the oven on a low heat for about 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes remove the fabric from the oven and spread the melted beeswax evenly across the fabric. With this method, I found that the beeswax dried up in the oven so there wasn’t actually anything to spread! But nevertheless, I persisted and tried a different method.
Method 2: Melt the beeswax over boiling water before spreading onto fabric
This method sounded easier, just put some boiling water in a jug and let the beeswax gently melt while submerged in a cup within the water before spreading over the fabric with a pastry brush. This didn’t work either! The beeswax wouldn’t really melt and turned into a paste so dried really hard and crunchy on the fabric rather than a smooth glaze.
So, we’ve gone from no wax to too much wax…if this was a fairy tale at least I know I’d be heading for the method that was “just right” and although it might not have been perfect, the next and final method seemed to work the best.
Method 3: Melt the beeswax in the microwave then pour and spread evenly over the fabric
Ok, let's try again. So this time I read that you put your cup of beeswax in the microwave and melt it but remove it from the microwave every 30 seconds to stir, so that’s what I did. I melted it and then poured it over the fabric, again there didn’t seem to be enough beeswax (I’d only used about 1/4 of a block of beeswax over all three methods) so I think a lot more beeswax is needed; around 1/2 to 1 block at least for a little wrap and then at least a block and a 1/2 of beeswax for the larger sandwich wraps.
Once the wax has set and it’s cold to the touch you should be able to scrunch them around your sandwich or biscuits and they’ll stay in place in your lunch bag…of course, it didn’t quite go this way for me but there’s always next time!
So there you have it, my trial and error attempt to make zero-waste beeswax wraps. I will be trying again and hopefully updating this post if I do a good job, next time I’ll use double the amount of beeswax to make sure there’s enough to go around!
I still have a load of fabric and beeswax to use, the ingredients are cheap to get and the process is very simple if you take your time and have a bit of patience.
Beeswax wraps are healthier for you and your family rather than using plastic or throwing away large amounts of foil and you can customise them like I did using any fabric you like the look of!
Please have a go for yourself and let me know if you do any better!