Make your own Beeswax Wraps.
Bees wax wraps are a reusable replacement for many plastic coverings and wraps used every day in the kitchen and lunch box. They are easy to wipe clean and when they are finally ready to retire they can be chopped up into the compost as they are made only from natural ingredients. Just think how much plastic you will be saving from landfill, plus they make fantastic gifts to help family and friends take a lighter footprint on the world too.
Let us get started!! Please read entire method before beginning so you are prepared. Take caution with hot wax mix.
What you will need from home
- Soup spoon (or similar)
- Saucepan of boiled water
- A second smaller saucepan to sit in the first saucepan of water to melt wax (this is best if its an old one just for crafts. It will be very hard to clean. A big vegemite jar or similar will also work.)
- An oven and large oven tray
- String for a drying line
What is provided in your package
- 3 sizes of 100% Cotton material. Prewashed and cut. (20cmx20cm 25cmx25cm 30cmx30cm)
- 70g Beeswax
- 20g Pine resin (smashed small)
- 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil (can use coconut oil instead)
- 1 large sheet of baking paper
Place the first bigger saucepan half filled with water on to boil, then turned down to gently simmer.
Place 20g of pine resin, 70g of beeswax and 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil in the second, smaller saucepan (or jar.) Place this saucepan gently into the first for a double boiler effect. If the water is too high tip some out.
Time may vary but it will take roughly 20 minutes for the ingredients to melt down and fully combine. Stir occasionally lifting the resin from the bottom, use caution here as resin is very hot, sticky stuff! Once fully combined the mix will look like very runny honey.
In the mean time you can organise a little hanging line close by to dry your wraps on.
Pre heat your oven to 150* C. Lay your baking paper on your tray and your first piece of material. (It’s best to do neutral colours first then the brighter ones in case the dye runs and discolours following wraps.)
Once your wax mix is ready spoon a few spoon fulls onto your material spreading as much as you can while you go. It will set quite quickly as the tray is cool. A rough estimate is 5 soup spoons for the small, 8 for the medium and 10 for the large sheet. It’s best to underestimate as you can always add more however too much wax is more difficult to fix. Place the tray into the oven for 5 minutes so wax mix can melt into and saturate the material.
Pull tray out and using the back of your spoon spread wax from the center of the material out towards the edges. If it is looking very dry still you can add more wax here.
Put tray back into the oven for another 3 minutes. Check that the material is completely saturated if not spread wax again. Be sure to go right out to the edges.
Place tray back into the oven for another 3 mins.
Once the material is saturated remove tray from oven and pinching two corners lift your wrap up letting any excess drip off onto the tray. This needs to be done immediately before the wax sets hard so that the wrap is not too waxy. Give just a little wobble to help the drips fall and after 20 seconds hang over your line to dry.
Place your second material onto the tray and smooth over with your spoon so it can absorb some of the old wax. Spoon and spread more wax mix onto the material as you did before to make another.
Follow above steps for following wraps.
Pour any left over wax mix into a paper cup and let harden for future use. This can be grated then sprinkled on top of material to make a new wrap or rejuvenate an old one in the oven.
Cut edges of wraps to make neat if needed and leave to dry for 24 hours.
To clean up use a jug of boiling water to pour over any wax mess. Be aware not to fill your drain with wax! Wax on your skin will act like a salve however beware not to burn yourself!
Caring for your new wraps
Wraps work best in room temperature and stick when pressed with the warmth of your hands. They are naturally breathable and antibacterial.
To wash gently scrub or wipe with luke warm soapy water. Hot water, too much detergent and hard scrubbing will remove wax.
Not intended to be used on hot or liquid foods.
Do not use on raw meat.
Note: Beeswax wraps can be made in the same way with only beeswax and are still effective food covers. The purpose of the resin is to increase the tackiness of your wrap and help it stick. The purpose of the jojoba oil is to stop the wax cracking when used. I find these ratios work really well but of course they can always be altered to your liking.
If you or someone you know would love to participate in the online workshop but don’t have access to a tablet or computer, Quercus has 4 iPads and 1 Samsung tablet with data available to loan as part of our Be Connected program. If you wish to borrow one contact Jo on 5728 2386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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