School has already started up for many kids in the USA and here in Canada, we’re not too far off. I won some beautiful fat quarters from Stash Fabrics back in the spring. Now many of you know that I choose to use solid fabrics in my quilts over printed fabrics. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the beauty of the printed variety, I’m just less comfortable using it in my quilted work. So I decided to make some beeswax food wraps so I could appreciate their beauty in the everyday.
The ones I made are roughly 12″ square. In my research, I found that this size is pretty versatile. Bonus: This size fits well on my stove next to my melted wax and also fit nicely on my ironing board. I will make some smaller snack-sized ones in the future.
WARNING: This can be a messy process, so protect your kitchen surfaces with newsprint and/or parchment paper!
What you need
- Prewashed cotton fabric, cut to approximately 12.5″ x 12.5″
- 100% beeswax pellets (I got mine from Amazon)
- Parchment paper
- Clean and disposable waterproof can
- Disposable chopsticks
- Old paintbrush
- Small pot
- Ironing board
- Pinking shears
- Line a flat surface (minimum 13″ x 13″) near your stovetop with parchment paper. Lay a fabric square on top of the parchment.
- Line your ironing board with a piece parchment paper that is roughly square and gives you a few inches around the 12.5″ square of fabric. My parchment was about 15″ x 15″.
- Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of beeswax pellets into the can. Make sure this can is waterproof; we don’t want any wax leeching into the water – it’s hard to clean up!)
- Add a few inches of water to your pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low.
- Make a “double boiler” by placing your can in the pot of hot water.
- Using the chopsticks, stir the pellets around until they are melted.
- Apply the melted beeswax all over the surface of the fabric with the brush. It doesn’t have to be a really thick layer, but you want to make sure the whole surface is touched by at least a little bit of wax. The wax cools fairly quickly, so work swiftly while trying not to splatter any melted wax around (it’s a pain to clean up!). Reload your brush with wax and apply as necessary to cover the whole surface.
- Peel the fabric away from the parchment and let the fabric cool down completely.
- Place the fabric on your lined ironing board and place another square of parchment on top.
- Carefully iron your parchment-fabric-parchment sandwich. This spreads the wax more evenly across the fabric. BE CAREFUL: Do not let the plate of your iron reach the very edges of your parchment. If you have applied a heavy layer of wax, it will squeeze out towards the edges of your parchment. You actually do want to move your iron from the centre outward to remove excess wax, BUT keep an eye out so that you don’t get wax on your iron or ironing board.
- Let it cool completely.
- Peel the fabric away from the parchment.
- Trim the edges of your beeswax wrap with your pinking shears for a nice finish. It keeps those edges from fraying.
When you’re using your wraps, the warmth of your hands will mould it around the food. Kris Warman from Shipshape Eatworthy notes that these DIY ones are a bit less “clingy” than the brand name Abeego wraps. But as in all things, we use them more if we’ve made them ourselves so I am loving these DIY ones.
To clean your wraps, use COLD soapy water, rinse, and air dry. Hot or warm water can cause the wax to melt and rinse away. I will lightly refurbish mine in a few months by re-ironing them between sheets of parchment to redistribute the wax again. For a more thorough refurbishment, I’ll reapply the beeswax using the same method described in this tutorial.
Enjoy your beautiful fabric while keeping your food fresh!
Thanks for sharing this!! Think I’ll give it a try!
It’s messy but fun!
I love this idea! I read your instructions but wanted to clarify in my mind that you only apply wax to one side of the fabric, correct? I’m wanting to try this out! I found your blog after coming across a beautiful quilt on Pinterest and following it to your blog/website. 🙂
Hi Leslie! You just have to apply it to one side. When you iron it between parchment paper, it will seep to the other side and coat both sides! Thanks for following along. 🙂
That’s what I was thinking. Thank you for replying so quickly.
Excited to try this!
It makes packing lunches so much more pleasant. They’re less clingy than the brand name ones, and I’m going to experiment more to see if I can get them clingier!
What is it about the Abeego ones that makes them more clingy? I had thought they were all made the same way? Does Abeego add something else? I love your site and follow you when I can. I also love that you are in Canada and therefore so much more relevant to me than most of the others on the web! 🙂
Hi Maggy! I am told that adding pine rosin to the method I describe above will make them more clingy. When it comes time to refurbish mine, I will add this element and update the post with my thoughts. Glad to find a fellow Canadian 🙂