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Beeswax Wraps

Wrap bread, cheese, and vegetables or cover a bowl with this sustainable alternative to plastic food storage containers. A set of these washable, durable cotton wraps are coated in beeswax.

beeswax wrap for orange slices

Photography: Ashley Poskin

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This idea comes from our friend Ashley Poskin. "Beeswax food wraps and lid covers are a must-have in the kitchen if you're looking to reduce single-use pantry items like plastic bags or cling wrap," she says. "You can find them in most cooking stores, or you can easily make them at home with just a few ingredients. The perks of making them on your own is that you know all the ingredients used, and can choose your own fabric." Buy organic, or be as creative as you like and use anything from a recycled shirt to a vintage (never used) hankie with finished edges like we did.

 

To use, fold the wax wrap around your food item or on top of a bowl, pressing the edges with your fingertips so that the heat generated from your body warms the beeswax and molds it into place. If wrapping a round item like an apple, hold the wrapped item in the palms of your hands for a few seconds to help the beeswax mold into the shape.

 

Beeswax wraps are easy to wash: Simply run under cool water (hot water will melt away the wax) and hand wash using mild dish soap; blot with a dry dish towel and lay flat to dry.

materials

  • Thin ​quilting cotton​

  • Jojoba oil (Kate Blanc Cosmetics USDA Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, $8 for 2 fl oz., amazon.com)

  • Pine resin (Swiss Industries Powdered Pine Resin, $16 for 1 lb., amazon.com)

  • Beeswax pellets (Sky Organics USDA Organic White Beeswax Pellets, $14 for 1 lb., amazon.com)

  • Pastry brush​ or paintbrush

  • Waxed thread

  • Parchment paper

  • Baking sheet

  • Sewing supplies (optional)

  • Pinking shears (optional)

steps

  1. Before cutting out your fabric, take note of the size of your baking sheet (you'll want the fabric to fit nicely on the sheet without hanging over the sides). Once you've measured your baking sheet, cut out the fabric in a square, rectangle, or circular shape.

  2. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the fabric flat. Sprinkle about one teaspoon of Jojoba oil around the fabric. Next, evenly spread 1 teaspoon of pine resin over the surface of the fabric, followed by a palmful of beeswax pellets (approximately one to two tablespoons) spread around the surface of the fabric. (Note: You're not looking to cover the entire surface of the fabric with beeswax pellets, it will spread out as it melts, just make sure there aren't any large bare spots.)

    beeswax pellets on fabric wrap
  3. Place the baking sheet in the oven at 225 degrees for five minutes or until the pellets are completely melted.

  4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on a kitchen towel. Working quickly, use the paintbrush to spread around the melted components so they cover the entire surface (including edges) of the fabric. If you start to see an excess of melted wax pooling, brush it off to the side, you don't want an excess amount of wax on the fabric.

  5. Lift the fabric off the baking sheet using tongs and let it dry over a glass or coffee tin until it's cool to the touch. If after you've lifted the fabric off the baking sheet you see any thick areas where wax or pine have built up, return the fabric back into the oven for a few more minutes and repeat the process. (Optional: Once the wraps are cool to the touch, trim the edges with pinking shears.)

  6. Optional: You can sew a length of waxed thread on to the corner of the fabric to use as a tie to keep the wrapper in place using a simple zig-zag stitch.

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