How To Make Your Own Reusable Food Wraps

Ready to ditch disposable plastic wraps and switch to eco-friendly beeswax wraps? Here’s how to make your own reusable food wraps in a few easy steps!

— Permacrafters gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post. We encourage you to prioritize secondhand goods whenever possible. —

My Peruvian friend Silvana came to visit me in North Carolina recently. She brilliantly suggested making our own reusable food wraps during her stay. I wouldn’t run a business called Permacrafters if I didn’t love sustainable crafts, so I of course jumped on the opportunity! Her visit turned into an all-out Permacrafters summer camp: getting our hands dirty at the Eco-Institute gardening coop, thrifting for secondhand goodies at The Scrap Exchange, and of course, enjoying lots of DIY projects like making wool dryer balls and these beeswax wraps.

Unlike plastic wrap, these beeswax wraps are reusable and depending on the fabric you use, compostable too. A huge added benefit is that they don’t come with a slew of health concerns. Luckily, nowadays, plastic wraps in the United States no longer contain Polyvinylidene Chloride, or PVC, which contains endocrine-disrupting phthalates. However, some may still contain diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), which can leach into your food. That’s not a good thing since DEHA has been found to be toxic to organs, raises concern in terms of hormone disruption, and is toxic to wildlife. In addition, these single-use plastic wraps cannot be recycled, ultimately leading to further environmental pollution. I realized that it made a lot of sense to skip the health hazard and switch to eco-friendly beeswax wraps, which are free from toxic chemicals and won’t end up in my trashcan.

Other than having a ton of fun making these wraps from scratch, it also gave us the opportunity to support our favorite local business. The colorful cotton fabric used for our reusable food wraps was salvaged from The Scrap Exchange, a one-of-a-kind secondhand store in Durham that is perfect for scrap-lovers. So, if you love DIY projects and have a bit of time on your hands, this craft can be a cheaper alternative to store-bought beeswax wraps.

It took Silvana and I several tries and lots of messy beeswax spills before getting the hang of the best beeswax wrap-making technique. We found that the most graceful way to make these reusable food wraps was to use an iron to spread the beeswax and a spray bottle to add the oil.

Here’s how to make your own reusable food wraps:

 

Materials:

  • 1 cup of beeswax, grated or pastilles (try to find a local source, I used beeswax that had been gifted to me a while back)
  • About ¼ cup Jojoba oil (fill a spray bottle with the oil)
  • 100% cotton fabric to ensure the beeswax sticks. Get enough to make about 6 wraps. (We thrifted ours from The Scrap Exchange).
  • Parchment paper (unfortunately my reusable baking sheets wouldn’t transmit enough heat)
  • Iron
  • Zig Zag Sewing Scissors (to ensure the fabric doesn’t come apart.)
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Marker

Instructions:

  1. Using the Zig Zag Sewing Scissors, cut your fabric into the sizes you want. We went with three  6″ x 6″ square, three 9″ x 9″ squares and a couple 13″ x 13″ squares. Use the fabric marker and ruler to help you. Make sure to make as many beeswax wraps as you will need so you won’t find yourself in a pinch.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper flat on a table – it must be bigger than the size of your fabric.  Lay your fabric down and sprinkle it with beeswax (about 2 tbps. for every piece of fabric). Spray 2 to 3 times with jojoba oil. Set the second parchment paper on top and iron the fabric (ironing on the wool setting). The mix of beeswax and jojoba oil will spread evenly on the fabric.
  3. Once all the wax has melted, lift the top parchment paper up and let the wax harden for few seconds. Make sure that all edges and corners have been covered.
  4. Repeat the same process for the other side of the fabric. Set aside to harden, on a drying rack, for instance. Repeat these steps until you have as many wraps as you need.

As with plastic wrap, these beeswax wraps should not be microwaved. Keep in mind that you’ll eventually have to re-wax your pieces of fabric, but they will stay in good shape for quite some time. My only complaint about these wraps is that they aren’t quite as flexible as plastic wrap and not perfect for every food item.

Do you love these reusable food wraps?! Will you be giving this DIY project a try? If you are short on time, but still want to make a zero waste switch, we encourage you to purchase beeswax wraps from Super Bee or Abeego.

You can learn more about reducing your waste in our free online video class: Intro to Zero Waste Living.

Happy crafting, everyone!

Hugs,

Cristina

Permaculture principles applied:

Produce No Waste

Plastic cling wrap is not only a wasteful single-use item, it also contains substances that are toxic to wildlife. Choosing to replace cling wrap with reusable food wraps allows us to reduce our trash, as well as reduce the demand for unsustainable resources.

Use Small and Slow Solutions

This reusable food wraps DIY project allows you to support local resources, such as your secondhand shops and local beekeepers. Taking an afternoon to make your own beeswax wraps may not be as convenient as purchasing plastic wraps at the grocery store. However, this step will produce more sustainable outcomes for our planet. Of course, you may also want to purchase your beeswax wraps new if you are unable to make them yourself.

About us

advertisement

We dream of living off the grid and meeting all of our energy needs. Until then, we work on bettering ourselves every day to make conscious changes to live a more sustainable life, and to “love harder”.

Pinspiration

Our Online Courses

Learn how to successfully grow sprouts and microgreens indoors and confidently troubleshoot. Learn about Conscious Cleaning 101: an online green cleaning class minus the greenwashing. Lifetime access to tutorial videos and 200 page workbook.

3 Comments

  1. Rebecca Land

    Cool! I’ve wanted to try these. A few curious questions:

    1) where can I source some beeswax locally here in the triangle?
    2) how do the zig zag scissors help to keep the fabric from coming apart? That is so interesting.
    3) Do you know any alternative to the zig zag scissors? I don’t own them and don’t think I’d use them again.
    4) Jojoba oil — where do you recommend sourcing this from and what other uses would it have in my home?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  2. Rebecca Lane

    Cool! I’ve wanted to try these. A few curious questions:

    1) where can I source some beeswax locally here in the triangle?
    2) how do the zig zag scissors help to keep the fabric from coming apart? That is so interesting.
    3) Do you know any alternative to the zig zag scissors? I don’t own them and don’t think I’d use them again.
    4) Jojoba oil — where do you recommend sourcing this from and what other uses would it have in my home?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Cristina

      Hi Rebecca! Sorry, somehow I missed this comment! 🙁 I’m so sorry to get back to you so late.
      1) Local Triangle beeswax: I actually used leftovers of Christelle’s beeswax that she left me before leaving for Switzerland. For local beeswax, I would ask the OCBA (Orange County Beekeepers Association) or ask farmers selling honey at your local farmer’s market.
      2) Zig zag scissors: The scissors are a gift from my mother in law, and they were actually from her mom, so it’s like a family relic. Generally using zig zag scissors will help to keep the fabric from fraying, but you could get away with not using them (or cutting in a zig zag pattern yourself). The beeswax alone may be enough to keep the fabric together.
      4) Jojoba oil: You could use coconut or almond oil too, although I’ve only tried it with jojoba oil as that is what I had at home. Let us know if you try it with another oil! 🙂
      Excited to see your beeswax wraps! Cristina

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By commenting you accept our Privacy Policy.

Copyright © 2017 Permacrafters. All rights reserved. || Privacy Policy || Website Terms of Use || Health Disclaimer || Student Dismissal Policy ||

Pin It on Pinterest