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The Best DIY Beeswax Wrap Recipe on the Internet - From the Founder of Bee Kind® Wraps

Posted by Evan Guiton on

A note from your beeswax wrap spirit guide:

As the owner of well-known Canadian beeswax wrap company, I know my way around a handmade beeswax wrap. Not to brag, but more so to provide you assurance, our wraps have been reviewed as "the best quality brand" more times than I can count. 

"I have tried several different brands of beeswax wraps in the past and these are by far the best. They are thinner, more flexible and keep their stickiness longer. I will not even try another brand moving forward. Bee Kind wraps are the best." -Amy Olson

I created our recipe from scratch, and have gone through countless iterations of recipe AND process over 7 years in order to perfect the ideal wrap. And today, I am passing this knowledge on to you. 

My first and most important disclaimer:

You must approach this activity as a fun (or challenging!) craft session - best tackled with friends and a bottle of wine. Making beeswax wraps from scratch is not "cheap and easy" - especially if you are planning to make functional wraps of acceptable quality in amounts to suit a single household or two. You need to procure specific craft equipment and raw materials. Most raw materials (beeswax, resin, oil etc) are sold in minimum quantities that will leave you with unused leftovers unless you make approximately 40-50 wraps with a group of friends.

Factoring in beeswax melting time and the cutting and waxing of each individual wrap, you are looking at approximately 5-6 hours of active "making." I say this not to discourage you (as I have happily created many a wrap in my home kitchen as well!) but simply to give you a realistic expectation of time and money spent. If you are looking for a cheap and easy way to have quality beeswax wraps at home, I'll leave you this link to browse our designs & sizes and order them directly: https://beekindwraps.com/collections/all

If you are persevering, I hope the below info will help guide a successful session of beeswax wrap making! I would LOVE to see photos of your process and results - you can tag me on instagram or tiktok at @beekindwraps

-Evan

 

Essential Ingredients / Supplies:

Crafting the best beeswax wrap involves a blend of natural ingredients that ensure each wrap is flexible, sticky, long lasting and easy to work with. A common myth on the internet is, "all you need is beeswax and some fabric". While you can technically make a beeswax wrap by defintion with these two items, your end product will not work the way you hoped. And in my opinion, it won't work at all. Here's what you'll need to make top-quality beeswax wraps at home:

  • Beeswax Pellets: The main ingredient of these wraps, beeswax, creates a thin coating that permeates the fabric. Beeswax also has natural antibacterial properties, keeping food fresh. 
  • Pine Tree Resin: Adding pine resin gives the wraps stickiness, mimicking the clingability of traditional plastic wrap. It’s crucial for sealing wraps over dishes or keeping them folded around produce. Without resin, your wraps WILL NOT STICK.
  • Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is blended into the mix to soften the wax, making the wrap more pliable and easy to mold. Without it, your wax wrap will crack and crumble after use. Jojoba oil, while called an 'oil', is technically a wax - which is why it can fully combine with the beeswax once melted. Using any other oil will cause the wrap to become oily as it doesn't mix properly.
  • Cotton Fabric: Choosing the right fabric is essential. Opt for a thin 100% cotton (think quilting cotton). Using a natural fibre (like cotton, hemp or linen) means your wrap will be compostable at the end of its life. Using a fabric that contains a synthetic (like a polyester/cotton blend) means your wrap is no more eco-friendly than plastic wrap. If you are purchasing your fabric new, make sure to thoroughly wash it before you begin crafting. Most fabric suppliers leave a coating of chemicals on the fabric that you don't want in your beeswax wrap!
  • Crafting Supplies (more on this later): An oven, cookie sheet & parchment paper OR an old fashioned electric food warming plate, a double boiler OR a rice cooker, a wavy edge blade rotary cutter and cutting matt OR regular scissors, a large paintbrush, and a stir stick. Your double boiler or rice cooker should not be one you want to use again for food, as it will likely always have wax on it after. Psst - there are always plenty at your local thrift store.

Protect Your Workspace

PSA: Making beeswax wraps is a MESSY process. My mom and I made a batch of wraps in her kitchen 6 years ago and she is still finding wax splatters on her floor. Wax will forever attract dirt and dust - creating frustrating dark spots on your flooring! Make sure to fully cover any and all surfaces near your workstation. 


The Actual Process (2 Versions: Choose your own Adventure)

Waxing Process Version 1:

Start by cleaning and clearing a large working area, having a clean surface guarantees that no unwanted particles make their way onto the wraps. Next, gather the necessary equipment: a double boiler or rice cooker, a large paintbrush, parchment paper, and a cookie sheet. The double boiler/rice cooker is essential for melting the beeswax/resin/oil mixture evenly. Sprinkling the 3 ingredients over the fabric separately will not provide good results, no matter how careful or precise you are. The double boiler or rice cooker also minimizes the risk of overheating. Never heat these ingredients directly over open heat or in the microwave (beeswax is flammable after all!).

Melt all three ingredients in the double boiler or rice cooker. Depending on the amount of wax mixture you are melting (enough to saturate all the fabric you plan on using), the exact amounts of each ingredient will vary. However, stick to this ratio:

5:2:1 (beeswax, resin and oil respectively).

While your mixture is melting, it is time to cut your fabric into the desired sizes/shapes. For best results, use a scalloped edge rotary cutter and cutting matt. A scalloped edge will prevent fraying, but a straight edge is also perfectly acceptable. If you don't have a rotary cutter, a pair of scissors will also do. Make sure your largest size is not larger than your cookie sheet.

After a couple hours, your mixture should be completely melted. You will likely need to top up the water in your double boiler multiple times during the melting process. Make sure to stir your mixture to confirm each ingredient has become liquid. The pine resin will melt last, and will resemble a thick candy/toffee when it is still melting on the bottom of the pot. Once everything is completely liquid, you are ready to begin.

Cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper to protect it from wax. If you are donating your cookie sheet to the cause, you can forego the parchment paper (and this will honestly be easier and quicker during the waxing process). Turn your oven on to the lowest setting and preheat your cookie sheet.

Using oven mitts, remove the cookie sheet and place it on your stove top or counter. Quickly place your first fabric square onto the sheet. Use your paint brush to fully saturate the fabric with the mixture from the double boiler. Use your fingers or a utensil to keep the fabric in place while coating it with the paintbrush. You will probably notice the wax beginning to dry or look uneven as you coat the entire fabric square. Pop the sheet back into the oven briefly, and watch as the heat evenly melts the mixture, saturating it through the fabric. As soon as you see the entire square glistening (everything is melted), remove the sheet from the oven. Using a utensil or your fingers, peel the beeswax wrap off the sheet and hold it in the air to dry. It will dry within 20 seconds. Start a stack of finished wraps on a clean surface and begin your next wrap.

As you have probably noticed, the cookie sheet/oven method is a little time consuming. There is a lot of in-and-out of the oven, bending down to watch it melt, and your kitchen will be heating up in no time! I personally recommend you source an old fashioned (or new!) food warming plate from your local thrift or kitchen store. See version 2 ->

Waxing Process Version 2:

Make sure the surface of the warming plate is large enough to accommodate your desired wrap sizes. By using a warming plate, you can wax your fabric directly on its hot surface - forgoing the oven and cookie sheet completely. Again, the warming plate will not be able to be reused for food afterwards. I have purchased many a hot plate from my local thrift store for under $5 each. It might be worth it to track one down especially if you are making more than a handful of wraps.

And that’s all folks! Happy crafting. Check out our full design library here for beeswax wrap print inspo.

Always remember, beeswax is flammable so watch it closely during the melting process and while in the oven. 


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