DIY Beeswax Wraps

I’ve teamed up with House to Homestead and a few other bloggers to bring you some practical, homemade gift ideas. While we don’t really do Christmas, I sure love some good DIY gifts, whether be for a Christmas gift, or hostess, birthday, mothers day, etc gifts throughout the year. I love the variety of gift ideas that have been collaborated for this blog! Check them out below.

Crystal, from Whole Fed Homestead:  Old Fashioned Pulled Honey Taffy . 

Brianne, from House to Homestead:  DIY Metal Stamped Jewelry 

Jennifer, from Chaos and Grace: crochet and handmade soap 

Jill & Kay, from Under a Tin Roof:  DIY Dream Pillow .

Alisha from Folk & Co: Homemade Salves  

Erin from Sanctuary Farmstead: Praline Pecans

I’d love to hear from you if you give any of these a try!

Now for my beeswax wraps. Let me warn you. This is a fairly lengthy post! But that is because I spent a LOT of time reading/researching the best methods to make these, and tried a few different methods.
I had never heard of Such a thing until my aunty showed me some my cousin had got in Australia. My aunty then made some of her own, and I asked her about 679 questions on how she made them because I was going to make some myself. I always love a good DIY project, especially if it’s something reusable which is my thing. I hadn’t got around to making any yet, and my aunty had kindly given me some she had made. I looved them. Cute fabric, reusable and practical. Cover dishes, produce or wrap cheese in them. So many uses. How could you not love that?!

 

I spent a lot of time researching these and had/have much discussion with my aunty about them. The ones she made just weren’t Quite like the ones she had got in Australia.
We think its just a matter of finding the right quantities of wax, resin and oil, combined with the right method to making them. Sooo, read on!

The majority of the recipes you’ll find for these wraps call for just beeswax and the fabric. There are some recipes that call for pine resin and jojoba or coconut oil along with the wax.
Just the wax will make the wraps usable, but more stiff and harder to mold around whatever you’re wrapping. (However, they Do break in with use)
The resin and oil makes them softer and more pliable.
I went with the pine resin, jojoba or coconut oil and beeswax recipes. 

 

Sourcing the ingredients could be a little more work, simply since resin or beeswax isn’t something you can find just anywhere. I got the pine resin from my aunty who had ordered it on Amazon, and jojoba oil also from Amazon. As for the beeswax, its a bit of a good story! 

 Beeswax Story:
I had been wanting to make these wraps for months but never did because I never had any beeswax and didn’t have the slightest idea what I was looking for. I know I wanted it to be food safe of course, but man it was expensive to buy! Plus it was summer at the time, and summer means garden and not spending a good part of your day in front of the warm oven or inside for that matter. 
Then one day, my husband came home and was all excited to tell me he had a gift for me in his truck. He had got me a 27lb chunk of local beeswax! 


He happened to stop at the one honey place in our small town, to pick up something, and got talking to the guys, and got a tour of the honey processing plant and well, bought some beeswax they had. Plus learned a lot about the whole honey processing. My husband didn’t have a chequebook on him, so went home, with the wax, picked me up, and his chequebook and we went back into town. (How many people would let you take the beeswax home not even fully knowing if you’d come back to pay?! small town perks!)
We paid $135 for a 27lb of it which works out to be $5/lb. and this wax is local, completely natural/raw. The man said that the beeswax is liquid gold. Worth more than honey. (Could be just at the time, or maybe always, not sure on that) anyways. I was stoked. A giant brick of completely natural, safe beeswax for a super reasonable price? Yes please!  Back to the wraps. 

this is how I make it workable

Since my wax came in this massive chunk, we had to chip away at it so I could work with. I learned quickly that the bigger the chunks, the longer it takes to melt. So if you can, get your wax grated/pelleted. (Plus you won’t dirty a grater trying to grate it)

Pine Resin. Oh man. Everything you read says it melts but I had such difficulty getting it to melt. The resin I had was powdered. Apparently high heat (double boiler method) and stirring. But then it gets to a glob and stiff globs don’t stir well.  My aunty put hers directly in a small crockpot strictly for this project. (Aka, not one you use for food)
Read on. 

Jojoba oil. I got this on amazon. It helps makes the wraps softer. 

Coconut Oil. Costco. I buy that stuff by the gallon

Methods. 

From my reading, there are 4 different methods to make these wraps, and I’ve tried all 4 methods. And think #4 is the easiest/cleanest, but that depends on what your wax is like to start with. 
If you are melting the wax before putting it on the fabric, (method 1+2), use a jar or something strictly for this project, or something you can throw out. (like a disposable aluminum pie dish). A double boiler method works best for melting the wax, just make sure you don’t boil out the water completely! 

1)dipping the fabric in melted wax 
This works. But you’d need a lot of melted wax, in a big dish, and you’re more likely to make a big mess. If you’re making smaller ones, this may work better. Use a bigger, flatter dish if possible, like a cookie sheet with an edge of course. You’ll need a place to hang these ones to drip and then dry.  The wax starts to harden up very quickly once removed from the heat source, so you have to work fast with this method! Make sure you use parchment paper or aluminum foil to line your surfaces. 

2) brushing melted wax onto the fabric
Melt the wax in the double broiler method, and then use a foamie brush to brush the wax onto the fabric. I used this method the first time I made them, but the wax hardens So quickly that you can get like one swipe of the mixture in and then its hardened again and you have to pop it into the warm oven to melt it again. That just frustrated me so much. 

3) evenly covering the wraps in unmelted wax, and pop into the oven to melt the wax 
This method works, but what I didn’t like about it was I was too scared of a fire starting in my oven! I had my oven at 180, so a low heat, but beeswax and the resin is flammable, not to mention the fabric! I was constantly watching the oven to make sure a fire didn’t start in there, and of course that just seemed to slow the melting process down.However, this method does work. It takes a while to melt the resin this way, but the wax melts fairly quickly. I just didn’t have the patience to wait for it to melt. I’m a multi tasker, but when you’re working with wax (think waxy hands, wax on your oven door etc) you don’t exactly want to be doing other things with tacky hands! 

4) iron in the wax between parchment paper 
Ah. The last method I tried and my most favourite. I was hesitant to try this because iron and wax. I do a lot of sewing so I do a lot of ironing, and the last thing I wanted to do was ruin my iron by getting wax all over it. However, I tried it and as long as you’re careful and pay attention, you shouldn’t have a problem.  This method was the cleanest, and quickest.

Direction for ironing in the wax

Ingredients and Materials 
2 tbsp jojoba oil or coconut oil
1 cup beexwax
1/4 cup pine resin
parchment paper or aluminum foil 
iron
cotton fabric (a quilting cotton, thinner if possible works best. Like old bed sheets)
pinking shears
*I didn’t really follow these measurements exactly, well, at all haha. I just did some even sprinkling!
Directions
1) cut fabric to desired sizes. I like a 10×10″, 8×8″ and 5×7″ or so sizes. Whatever size you think you’ll use the most. Use pinking shears to shear the edges so they d not fray. I did a batch without using pinking shears and it didn’t look professional and frays, regardless of the recipes which say the wax will seal the threads in. False. It doesn’t. 
2) gather all materials first. Trust me on this. Your hands Will get waxy so you will Not want to be hunting through your house for what you need with waxy hands. 
3) use two equal sized parchment papers, much bigger than your biggest piece of fabric. (the wax will melt and spread out over the edges of the fabric, so you’ll want your paper there to catch it)
4) lay fabric in between the parchment papers
5) sprinkle the resin evenly over the fabric. I like to lightly cover it.
6) Put the top piece of parchment paper on top and use your iron to melt the powdered resin. It’s fully melted when it’s no longer gritty/grainy. 
7) drizzle or brush on oil. Try to drizzle evenly, but don’t fully saturate it. It will spread a bit when you melt the wax. You can brush the oil on completely (before putting resin on), and then take another piece of fabric and press into it to absorb any excess oil.
8) sprinkle wax evenly over the fabric. I don’t put it right on the edge as it will melt and spread out towards the edges
9) Put the top parchment paper on top and iron away! You can see where the wax has melted and can sort of use your iron to push/’roll’ the excess wax out to the edges. I like to push as much as I can out past the edges so that my wrap isn’t super heavy in the wax. You want to make sure the wax is on the edges as that’s where it’ll be sticking to the dish. Once it’s soaked/melted through, its through! 
10) You can take your next piece of fabric, put it on top of your done one (in the parchment paper) and iron over it all. What this does is transfers any excess wax onto the new piece of fabric. 
11) That’s it! Take your warm wrap and wave it around for a few moments and it’ll be dried in no time. 

NOTES:
-I have a little pampered chef scraper which I use to scrape the extra wax off the parchment paper every so often and then apply it on the next wrap
-these will leave some residue and wax(depending on how much wax you put on your wrap) on the dish you are using the wrap with. The more you use your wraps and break them in, the less residue there will be left. Like anything, you just need to break them in a bit.
-The waxy residue does come off with hot soapy water. (probably in your dishwasher, but I don’t have a dishwasher so didn’t try that).
-And if you’d rather, click here to buy yourself the wraps

 

 

Step by step direction with pictures. (I dislike reading a recipe/direction with pics for every direction and then you need to scroll around with likely dirty hands and find your spot, and if you have slow internet like we do, it takes forever for the pics to load. So here’s the pics post!)

1) cut fabric to desired sizes. I like a 10×10″, 8×8″ and 5×7″ or so sizes. Whatever size you think you’ll use the most. Use pinking shears to shear the edges so they d not fray. I did a batch without using pinking shears and it didn’t look professional and frays, regardless of the recipes which say the wax will seal the threads in. False. It doesn’t. 
2) gather all materials first. Trust me on this. Your hands Will get waxy so you will Not want to be hunting through your house for what you need with waxy hands. 
3) use two equal sized parchment papers, much bigger than your biggest piece of fabric. (the wax will melt and spread out over the edges of the fabric, so you’ll want your paper there to catch it)
4) lay fabric in between the parchment papers
5) sprinkle the resin evenly over the fabric. I like to lightly cover it.

6) Put the top piece of parchment paper on top and use your iron to melt the powdered resin. It’s fully melted when it’s no longer gritty/grainy. 
7) drizzle or brush on oil. Try to drizzle evenly, but don’t fully saturate it. It will spread a bit when you melt the wax. You can brush the oil on completely (before putting resin on), and then take another piece of fabric and press into it to absorb any excess oil.
8) sprinkle wax evenly over the fabric. I don’t put it right on the edge as it will melt and spread out towards the edges

you can see the resin here. I had been doing the resin and wax together, but the resin takes a bit longer to melt, so I continued to melt the resin first and then add the wax
you can see here where the wax has melted, and where the edges haven’t got any wax yet. You’ll want to make sure the edges have wax as that’s what does the most work sticking!

9) Put the top parchment paper on top and iron away! You can see where the wax has melted and can sort of use your iron to push/’roll’ the excess wax out to the edges. I like to push as much as I can out past the edges so that my wrap isn’t super heavy in the wax. You want to make sure the wax is on the edges as that’s where it’ll be sticking to the dish. Once it’s soaked/melted through, its through! 

a little hard to see, but around the edge of the fabric, on the paper, you can see the yellow wax. It has been melted and hardened again. This wrap is fully done here as the wax is all melted on it

 

10) You can take your next piece of fabric, put it on top of your done one (in the parchment paper) and iron over it all. What this does is transfers any excess wax onto the new piece of fabric. 

on the bottom fabric, at the top, you can see how the wax has been melted in and then there is excess on it. You can put another piece of fabric directly on top of it, and then use the iron to melt the wax to the top piece, or use a scraper and scrape the excess off. Or leave it, it’ll get worn off/broke in with use

11) That’s it! Take your warm wrap and wave it around for a few moments and it’ll be dried in no time.  

 

 

 

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