Want to avoid the waste and expense of plastic? It's easier than you think.
Like many people, I’m often torn between the ick-factor of using plastic wrap in my kitchen—and the groan factor of using a glass dish with a lid for every bit of food I want to save. Add to that the fact that I simply don’t have all that many glass dishes with lids, and I’m right back to covering a half-empty can of beans with plastic wrap. Until now.
You've probably seen an eco-conscious friend bring their snacks and sammies to work with Bee’s Wrap, which is a great product. But, as our friends at Mom VS. noted in their review of a similar product, if you truly want to replace plastic wrap, you’re going to need a LOT of these alternative food wraps. And at $18 for a package of three, it’s a pricey option.
Luckily, the internet exists! It turns out that you can make dozens of beeswax food wraps in all sizes, shapes, and colors without spending an arm and a leg on supplies. Google “beeswax alternative food wrap how to make” and take your pick. For the record, I used the method outlined by My Healthy Green Family, but there are many, many tutorials out there.
A note: I am a walking Pinterest fail, so when I tell you that this is easy, I mean it’s no-kidding, impossible-to-mess-up easy.
One thing to consider is your level of extra-ness: the base of these wraps remains the same—cotton fabric and beeswax, but some recipes call for jojoba oil (which helps the fabric to remain flexible) and pine resin (which helps the fabric to stick). Pine rosin means thinking ahead and ordering from Amazon, so that was out for me. Jojoba oil is easier—they have it at pretty much any craft store. I made a few sheets with just wax—and they were great! For a few, I dipped a paintbrush in jojoba oil and used that to smooth the wax, and that worked as well—but to be honest, if I hadn’t bought a bottle of the oil, I’m not sure I would feel it was necessary.
So here’s how to DIY this food wrap situation. You’ll need:
Cotton cloth (look for calico—not only is it cheap, but it comes in a zillion cute prints)
Beeswax pearls (I used these ones, but if you can only find a block of beeswax, you can use a box grater to break it down)
A cheap paintbrush (you’re going to ruin it)
A cookie sheet (line it with parchment to protect it)
Optional: Jojoba oil
Cut your cloth into desired shapes and sizes. Preheat your oven to 185℉. Place one of your cloth pieces onto the cookie sheet, and scatter beeswax on top. Put a little more than you think you should (I used about a tablespoon and a half per each letter paper-sized cloth). Pop the tray in the oven, and let it heat for 5-7 minutes. Once you can see the wax has melted into the cloth, pull the tray out, and brush the surface of your wrap with the paintbrush to make sure it’s smooth. If you want to, dip your brush in jojoba oil before you do this. Hang your new food wrap up to dry, and let it sit overnight. A note: when you wash your food wrap, do so in cool water. And finally, if you want to prevent fraying and add a cute touch, trim the edges with pinking shears.
It’s really that easy. The best part about this is that if you, say, use too much wax, you can brush off the excess. If you use too little, you can simply add more and pop it back in the oven. This is just how I like my crafts: cute, useful, and idiot-proof. (Me being the idiot, not you.) Happy melting!