Do It Yourself/ Homesteading/ Honey Bees

Beeswax Wraps

September 20, 2019

This post may contain affiliate links, see my Privacy Policy.

Beeswax Wraps are a (Do it Yourself) DIY beeswax wrap made with beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil.

Homemade cloth food wraps in a stack and wrapped with a piece of string.

I started keeping honey bees about 12 years ago. It’s been a huge learning curve but the past couple of years I have been able to harvest honey, render beeswax, make beeswax lip balm and now make beeswax wraps. I wanted to raise bees for many reasons – have pollinators, harvest honey and learn something new.

I never even thought about beeswax before and all its uses. Now that I’m into beekeeping, I keep looking for more ways to use beeswax. These DIY beeswax wraps are a great, useful project. This is a project that anyone can do – even if they aren’t a beekeeper. All the supplies can easily be purchased.

A stack of colored beeswax covered fabric.

What are beeswax wraps?

Beeswax wraps are a cotton cloth saturated with a beeswax mixture that when cooled are waterproof and pliable. These are used in just about any place you’d use plastic wrap or plastic baggies. I use them to cover a bowl filled with leftovers, wrap a sandwich for lunch or wrap cut fruit or veggies. 

DIY beeswax wrap covering a bowl.

What do I need to make the wraps?

  • Cotton material – I buy quilting fat quarters which often come in a mixed bundle of different fabrics and are cut into 18 inch squares. 
  • Beeswax – Use your own homegrown beeswax or buy beeswax. 
  • Pine Resin – Make certain it’s food quality resin.
  • Jojoba Oil 

Beeswax, pine resin and a paint brush on a white surface.

You will also need a disposable paint brush, pinking shears, scale and parchment paper.  

Use a set of equipment that you can dedicate just to melting beeswax. I used an old baking sheet, a small pot I picked up at a thrift store, an old glass measuring cup and a cheap wooden spoon. Once used for wax, it’s tough to remove all the wax from the equipment. Don’t use your favorite pot or equipment.

You will need to have a space where you can hang a string to work as a temporary clothesline. The wraps will not drip wax, but you do need to hang them until they fully cool and the wax sets.

Beeswax Wraps hanging from a line.

My inspiration for these food wraps game from an article in Mother Earth News. I followed the author’s recipe and steps for creating these wraps. 

Why use pine resin and jojoba oil?

Beeswax by itself is too hard and not pliable. The beeswax is very firm and will crack if used by itself on the fabric. The pine resin helps the wraps stick to bowls and to itself when folded over and the jojoba oil helps keep the wraps pliable. 

A disposable paint brush dipping into a wax mixture.

How do I care for the beeswax food wraps?

Once used, wash the wraps in soapy warm water and air dry. Do not expose the wraps to heat, or the wax may melt! The wraps can be folded and stored flat in a drawer or cupboard.

How long do the wraps last?

I have just started using the food wraps and so far they are not showing wear and tear. Longevity will depend on your actual usage and cleaning of the wraps. 

Tips for making Beeswax Wraps

  • Wash your fabric before using. Don’t worry if the fabric is wrinkled. The wrinkles will disappear when you add the wax.
  • Use pinking shears when cutting the fabric so the edges don’t fray
  • Use a digital scale to measure ingredients
  • Use a small stirrer when stirring the wax. I use the handle of a wooden spoon. A chopstick would also work well
  • Don’t try to stir the mixture until most of the contents are melted
  • Melt time will vary depending on your stove and the size of your beeswax. I use large chunks and it takes about 40 minutes to melt the entire mixture. If you buy small pellets of beeswax, your melt time may be less.
  • Use caution with the melted wax mixture. It is hot and will burn and stick when contact is made.
  • If the wrap begins to stick to the parchment paper, just pop back into the oven for another minute. 

Other great DIY projects

Pin for later! Food wraps hanging from a line.

If you make these food wraps, Iā€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

If you loved this project you’ll LOVE all the others in this category. Check out all my homesteading articles here!

Yield: 8 wraps

Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax Wraps

Homemade beeswax wrap to use in place of plastic wrap

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Materials

  • Cotton material - I buy quilting fat quarters which often come in a mixed bundle of different fabrics and are cut into 18 inch squares.Ā 
  • Beeswax - Use your own homegrown beeswax or buy beeswax.Ā 
  • Pine Resin - Make certain it's food quality resin.
  • Jojoba Oil

Tools

  • Pinking Shears
  • Scale
  • Baking Tray
  • Pot
  • Glass Jar - Heat safe
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Parchment Paper
  • Disposable paint brush
  • Twine
  • Clothes pins

Instructions

  1. Cut material into squares using pinking shears so edges don't fray Patterned material cut with pinking shears.
  2. Measure out 2 ounces of beeswax, 2 ounces of pine resin and 1/2 of an ounce of jojoba oil into a heat proof glass jar or measuring cup Beeswax, pine resin and a paint brush on a white surface.
  3. Place glass jar into pot and fill pot with water. Place pot over high heat until water begins to boil. Monitor boiling water and contents in jar. Add more water to pot as water evaporates. A glass measuring cup filled with beeswax and pine resin in a pot filled with boiling water.
  4. When the beeswax and resin begins to melt, stir occasionally with the thin handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden chop stick. Melting beeswax in a glass measuring cup.
  5. When fully melted, give a good stir and remove from heat
  6. Place a piece of parchment paper on an old baking sheet.
  7. Place one piece of fabric on top of parchment paper.
  8. Dip paintbrush into melted wax mixture and spread on fabric, covering fabric completely A disposable paintbrush brushing melted wax onto fabric.
  9. Place baking sheet with fabric into a preheated 300 degree oven for 1 minute
  10. Remove from oven and brush back over fabric with brush to help smooth out any extra wax
  11. Lift fabric from baking sheet and hang from clothesline until cool Beeswax Wraps hanging from a line.
  12. Repeat with remaining fabric. If beeswax mixture begins to thicken, place back on stove

Notes

  • Recipe can be doubled, but keep proportions the same
  • Wash your fabric before using. Don't worry if the fabric is wrinkled. The wrinkles will disappear when you add the wax.
  • If fabric is too large for baking sheet, spread wax on half of the fabric. Fold fabric in an "S" shape in the center and cover other half with wax. Floral fabric covered with beeswax on a baking sheet.
  • Make beeswax cloths any size that fits your needs. I made mine in 10 squares and 8 inch squares.
  • To easily cut a square, fold material in a triangle and cut unfolded sides Patterned material cut with pinking shears.
  • Use pinking shears when cutting the fabric so the edges don't fray
  • Use old equipment for making these wraps. Once they are covered with beeswax, it's difficult to remove wax. I dedicate a set to just this task and nothing else.
  • Use a digital scale to measure ingredients
  • Use a small stirrer when stirring the wax. I use the handle of a wooden spoon. A chopstick would also work well
  • Don't try to stir the mixture until most of the contents are melted
  • Melt time will vary depending on your stove and the size of your beeswax. I use large chunks and it takes about 40 minutes to melt the entire mixture. If you buy small pellets of beeswax, your melt time may be less.
  • Use caution with the melted wax mixture. It is hot and will burn and stick when contact is made.
  • If the wrap begins to stick to the parchment paper, just pop back into the oven for another minute.Ā 

    You Might Also Like

    9 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathy
    November 3, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Kathy – these look so pretty and practical. Plan on making some for my daughters and myself (and perhaps some for gifts if all goes well!) One question I had was do you apply the beeswax and resin mixture to both sides of the fabric or just the right side? Thanks

    • Reply
      Kathy
      November 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      I’ve been making them and giving as gifts too! When brushing on the mixture, I’ve only applied to one side. It fully penetrates through to the other side. If your fabric was thick and it didn’t go through, you’d want to do both sides. Have fun and let me know how they turn out! šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    September 23, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Love these Kathy! And would absolutely love to make some! So environmentally friendly too. Plus, how cute would they be for a homemade gift?? Such great instructions too šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    September 23, 2019 at 4:33 am

    I recently got some smaller beeswax wraps that I’ve been using to wrap bowls of leftovers and such. I love the idea! (I hadn’t heard of beeswax wraps until just a couple weeks ago.) I love that you made these at home! Yet another reason that I need to start keeping bees! šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Valentina
    September 22, 2019 at 11:27 am

    I had no clue how this process was done. Very cool! And they’re so pretty, too. It’s so awesome you’ve been keeping bees for so long and doing so much with the honey. I love it! šŸ™‚ ~Valentina

  • Reply
    Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
    September 22, 2019 at 5:36 am

    This is a fantastic idea, Kathy! I have always been interested in keeping bees, and would love to do so in the future (when I am living in a house and not an apartment!)

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 22, 2019 at 5:40 am

      Beekeeping in an apartment would be rather challenging! Hopefully one day!

  • Reply
    Kelly | Foodtasia
    September 22, 2019 at 4:59 am

    Kathy, these beeswax wraps are so cool! How I’d love to keep bees! And all the things you can do with their wax and honey!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 22, 2019 at 5:40 am

      The bees are pretty fascinating. I’m still learning about them.

    Leave a Reply