Do It Yourself/ Homesteading/ Honey Bees

Beeswax Wraps

September 20, 2019 (Last Updated: April 30, 2020)

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Beeswax Wraps are a (Do it Yourself) DIY beeswax wrap made with beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil. These wraps are perfect for covering a bowl filled with food or wrapping a sandwich for your lunchbox. 

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, I’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

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

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. 
  • Beeswax (2 ounces) - Use your own homegrown beeswax or buy beeswax. 
  • Pine Resin (2 ounces) - Make certain it's food quality resin.
  • Jojoba Oil (1/2 ounce)

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. 

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    33 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    July 30, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I’ve just made some wraps, for the first time, and they seem to have come out well. I have a large sheet measuring 19”x22” (for bread) and 6 10”x10” squares from a Layer Cake. I had looked at other ‘recipes’ which only coated one side of the fabric and so I did this with yours. The wax seems to have penetrated through the fabric perfectly. My first square was a little on the thick side but the others feel just like the one shop bought one I have. I’m looking forward to using them. Everything I’ve touched feels waxy though 😂!

  • Reply
    Claire S
    July 12, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    Hello! Thank you for this. I made them today and it was so easy. However, they came out really sticky. What can I do next time to prevent this?

    Also, do you coat one side, bake, then coat the other side, bake? Or do you coat both sides before putting into the oven?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 12, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      Hi Claire,
      I coat both sides before putting into the oven. The second side doesn’t seem to need as much because a lot soaks through. I do brush quickly as soon as I remove it from the oven. That helps even out the wax and removes any excess.

      The wraps are slightly sticky, however not overly so. If your kitchen is overly warm, that may add to the stickiness. I’ve made these a couple of different times, and one batch seems to be a bit stickier than the other and I followed the exact same steps. I’m not certain what to do to prevent it. I am planning on making another batch in the next couple of weeks. If I come up with any additional tips, I’ll let you know.

      Thanks,
      Kathy 🙂

  • Reply
    Lorri
    June 12, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    How many cloths does this recipe make?

    • Reply
      Kathy
      June 13, 2020 at 5:37 am

      Hi Lorri,
      It depends on the sizes of you wraps. I can usually get 4-5 wraps from each batch. I do a few large and some small ones too.
      Kathy

  • Reply
    Susan Hohlt
    May 21, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Do they smell like pine resin ?

    • Reply
      Kathy
      May 21, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Nope. They do smell like beeswax.

  • Reply
    D
    May 13, 2020 at 8:02 am

    I want to make these and I found beeswax with a “cosmetic grade” in their description. Will that work for this project?

    • Reply
      Kathy
      May 13, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Updated: Cosmetic grade beeswax is okay to use on these food wraps.

      • Reply
        Eileen ONeal
        May 20, 2020 at 10:50 am

        Hi Kathy, just getting my materials together, so excited to make these but did notice on your affiliate link (I just ordered everything through your links) that the linked beeswax also says cosmetic grade? Not sure what other grade there is, maybe food grade also?

        • Reply
          Kathy
          May 20, 2020 at 3:08 pm

          Hi Eileen,
          I am sorry for the confusion. This beeswax does say it is okay for products like lip balm, which would come in contact with the mouth. After further research, I have found that cosmetic grade is okay to use cosmetic grade beeswax on food products.
          Thank you,
          Kathy

  • Reply
    Jill B Bailey
    April 2, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Do you brush the mixture on both sides of the fabric or just one side?

    • Reply
      Kathy
      April 2, 2020 at 7:19 am

      Hi Jill,
      I brush on both sides. Let me know how they turn out!
      Kathy

  • Reply
    Alice
    March 16, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    I’m interested in making a beeswax planner. Will I still need to use all the same materials you used?

    • Reply
      Kathy
      March 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Alice,
      I’m not certain what a beeswax planner is. Can you give me a bit more information?
      Thanks,
      Kathy

  • Reply
    susan
    March 1, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Love this idea and plan to make some wraps soon. The recipe call for 1/2 oz Jabola Oil – Is that weight or capacity? Thanks

    • Reply
      Kathy
      March 1, 2020 at 5:32 am

      Hi Susan,
      I measured by weight. The important part is to maintain the ratio given. Let me know how they turn out. 🙂

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