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Homemade Reusable Food Wrap

Plastic food wrap is a hard product to have love for. It’s disposable, which means you’re buying it just so you can turn around and throw it away; it’s made out of plastic; and it always gets stuck to itself when you try to use it. Annoying!

Well, as of last week, this is one product that I’ve banished from my kitchen. Yep, I’m done with plastic wrap. From now on, I’ll be using reusable food wrap, made from beeswax-dipped cloth. Maybe you’ve seen this stuff, since it’s kind of “in” right now. It’s literally just a piece of fabric that’s been coated in beeswax. The wax makes the fabric waterproof and air-tight, and it gives it just enough body, so that when you press it around the edge of a bowl or casserole dish, it stays put. Pretty nifty. It even folds around a sandwich nicely.

There are actually several companies selling this product right now, but as easy as it is to make, I opted to make my own, which means I also got to pick the fabric.

Ask your grandmothers or your great-grandmothers how they covered food before plastic wrap came along, and you might just find that they used beeswax-dipped fabric. Yep, while beeswax food wrap is trendy right now, it’s far from a new idea.

Ready to banish plastic wrap from your kitchen? Here’s how to make your own reusable food wrap.

How to Make Reusable Food Wraps

What You’ll Need:

Beeswax pellets (Beeswax bars will work, too. I just find the pellets easier to work with)
Cotton fabric
Pinking shears or scissors
A double boiler or crockpot for melting wax
Tongs

Beeswax Pellets

I used yellow beeswax pellets because that’s what I had on hand. If you’re ordering beeswax for this project, you might want to order white. Just a thought.

What You Do:

Fabric

Select the fabric that you want to use for your food wraps. Thin cotton works best for this project. Something that’s about the thickness of a bed sheet is ideal.

Add Beeswax to Crockpot

Heat your wax in a double boiler on the stove. This doesn’t need to be a fancy set up. Just fill a pan with water, and stick another container with your wax, inside of that one. Wax is flammable stuff, and this is the only safe way to heat it on the stove. I’d recommend dedicating a pan/container for melting wax, so you don’t have to worry about the clean up. Just pick up a cheapie from a thrift store or yard sale, if you don’t have anything you want to sacrifice.

Or do what I did, and melt your wax in a crockpot. I’ve always melted my wax on the stove, but I recently switched to melting it in the crockpot. It’s just easier. You don’t have to watch it as closely, and since you don’t have to remove the wax from the heat when you’re ready to work with it, you don’t have to worry about it hardening back up before you’re done with it.

I’m not particularly fond of newer crockpots because they cook at too high of a temperature, so I had one that I wasn’t using. That hotter temp is perfect for heating wax, so now it’s a dedicated crafting crockpot.

There really isn’t a way to measure how much wax you’ll need for this project, so just give it your best guess. You can always melt more wax, if you end up needing it.

Trace Around Bowl

While you’re waiting for your wax to melt, cut your food wraps out of your fabric. I had specific containers that I wanted to make wraps for, so I spread my fabric out on the table, face down, and traced around those containers. Then, I added a couple inches to those measurements to be sure the wraps would overhang the containers.

Fabric Cut with Pinking Shears

Once that was done, I cut my wraps out with a pair of pinking shears. If you don’t have pinking shears, a pair of scissors will do just fine.

Cut Out Food Wrap

I made round wraps for my mixing bowls, and rectangular wraps to fit my 8×8″ and 9×9″ cake pans, as well as my 13×9 casserole dishes. I also made some smaller wraps for sandwiches.

Pile of Fabric Cut for Food Wraps

And because I wanted them to be easy to grab and use, I opted to use a different fabric for each size.

Dip the Fabric in Wax

By the time you’re done cutting, your wax should be melted, or very close to it. Dip your first piece of fabric into the wax, and retrieve it with a pair of tongs. It’ll be pretty hot, so be careful. Open the fabric up, and allow the excess wax to drip back into the pot.

Reusable Food Wraps Drying on Rack

Then, drape your food wrap over a drying rack (real or make-shift), and allow it to dry completely. I realize this is a little ironic given the topic of this post, but I put wax paper over each rung on my drying rack, so it wouldn’t get waxy.

Finished Reusable Wrap

Repeat with your remaining pieces of fabric, until they’ve all been transformed into reusable food wraps. That’s really all there is to it.

8x8 Pan with Reusable Wrap Cover

Doesn’t that look prettier than plastic wrap? I’ve already given a set as a gift.

To Use:

Just place a food wrap over the container you want to cover, and press around the edges. The warmth from your hands will heat it up just enough to make it hold its shape. To wrap a sandwich or a leftover, just fold the wrap around the food item like a gift. Easy!

Set of Reusable Food Wraps

To Clean:

Wash your food wraps with dish soap and cold water. Hot water will damage/melt the wax. Allow them to air dry. Then, roll them up, and store them in a drawer until you need them.

Foods Wrapped in Reusable Wrap

How Long Will They Last?

It really just depends on how often you use them, but they should last many months, and possibly up to a year. When they’re no longer waterproof, just melt some more wax, and dip them again.

More Things You Can Make with Beeswax

How to Make Lotion Bars

How to Make Lotion Bars

How to Make Bug Repellent Sticks

How to Make Bug Repellent Sticks

How to Make Lip Balm

How to Make Lip Balm

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Comments

  1. WHAT A UNIQUE AND THRIFTY IDEA!!!

    Yep I would ask my grandmas if they were around – if y’all still have yours, have some talks with them – they are the BEST source of info for saving money these days!!!!

    • Yes, they’re fabulous. Even my husband loves them, and when do guys ever get excited about food wrap? I buy my beeswax on Amazon. They sell it in a bunch of different package sizes. I always order the 5-lb bags because I use it in so many different things.

  2. If you really have trouble finding a beeswax source try a medical supply house. It is used to dip arthritic hands in. So med supply houses carry it.

  3. Waterproof?? Or not really? There’s a commercial brand demonstrating that it is..I’d love to emulate this level of performance. appreciate your light fabric hint!

  4. I searched specifically for a ‘dip method’ because the tutorials I saw called for baking in the oven and they seemed needlessly complicated. And that’s how I found your post! I was going to try winging it, but I hadn’t thought of using a crockpot, so I’m glad I did the research. I’m going to invite a group of friends over to do this together so we can get the most out of the mess.

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