How to Make Reusable Beeswax Wraps

Last modified on January 13th, 2020 at 1:15 pm

A fun craft project that reduces plastic use, food waste and expenses, our method for making Reusable DIY Beeswax Wraps is simple and effective and aims to reduce your carbon footprint while having fun in the kitchen.

Philip and I were recently gifted a pack of reusable food wrappers and at first, we didn’t really know what to do with them. We had seen them in boutique kitchen stores, food conferences and local farmer’s markets, and we’re always curious but just never brought ourselves to actually use them.

Three packages of reusable food wrappers

After having sat in our drawer for a few weeks, it wasn’t until we were out of plastic wrap that Philip decided to give them a try. He had wrapped half a lime and a bunch of leftover cilantro carefully in the beeswax wraps and placed them in the refrigerator. A week later, expecting the herbs to have turned bad, Philip opened the wrap to reveal fresh and bright cilantro.

What we love about beeswax wraps is that they are an eco-friendly alternative to using plastic wrap, they’re made from natural ingredients and they last up to a year with gentle care and wash. Our favourite part? Browsing the fabric store for fun patterns that are personalized to our tastes.

What are Beeswax Wraps?

Beeswax wraps are a natural alternative to plastic wrap. Pieces of cotton fabric are saturated in a mixture starting with a base of beeswax and usually mixed with some form of resin and oil. The wraps are pliable and breathable, allowing them to be molded over food or containers while keeping its contents fresh. They can be used on almost any food (except raw meat) and can be cleaned simply with cold water and mild detergent.

Close-up of Packaged Reusable Beeswax Wraps with Sprig of Flowers

If we could find one criticism for beeswax food wraps it is the expense. Reusable food wrappers don’t come cheap, usually about $20 for a 3-pack. We had seen some videos on Instagram of people making them and knew it was something we could likely make ourselves and began searching articles on how to make the best reusable food wraps.

How to Make Beeswax Wraps

There are many variations out there from the super simple method of sprinkling beeswax on fabric and popping them in the oven or ironing them between parchment, to ones a little more complex involving tree resins and oils. We reviewed the pros and cons of each method, finding that using just beeswax, while the simplest method, lacked sealing ability and tended to degrade more quickly. Adding a resin and oil to the beeswax provided the stickiness you needed for a good seal while allowing them to be pliable.

Three sets of reusable food wraps with various patterns

After a couple of craft days testing different ratios, we found the perfect combination of beeswax, pine resin, and jojoba oil for the most effective food wraps.

What You Need to Make Reusable Beeswax Wraps

With the exception of the actual food wrap ingredients, most items you should have available at home. For our DIY beeswax wraps you’ll need beeswax, jojoba oil, pine resin, cotton fabric, paintbrush, scissors or pinking shears, baking sheets, parchment paper, heatproof mason jar or measuring cup, string or clothesline, clothespins or clips.

What Type of Fabric Do You Use?

Natural fabrics are the best choice for making reusable food wraps. Synthetic fabrics could melt while being made and potentially expose the food you’re wrapping to chemicals. For that reason, 100% cotton, organic if possible, is your best bet. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be found in a variety of colours and patterns. Make sure to wash and dry the fabric before making the wraps.

A stack of fabric with various patterns and colours close up

Best Sizes for Food Wraps

You can make your homemade reusable wraps any size you desire, just ensure that they will fit on the baking sheet. We make a variety of sizes for different purposes. 4 inch squares are great for covering containers the size of cups. Larger 8 x 14-inch rectangles can be used to wrap cucumbers, bunches of herbs, or leftover baguette. Our favourite size is 10-inch squares as they are good to wrap almost anything.

Various pieces of fabric laid out on a table with scissors, pencil and ruler

Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, and Tree Resin Recipe

Making the mixture that is spread on your wraps is simple. Pour 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil in a mason jar or measuring cup. Add 6 tablespoons of pine resin and 1 cup of beeswax pellets and melt in a double boiler. Stir every few minutes until completely melted and incorporated, about 30-40 minutes.

A mason jar with jojoba oil, beeswax pellets, and pine resin

A Couple Notes About the Double Boiler

To make homemade food wraps, you will need to set up a double boiler using either a wide-mouth mason jar or heatproof glass measuring cup. Both work well, but we found the mason jar was a little susceptible to tipping when setting in the pot of boiling water. Prevent this by placing mason jar rings on the bottom of your pot and setting the mason jar on top of them. The measuring cup is more stable, but with the resin being very difficult to clean, use a measuring cup you don’t mind having to scrape clean.

Photo from above of a jar in a pot of water with melted beeswax inside

Turning Fabric to Food Wraps

Once your wax has melted, preheat your oven to 300° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lay a piece of fabric on the baking sheet and brush with the wax mixture. Don’t worry if it hardens, it will melt in the oven.

Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes, then flip the fabric and brush additional wax on areas that aren’t saturated. Put back in the oven another 3 minutes. Carefully pick up the fabric from its corners using tongs and allow any excess wax to drip off. You can use your fingers if you’re feeling brave. Clip the wraps on a string tied between two cupboards to dry completely, about 5-7 minutes. Wash the food wraps with cold water and dry before storing until ready to use.

Three DIY beeswax wraps drying on a string

Care Instructions for Reusable Beeswax Wraps

Homemade beeswax wraps will last up to a year or more with regular use and proper care. Wash the wraps with cold water and gentle detergent. If the wax begins to deteriorate, pop the wraps in your oven at 300° F for a few minutes. This will redistribute the wax and should give you an additional 4-6 months of use.

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Beeswax Alternatives to Make Vegan Food Wraps

If you’re vegan, don’t worry, you can still make your own food wrappers. Instead of beeswax, you use carnauba wax. You can get a recipe to make vegan food wraps from Mountain Rose Herbs.

4 squares of fabric cut with pinking shears

Shop our Homemade Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap Recipe

Below are affiliate links to products that will assist you in making our DIY Beeswax Wraps. If you purchase an item through the links, Chef Sous Chef Inc. will receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you.

Essential Ingredients for Making Homemade Beeswax Wraps

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How to Make Reusable Beeswax Wraps

 

Save the waste and make your own reusable food wrappers with this simple recipe adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs. 

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 to 12 wraps 1x
  • Category: lifestlye
  • Method: stovetop/oven
  • Cuisine: DIY

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) organic jojoba oil
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 oz/20g) food grade pine resin
  • 1 cup (2.75oz/75g) organic beeswax pellets 
  • 1 1/2 yards 100% cotton fabric (organic preferred)
  • 1 lt/qt wide mouth mason jar or heat proof glass measuring cup
  • paint brush
  • string, hung taught to hang fabric from
  • clothespins or clips

Instructions

No. 1 | Add jojoba oil, pine resin, and beeswax to mason jar or measuring cup. 

No. 2 | Fill the pot with water so that the water line is above the ingredients in the jar. Heat the water on high-heat until it begins to boil, then turn heat down to medium-high to maintain a light boil. Add water to the pot as necessary to ensure the water line always stays above the ingredients in the jar. 

No. 3 | After about 10 minutes, the beeswax should be partially melted and you can begin stirring the mixture every 5-7 minutes, until both the pine resin and beeswax have melted and combined, about 30-40 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave the jar in the water while you are making the wraps.

No. 4 | While the ingredients are melting cut your fabric into your desired shapes and sizes. 

No. 5 | Once the beeswax and pine resin have melted, preheat your oven to 300° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a piece of fabric on each baking sheet and brush with the beeswax mixture until the fabric is saturated. Don’t worry if it hardens as it will re-liquify in the oven. 

No. 6 | Put the baking sheets in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove and turn the fabric over using tongs (or fingers if calloused or you have a high resistance to pain). Brush additional wax on any spots of fabric that aren’t saturated. Place the pan back in the oven to bake an additional 3 minutes.

No. 7 | Using the tongs, carefully lift the fabric from two corners and allow any excess wax to drip off. Hang the wraps using clothespins or clips on a piece of string and allow to fully dry. 

Notes

  • the pine resin is very difficult to remove from anything once hardened, ensure to wear grubby clothes and use equipment you aren’t too attached to. 
  • place mason jar rings on the bottom of your pot to prevent the mason jar from tipping while melting the wax.

Keywords: beeswax wraps, homemade food wraps, how to make beeswax wraps

3 packs of DIY Beeswax Wraps with Text: How to Make Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz Machin
    November 26, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I have bees wax blocks. Any idea what weight a cup of pellets would be? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      November 26, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Liz,

      It should be about 2.5-3oz.Good luck with the project!

  • Reply
    Mari
    December 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I ordered the pellet pine rosin instead of the powdered. Any idea on what the weight should be?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 10, 2019 at 8:51 am

      Hi Mari,

      Thanks for stopping by. You will want to use about 3/4oz or 20g of the pine rosin. Good luck!

      • Reply
        Evelyn Barney
        February 3, 2020 at 2:58 pm

        I ordered the pellets too. Glad there is a ‘hack.’

  • Reply
    Liz Machin
    December 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you. I’m making them for friends as Christmas gifts. And some for me too!

  • Reply
    Meg Davies
    December 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Hi there,

    Followed your instructions and found them really easy to follow, thank you! When I took my first wrap out of the oven, it looks like the dye has run from the fabric slightly. I washed the fabrics before doing anything. Is this normal? Its not loads but want to make sure its safe to use on food. The fabric is 100 per cent cotton.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 14, 2019 at 11:19 am

      Hi Meg,

      So glad you found the instructions easy to follow! A think a little running is fine and the beeswax and pine will seal the wraps regardless.Thanks for stopping by, happy holidays!

  • Reply
    Dawn Kalsbeek
    December 14, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    This is fabulous. Two questions though. How long to dry the sheets and what do I do with the leftover mixture? Can I just let it harden and then remelt it when I need it again?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 15, 2019 at 10:11 am

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoy the article! I find the wraps dry in 5 minutes when hanging, then I transfer them to a flat surface for additional 15-20 minutes before storing/packaging them for gifts. I haven’t tried reusing the mixture as I always use mine up but I don’t foresee there being an issue with reusing the mixture.

  • Reply
    BethAnn
    December 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Hi! I’m making these for gifts but wondering if the “pine” smell will dissipate over time? If it has a pine smell, not sure anyone is going to want to use it to cover food?? Any thoughts on this greatly appreciated. Also, your instructions were easy to follow and what a fun way to use up leftover scrap fabrics from other projects! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 17, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Hi Beth, We’re so happy the project went well for you. The pine smell will dissipate but does take some time. You can try washing them with lukewarm water and soap a few times before gifting them to help it along a little more quickly.

  • Reply
    Megan
    December 23, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Hi, do you know if it’s okay to use other kind of tree resin instead of pine? I have found Douglas Fir resin on some trees near where I live, and would love be able to harvest the resin myself to be even more eco friendly.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 23, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Megan, I believe it is okay to use different types of tree resin, as long as they are safe for human consumption. Douglas fir would be safe to use, I assume it would have the same properties as pine resin for the wraps. If you try it out please let us know how it worked for you!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    December 23, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    I have just finished making some wraps according to your directions. When the beeswax and resin was melting I found it separated a bit and I ended up with a gloopy blob about the size of a walnut that wouldn’t incorporate into the rest of the liquid. I continued anyway, and now the wraps are dry but don’t seem to be sticky enough to seal. Any suggestions?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 23, 2019 at 11:01 pm

      Hi Kristina, I have had a similar experience to you once before, but just melted it longer until I was able to combine them. The wraps should still work well for wrapping fruit, vegetables and herbs, but just may not work as well for wrapping containers and bowls. Sorry it wasn’t a completely successful experience for you, but hope you still get good use from the wraps and enjoyed the project. 🙂

    • Reply
      ann lin
      January 28, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      Hello! I am looking forward to making these using your recipe – yours came out gorgeous by the way! Just want to ask, in the past using another recipe (oven only), I have found my wraps to come out very yellow. Yours don’t look yellow tinted at all, and I was wondering if you used white pellets/ found that a certain method (perhaps brushing it on first) helps? Thank you!

      • Reply
        Chef Sous Chef
        January 28, 2020 at 2:54 pm

        Hi Ann,

        We did you white pellets, but the resin tinted the wax so they do have a light yellow colour to them. We also find that the first wrap would come out more yellow (possibly the resin sticking to the brush a bit). Good luck!

  • Reply
    Emily
    December 24, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Peanut butter takes off pine resin!! Something about the oils, and if it’s chunky PB it’ll help scrub even more- it’s a florist tip from my wife. I used it on my hands and all the utensils that were sticky when I was done :).

    This recipe and method is great- I used 2 batches to make 12 wraps ranging from 9×9 to 12×12. I haven’t actually put them to use yet but most of them are gifts so I’m just glad the project wasn’t a disaster.

    I recommend using light-colored fabric since the darks that I used are REALLY dark now. Think about how the fabric will look when wet- that’s how the color will turn out when they’re saturated with wax! Also the dark fabrics that I used bled the most, especially red.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      December 24, 2019 at 9:36 am

      Hi Emily, Thanks so much for amazing tip regarding the peanut butter! I will definitely be trying it out next time. Glad you enjoyed the recipe and making the wraps. They definitely make great gifts. Happy holidays!

  • Reply
    Carolyn Aspeslet
    January 3, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I only have block beeswax can you tell me in weight please?
    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 4, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Hi Carolyn, 80g (2.5-3 oz) of solid beeswax will be the equivalent of what you need for a batch of the wraps. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    January 11, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Hello
    Thanks for the instructions! Very helpful indeed, as I’m in the UK and we don’t use the cup weighing system here can you please do these guidelines in grams or ounces please? I would recommend you do both US and UK weights in any project you post .
    Thank you
    Rachel 😊

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Rachel. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and the suggestion. We have made the adjustment to the recipe card to reflect volume and weight. All the best!

      • Reply
        Jacqui
        January 24, 2020 at 10:14 pm

        Also metric would be good for the rest of the world 🙂 thanks – trying it now

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 19, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Hi! Thanks for this. I havent tried yet but I am wondering if the smells (specifically pine) during the melting/baking process are strong and/or if you happen to know if they’re dangerous for pets. I’ve been putting off making mine for this reason (3 cats, 1 with mild asthma) and couldn’t find any info about it online. Not sure if you’d know, but thought I’d ask about how strong the smell was while making. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      January 20, 2020 at 10:20 am

      Hi Emily,

      There is definitely a scent from the pine resin, which can be strong depending on the ventilation. I have made them with pets in the house without issue, however, I don’t have information on whether there are any negative effects associated with the scent. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  • Reply
    Anne O’Dwyer
    March 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Hello
    I have a friend who has beehives and I wii feted if I can use the wax straight from the hive or if I need to process it in some way first? I’m looking forward to getting started!
    Thanks
    Anne

  • Reply
    Leslie
    March 5, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    I want to make a couple of these for my homemade sourdough bread. The commercial wraps are not always large enough. A couple of questions though: (1) there are various grades of beeswax (cosmetic, craft (ie for candle making), food safe, etc.) and though I lean towards the food safe ones, am hearing people are using the craft grade pastilles to make these wraps. Is the craft grade acceptable and safe for wraps? (2) will the pine smell permeate my bread?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      March 5, 2020 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Leslie,

      Personally, we would stick to organic food-grade wax, but we haven’t even ventured into other grades, so I can’t really speak to that. You may get the pine smell on the outside of the bread, but it shouldn’t affect the overall flavour too much. Thanks for the questions!

  • Reply
    Madeline
    April 7, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Hello! Wondering if there are substitutes for jojoba oil, will another neutral oil work or does jojoba have a specific quality that contributes to the final outcome?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 9, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Hi Madeline,

      I believe any food-grade liquid oil can be used in substitution for the jojoba oil. We haven’t used others so I can’t speak from personal experience on the final outcome, but don’t imagine it would change the quality significantly. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Julie
    April 10, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    This is awesome and I can’t wait to give it a try! Wondering where you got your fabrics? I’m absolutely loving the pink one with what looks like labels on it!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 12, 2020 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks so much! We bought our fabrics from Len’s Mill Store. It is a fabric and craft shop with locations in southern Ontario.

  • Reply
    Tate
    April 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Hi there I just made these and found that my hands feel quite sticky/waxy after touching them… any suggestions on how to make them less sticky?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 19, 2020 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Tate,

      Washing the wraps a few times with warm water and gentle detergent should remove some of the tackiness.

  • Reply
    Cathy Young
    April 19, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    I was wondering how you store the clean wraps
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Cathy,

      The wraps can be folded and placed in a clean cupboard or drawer. We store ours with our reusable food containers.

  • Reply
    Cheri
    May 6, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    I made several wraps and they seem to be too sticky, leaving a residue on the bowl I tried to cover and making my hands sticky also. I may have used too much pine resin. Can I successfully re-do using a little more beeswax?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      May 7, 2020 at 10:57 am

      Hi Cheri,

      Thanks for the comment and feedback. We have formulated these wraps to be a little stickier than many commercially available wraps so that it can replace using a cling wrap. They shouldn’t be sticky to the point that they make your hands tacky, so I would encourage you to re-do them with a little more beeswax. Alternatively, you can wash the wraps with mild detergent and warm water, which in my experience, does help reduce some of the tackiness. Hope this helps!

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