Alright, christmas is coming closer and I am busy getting all my presents ready. This year will be very much a DIY christmas. It wasn’t intended like this from the beginning, but then I stumbled upon interesting projects, one after another, and thought that not only I could like them but also my family and friends. The pillow spray is one of them, this beeswax food wrap is another, and some more to follow up. Let me also say, that there will be again a 2016 calendar, it’s nearly done.
Of course, the various christmas gift guides “for your brother”, “for the the traveller”, “for foodies”, for …” that now spread around the internet are not going unnoticed. But especially this year, where so many people struggle with existential problems, this kind of consumerism makes me feel uncomfortable and guilty ( I’m not the only one). It manifests our privileged lifes. So, to make things short, this was another path that led to this year’s DIY dominated christmas. The money I didn’t spend in christmas consumerism will Go to those who lack fundamental things.
I am also frankly admitting that I am more and more developing into a “Ökotante” (eco-freak), thinking about the ingredients of the products I eat, put on my skin, wear, clean with, live with. At first view you could of course think that this is a typical “first world problem”, solely part of a lifestyle trend building up around phrases like “mindfulness”, “slow living”, “simplicity”, “responsibility”, but I think this is too short-sighted. Ecological mostly means (at least in my understanding) sustainable – and a sustainable usage of ressources, avoiding damaging materials and ingredients is much more than a luxury issue.
Of course, a single person won’t save the world, using this homemade beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap neither. But it’s one thing that one person can do. Moreover, I found it very interesting to learn, that the idea of keeping especially food in waxed cloth, is actually a very old technique, that we just lost sight of.
Ok, I’ll now leave you with the How-to, in which you’ll also find some of my trial and error.
thin cotton fabric (quilting quality or muslin, prewashed)
scissors, pinking shears (You don’t necessarily need pinking shears, it’s more for visual reasons. Soaked in beeswax, the fabric doesn’t really fray.)
beeswax (I used all natural yellow and white beeswax in a ratio of approximately 1:2, because I found the smell of yellow beeswax too overwheming to use with food. I bought mine at the pharmacy. It came in little drops. But I think using grated beeswax from a chunk is easier to distribute.)
brush (silicon is perfect to get clean again)
Cut fabric into desired dimensions. (I cut my fabric with pinking shears. But as the fabric deforms a bit during the treating with beeswax, I now recommend to cut the fabric with regular scissors and only later trim them with pinking shears. It’s also much easier to cut the sturdy fabric evenly.
The sizes I chose:
- 17,5 x 20 cm (f.ex. for fruit, cheese)
- 26 x 28 cm (f.ex. to cover bowls)
- 33 x 33 cm (ideal as sandwich wrap)
- 36 x 38 cm (f.ex. to cover casseroles)
- 41 x 56 cm (f.ex. for bread loaf)
Heat oven to 80° C. Line baking tray with aluminium foil. Place fabric pieces on the tray. Sprinkle the fabric with a light layer of beeswax. Put the tray in the oven for about 5-10 minutes (or until wax is melted). If the fabric is bigger than the tray fold in half, sandwiching some beeswax in between. Using the brush, spread beeswax evenly over the fabric. Take fabric out of the oven (be careful, it’s hot). Hold it in your hands for a few seconds – it will harden and cool immediately. Lay aside and go on with the next piece of fabric.
If you want to make this as a present, feel free to download and print this packaging I made (For personal use only. If you’d like to share them, please credit and link back to this page.)
How to use
Wash with cool or lukewarm water and mild soap. Warm or hot water will melt the wax. Use these beeswax fabrics to wrap vegetables, sandwiches, bread loafs, bowls of food. The warmth from your hands will bring the wrap into the desired shape. Since you can’t wash them with hot water, it’s not recommended for meat. It’s also recommended to use them only for about one year (I don’t have personal experience, yet).