My 12 Days of Thriftmas - Day 7 - DIY Wax Wraps!

We all know cling film is on it’s way out, with all things 'single-use-plastic' – so how do we get around it? Tupperware is amazing, no doubt about it – but sometimes I don’t have every size I need –  it’s too bulky for a small piece of cheese, or overkill for carrying an apple in my bag… and mostly, the problem at Christmas is, not all my Tupperware will fit in the fridge! The whole clingfilm issue is easily sorted with wax wraps, (which are now popping up everywhere – and are rather pricey…) so why not make your own? Here's how!

Good for leftovers, great as gift, sustainable, ethical, made-to-measure, relatively cheap to make – and they last a long time! One of my only issues with the wax wraps you can buy in the shops is that - although they’re beautifully made - they’re pre-cut to certain sizes, and I’m not that fussed about all sizes. I mean, for me personally, I’d rather know I’ve got one that fits a breakfast bowl, another one that covers a mixing bowl, and maybe a random shaped one to protect a piece of fruit in my handbag… and when you think about it, this is a great way to get kids onboard with reusable packaging - by using fabric they love, maybe with a superhero print, or their favourite cartoon dog..? There are so many ways to make these wraps personal, and fun.

Here are the proportions you'll need to make them, (*in addition to the fabric) -
15ml, (or 1 tablespoon) of pine resin, and 30ml, (or 2tablespoons) of beeswax, covers a sandwich wrap, or about 30cm x 30cm of material… then you might want to add 1tsp of jojoba oil. If you want to make a big batch of wraps all at once, go for it! You'll likely need 1 cup of beeswax pellets – ½ cup of pine resin, and 2 tablespoons jojoba oil.

I have seen some DIYs that only use beeswax - but I'm not sure how that works; in my experiments, it's the resin that makes it stick to itself, and creates that sticky barrier to the bowl (or whatever it's covering). Without the resin, it just...flaps about... The jojoba oil is there to add flexibility and suppleness, and I've read that the reason why a lot of crafters use jojoba oil is because it won’t go rancid, whereas other food oils may well do.

There are a few different ways to do this, but I’m in favour of the iron and oven-proof paper method - it's just more straight forward. If you'd like to check out some of my 'tools' here's the wax I used, the pine resin, and the jojoba oil.

I experimented with soy wax, but it wasn’t a good fit for me - probably because it has a lower melting point, and the iron was overkill... Whilst I know soy might be an option if you’re looking for a vegan version, the beeswax was more of a consistent 'winner' in my tests... There are also pre-mixed blocks you can buy, which are fine if you’re only making one or two wraps - otherwise they are not very good value for money, you’re much better off making up your own concoction with large separate bags of wax and resin. The block also requires a different method (melting down in the oven) - which I think is a more messy way of doing it, and less reliable in terms of amounts needed. And there are of-course complete kits where everything’s included, including the fabric - so if you just want the crafty experience, that’s fine too!

Another idea on how to make these personal, is by writing on the fabric with a non-toxic food-safe pen (*I found these on Amazon). If you do that before the waxing process, you'll always know whose sandwiches are whose! In all seriousness, this is good for families where one person has an intolerance, I like the idea of having fun with it, writing things like "Go nuts... free!" and "No WHEY, man!". :)
When you're done, they’re ready to roll up, wrap with a ribbon, and give to your loved ones… Gorgeous!

Am I over-explaining the benefits of these things?! Possibly… Wait, one final point; don’t wash them in overly-hot water - just warm soapy water, and don’t use them on hot food, meat or fish, to avoid cross-contamination. These should last quite a while if you treat them right!

Let me know how you get on, and watch this space for Day 8... coming soon! 

Gema x

p.s. If you missed the rest of the Thriftmas makes, check out my YouTube channel - for the an introduction to kintsugi, a rose water spray DIY, how to make natural Christmas decorations, and more!


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