The Eco-Friendly DIY Gift

December 29, 2019

As it has been tradition for me for the past 8 years, I've been crafting a DIY project as Christmas gifts for friends and family. This year I wanted to gift something that was useful but also good for the planet. I've recently been inspired by my friend Fabrice who is trying to live more waste-free so I've been using reusable produce bags, reusable food storage bags and beeswax wraps.
Since I've been enjoying using beeswax wraps as an alternative to plastic wrap, I thought it would be fun to make my own and use fun fabric too. I scoured pinterest for as many tutorials on how to make them. However, I was sorely disappointed when I purchased cute, organic fabric from Spoonflower (at the recommendation of one tutorial) and didn't realize it was jersey knit and not thin, quilters cotton, which is easier to use for these wraps. They'll still work but require way more supplies to cover the fabric well (the confusion came when she recommended organic cotton but didn't realize organic knit cotton on Spoonflower would be too thick--fear not, I'm repurposing that fabric into fabric napkins).
So after much trial and error (I tested three different methods), I *think* I've found the easier method to make these beeswax food wraps. This has been a more labor intensive project (and is quite messy if you're making these in bulk, like I did) but I'm happy to spread eco-friendly products to friends.
DIY Beeswax Food Wraps adapted from Better Homes & Garden and Seaside Steps
1-2 yards of quilters cotton (organic, if you can find it; wash before proceeding with crafting)
Organic beeswax pellets (makes fabric water resistant)
Pine resin (creates tackiness for the wraps)
Jojoba oil (also available at Trader Joe's; used to make fabric more pliable)
Pinking Shears (to prevent fraying of fabric)
Parchment Paper
Salt shaker and fill with pine resin (got mine from the dollar store; this allows an even distribution onto the fabric)
Iron/ironing board
Old hanger
1. Cut fabric into an assortment of sizes. Small wraps: 7x8; Medium: 10x11; Large: 13x14 inches
2. Place a piece of parchment paper on your ironing board and place fabric on top. Then sprinkle the pine resin and beeswax pellets evenly over the fabric and add a drops of the jojoba oil all over the surface (this site gives measurements of how much beeswax/resin/jojoba oil is needed for each size of fabric). (Materials only need to be applied to one side of the fabric since the mixture will saturate both sides when ironed).
3. Place another piece of parchment paper over the covered fabric and then iron the parchment paper over medium-low heat until the wax is melted and distributed over the fabric. (If the resin is still clumpy, keep ironing the fabric until it is melted).
4. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and carefully lift the fabric off the bottom layer of parchment paper. Drape the fabric over an old hanger and let cool. (The fabric will feel tacky but will mellow out after a few washes).
5. Repeat until desired amount of wraps are made (I made about 35+ wraps, which is overkill but I made a set of 3 sizes of wraps for friends--hence this being quite labor intensive. I'm sure it isn't so bad if made in small batches).
6. Once cooled, fold to store. Wrap food or cover bowls with the wraps by warming them up with your hands, which allows them to seal.
7. Wash in cold water to prevent melting and also with mild soap. They'll last up to a year.
8. Enjoy!

***There's a method that melts the ingredients in a jar over the stove, which seemed great but is messy and uses up the supplies pretty quickly. ***

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