A little while ago, my friend and I had a go at making beeswax wraps and – quite honestly – it was a total disaster that resulted in a lot of wasted wax and a huge amount of mess.
Having then bought some wraps from a lovely lady at a craft stall just before Christmas, I discovered that instead of using the internet’s favourite ‘brush the melted wax on with a pastry brush’ method, that I could have just sprinkled some grated wax on some cloth and ironed it between two sheets of baking paper.
Well, now I’ve had a go at that and I can absolutely say – it’s so much easier and it actually works!
First, I grabbed some scraps of cotton, some pinking shears and some beeswax blocks, then I trimmed the scraps into regular shapes.
After I’d done that, I had a good pile of lovely squares.
Next step, was to grate the wax. I just used my regular cheese grater, but I think going forward – if the charity shops reopen any time soon – I’ll get one specifically for wax. It just makes cleaning it perfectly far less important.
I would like to state at this point that each of those nubs of wax made one wrap. So, if you want to do more than around 3, you’ll need several bars of the beeswax that you find at hardware stores. I buy this because it’s package free – unlike the stuff you get off eBay. But if you’re making these during lockdown, and you decide to order beeswax online, I would absolutely opt for the pre-made pellets, rather than grating a block.
Anyway, this is one of those nubs, grated…
And this is that grate nub spread out onto the cloth it’s about to cover.
And now, for the ironing. I put one sheet of greaseproof paper under the fabric and one on top, then brought out Old Faithful.
This is my Nan’s Rowenta iron. It was made in West Germany, which should give you some idea as to its longevity. Unfortunately, the temperature dial no longer works, so now I use it to iron toasted sandwiches and various craft projects. My ‘fancy’ iron – a sale buy from John Lewis costing a whole £10 – ends up staying clean this way…
Anyway, after you’ve run the iron over once, you’ll notice some parts of the cloth aren’t saturated – like the edges here. They’re a much paler colour to the rest. All you do is sprinkle a bit more wax on and repeat the ironing process.
And then you’re done – two lovely beeswax wraps, from scrap cloth and some package-free wax, ready to replace freezer bags and clingfilm. As these are for my mum, I made some packaging for her…
I just got some brown paper that had been used for padding in an online order, and cut it down. Then I drew on it with the kids’ felt pens.
As you can see – hopefully – from my scrappy handwriting, these wraps are really easy to care for. And if you’re a heavy cling-film user, they could end up saving you lots of plastic over the course of those 6 months.
I feel that I should add at this point that I wrecked my ironing board cover whilst doing this. I didn’t mean to, but actually, it was a good thing because it was dropping to bits anyway. It gave me the impetus to replace the manky, ancient thing I made when I was learning to sew. This could have absolutely been avoided, however, by making the fabric significantly smaller than the baking paper. As I wanted to ‘use up’ some baking paper that we’d used for bread, however, I cut my fabric to the same size and so spilled wax onto the ironing board. And the iron. It’s all a big mess…
Click ‘follow’ for ‘how to recover your ironing board’! 😉
Have you tried making beeswax wraps? Which method did you use?
I’d love to hear about your experiences – why not get in touch in the comments section, or on Twitter?