BEESWAX SANDWICH WRAPS


Waxed cotton sandwich wraps are sustainable, natural and re-usable alternatives to plastic wrap and plastic bags for storing your lunch when you’re out and about. To use, simply warm a wrap with your hands, fold around a sandwich and the waxed wrap will stick together, sealing the sandwich inside. Each wrap can be re-used for around 12 months (then re-waxed or composted). Our family enjoys using them as picnic placemats for our children too – beeswax sandwich wraps make great gifts for kids and grownups! 
   
MATERIALS:
60g beeswax + 5g jojoba oil will make three 30cm x 30cm beeswax sandwich wraps.
  • Beeswax
  • Jojoba oil (optional)
  • Cheese grater
  • Scales (measure by the gram)
  • 100% cotton fabric (as thin as possible)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pinking shears (zig-zag fabric scissors)
  • Oven
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Oven mitts
  • Tongs
  • Paint brush
  • Needle, thread and buttons (optional)
    
METHOD:
1. Wash and dry fabric.
2. Iron fabric. 
3. Work out what size/s you want to make your beeswax wrap/s (see below for some size ideas) to calculate the amount of beeswax/jojoba you will need (around 3% of the fabric area i.e. 30cm x 30cm = 900cm will need about 25g). Use 1 part jojoba oil to 12 parts beeswax.
4. Finely grate beeswax into a small bowl and add jojoba oil. Mix well. 
5. Measure and mark fabric. 
6. Cut fabric to size/s using pinking shears (or fold, press and sew for a straight edge that won’t fray).
7. Pre-heat oven to 105°C (225°F) – or as low as possible if your oven temperature is higher than this.
8. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
9. Place your fabric onto the baking paper.
10. Sprinkle the beeswax blend evenly onto the fabric surface area – like sprinkling cheese onto a pizza.
11. Using oven-proof mitts, place the tray into the pre-heated oven for a minute or two, until the beeswax blend has melted.
12. Remove the tray from the oven.
13. Using tongs, lift the cloth and check to ensure the beeswax has been absorbed all over, using a paint brush to spread any excess liquid  – be careful as the fabric and liquid blend will be hot. 
14. Sprinkle beeswax blend over any part of the fabric that didn’t get covered and return to the oven until melted. Repeat until the cloth is covered all over.
15. Remove cloth from tray using tongs and drip any excess liquid onto the baking paper in the tray (TIP: allow the paper to dry then fold and save for use next time).
16. Hang beeswax wraps up to dry – i.e. on a clothesline or over a chair. Wraps will be sticky when wet/warm and cool very quickly.
17. Your re-usable beeswax sandwich wraps are ready to use!
   
SMALL BEESWAX SANDWICH WRAP
Ideal for: half a sandwich, small baked goods or covering a small bowl.
Fabric size: 22.5cm x 22.5cm (9 inch x 9 inch)
Wrap size: 22.5cm x 22.5cm (9 inch x 9 inch)
   
MEDIUM BEESWAX SANDWICH WRAP
RECOMMENDED
Ideal for: a sandwich (and then a placemat), snacks, baked goods i.e. muffins or covering a medium bowl.
Fabric size: 30cm x 30cm (12 inch x 12 inch)
Wrap size: 30cm x 30cm (12 inch x 12 inch)
   
LARGE BEESWAX SANDWICH WRAP
Ideal for: a large sandwich, fruit, or covering a large bowl.
Fabric size: 37.5cm x 37.5cm (15 inch x 15 inch)
Wrap size: 37.5cm x 37.5cm (15 inch x 15 inch)
   
NOTES:
  • Dry food items i.e. fruit, herbs, nuts, sandwiches and vegetables can be wrapped – but avoid wet food, especially meat and dairy.
  • Wash beeswax wraps in cool, soapy water then air-dry, fold and store. 
  • Beeswax wraps cannot be washed with hot water (because this removes the beeswax layer). 
  • Store dry beeswax wraps in a kitchen drawer or on the bench (TIP: store beeswax wraps where you used to keep the plastic wrap, which is no longer required!)
  • Beeswax wraps are not recommended for storing raw meat or dairy.
  • The beeswax scent will fade after the first few uses (interestingly, the floral beeswax scent varies with the season the wax was harvested)
  • Warm beeswax wraps with hands until pliable, then wrap around your food. Once cooled (after a few seconds), seals stay closed.
  • You can also sew a few buttons onto the cooled beeswax wrap to hold string to keep sandwich wraps closed if you prefer (re-use old buttons or wood buttons look nice).
  • What size wrap should I make? Why not make one of each size and see which ones are used the most, then make more as needed.
  • Check with your local apiarist or honey supplier to source local beeswax. 
  • Jojoba oil is available from soap-making suppliers and some health stores (if you can’t find it, don’t worry, your wraps will still work, just be a little stiffer during the cooler months).
  • Depending on the size of your wrap, your beeswax sandwich wrap can also be used as a bowl cover – warm with hands and wrap over a bowl to cover.
  • Beeswax wraps last for around 12 months if used regularly and cared for – they can be re-waxed by following the method above, or put into the compost.
  • Only use cotton fabric – synthetic fabrics will not absorb the beeswax. 
  • Printed cotton fabric looks lovely as wraps, and makes fantastic personalised gifts!
  • The thinner the cotton fabric is, the easier the beeswax wrap will be to fold and use.
  • If using new cotton fabric, wash before use and then iron before covering in beeswax.
  • Why not re-use some old cotton sheets to make your wraps and reduce waste!
  • Making lots of sandwich wraps? Cut them all at once, then make the beeswax blend and cover each wrap, one after the other to reduce oven use required (you can have a few trays in your oven if your oven is big enough). Remove wraps from the oven as soon as the beeswax blend has melted.
  • ALTERNATIVE METHOD (USING AN IRON INSTEAD OF AN OVEN): Cover ironing board with an old towel and pre-heat iron. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto the towel, then place the cut cotton fabric square on top and sprinkle with the beeswax/jojoba blend. Cover fabric with 1-2 sheets of greaseproof paper and press with your iron to melt the beeswax blend. Repeat sprinkling and pressing until fabric has absorbed the beeswax all over. Remove fabric and cool. Repeat to make more wraps.
  • Making your own is much cheaper than buying beeswax sandwich wraps, which retail for around AU$11 each! (You can make many at home for this price)
  • A note on resin: many online beeswax wrap recipes also contain tree resin, which is supposed to make the wraps stick better, however according to the MSDS for tree resin (view HERE), resin is not recommended for skin application or food application. We do not recommend adding tree resin to your beeswax wraps.
  • Why not make some extra wraps and share with your family, friends and workplace.
  • Pay it forward: teach someone else how to make their own re-usable beeswax sandwich wraps to reduce disposable plastic use in your community!
   
  
  
  
  

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