Repurpose Tutorial: Beeswax Cotton Food Wraps
Do you have some beautiful cotton that you want to use but aren’t sure how? Have you collected some beautifully patterned pieces from old skirts and dresses but don’t feel confident to sew with them? Today’s tutorial is a lovely way for your to reuse cotton from dresses and skirts that you don’t have the skills or perhaps time to mend or upcycle into another garment.
Recently I tore a beautiful cotton skirt of mine and I didn’t want to keep the fabric for a sewing project because I already have so many pieces saved up in my stash. So instead I made some reusable and washable beeswax cotton food wraps. This project is doubly kind to the environment, allowing you to save an old cotton garment from landfill, and replace your use of disposable plastic glad wrap at the same time. Our oceans are choking with discarded plastic, not to mention the carbon impact of single use plastics, so making these wraps at home is a quick and easy sustainable action with a definite positive environmental impact. It can also be made with the simple items you use in your home.
- Cotton fabric (not stretch), washed and dried. If you don’t have an old garment to repurpose, you can use new organic cotton
- Fabric scissors or pinking shears. Pinking shears help to reduce fraying, but you can get by with normal fabric scissors if you don’t own pinking shears
- Beeswax pellets (or solid beeswax), organic if you can find it
- Grater. This is only needed if you are using solid beeswax, and once used for beeswax it should be kept only for that purpose (not for food)
- Baking paper
- Baking tray (large)
Preheat the oven to 95 degrees Celcius. Cover the large baking tray with baking paper, ensuring that the baking tray is completely covered. Cut your fabric to desired size, you may like to have a few different sizes depending how you will use the wraps. A large wrap may be used to cover a tray of food, or a small wrap to cover a bowl. Lay one piece of fabric on the paper-covered tray, and sprinkle the fabric with a layer of beeswax pellets or grated beeswax, as pictured below:
Heat in the oven until the beeswax is melted- this will take no longer than 5 minutes. Once melted remove from the oven. Peel the fabric away from the baking paper so it doesn’t stick. You can either hang the wrap up to dry, or simply leave it lightly resting on the paper until it dries.
Once dry the food wrap should be stiff and have a bit of stick to it when you wrap it over containers or around food. If not, you may need to repeat the process with some more beeswax.
Once you are finished making your wraps, be sure to compost your baking paper, rather than send it to landfill.
To clean your wraps, simply wash in hot soapy water in the sink and leave to air dry. I tried washing my wrap in the dishwasher, but the wax started to work it’s way out of the fabric. However, this was easily fixed by reheating the wrap in the oven. As the wrap loses its ‘stick’ after repeated use, you can simply repeat the above tutorial with some more wax to extend its useful life. In this way the wraps should last for years of use, saving you money on wasteful plastic food wrap and doing a huge favour for the environment.
What do you think? Will you try these out and ditch plastic food wrap? It is one small change that could make a bit difference. Let me know if you give it a go!
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