As our family moves away from single use plastics, ditching plastic wrap was one of the easiest actions. But, I was surprised at how expensive beeswax wraps are. With just a few supplies, you can easily make beeswax wraps for your home. Plus, it is a great activity to do with grandparents!
I made my first batch in the oven and sent a few to my sister-in-law, Erin, who quickly put them to use. She was so inspired by how easy they were to make, that she decided to make them with the senior citizens she works with as a social worker. Since they might not easily have access to an oven at the center, I set about modifying my technique so that they could easily make them with an iron instead. What resulted was a lovely activity between Erin and the folks in her group.
I love that this is an activity that can work with older kids as well as seniors. Perfect for a grandparent/grandkid activity. And while you’re at it, why not engage them in a conversation about the different ways the grandparents conserved when they were growing up? We’ve become so used to our convenience and disposable products, it’s helpful to remind each other that we can make do with less. Be sure to make enough for both your house and the grandparent’s house! We can all do our part.
-Scraps of woven cotton fabric (quilting fabric works well, as do worn out dress shirts) cut to various sizes (you can use pinking shears to cut the edges, this ensures less fraying)
-Beeswax pastilles or blocks (if you use blocks, you’ll need a cheese grater that can get waxy)
Additional supplies depending on chosen technique: cookie sheet, paint brush, or dough scraper
- Iron: Sandwich fabric and an even yet light coating of beeswax pastiles or shavings between two pieces of parchment paper. Iron on medium until beeswax is melted and evenly distributed.
- Oven: Set oven to its lowest temperature (or to 200F, and then turn it off). Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (preferably one that is past its prime.) Place fabric on top of the parchment paper and sprinkle with beeswax. Place in oven until melted. Use a paintbrush or scraper to distribute the wax evenly.
- Stovetop: Melt wax in a double boiler (or an old jar that is in a water bath), heat on stove until the wax is melted. Place fabric on a sheet of parchment paper, paint melted wax onto fabric with a paintbrush.
Once fabric is coated with wax, hang up to dry on a clothes-line with clothes-pins or hang from a hanger (this may not even be necessary as the wax hardens quickly. You can also just let them dry on a protected and cool surface.)
- Beeswax wraps should not be washed in the dishwasher or washing machine, as the wax will just come off.
- Wash by hand with warm water, using minimal soap and scrubbing. Air dry.
- If the wax wears off or begins to pill, just re-iron between sheets of parchment paper.
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