DIY: Beeswax Wraps

My Tuesdays always seem to start way too early – the oldest has to be at school for band practice by 7:00a.m. Last night I forgot to set my early alarm, so he had to hustle and probably didn’t leave until 7:00 a.m. This seemingly did not bode well for my productivity today.

Much to my surprise, I found my inner Martha Stewart and dug deep for my own hustle. Multiple loads of laundry washed and folded – check. Coconut cookies freshly baked – check. Dishwasher emptied, loaded, and hand-washed items scrubbed in the sink – check. Bathroom glistening (okay, maybe not quite glistening, just clean) – check.

Then I decided to work on my beeswax wrap project mentioned a few days ago. Our friends at Dickey Bee Honey kindly gifted me with a huge block of beeswax. (Beeswax smells amazing, my dears!) Many instructions will recommend pine resin or jojoba oil for flexibility – I didn’t bother this time, but am sure the ones I’ve purchased have one or the other or both.

I hauled out all my supplies:

The finished product – DIY Beeswax Wraps

I began by ironing my fabric – I suppose I actually started by washing my fabric and hanging to dry, but I did that days ago so it doesn’t seem to count. (If you’re going to give this a try, make sure your fabric is clean whether it’s brand new, recycled, or been sitting in your basement for years!)

Once I got all the wrinkles out, I used pinking shears to trim off each side of the fabric (especially the unfinished ends) and cut each piece to size. I wanted two wraps large enough for a casserole dish, one for a large plate or bowl, and a few smaller ones with the remaining scraps.

I had those coconut cookies baking away in batches while attempting this project, so I left the oven on to try both the iron method and the oven method. (I preferred the oven method, but could only do my smaller wraps this way.)

Get your grater out and prepare for some arm workouts. Shredding beeswax is not as easy as shredding cheese. I actually wanted to give up at this point (seriously.) If you have a secret for making it easy, let me know?!? Otherwise, if I were to attempt this again, and didn’t have beeswax readily available, I’d invest in beeswax beads or pellets. You need enough grated beeswax to sprinkle over your fabric pieces generously (but not too generously – it will melt and spread.)

For the iron method, line a baking sheet with parchment and lay your fabric on top. Add prepared beeswax all over and cover with a second sheet of parchment. Using your preheated iron, melt the wax between the parchment trying to avoid getting wax on your iron. (Not that I did this. It might wreck the iron, you know!) You will be able to see the wax melting and spreading – make sure it saturates your fabric and use your iron to “push” any puddles around to thinner areas. Once your fabric is completely covered, gently peel off the parchment and find somewhere to hang to dry.

For the oven method, preheat your oven to 200F. Line your baking tray with parchment and lay your fabric on top. Sprinkle with prepared beeswax and place in the oven for approximately 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check to see how things are melting. It may need a few more minutes. If parts of your fabric are not saturated, use a brush (I used a silicone basting brush) to spread the melted wax – you may need to add a few more sprinkles and return to the oven to melt. Once your fabric is saturated, peel off the parchment and add to the hanging collection to dry. Be cautious with both methods – the beeswax can be hot! (It smells good though and your fingers will feel super smooth.)

Once your wraps are dry, feel free to inspect for any “dry” spots where the wax didn’t saturate as much as you like. Add more shavings and either pop it back in the oven for a minute or pull out your iron. If you have wax pooling on your parchment at any point, you can use some fabric to sop it up.

Your wraps are now finished and ready to use! Admire how beautiful they are. Pat yourself on the back for not spilling hot beeswax all over the floor or your kitchen table.

Findings? I like the ones I purchased better – they’re a little more flexible and a lot less work. However, these will do quite nicely for my desired purposes and they did use up materials I had on-hand. I think the added ingredients suggested in other “recipes” (oil, resin) add to the flexibility and I know there are a number of other tutorials out there that can give you directions. As for method, I actually preferred the iron method – there was something satisfying about watching the wax melt and smear, but I may not have been cautious enough and think the iron may now have a layer of beeswax stuck to the bottom. I should probably peel that off before Kevin next irons a shirt!


I am the first to admit that we are not the eco-friendliest family on the planet.  Convenience will often win in the battle against conscience.  I’m notoriously bad at remembering my reusable straws.  My kids still grab paper towel way more often than a rag or napkin.  Guilt aside, we have made little changes to improve our footprints.  This is a (very) short list of some of the eco-happy products that I’m crushing on – they were small swaps that hopefully have an impact for the greater good.

1.  Beeswax Wraps {sub for plastic wrap}

A friend first told me about these a few years ago and I was reluctant to get on board.  Last year, I finally bit the bullet and invested in a sample pack from Mind Your Bees Wraps, based in Hamilton.  Her patterns were pretty (it shouldn’t make a difference, but I’m vain, okay?!)  I fell in love. 

At a vendor event I help organize every November, we invited an even more local maker, The Tacky Bee, who also uses salvaged materials as her wrap base – even better!  I bought a few of her sample packs as well and gifted many of them away.

From Mind Your Bees Wraps

In my recent basement purge, I found some cotton fabrics I will never use for sewing (because sewing is not one of my skill sets.) We’ll be stopping at our honey producing friends in Cookstown this weekend, Dickey Bee Honey, to pick up some beeswax and I have grand plans to make my own set – I need a bigger one for casserole dishes and the like.   There are a ton of tutorials available online if you want to attempt to DIY.   These are an easy swap for saran and I found half a grapefruit lost to the No Man’s Land at the back of the fridge the other day – it had to have been in there a few weeks and was as juicy and delicious as the day it went it.  Even J has started to reach for the wraps when he’s helping in the kitchen.

Easy to clean without harsh chemicals, no plastic waste, biodegradable when it’s life-cycle is done, and pretty enough to Insta… why wouldn’t you make the switch?

Shop Local:  Mind Your BeesThe Tacky Bee, Dickey Bee Honey

2.  Cloth Menstrual Pads {sub for tampons and/or disposable pads and pantyliners}

Women have been padding their panties with strips of cloth since the age of dinosaurs.  Our grandmas and great-grandmas are all familiar with bulky, eco-friendly options for dealing with Aunt Flo when she shows up with a vengeance.   Disposable pads were created back in the 1880s, but the industry grew by leaps and bounds in the 1980s – much to the sorrow of our landfills – and our bodies.

There are many alternatives to disposable pads and (oft-bemoaned) tampons.  My first switch to a planet-happy solution was actually a cup – and I hated it. I didn’t make any more leaps until someone suggested I might have less feminine issues if I trashed the synthetic disposables.  I found some organic, natural, biodegradable options on and they were fine.  I didn’t love them, but yes, my period was a bit happier.

5 Small Pads from HannahPad

Finally, I bit the bullet and invested in a set of reusable cloth pads from HannahPad.  Once I got over the ick-factor, I loved them.  I mean… women have been doing this for centuries, but these are so comfortable and better for the planet.   (I mean, as comfortable as having to wear any kind of pad, amiright?)

I also found a local supplier at a vendor event who sews her own.  Garden of Eden is a Canadian company (yay!) with cute print options and her pads (and nursing pads) are very well constructed.  She’s also very comfortable with discussing periods with total strangers.

I’ve been thrilled with both suppliers.  During each cycle, after use I rinse the pads and then soak until wash day.  I use some probiotic soap to help with stubborn stains, and then just wash as usual.  The dryer is not recommended, but I buck convention and throw them in for convenience sake.  For panty liners, I just wash with my usual laundry. 

It’s a big upfront cost if you’re comparing it to a single cycle supply of pads or tampons – think about investing in one or two at a time – and make sure your happy with the brand you’re using!

Shop Local:  Garden of Eden Reusables, HannahPad

3.  Mesh Produce Bags {Sub for plastic produce bags}

I have an endless supply of reusable shopping totes.  It’s a little ridiculous.  I could probably hand them out to people in line at the grocery store and still have enough bags left for my own haul.   My problem is that I forget to bring them, but I feel guilty using plastic, so I end up buying more.  I’m hanging my head in shame.     The workaround to this is to empty them and leave them by my keys or shoes or purse… and store them in the car for next time around. 

I have some favourite bags.  I bought them online years ago when this was starting to be strongly encouraged.  They’re foldable to tuck into your purse,  they’re lightweight, they wash amazing, and they are so amazingly strong.   If I could find more of this particular brand, I would donate all the rest and use them forever.

So I’ve cultivated a good shopping habit… but the produce department bothered me.   I found some President’s Choice mesh bags inexpensively on Amazon and as long as I remember to tuck them away (or not away as the case may be), I’m golden for picking the plumpest produce and not having to pay for extra weight.  These are so light and much like their above-mentioned cousins, easy to wash.  Super convenient without another plastic bag to worry about.   Even better, more and more makers are providing local options to source your own!   If you’re anywhere near me, Fresh Off The Line has some cute ones!  Now if only we could regularly find cucumber not surrounded in shrink wrap…

Shop Local:  Fresh Off the Line

What are the little substitutes you’ve embraced that make your home a little more eco-friendly?  We’ve also subbed harsh scented candles (i.e. BBW) for locally made, naturally fragranced ones.  We reuse. We recycle.  I shop second hand first, especially for the boys.  Are you crushing on any earth-friendly, eco-happy changes or products?  Feel free to share!