How to make a beeswax wrap to cover food
- Credit: not Archant
Our resident crafter Dee Park shows you how to make an eco-friendly wrap that’s the bee’s knees
Beeswax wraps have gained popularity since they first hit the shops a few years ago. The concern over single use plastics and what these plastics might be doing to our systems has fed demand, along with the added bonus of helping the bee population. Like my husband says, ‘the best way to ensure the continuity of a species is to farm it.’ So thank you to all our beekeepers, (especially the independent ones) and let’s do all we can to support them.
Beeswax wraps are usually a mixture of food grade beeswax (anti-bacterial and breathable), pine resin (for stickiness) and jojoba oil (for flexibility). There is great debate as to the ratios of these ingredients to make the best wraps and often a successful maker will have a secret formula. For this demonstration I’ve used a ready mixed block to keep it simple.
These blocks can be purchased online. To use the wrap simply use the warmth of your hands so the wrap becomes pliable and then fold around the container or food. Use luke warm soapy water to wash and reuse. Beeswax wraps are amazing at keeping foods fresh, but cannot be used in direct contact with raw meat and fish (I would pop in a dish first and then cover with a wrap).
Grate the wax block on a grater on the finest setting you can manage, (please note anything that comes into contact with the wax mixture will be extremely difficult to clean after).
Tip: Freeze the block first for easy grating.
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Have a piece of washed pretty cotton at the ready, about 8cm in diameter larger than the bowl you wish to cover. Use pinking shears to stop the fabric from fraying (although the wax will help with this). Place an old towel to protect your ironing board, then a sheet of baking paper (which can be re-used for this purpose) and then your cotton material. Sprinkle with the mixture directly from its container (handle the wax as little as possible as it’ll soon melt) then cover with another sheet of baking paper.
Tip: I like to freeze the gratings again and then shake the bowl to break up any clumps.
Set your iron to a low to medium heat and then place the iron on top of the paper and materials. Let the heat and the weight of the iron do the work. Don’t press down as it will simply result in all the wax being squished out at the sides. You will be able to see the wax as it melts.
Taking care as the melted wax will be hot, check all the wax has melted, peel back the paper and check that no bits have been missed, if they have simply repeat the process.
When you are sure the whole of the material has been covered in melted wax, peel it off the paper (being careful as it will be hot).
Set the wax by holding the material by its edges and wafting it to and fro or simply peg on the line to dry, either way it won’t take long. Once set, your wrap is ready to use.
Dee turned her back on a successful career in accountancy to marry a Lancashire dairy farmer – she now lives in a farmhouse at Ellel near Lancaster where she has thrown herself in to rural life. A lifelong crafter, she now runs workshops and demonstrations, showing others how to make crafts for the home, many of them using only natural materials.
To find out more, go to followthehare.co.uk
These beeswax wraps are so malleable and tacky they can even be folded into a box or bowl shape.
Use these wraps to wrap soap bars if you’re on the go. They should last about a year and even then they don’t need to go to landfill; they can be cut into strips to be composted or used as fire-starters.
Go to followthehare.co.uk for more crafty makes, follow Dee’s Instagram @followthehare.co.uk.
And don’t forget to share your makes and tag us in using #lancashirelifecreates.