Beeswax wraps are a great way to reduce your waste in regards to plastic cling wrap in the house. They have become so big that there are literally hundreds of recipes and techniques that you can access on the internet so it is extremely difficult to find one that will actually work with the results that you want.
I was looking to make a wrap very similar to some commercial wraps that I had been given for my birthday which were thick pliable and slightly sticky, though I was hoping mine would have a bit more movement for getting a tight wrap around objects and stick together a bit more. So I joined with a good friend and we started experimenting. In this post I will be reviewing the 2 main techniques in making beeswax wraps; grated and premelted; and several different recipes and ratios, all to find out the best way for you to make them for yourself at home. Plus an added bonus of a print out of instructions for using the beeswax wraps for if you are gifting them to a friend.
Technique 1: Grated
For this technique a combination of beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil was used. The beeswax wax was grated over top of the wraps (4tbs grated for a small wrap) then 2 teaspoons of crushed pine resin (for the small wrap) was sprinkled over the top with a small drizzle of jojoba oil. It was then placed into the oven at 120°C and left to melt for 3-5minutes. It was then taken out and with a paintbrush quickly brushing the melted mixture around before it set. Once it cooled it hardened and we had to place it back in the oven several times for a minute to re-melt and again attempt to spread the ingredients properly. While all of it melted well in the oven it was difficult to spread out the ingredients and for them to combine appropriately on the wrap. This left the wrap sticky and crunchy in places from the pine resin and it wasn’t useable in the way that a wrap should be.
This technique does work if you are using 100% beeswax or have mixed ingredients that have already been premelted and set together.
I wouldn’t recommend this method due to the ingredients not appropriately combining on the wrap and I prefer a recipe with pine resin in it for extra stickiness rather than 100% beeswax. This leads to the second technique…
Technique 2: Premelted
At this point it was decided that jojoba oil didn’t make a significant difference to the wrap weighed up against the cost of it, so we changed to using coconut oil to add a very similar impact of making the wraps not as stiff and hard due to its lower melting point. This did mean we gave up the extra benefit of the jojoba oil being antibacterial however we figured that the beeswax properties were probably enough.
For this technique you need to have a metal bowl, tin or pot that you wont use for something else again, I used an empty glass coffee container. You need something old because you will find it difficult to remove all the mixture once it dries to the pot as there will always be some residue left over.
This was placed into a pot of water, or if you have a bowl put it on top over boiling water as a double boiler. Place all your ingredients (see later for ratios tested) in the pot and stir occasionally until it is all melted and combined. This can take a while if your beeswax isn’t in small pieces. Then simply drizzle you mixture over a wrap, it doesn’t matter if you spread it or not as it will melt again in the oven and spread out more. Melt it in the oven for 1-2minutes, remove and spread around mixture with a paintbrush to ensure all the material is covered. You can repeat the oven to melt again if required. When it was spread out and before it began to harden, lift up the wrap gently in 2 corners, hold to harden a little for approximately 30 seconds and then hang until dry. I hung mine on a clothes horse, alternatively you could have clothes line made up.
This method worked the best, all the ingredients properly melted together which allowed for easy combination on the wraps. As a result the wraps were consistent all over in terms of coverage and the same pliability with no crunchy and crumbly pieces that came off. The next part is perfecting the recipe to ensure your wraps functions how you want.
Recipe & Ratio 1: 2 parts beeswax :1 part resin : 0.5 part coconut oil
- 50gms of beeswax
- 25gms of pine resin
- 17gms of coconut oil
This recipe was extremely too sticky, smelt like the pine resin and left a lot of sticky reside on your hands after using. However we knew we were on the right track.
Recipe & Ratio 2: 4 parts beeswax : 1 part resin : 0.5 part coconut oil
- 100gms of beeswax
- 25gms pine resin
- 12gms coconut oil
This worked so much better, it was still very tacky and stuck together well and left less residue. However we felt it could still be a little less sticky and more waxy and so we tried the final recipe…
Recipe/ Ratio 3: 6 parts beeswax : 1 part resin : 1 part coconut oil
- 100gms beeswax
- 17gms pine resin
- 17gms coconut oil
This was the final recipe for is that we were happy with, perfectly tacky to stick on bowls and around vegetables while leaving minimal residue behind and having a waxy feel to it.
See below for a final recipe and method with bonus printable instructions on how to use wraps.
Makes 2 sets of 2 medium and 2 small wraps.
- 100gms beeswax
- 17gms pine resin
- 17gms coconut oil
- 100% cotton material
- Metal tray and baking paper
- Tin, jar or metal bowl
- Pinking scissors
- Clothes horse/line
- Optional: Stamp
1. Cut material 4 pieces of 17cm X 17cm and 4 pieces of 30cm X 25cm. Pick 100% cotton material that isn’t too thin that it won’t hold enough wax but is not too thick that it will be too hard to mold around things. Optional: Stamp your material and let dry.
2. Measure out your ingredients of beeswax, pine resin and coconut oil, place in a double boiler and let them melt, stirring occasionally.
3. Preheat oven to 120°C.
4. Place cotton wrap on baking tray covered with baking paper. Using a spoon drizzle the melted wax mixture over the wrap. It doesn’t need to completely cover the wrap as it will melt and spread out further. Don’t worry if it dries a bit or you put too much on as it will re-melt and leave behind excess wax on the baking paper when you lift it up.
5. Place the wrap in the oven for 1-3 minutes until the wax melts and spreads out a little. Remove from the oven and using the paint brush spread the melted wax out further.
6. Place back into the oven if the wax hardens too much before you need to pick up the wrap and dry it or if you need to re-melt for further spreading of the wax. You can add more wax too and melt again if there isn’t enough.
7. Remove the wax from the baking paper. Hold from corners with fingers or tongs, being careful not to burn yourself. Let it cool a little then hang from clothes horse or clothes line to let dry until cool.
8. Once cool, fold them up and store in a dry, dust free location and enjoy using them. If you’re packaging them up as a gift, add some instructions, there is a set below you can print off.
Enjoy! If you try this post, have any questions or feedback please post below in the comments section.