This project has been the most fun and it can be a little addictive! We are all seeking alternatives to plastic, not just to reduce the mountains of plastic waste – as well as making something more sustainable and cost effective. These wraps can be made from scraps of fabric left over from projects or you can purchase some plain cotton cloth. It works best on thin cotton, used for patchwork.
To make a cloth you will need,
You lay the baking parchment on your tray (believe me you need a tray! I did it the first time and ended up with beeswax running all over my ironing board!)
Lay your fabric wrong side facing and sprinkle the beeswax over the fabric, lightly.
Lay the parchment over the top and using a medium to hot iron begin to slowly work from the centre outwards.
You will see the wax change to a runny consistency and you can see the fabric slowly change colour as it soaks up the wax.
Keep working until all the fabric is covered.
This is far too much beeswax, when you iron on it it will leak everywhere! Not only that the wax is quite difficult to press under the iron.
You end up with too much wax and the fabric looks messy. The great thing about this project is that there is no waste!
Simply place this fabric between the baking parchment and let your iron slowly work the wax into liquid form. Move the wax away from the fabric and keep going until the fabric looks soaked and there is no excess of wax around it.
You can do longer pieces in sections, moving across the fabric slowly. As long as you keep your baking parchment between the iron and the wax it will be fine.
The wax cools very quickly, when you peel the fabric off the baking parchment it will feel like oil cloth – it is quite stiff.
This is why it is best to use lightweight fabrics, heavier cottons such as furnishing fabric – takes more wax and makes the fabric stiffer.
I use some pinking shears to finish off the edges after the waxing, it makes a nice neat finish. You can see the texture of the fabric in this close up shot.
The advantage these beeswax cloths have over clingfilm is that there is no transference of chemicals. Cheese is particularly vulnerable to picking up the chemicals in plastic.
The beeswax wraps are also washable, just use warm soapy water, (not hot) and use again.
The wax cloths are also very mouldable – use the warmth of your hands to smooth the wax around the object. I found this large wrap kept bread fresh.
These wraps also make a wonderful wrapping for some trickier gifts, without the need for sellotape. Not only do you cut down on wasted paper but the recipient has a useful object to keep food well.
This is a very cost effective project, using scraps of fabric and off cuts and the beeswax goes a long way.
You can get soy candle wax if you prefer – this wax came yellow and it has given the fabric a creamy colour – maybe there are uncoloured wax suppliers out there.
Do try and make your own – how often do you get to have fun and save the planet all at once?