Here we are … February 15 which is Family Day in Canada. Although for some of you with little ones, this pandemic lock down may have felt like Family Year!
If you are looking for something to occupy some time either for yourself or the little ones (depending on their age, they may require supervision), here is a great activity that also benefits the environment.
Bees wax wraps are a great alternative to plastic food wrap. Beeswax is natural glazing agent that can be used in food to prevent water loss and provide protection during storage. It is often used to prevent water loss and retard shrinkage and spoilage in fruit and cheese. It has anti-microbial properties that may prevent the spoilage of food products.
While you can use 100% natural bees wax, it is prone to cracking. It is better to use a mixture of bees wax, jojoba oil and pine resin. The jojoba oil has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties but it also creates a pliable hand to the wrap. The pine resin provides the tackiness so the wrap can to stick to itself or to a container.
Here is what you need.
- a household iron (instead of using my expensive pressing iron, I picked up a cheap one from a second hand store. All you need is heat, no steam or any other fancy feature)
- a baking tray
- 2 sheets of parchment paper about the size of your baking tray
- various sizes of 100% cotton fabric. Most useful sizes are 25cm x 25cm (10″ sq), 35cm x 35cm (14″sq) and 45cm x 45cm (18″ sq) Fat quarters are handy too!
- bees wax/jojoba oil/resin cubes. Our Life is a Banquet blocks are pre-mixed so you don’t have to guess ratios.
Plug in the iron to the hottest temperature. No steam!
Put one piece of parchment paper in the baking tray.
Fold up your fabric so that it’s slightly bigger than the face of the iron.
Start with a block of wax in opposite corners of the folded fabric.
Lay the second piece of parchment paper on top.
Place the heated iron on top of the parchment paper and wait for the wax blocks to melt. Move the iron around to spread the liquid wax.
Remove the top parchment paper and check how the wax has melted.
Repeat the process where more wax may be required.
Unfold your fabric (just don’t burn your fingers!) and voila. Your finished bees wax wrap.
After repeated use, your bees wax wrap will lose its tackiness. Revive it (or any other bees wax wrap) by repeating the above process.
If you wish to make a bag, I would suggest using 2 strips of parchment paper – one against your machine bed and the other under the sewing foot. This helps feed your fabric easier through the machine. I used a slightly longer stitch (about a 3) so I can easily rip out the paper.
If and when your bees wax wrap is no longer useful, it can be composted in your back yard. Or keep it for your summer or winter camp fires as it makes an effective fire starter.