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DIY Reusable Food Wrap

Affiliate Disclosure | in Healthy Home | by | with 121 Comments

DIY Reusable Food Wrap

Reasons To ♥ Reusable Food Wrap

If you’re like me, there’s probably no love lost between you and plastic. But sometimes it’s just so convenient, right?

Sure, Pyrex glass storage containers are fantastic, but if you already have something in a container that doesn’t have a lid do you really want to transfer it to another dish? That’s one more dish to wash, so probably not.

If you’d rather not break out the single use wrap, either, you can make this ridiculously EASY reusable version. It keeps food fresh and is made with 100% biodegradable materials like beeswax and cotton.

Plus you can make it into these adorable snack bags!

DIY Reusable Snack Bags

There’s a tutorial for them at the bottom of this page.

Now, a few notes on reusable food wrap:

  • To use, just place over a bowl or container, wrap around food like cheese, or fold into a snack bag. The warmth from your hands will mold the wrap into the desired shape.
  • They can be washed with cold water and a mild soap ( I use castile soap)
  • Since they cannot be washed with hot water they are not recommended for meat
  • Items like cheese, vegetables, fruits, nuts, sandwiches, etc. can be wrapped up. Items that contain a lot of moisture (like jello) should not be placed in snack bags
  • Depending on how frequently they’re used they can last for up to a year. After that all you need to so is re-wax them in order to keep using them.

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DIY Reusable Food Wrap

Equipment:

  • beeswax (where to buy beeswax)
  • 100% cotton fabric. Need to be very thin, like a sheet. Organic muslin seems to work best.
  • scissors – pinking shears will prevent fraying (where to buy pinking shears)
  • paintbrush (can only be used for this purpose)
  • cheese grater
  • cookie sheet
  • tin foil
  • thread, needle, string and buttons (optional)
  • ruler or tape measure (optional)
  • oven
  • makeshift clothesline – binder clips make fantastic “clothes pins” if you don’t have any on hand

Directions:

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Step 1: Cut fabric into desired dimensions & grate beeswax

I made some 13×16 ones for my casserole dishes, 13×14 for large snack bags, plus a few smaller sizes for around the kitchen: 7×8 and 10×11

Step 2: Preheat oven to 185F

Step 3: Line cookie sheet with tin foil

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Step 4: Place fabric on cookie sheet and sprinkle beeswax over the top

A little goes a long way. While you’re getting a feel for how much to use it’s better to add too little than too much – you can always add more!

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Step 5: Bake until beeswax is fully melted

This should take between 5-10 minutes

Step 6: Using the paintbrush, spread beeswax evenly over the fabric

The paintbrush will harden when the wax dries – to reuse for more food wrap projects you can warm the bristles by placing it in the oven for a few minutes.

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Step 7: Hang sheets on makeshift clothesline to cool

Once they’re cool they’re ready to be used! To clean them wash with cold water and a mild soap ( I use castile soap)

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How To Make Reusable Snack Bags 

Step 1: Start with a 13×14 inch piece of reusable food wrap

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Step 2: Fold into thirds

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Step 3: Create flaps at the top and bottom

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Step 4: If desired, use pinking shears to trim the main flap into a more decorative shape.

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Step 5: Unfold the fabric and the sew buttons on

buttons

Step 6: Re-fold and tie string to one of the buttons.

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121 Responses to DIY Reusable Food Wrap

  1. Courtney says:

    awesome. I’ve had the bees wrap on my wish list but I have beeswax in the house and I’m going to try this! Thank you!

  2. Amy says:

    Hey these are great, I am 100% sure my Granny had something very similar to these. Beeswax is so affordable, especially with the multiple uses, and if you use repurposed fabric, you could make a ton of these in many sizes. I love the frugality!
    Just one question, though, how do you wash them? JUST KIDDING. 😉 My serious question is, what’s the best way to store these, do they get “flimsy” if it’s warm (summer)?

  3. Andie Paysinger says:

    Interesting. An excellent idea and demonstration.
    I have written on other forums about how we used to make waxed muslin when I was a child in the 1940s – in rural western Kentucky. My grandpa’s farm was fairly self-sufficient and while he was willing to spend money on anything needed, he believed the war effort was more important than certain things – such as waxed paper or any other item that was discarded instead of reusable.
    We had “napkin stretchers” for linen napkins (similar to the huge curtain stretchers for lace curtains) – just a wooden frame with pins all around the edges on which to hook the edges of the wet napkins – so they dried flat so ironing them was less of a chore.
    We also used the stretchers for unbleached muslin squares or rectangles and rubbed beeswax, which was in a big chunk, into the muslin, which was then ironed, usually it took me a couple of tries to get an even distribution because I was a child and didn’t have the strength of the women who worked in my grandma’s kitchen. They tolerated my “helping” but I did learn something.
    The test was when the cloth would hold water without leaking.
    Some longer lengths were formed into pouches, basted part way on each side – so the pouch could hold yeast dough with the pouch hung on the wall behind the big kitchen range.
    The young women who tended the chickens and brought in the eggs also made hooded short capes to wear when going out to the coops in the rain.
    I still use waxed muslin for some kitchen tasks and I also waxed one of my linen dough couches which I use exclusively for doughs that contain a lot of candied fruits and spices.

  4. Teresa says:

    What an interesting idea! I haven’t heard of doing this before. I’ll have to give it a try using an organic cotton, or some other non-chemical material. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Amy says:

    I recently found bees wax pelts on Amazon. That would eliminate a step. Just thought I would share.

  6. josie says:

    This looks awesome! Any suggestions for a vegan version?

    • Heather says:

      Not that I’m aware of, sorry!

    • amy says:

      What about carnauba, or soy wax? Or paraffin?

      • cynthia says:

        i was also wondering about a vegan alternative..just having looked at the 3 alternative waxes briefly, i would be inclined to try soy first. parrafin is derived from petroleum, coal or shale according to wiki. carnauba is used in car and surfboard was. sounds gross. soy – to me anyway, sounds like a more environmentally/vegan friendly choice. but wiki also says it has a lower melting temp. so you would have to let hot foods cool, which you want to do anyway before putting something in the fridge and store in a cool dry place. that’s just my 2cents. haven’t tried it yet.

        • Susan P says:

          95% of the soy crop in the USA is GMO. Do you really want GMO foods in your diet?

        • J says:

          Soybean oil (to make the wax) is made using hexane, a solvent derived from petroleum and crude oil. Soybean wax is hydrogenated. At the lower melt point I’d be careful that a soy wrap doesn’t touch any of your food, if you are wanting to avoid the chemical exposure of plastic wrap.

        • Kay says:

          Argentina has become a giant experiment in farming genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready (RR) soy, engineered to be tolerant to Roundup, Monsanto’s formulation of the herbicide glyphosate. In 2002, two years after the first big harvests of RR soy in the country, residents and doctors in soy producing areas began reporting serious health effects from glyphosate spraying, including high rates of birth defects as well as infertility, stillbirths, miscarriages, and cancers.

  7. Carbon Fast 2014: 2 Weeks In :: Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen says:

    […] best instructions I found come from Mommypotamus. I ordered the beeswax from Amazon (affiliate link), bought a cheap grater from the dollar store […]

  8. Melissa French, The More With Less Mom says:

    I pinned it! I am getting ready to make these. Hello from Anything Goes Linky.

  9. Top 10 Tips to be More GREEN! | says:

    […] DIY reusable food wrap, from Mommypotamus […]

  10. kate says:

    hi. great tips, thanks! i’m wondering about the jojoba oil someone mentioned. how would you add this? also, if i live in a hot climate you mentioned they can go flimsy. imagine this shortens the life of them a bit? thanks!

  11. 9 Unique DIY Homesteading Projects | Survival Life - Survival Life | Preppers | Survival Gear | Blog says:

    […] With a little beeswax and cotton fabric, you can make a reusable covering for food storage. Find the full instructions here. […]

  12. Kim says:

    Or you can purchase Abeego, the reusable food wrap infused with beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil. They come in flats as well as your snack packs. Plus abeego can last up to a year depending on how you treat them and is also 100% natural and compostable. http://abeego.com

  13. Raquel @ Good Bad Food says:

    My husband hates dealing with plastic wrap! Because of that, I most often do transfer foods into my pyrex dishes, but I still use the wrap on occasions where I have a large bowl of leftovers that doesn’t conveniently fit into a lidded bowl, or all my pyrex in already in use, etc.

    I’m going to have to try this at some point and see if it makes those occasions a little more pleasant than dealing with the hated plastic wrap.

  14. Kristen says:

    Will this work with soy wax instead of bees?

  15. Suzanne Lussier says:

    How do you store it and can it be folded?

  16. Jasmin and Naomi says:

    Hi my name is Jasmin and this is Naomi. We live in Torquay.We go to st Therese school.
    We are asking if you know any food that don’t have plastic wrappers. By the way we are kids.We would love
    Some advice.

  17. DIY Reusable Food Wrap (aka Goodbye Plastic) says:

    […] see detailed instructions on Mommypotamus, she’s pretty much the queen of sustainable living.. + she has instructions for snack-bags! […]

  18. maggie says:

    I think I will try this with paraffin! Should be cheaper to make.

  19. Lindsay says:

    This worked really well! Thank you! Be careful with the hot sheets and work quickly when hanging them up. Also, use an old cheese grater it’s messy to clean

  20. Carole says:

    I admit I didn’t read all the comments, but many people seem to be using the beeswax pellets from craft stores. These are intended to make candles and cosmetics and are not food safe. I think it would be better to use pure beeswax and grate it yourself.

  21. dana says:

    You got me started making beeswax candles and now I’m making beeswax body bars and creams. My husband now breaks up my six pound blocks of beeswax by placing it in a heavy plastic bag and dropping it on concrete. Learned by a happy accident. Lol

    This will be my newest project. But how do you clean them? *slapping my forehead*

    • Carol says:

      Hello,
      if you freeze the beeswax and put it into a bag, it shatters into little pieces when you hit it with a hammer or drop it.

  22. Denise says:

    Do you put the beeswax on one or both sides?

  23. Denise says:

    I tried with one side, which seems fine but I think they are too sticky! Maybe less oil?

  24. Jene says:

    Love this, but I found I’m getting an invalid url message each time I try to pin it or the Mighty Nest contest to my Pinterest boards. Anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions?

  25. Xian Hui says:

    Did anyone try to make one with jojobal oil and tree resin. I quote the creator of Abeego:

    “As the creator of Abeego I would like to say that sheet of fabric coated with beeswax will not have the same properties of an Abeego. Abeego is moldable, slightly adhesive, does not crack, has a much higher melting point and is resistant to both water and oiI. Beeswax on its own will not have these qualities. I encourage the DIY community to take action and find ways to avoid using plastic but please understand that the infusion used for Abeego is more complex then this project suggests. Happy waxing!

    Toni Desrosiers
    Abeego Designs”

    • Erica says:

      Haven’t tried it yet, but I would think you could mix your oils the same way you do for a salve. There are lots of online instructions for salves. Then shave onto the fabric and heat, as described here.
      If you have a good candy thermometer you could try to make a mix that melts above 200 F, which means you could use warm/hot water on it up to about 150 F without taking much of the wax off. A very messy project, but fun if that’s your thing. I think getting the Abeego ones will be easier on your kitchen if you have no interest in coating pots with a durable and sticky wax.

  26. Olivia Wright says:

    Hi Heather!
    I write for The Keeper Cup and we are currently writing a “Waste Less and
    Be Green in 2015” series. We are providing weekly tips towards being Zero
    Waste. I featured this food wrap DIY in a post recently and wanted to
    make sure you knew about it. The post can be found at
    http://keeper.com/waste-less-and-be-green-in-2015-week-11-challenge/
    Feel free to share it as you’d like :)

    Hope you enjoy the post and let us know if you’d ever want to do a post
    swap or write a guest post. I know our readers would love to hear from
    you!
    Thanks,
    Olivia

  27. Jaimee says:

    Hi,
    I love these wraps and use them often, thanks for sharing such a great idea, down with plastic!
    I’m wanting to make the snack wraps and stitch a wee button on as they look just so sweet, do you think I need to wax the cotton used for the button to ensure it lasts as long as the wrap itself?
    Thanks,
    Jaimee

  28. Suzanne says:

    Can they be made without the foil? Heat in foil breaks down the aluminum which comes of in minuscule flakes on whatever it touches (the wraps). It’s really not recommended around heat and food.

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