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DIY Reusable Food Wrap

Affiliate Disclosure | in Healthy Home | by | with 112 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.


DIY Reusable Food Wrap


  • 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



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


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!


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.


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)


How To Make Reusable Snack Bags 

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


Step 2: Fold into thirds


Step 3: Create flaps at the top and bottom


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


Step 5: Unfold the fabric and the sew buttons on


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


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112 Responses to DIY Reusable Food Wrap

  1. What a neat idea! I just may need to give this a whirl one day :)

    • janet ormerod says:

      hi could you melt the beeswax in the microwave then brush on ?

      • Erica says:

        Beeswax probably doesn’t have enough water content for the microwave to heat it effectively. You might be able to heat water in the microwave, then put the beeswax in a water-bath to melt it. Beeswax in a small dish, with a larger dish of hot water under it, like you do when baking single-serve puddings.
        But I think the oven method suggested above is probably the most effective. Or you could use a metal tray over a catering-style chafing dish heater (rack with large candles under it), if you don’t have an oven.

  2. Kari says:

    This is just what i needed!! i just discovered your blog and feel like you are the copy of myself that i have been needing to do and research all the thing i want and need to do in my life. i appreciate the research and depth of information included in the posts, it aligns with my way of thinking and life philosophies. i will be overhauling my laundry methods next weekend and making a series of these!

  3. LOVE this Heather. Pinning and sharing!!!

  4. Tina says:

    This looks simple enough! I hate using baggies, but sometimes, I just don’t feel like adding more dirty dishes to my already over-flowing pile. These might come in handy.

  5. Laura says:

    Looks like there is this last plastic wrap roll in my kitchen drawer:D Time to make one more effort towards losing plastic from my life(: Thanks, what a great idea!

  6. How do you clean them after use? I love them!

  7. Monica says:

    I don’t know how you always find new, interesting things to post about! Thank you, I’ll be making these soon!

  8. Denise Stone Benner via FB says:

    My grandmothe used a cotton cloth dipped in vinegar for her cheeses :) I will do this as well :)

  9. Lori says:

    Can you wash these food covers ?

    • Heather says:

      Yes, you can wash them in cool water with a bit of castile soap, then pat dry.

      • Kermit says:

        Love it!

        You might also wash in water with a small amount of bleach. (1tbs bleach in one gallon of cold water) Wash and let dry without a rinse.

      • Chelsea Breda says:

        Hi Heather I hope this isn’t a silly question! I’m really looking for something that I can just throw in my washing machine. I would like to know if you think it would be a good idea to do this method for food wrap or wrapping up a sandwich by securing it with safteypins / clips without doing the step of the beeswax? Do you think food will stay fresh in the refrigerator wrapped up without The beeswax, if I double layered the cloth? I have tons of cotton baby receiving blankets that are flannel. I already cut up many of them to make cloth baby wipes and kitchen cleaning wipes. Do you think that these blankets would work without the beeswax to wrap food in? I would really appreciate your feedback and this before I start cutting these blankets up LOL :-) thank you!

        • Heather says:

          Hi Chelsea, I think that would work to a degree – veggies are sometimes wrapped in cloth in the crisper for this purpose – but it won’t work as well because the beeswax helps maintain proper moisture levels :)

        • Erica says:

          I’d be concerned about the flannel leaving fuzz on/in some foods, and about it drying out too fast.

          My grandmother (who remembers when wax paper came out) said that before that, their lunch pail was literally a pail, usually with a towel or napkin over it to keep flies off the food. The pail, being waterproof, would protect the food’s moisture content somewhat. They didn’t cut up apples for the kids to take to school – whole apples last fine without wrappers. Same with potatoes, carrots, or other whole foods. Sandwich rolls held up better than sliced bread, etc. But it was also the Depression, and you were happy to HAVE a lunch.
          Earlier than that, I’ve heard the cheese crust on French onion soup was an early form of edible plastic wrap. Not recommended for little Johnny’s lunchbox if he is accustomed to carefree banging around. But a Grilled cheese sandwich might be more appealing and dry out less quickly than a sliced-bread sandwich, for example. Pocket breads can also work well if the filling is the right moisture content (not too soggy, but enough moisture to keep the bread from drying to a hard crust).

          In modern times, you can probably find a re-usable synthetic fabric that would not wick moisture as fast as cotton. I might consider a rip-stop nylon. I don’t know if anybody rates them for food-grade safety – as with plastics, I’d avoid using synthetic fabrics around greasy food items or for re-heating, as the grease might pick up some of the synthetic molecules from the plastic/fabric. But nylon washers are used in the plumbing for kitchen sinks, so it’s on the spectrum of being reasonably safe.
          Natural fibers that might work would include smooth-weave silk, or maybe that bamboo cloth (it’s processed so heavily, it’s basically the same thing as nylon in terms of ecological impact).

        • Therese Bizabishaka says:

          You can purchase or make your own waterproof machine washable food bags from food grade PUL a material used in modern cloth nappies. You can purchas food grade PUL from PUL Fabric Fanatic. Just sew into desired size with good quality nylon thread and close with a zipper or button and tie.

  10. Melinda Poehlmann via FB says:

    I have some of these that a friend made me last year! I love them :)

  11. Meredith says:

    Wonderful! We try to avoid plastic wraps and baggies, but every once in a while it’s too convenient to resist. Rookie crafter that I am, I would love to try these.

    Heather, any online sources of organic cotton? Our local fabric stores don’t carry anything organic and I have been searching. Thanks!

    • Sabrina says:

      You can buy organic cotton fabric from: (gorgeous prints in organic quilting cotton, plus organic solids) (cheap source for plain, unbleached, undyed muslin)

      Look for GOTS or oeko-tex certified, because it goes beyond organic into the processing and dying of the cotton.

      You can also get organic beeswax, but it’s harder to find. Try etsy, and scrupulously interview the seller. Make sure it’s from USDA certified bee operations, in order to prevent wax that’s impregnated with fungicides and worse to be next to your food. Many pesticides are fat-soluble, which means that they are gathered by the bees from foraging activity, and end up in the wax. Better not to eat them.

  12. @Melinda. can you share how you clean them?

  13. Amanda Iden Howell via FB says:

    This is just unbelievable to me, didn’t know it was possible! Awesome!!

  14. I like the idea But wouldn’t the wax crack and fall off the material after it dries?

    • Aly says:

      No, the beeswax soaks into the fibers of the fabric. But washing in hot water will remove the a good portion of the beeswax making the wraps air permeable

  15. Susie Ann via FB says:

    My Mother made these in the 50’s! Brings back memories.

  16. Lori Nanson Korell via FB says:

    can you wash them ?

  17. Angela says:

    Does the food wrap *stick*. Does the beeswax have the ability to make any kind of seal with the tops of bowls, etc?

    I’m excited to make this, btw.


  18. Brauners Castile soap and cool water, kitchen clothes line dry

  19. What an excellent idea! I hate using plastic wrap… but sometimes you just need it. Until now. ;) My mother recently gave me my grandmother’s old sewing basket (FULL of cool stuff, much of which I can’t identify)… and it included piking shears! No lie, I’ve been *looking* for a project to use them on!
    Thanks for this!
    ~ Christine

  20. Margaret Ruby via FB says:

    i made these with an iron and parchment paper over, but this oven way seems better, less messy. i handwash them gently, and air-dry. if wax its too thick they will crack, and eventually they do need re-waxing.

    • Aly says:

      I found the iron method spreads and coats the fabric in a uniform layer better. But then I have a separate ironing board cover now (just for making these) since the wax did soak into the cover and pad. And you have to wipe the hot iron with paper towels or some spare extra fabric you intend to make into future wraps to get all the beeswax off the iron. – my husband irons his own work shirts (his work shirts cost way too much to starch with beeswax!) so now I have a cheap-o iron just for my wrap project to make more. (bridal and christmas presents too!)
      Learning curve bumps

  21. Melissa Stennis via FB says:

    So the beeswax makes it stick? Is it washable?

  22. Mary Venable via FB says:

    NickandBecky Gehm – this made me think of you!

  23. How do you store them ,don’t they stick together ? How long do they last ? Do you re wax them over time ? Or just make new ones ? More information needed . But I do like they idea .

    • Michelle says:

      Heather says hers lasted about a year. After that, she said you can rewax them to keep using them. As far as storage, maybe store them in a container with wax paper between them. I haven’t made these yet, so I’m not sure how sticky they are.

      • Aly says:

        I keep mine in a large waxed cloth bag I made just for that purpose, folded and ready to grab easily in a drawer

  24. Kelly says:

    will be so liberating to get rid of plastic baggies!! Huge thanks!!

  25. I love the idea! I’m going to make these as a birthday present for my boyfriends ma. ^Same questions as Shirley, though. What’s the best way to store them and how often do you re-wax yours? If they do crack could you just stick them back in the oven & thin it out?
    (I just ordered my beeswax, I’m really excited!)

  26. Savanah Miller via FB says:

    Ooh Brittany

  27. This looks great but would be little too a ambitious of a project for me at this point in my life! I would, however, be interested in buying these ready-made from someone! Know of anyone who makes and sells these?? I’m guessing Etsy would be a good place to start…but I love getting recommendations for vendors!

  28. Kimberly Nelson via FB says:

    Candace, these are similar to Abeego wraps, but the Abeego’s work a little better (if you can afford them) they are a bit stickier. There’s also Bee’s Wrap which is similar to Abeego.

  29. Kendra Weigen via FB says:

    If you were putting things like raisins, cookies, crackers or nuts inside the reusable bags would you really need the beeswax?

  30. Mary Sprague Crockett via FB says:

    Your link isn’t working for me :(

  31. Megan Stoiber – They can be folded and stored in a basket on the counter for easy access. The amount of time needed before re-waxing depends on use, but it can be 6 months to a year. I think you could possibly thin it out by reheating the sheets, but for best results I recommend taking the “less is more” approach and adding some if needed.

  32. Margaret Winn via FB says:

    Very cool!

  33. Reagan Mikki Foor Hutchison via FB says:

    Sarah Buehrle

  34. I sell tbese on my website! They’re called Bees Wraps. The maker of those uses jojoba oil as well. They smell wonderful and are a fantastic solution.

    • Aly says:

      I love love love your Beeswraps! And it was crazy fun to learn to make. But yours are the best and I now admire your hard work and ingenious product!

    • Erica says:

      I was wondering about using other oils – old-fashioned oilcloth (for sailors’ all-weather gear, e.g.) used beeswax plus another more flexible oil. I might try mixing the beeswax with something a little softer like coconut oil or even a small amount of olive oil, to get that more flexible finish. Like first make a salve with food-grade oils, then apply to the cloth as described.

      I’m also wondering about whether they can be used with cured meats, since the cure would help reduce spoilage.
      One of those things I have to learn with non-disposables is to be on top of things and not LET them get to the totally-nasty spoilage stage. I guess a wax wrap could be boiled and re-waxed, or shredded and burned in the wood stove, if it got trapped in one of my back-of-the-fridge disasters. There’s a natural life cycle for any re-usable cloths or rags; they are durable, but do not last forever.

  35. Zoe Tom via FB says:

    4myEarth has these.

  36. Johanna Zummallen via FB says:

    Love it! When I shared it an ad for a dehydrator popped up. Thought you would want to know.

  37. These look great, but how do you clean them? Hand wash and hang dry? Machine wash cold, hang dry? Cleaning and care advice would be very helpful. Thank you :)

  38. Zoya Raysberg Bellman says:

    These look great, but how do you clean them? Hand wash and hang dry? Machine wash cold, hang dry? Cleaning and care advice would be very helpful. Thank you :)

  39. Cara Thompson Owens via FB says:

    Can they just be thrown in the washing machine? Dryer?

  40. Wash in cold with a mild soap (like castille)

  41. Tori says:

    Can I use the beeswax pastilles? And maybe you might make an update to the bottom of the actual post about cleaning them so you don’t h e to keep answering tht question? Or clarify the instructions a teeny bit in the original post? It’s a very popular question! ;)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Tori, yes beeswax pastilles will work just fine. And though I did include cleaning instructions in the middle of the post I think I’ll take your suggestion and put it in a second time – it is a very popular question!

  42. Amanda Osenga says:

    Do you think bamboo, hemp or silk fabric would work ok?

  43. Sometimes I put a plate over the bowl instead of wrap. My small plates fit perfectly and I don’t miss the cling.

  44. Katarina Johansson says:

    I didn’t know about this. Make sure you are using eco fabric as well, since a lot of dyes and chemicals are used in the process to make fabric. I am just too lazy, so I just put a plate on whatever bowl or plate that goes into the fridge to save food. A good way to stack things too since it all get sturdy! I have lots of plates, so there’s always enough! lol

    • rita penner says:

      I do this too. Isn’t it an excellent way? I love the stacking advantage too. :)
      I know I shouldn’t say negative things, but I find it annoying how many people have clearly not read the post properly. It’s mentioned twice that these clothes are washed using castille soap and not hot water. There are at least 10 people asking how to wash the beeswax soaked cotton cloths.

  45. Reem Ossama says:

    Thank you so much for these lovely ideas that you post to share with us,I want to ask if these wraps can be used for the freezer as well. If not please ..please find for us another way to store food in the freezer.

    • Heather says:

      Reem, I have never tried using them in the freezer but I doubt they would fare very well. I use plastic baggies lined with wax paper. Not the best I know, but I use the same baggies over and over since they don’t come in contact with the food.

      • BrandiC says:

        Wide mouth jars work well in the freezer. Make sure they are wide mouth. I use glass and just leave enough room so anything wet inside can expand, but they do make plastic freezer jars you can buy at the store. Reusable plastic peanut butter jars might be an option too.

  46. Alisha says:

    This is amazing!!! I’m all over this!!! I hate plastic wrap and this seems like an amazing substitute.

  47. Cait says:

    I am so excited to make these! I have wanted Beeswrap for a long time, but had a hard time giving in to the price. I thought about trying it myself but it will be so nice to have an actual tutorial!

  48. Elisabeth says:

    Hi there Heather,
    My friend and I just made these today! They turned out uber sweet, and we had a ball, its hot here in Australia and they work perfectly….thanks its great. We use plates to cover food but this is just perfect!

  49. 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!

  50. 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)?

  51. 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.

  52. 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!

  53. Amy says:

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

  54. 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.

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

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

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

  58. 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!

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

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. Kristen says:

    Will this work with soy wax instead of bees?

  63. Suzanne Lussier says:

    How do you store it and can it be folded?

  64. 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.

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

  66. maggie says:

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

  67. 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

  68. 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.

  69. 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*

  70. Denise says:

    Do you put the beeswax on one or both sides?

  71. Denise says:

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

  72. 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?

  73. 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.

  74. 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
    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

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