How To Make Bees Wax Wraps!

Sep 13, 2018

We’ve been using beeswax wraps for quite a while now and like them so much we decided to start making our own.  We’ve tried two approaches, the first just 100% beeswax from our beehives and the second with beeswax, pine resin and olive oil.  The wax and resin makes a  better wrap, albeit with a bit more work… Tally ho, here’s what we did.

Beeswax is harvested from our bees.  We melt the harvested wax with water then sieve through a sieve then muslin.  Let set and drain off the water, This leaves fairly clean beeswax. You can also just go buy some.

That yucky wax and cappings and occasionally dead bee turns into clean wax, ready to be grated.

Frida – getting in on the action 🙂

100% Beeswax Wrap

We experimented with simply grating beeswax on some cloth and putting it in the oven.  Simple, a beeswax wrap.

This works, however it’s not as sticky as we’d like it, being unable to mould and stick to complex shapes.  That said, its good enough to keep a blue cheese in a carefully colour-coded blue wrap.

The Pine Resin (rosen) Wrap

Enter the beeswax and resin wrap.  Mixing beeswax, pine resin and a bit of olive oil creates a superior wrap.  The method is fairly strait forward.

  • 5 parts beeswax
  • 5 parts rosin
  • 1 part olive oil (or jojoba oil)

Pine Resin is  the sap of pine trees that is used as part of its healing process.  You can harvest your own which we tried by visiting various pine trees in the hood and scraping dried globules of wax.  It was pretty slow going for me (not that many pine trees around here) and harvested around 50 grams in an hour.  At some point, I decided to go and buy some from the art supply store for $50 for 500 grams. Enough to last us a loooong time.

The wax, resin and olive oil is is placed in a jar or saucepan in a double boiler (another saucepan of water).  It takes a few hours for the whole mass to incorporate.  The pine resin forms a toffee like texture for a while before dissolving into the wax.

Once the mixture is melted and combined it can be used immediately or stored for later, simply re-melt at a later point.

Fun Fact – beeswax and pine resin makes ….pine salve, apparently good for wounds and abrasions

The fabric.  We searched the material box and also scoured the tip-shop for nice cotton scraps (thanks to our friend Tom who works there).  We washed the cotton and dried each piece of material.

To apply the wax mixture we used a paint brush to paint onto the cotton.  Under each section of cotton we put some greaseproof paper to stop it sticking to the table.

On some materials the wax mixture did not penetrate the material.  We placed each wrap in the oven at 100 degrees C for around 5 minutes.  This let the wax mix fully into the wrap.

Afterwards we trimmed the rough edges of the wraps to clean them up a bit

How cool is this stuff.  Its tacky, its sticky, it moulds to shape and holds in place.  Oh, it smells kinda nice too, a bit like a sauna 😊  Maybe we should make some for christmas presents?

your thoughts:

18 Comments

  1. Lyn

    Fantastic, great tutorial.
    I will make some now😃

    Reply
    • Cheryl Fritze

      Thank you! Thanks to you and your lovely child for sharing this how to. Seems like a nice project to do with the daughter’s-law!

      Reply
  2. Marie

    Thanks! What’s the best way to wash them? 🙂

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Jut warm soapy water – like you wash the rest of your dishes in the sink 🙂

      Reply
      • Gemma Wilson

        How long will they last with regular washing?
        Thanks

        Reply
        • Hannah Moloney

          We’ve had ours for around 2 years and they’re still working well. We just wash them gently by hand in warm soapy water.

          Reply
  3. Su-lee Ling

    Kool-kool, might give that a burl..💫
    There’s nil issues w pine rosin & lingering fragrance in food? (Love the smell, but not so sure in my food-?!☺️)

    Also, do you think it’s poss to re-wax some beeswax wraps I have, that are a bit tired now-after much use..

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      There’s definitely no transference of any smell into the food – it’s a very mild smell :-). We haven’t tried re-waxing wraps yet, but I suspect it would work well.

      Reply
  4. Cass Rea

    Plasticwise Taroona use this recipe. They melt the mixture in an old slow cooker and found some plate warmers at the tip so you can paint on the melted solution slowly. They do school groups so that works well. Their wraps are fantastic.
    Their recipe
    1kg beeswax to 340gms resin to 30mls jojoba oil. We get resin from a couple of different retailers – natures mix and gold leaf!

    Reply
      • Emily

        Hi Cass, I’m wanting to make these with my environment class at school. Can I chat with you or someone re the process with school groups? I was just going to wing it but it might be good to get some tips from someone who has done it with kids first. Emily 🙂

        Reply
    • Lizzy

      Great recipe – how many wraps does this quantity make approximately?

      Reply
      • Hannah Moloney

        Not sure Lizzy, just have a go and let us know 🙂

        Reply
  5. Hilary

    thankyou for this! i wonder if other resin, like acacia, might also work. it’d be much easier to source…

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Not sure Hilary :-). Let me know how you go if you try it!

      Reply
  6. Cheryl

    Could you use propolis from the beehive? It’s made of tree resin.

    Reply
  7. Asha

    Can any one help me out?
    How many wraps would a kg of beeswax make?
    If they’re around 25cm square of fabric?

    Reply

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