If you are trying to reduce how much single-use plastic wrap you use, opt for reusable beeswax food covers. These eco-friendly wraps are made from fabric coated in beeswax and each one will last up to a year. Plus, they're easy to make—no sewing required!

By Sarah MartensEmily VanSchmus and Kim Hutchison
Updated February 26, 2021
Read step by step instructions after the video.

Beeswax food wraps are easy to make, and you can customize them to fit your food storage needs. Choose your own fabric and cut them to fit your most-used containers or typical lunch foods. This earth-friendly product is just as easy and convenient to use as plastic sandwich bags or plastic wrap, and better for the environment. Once you coat your fabric wraps in the beeswax mixture, they can be reused between 100-150 times; all you have to do is wipe them down with soap and water after each use. Plus, you can cut them up and put them in your compost bin when it's time to replace them.

  • Working time 30 mins
  • Start to finish 1 hr
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Prep fabric wraps

Choose a fabric you like and use pinking shears to cut it into the desired size and shape. When choosing shapes, think about what you'll be using the wrap for; circular wraps work best for covering stored leftovers in the fridge, while square or rectangular pieces make it easy to wrap up a sandwich for lunch. Be sure to cut the fabric a few inches larger than the surface you want to cover; if you're covering a bowl that's 6 inches in diameter, we recommend cutting an 8-inch circle. 

Since you don't need much fabric for these (and they don't all have to match!), this is a great way to use scraps you may have leftover from your easy sewing projects. If you plan to compost the fabric later, use all-natural or 100 percent cotton fabric. 

melted jar of beeswax in pot of water beeswax sticks
Step 2

Melt wax

Adding a layer of beeswax to your wraps will give the fabric a naturally water-resistant coating that won't absorb food or moisture. To add beeswax to your fabric wraps, you'll need to melt it first. Fill a saucepan half full with water and place the glass jar in the pan. Add 3 tablespoons of pine resin and 4 tablespoons (or 2 ounces) of beeswax. The pine resin helps the wrap stick to food and storage containers. We found beeswax pellets were easiest to measure and use but you can also buy beeswax bars. Simply grate the bars and measure the shavings.

On medium heat, melt the resin and wax, stirring occasionally. After the mix has melted, add 1 teaspoon jojoba oil and stir. This helps keep your wraps pliable. Remove from heat and move immediately to the fabric. This mixture will cover about 24 square inches of fabric. 

melted beeswax applied to circle of fabric
ironing beeswax fabric
placing beeswax fabric between pressing sheets
Step 3

Add wax to fabric

When the beeswax mixture is melted and fully combined, prepare to brush it on to each fabric wrap. Prepare your work surface by laying down a large sheet of crafts paper and then place a large sheet of parchment paper on top of it. Lay out your fabric wrap on the parchment paper.

Brush the wax mixture onto the fabric. If the mixture hardens while you're brushing the wraps, simply return it to the heat until it has re-melted. Once covered, lay an extra piece of parchment over the fabric and iron over the parchment paper on medium heat. Push the wax around until it's evenly distributed over the fabric.

When you're done ironing, peel the top layer of parchment paper off and carefully remove the waxed fabric from the bottom layer of parchment paper. Let the wrap cool and wait until it is completely dry before using.

folding fabric over avocado side angle
Step 4

Wrap and store food

When your wraps are cool and dry, you can use them to store or wrap food items. The warmth of your hands will soften the wraps so you can form it for a good seal on any shape container or food in your lunch box

You can use these reusable food wraps with most food items, but be sure they never come in contact with raw meat. They're simple to wash too; just use lukewarm water and soap. Let them dry completely after each wash. You'll be able to use each wrap between 100-150 times before they need to be replaced. You can make your whole mealtime routine more earth-friendly by implementing a few of our best eco-friendly kitchen ideas

Related: Make a DIY Fabric Utensil Wrap 

Comments (1)

How difficult was this project?
August 28, 2019
Difficulty: Kind of Easy
I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to. Your instructions don't tell whether to brush the melted beeswax on one side of the fabric, or both.

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