How to Make Beeswax Wraps | Make Your Own Eco-friendly Plastic Free Alternative


This post contains affiliate links, this means at no extra cost to you, we make a tiny commission from sales. Please read our Disclosure Statement

One of the biggest game changers in our plastic free kitchen adventure was discovering how to make beeswax wraps. Plastic wrap, cling film, gladwrap – whatever you want to call it, it is everywhere. We use it to wrap sandwiches, fruit, snacks, leftovers, take-a-plates, cheese, baking, you name it, we can wrap it.

Unfortunately, once plastic wrap is created, we are stuck it forever. Sea life thinks it is food, other animals choke on it and it probably isn’t good for us to wrap our food in either, let’s be honest.

BUT there is an alternative! DIY Beeswax food wraps!

These are a beeswax, tree rosin and oil infused cloth, that self-adheres, is reusable and can come in any pattern or size you like. In fact, the beeswax-infused cloth is better for storing food in because it also breathes so your food won’t sweat. No more slimy soggy cheese edges or squishy avocado.

I have made several versions of the DIY beeswax wraps before I found a combination of ingredients that worked well.

Fabric Required to Make your Own DIY Beeswax Wraps

The first time I made beeswax wraps, I used straight beeswax on calico cotton. The wax wasn’t pliable enough on its own and didn’t stick to itself either, it just cracked and the calico cotton was just too thick and heavy.

You need a cotton that is thin and flexible, like bed sheets. Light 100% cotton quilting fabric works well and comes in the most fantastic patterns.

These beeswax wraps include damar resin (you can substitute it for pine tree resin if you prefer) which add to the durability of the wax, and adds the sticky factor to it.

The beeswax food wraps also include jojoba oil which is a natural anti-microbial oil and it also adds to the flexibility of the wrap. You can substitute it for any food-safe oil if you prefer, but it won’t have the same anti-microbial effect.

Why we use Jojoba Oil in making Beeswax Wraps

Jojoba oil plays a dual role when making beeswax wraps

  1. It helps keep the coating soft and supple
  2. It is a natural antebacterial oil that is also food safe. 

Why we use Tree Resin / Damar Resin or Pine resin making Beeswax Wraps

You can use a few different types of tree resin for making beeswax wraps. I prefer to use damar resin as it is not as strong smelling as pine resin, it won’t taint your food like pine resin might. 

Damar resin has multiple uses – artists use it as a paint base, so you can often find it at art stores. Damar resin is also used in food glazes and is considered food-safe.

Related: Caring for your beeswax wraps properly

How to Make Beeswax Wraps

YOU NEED:
100g Beeswax (3.5oz)
20g Damar resin (.7oz) or Pine rosin
3 teaspoons (15ml/.5 fluid ounce) Jojoba oil
6 squares of light, woven cotton, pre washed and dried 30x30cm (12x12in).
An old pot, old clean paintbrush (or new cheap one), tinfoil, mortar and pestle or some way of crushing the resin.

If you are in NZ and making your beeswax wraps, try finding beeswax and jojoba oil here and Damar resin here.

METHOD:
Chop up your beeswax into chunks and place in an old pot.
Crush the resin in a mortar and pestle and add to the wax.

So today I was lazy and didn't chop or crush, it worked, but it would have been much easier if the pieces were smaller

So today I was lazy and didn’t chop or crush, it worked, but it would have been much easier if the pieces were smaller

Melt over a medium heat and stir intermittently until all melted together.
Add the jojoba oil and stir well.

beeswax-cover-08

Turn your oven on to 100C (200F) to pre-warm.

Cut your fabric to size. I prefer to use pinking shears to help stop the fraying, but I don’t own any so today it was straight cuts.

beeswax-cover-07

It is not a trick, these are bigger than stated, I wanted some large ones for platters for the festive season. These are ‘fat quarters’ 50x52cm.

Line your bench with tinfoil and lay your fabric on top of it.

beeswax-cover-06

With your old paint brush paint one side of the fabric with the wax mixture.

Try and get it even-ish, it cools fairly quickly and heating it in the oven helps even it out.

Try and get it even-ish, it cools fairly quickly and heating it in the oven helps even it out.

Place the tinfoil and fabric onto a tray and pop in the oven for 5 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and check the wax is now evenly soaked through to the back. If it has not, return it to the oven for 3 more minutes, adding more wax if required.

See here the dark patch is where the wax has soaked through, the rest has not yet soaked through.

See here the dark patch is where the wax has soaked through, the rest has not yet soaked through.

Here you can see it is totally soaked through with the wax

Here you can see it is totally soaked through with the wax. Once the back is evenly coated carefully remove the beeswax wrap from the foil and hang it somewhere for about 3 minutes to set. I use tongs to pick it up with, though it cools very quickly, sometimes I use my fingers and just wave it in the air a bit to set it.

CLEAN UP TIP – wipe your pot out with paper towels/rags before attempting to wash it.

beeswax-cover-03

Now it is ready to use.

beeswax-cover-04

After Care for your Beeswax Wrap

Wash in cool water with a mild soap. Do not put in the washing machine. This coating should last 6-12 months of regular use. If you notice it is starting to lose it’s stick, place in a medium oven on a foil lined tray for 5-8 minutes to re-distribute the wax. It will eventually need a proper re-coat of the wax mixture.

For more information on caring for your wraps click here.

ADVANCED LEVEL: Sew little pockets/envelopes and then coat them in the wax mixture to make little snack bags for nuts and raisins etc.

All seem like too much work? You can buy these already made here:

Got any questions? What do you use instead of plastic wrap? Let me know in the comments below!

Like this? Please Pin and Share with your friends!

Make your own beeswax wraps as an eco-friendly alternative to clingfilm or plastic wrap. This recipe uses jojoba oil and beeswax to make a nice clingy wrap. how to make beeswax wraps, diy, make at home, zero waste kitchen

Make you own beeswax wraps an alternative to clingfilm or plastic wrap

69 thoughts on “How to Make Beeswax Wraps | Make Your Own Eco-friendly Plastic Free Alternative”

  1. Can I ask please if you put 1 fabric piece in the oven at a time or if you can layer them up ? I have bought all the bits and cut the fabric just need to get on and make them now!!! Thank you in advance for your help

    • Hi Emma, I have done both in the past. It depends on your fabric – some colours bleed, these ones are best done alone! I will often stack 2-3 of the same fabric and bake them all at once.

  2. Hii
    I have been making beeswax wrapping that is a small bussines.I used your reciepes.First it was perfect the wrong thing is not sticky than I increased pine rosin half beeswax/half pine rosin It is better even though it wasn’t sticky.
    The other problem is It smells very strong.Some consumer is very unhappy from this.Could you please help me ?What can be done?
    Sincerely

  3. Hi, your post keeps popping up on my Pinterest page, which is great. Good helpful article. One thing, please could you correct your spelling of ‘commercial’. Thanks

  4. Hello Dana
    I’ve had fun making these wraps and learning as I go. The first batch I made, i followed your recipe exactly but used pine resin. The wraps didn’t stick to themselves but were stiff enough. Today I doubled the resin and they are much better. I live in a very dry and cold climate, at a fairly high elevation (1045m/3400ft). I wonder if that has anything to do with it?
    A couple of little tricks that have been helpful for me: 1) using parchment paper with a cloth on top to catch the extra wax solution-eventually it makes another wrap. 2) I use a heavy small sauce pan and place it on low for melting – no double boiler needed. 3) I used cotton napkins from a thrift store – no cutting or sewing! Altho’ they are all one size.
    Thanks so much for your recipe!
    Annetta from Canada

    • Interesting! I wonder if the elevation has something to do with it? Or the temperature – the warmer they are the more sticky they are. Great tips with stopping the dripping.

  5. Hi,

    I’ve tried on a few different bits of my fabric with more or less mixture on each and it’s just doesn’t stick to itself. I followed your recipe exactly, should I add more resin?

    The fabric moves and feels like the stuff you buy just not sticking to itself.
    Thanks

    • If your area is particularly cold, they will be less sticky, did you try warming the wraps with your hands? More resin might be helpful.

  6. Hi! I made my wraps but it were too much sticky first, I took them and my hands were sticky after that. However, it didn’t stick to what I wanted or to itself, I had to use a band. Now that I have washed them it look just as a hard fabric. I just used jojoba oil and beewax
    What could I do?
    My beeswax is too sticky, is that normal? I didn’t know what type of beewax I had to buy: for cosmetics or virgin?
    Thank youuu! 🙂

    • The damar resin helps the mixture ‘set’ as well as stick, so it will not work so well without it. Beeswax is usually solid and hard at room temperature?

  7. Hello I did buy some wraps from a market i was at and they feel really thick. I thought I would try making them myself. I made mine with the Pine resin and Jojoba oil. Mine feel really thin not thick like the ones I bought. Could this be because I didn’t use enough mixture? I made one 8×8 11×11 14×14. What should have been the recipe? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    Ms. B

    • Hi

      I have tried a few different recipes to make beeswax wraps but was so happy to find yours as beeswax here locally costs $25 for a kilo. I have made a few now and have given some away, kept some for myself and recently sold some. I never thought I would be able to go cling wrap free but here I am and it’s thanks to you. I am going to put a link in my webpage so when people click on it they come here as well if that’s ok with you.

  8. I made some wraps using pine resin ( I had some at home) : actually, the resin has a strong scent (not bad though) and takes a long time to melt properly. But it worked well and the smell disapeared after some days. I used different fabrics cut from old clothes: cotton, viscose and silk. All of them work fine. The wraps made of silk (from an old blouse) are just amazing: very light, elastic and soft, THE luxury version of beeswax wraps! Viscose makes also nice wraps that are more elastic than the cotton ones. I also used old (clean and ironed!) hankies: I like them because they have a neat seam and different design (checked, flowers, children figures…): I would just recommand not to use the very thin ones. Anyone tried something else???

  9. Hello, I recently made some wraps (before I saw your recipe) with slightly different ratios. I used 2 parts beeswax, 1 part pine resin and 1 part jojoba oil, ( or 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 1/4 cup respectively). My wraps are really sticky and leave residue on everything, including my hands after I have handled them. I will try reheating in oven and blotting, but just wondering, do you think its too much resin, or too much oil that is causing stickiness? Wish I had done a test run, as I made a lot of them, and not sure if this will fix the problem! Thanks

    • Hi Christine, From my experience it is a combination of both the oil and the resin that make the stickiness. Without the oil, it is much less sticky and kind of sets hard, without the resin it is flexible but much less tacky. Hopefully it is just that you put too much on the fabric, but by the look of your ratios, there is nowhere near enough wax in that recipe. Let me know how you get on with the blotting 😀

  10. My friend and I have started making wraps to sell, as there were not a lot available locally. Check out our Facebook or Instagram page at Waxworx, we make packs of three or individuals, they are a great start to getting rid of single use plastic. Great tutorial, thanks

  11. These are great, thanks! I actually melted my wax and resin in the microwave. I managed to get the beeswax as offcuts from a local company selling honey and the resin from eBay. Great to have these comments as the resin clumped and wondered if I was doing it wrong, but just needed patience! Perfect Christmas presents – I cut up some old ripped pyjamas and a shirt which I couldn’t bear to throw away as I loved the fabric so much.

  12. Hiya,
    I’m about to try your recipe and wondering how coconut oil (deodorised so no smell) would work in place of johoba oil? Just trying to keep the costs down as I have plenty of coconut oil on hand and apparently johoba oil is expensive.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe and method 🙂
    Cheers
    Rosie

    • I have not tried coconut oil myself. I feel that part of the benefit of jojoba oil is that it is liquid at room temperature, so it helps the wraps be flexible. I would be worried that coconut oil would be too stiff. You could try another liquid oil – I have used olive oil before with good success.

  13. I followed your recipe but my wraps arent as sticky as I would like. They fold and hold their shape beautifully, they’re not tacky and the fabric dont stick to itself. Do you have any suggestions on how I may improve tackiness and stickyness?

    • Hi Awatea, it is possible you simply need a little more mixture on each. Otherwise adding a little more resin next time will increase the sticky quality.

  14. Loved this recipe. The wraps turned out perfectly. I think a double boiler to keep the wax mixture warm between applications would have made the process easier. Also ran out of aluminum foil and used parchment paper and it worked fine. Halved the recipe for a few pieces of fabric I had left and that worked well also.

  15. Hi,
    I would like to make some of the wraps for Christmas presents.
    Can you please tell me where I can buy the beeswax and the other ingredients?
    Thank you
    Sophie

  16. Good evening Dana,

    An immence thank you for your recipe sharing. it’s great to be able to do even its products.

    however, I encounter a little difficulty. I followed the recipe to the letter and yet my fabric sticks hugely and leaves a film of wax on the container.

    can you help me Please?

    Claire

    • Hi Claire,
      It sounds like you have too much mixture on the fabric. Try warming it in the oven to re-melt the wax on the fabric, and blot off the excess.

  17. Thanks for this recipe it worked great for me. It is my first experience with beeswax wrap and I dind that they leave a on the dishes I cover with them. Do i need to decrease the amount of resin? I did use half jojoba oil and half coconut oil. Could that be the problem.

    • Hi Shannon, it might be that you have a little too much of the mixture on the cloth, in which case you can heat them in a low oven and blot some off with a paper towel. Make sure the dishes are cool when you cover them, if they are hot they will melt the wax out of the cloth and on to the dish!

  18. HI,
    I’ve try several time just bee wax is fine but as soon as I try with rosin it never really melt with the beewax properly.
    And when it does it leaves a kind of sediment once it’s dry.
    Ant idea what could it be ?
    Thank you so much
    Romane

    • Hi Romane, is your resin finely ground? It will dissolve better if it is. It melts at a much higher temperature. If it is leaving a powdery sediment I wonder about the purity of the resin, it may have dust in it

  19. Hi, can I mix damar resin and pine resin 50/50? I live in Canada and have ordered damar resin from New Zealand, however it is expensive, especially with the shipping. Thanks for you help and for sharing your recipe.

    Regards,
    Angela

  20. hi !! thank you for the recip

    My fabric get soooo stickyyyyy !! 🙁 maybe cause i put to much resine? bee wax??? i put coconut oil instead of jojoba… HELP “

    • Hi, It is more likely that you have too much mixture on the fabric, you could try heating it in the oven and blotting some off with more fabric. Too much resin or not enough bees wax would make it too sticky if there really isn’t too much on each piece. But I would try blotting some off first. Let me know how you get on.

  21. Hi
    I can’t read your responses as your photo is covering all of your responses.
    This question was probably asked but I can’t see your response so I would like to know where to purchase food grade damar resin to make the food wraps if that is what you use or do you use the damar resin sold in art supply stores?

  22. Have you tried a double boiler? I melt all of my beeswax in a double boiler for the same reason and have never had an issue with the temperature being too high, so it may help with the resin..,

  23. I’m curious as to why you use the jojoba oil for it’s antimicrobial properties. Natural beeswax already has tons of antimicrobial/bacterial properties. I’m going to use wax from our hives that has had solids (bee bodies, etc) filtered out and as far as I know still retains all the good properties of honey and wax. Truly curious–maybe it’s not enough microbial action? Thanks!

    • I think the choice of Jojoba is 3 fold – 1) you need a soft oil that won’t go rancid – so not olive or canola oil 2) it sounds fancy so businesses use is to make their product seem of higher quality and 3) it happens to have antimicrobial properties without having a strong odor. You can switch it out for something cheaper/easier to get like sunflower or safflower oil. Let me know how you get on!

  24. Hello there Dana.. I’ve been using Bees Wax wraps for the last couple of years, but could never get the mix right, until coming across your website. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    One question, I’m having trouble stopping the damar gum from clumping… I find if I have a high heat, that works ok, but then the pot starts smoking and the gum starts becoming black . I’d appreciate some feedback as to what I am doing wrong here.
    Michelle x

    • Hi Michelle, I am glad you found the recipe helpful! It is a fine balance between not hot enough and too hot. Somewhere in the middle, with some patience, is the perfect spot. Mine does clump until it melts properly. I try and keep it just off smoking point (beeswax will ignite if it is too hot) and stir, stir, stir until it is mixed through. It clumps less if you powder it up first in a mortar and pestle first, but stirring and giving it time is the best answer I have.

    • Hi Rachel – I am unfamiliar with manuka oil – if it is particularly pungent the smell with taint the taste of the food your wrap up. I have heard of people replacing it with olive oil with success if that is helpful (cheaper too, even when you buy yummy local stuff!)

  25. Hi, can I use sweet almond oil for the same effect or even cold pressed olive oil in place of jojoba oil? I’m really looking forward to making these (have the beeswax , damar gum and pinking shears!- all from trademe) – not only are they kind to the environment, they also look so lovely.

    • Hi Christina, you can use a different oil if you choose. Jojoba is pricey but it is also a anti-microbial which I believe is why it is chosen, I have heard of others using olive oil with success.

  26. I found the resulting wraps weren’t sticky at all? I used a 1:5 ratio beeswax:damar plus a little jojoba oil. 100% cotton fabric. Can’t see an obvious place I’ve gone wrong – any advice?? Am currently thinking I’ll try again with a higher resin content.

    • Hi Wendy – this mix should work. Have you put it on thick enough? There is a fine line between too thick and it cracks, perfect and sticky and not enough so it is not sticky.
      Raising the resin may help, the jojoba oil is key to stickiness too, if you don’t have enough the melting point of the resin and bees wax is quite high so it won’t get sticky with the warmth of your hands.
      I hope that helps!

  27. Hi Dana, I’m giving these wraps a go and finding that double boiling (which is how I’ve melted beeswax in the past) isn’t melting the resin. Have you had this before? As far as I can see, you melt straight in a pot, is that right? If so, I might have to head down to the Op shop to see if I can pick up a pot that’s dedicated to beeswax wrap making!

    • Hi Mel, yes I melt it straight in a pot. You do have to be careful as beeswax (like all oils) is flammable, so of course you must watch it at all times. The resin does need a higher heat to melt and the finer you manage to crush it, the faster it will melt. All the best!

  28. These instructions and ratio of ingredients turned out great for me. The only change I made was using pine rosin rather than the damar resin – just because it’s what I had. I realised just exactly why you suggested using an ‘old’ pot! I went straight out afterwards and bought a little old one from the hospice which I will keep for this. Also, I don’t think that the brush I used will be much good for anything else after this either!

    A good friend of mine bought me some wraps last year and though I thought they were great, the ones I’ve now made are even better! They smell better, are softer and more maleable, and I don’t have to hold and warm them as much to make them cling.

    Thanks so much for these instructions Dana!

    • Fei, I am so happy that they worked well for you! We haven’t bought plastic wrap in over 3 years now thanks to these wraps!

  29. The damar resin I have found at http://www.shaman.co.nz they have it in powdered form, do you think this would work or should I just buy the solid which is slightly cheaper.
    Thank you for the DIY I am definately going to try, have tried with straight beeswax and didn’t find very successful.
    Good of you to share, thank you

    • Hi Rae, The powdered form would work great! It saves you having to crush it. It is quite easy to crush with a mortar and pestle if you get the bigger stuff.

  30. Great! I wonder……why do you add damar resin? How does it improve the wrap? If I can’t find the damar resin, is there some other resin I can use? Have you tried without it, with just beeswax an jojoba oil?

    • Hi Mayki,
      The damar resin adds a strength and durability to the coating, and helps with the stickiness of it. I have made them with straight beeswax before, and they do work – sort of. The stickiness makes them much easier to use. I know you can use pine resin, and I am sure any others that aren’t too strongly smelling would also work well. You can get damar from amazon, and some artist supply stores 🙂 I hope that helps!
      Dana

    • Damar resin has a low toxicity but the dust should not be breathed… I wouldn’t use this on food wrap? Use food grade Pine tree resin/rosin

      • Hi KB, thank you for your concern.
        Damar resin is actually used in foods and is food safe. You should not inhale any dust or resin in general as particulates of anything shouldn’t be in your lungs and some things cause allergies. Wikipedia has some information on damar here for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dammar_gum

    • Pat, you can get most of the ingredients from somewhere like purenature.co.nz, kiwisoapsupplies.co.nz or gonative.co.nz. The damar resin is harder to find, try a boutique art store like http://www.tasart.co.nz or sometimes it is on Trade Me. Let me know how you get on 🙂

Leave a comment

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Grab your freebies! Herbal Medicine eBook, Sourdough tips sheet AND a list of nitrogen fixing plants. Sign up for our Fresh From the Farm newsletter and get our exclusive content, discounts and updates. All goodness. No spam.

You have Successfully Subscribed!