How To Make Beeswax Fabric {Guest Post from Jerica @ Sustain, Create and Flow)

Today I am excited to have Jerica from Sustain, Create and Flow as a guest blogger to show us this fun and sustainable DIY project! I can’t wait to try this! Such a smart idea! Thanks Jerica for sharing it with us today!

Finally!

A waterproof, sustainable, and reusable solution to plastic food wrap and sandwich bags. Using a cookie sheet, beeswax, and scrap fabric, you can easily make your own beeswax fabric in your oven. This super easy DIY is one of my most favorite things I have made recently.

beeswax-fabric

Aside from being a brilliant solution for transporting and storing food; fabric treated with beeswax can also be made into waterproof clothing, outdoor furniture, or whatever else your waterproof fabric needs may be. Insulating and breathable, it can also be used to cover rising dough and fermenting foods. It is my preferred solution in my quest to ditch plastic and find practical, sustainable and reusable solutions that also fit into my budget. Not always easy, but making this beeswax-coated fabric is, I promise ;)

As a backyard bee-keeper, I am blessed with some very beautiful and fragrant beeswax that my Husband and I ethically harvest from our girls. I am constantly tinkering with the wax, finding new ways to utilize this magical and earthly gift! I like to imagine the early settlers and pioneers treating their fabrics with beeswax as they set out into the wilderness. (Especially where I live, in the damp, but beautiful, Pacific Northwest). As an alternative to the popular polyethylene laminate (PUL) and other chemically-altered waterproof materials, beeswax-coated fabric is easy to make, smells delightful, and is long lasting and natural; something I feel good about providing for my family. (It also makes a great family craft project)!

beeswaxGather the Following:

  • A cookie sheet covered in tin foil or parchment paper
  • Grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
  • A clean paint brush devoted solely to beeswax
  • Your oven preheated to warm or 150 degrees F
  • Fabric pieces the size of your cookie sheet. (For your fabric–sheeting weight works well).
  • A place to hang the fabric to cool.
    (I tied a piece of string between two cupboards in the kitchen).

beeswax-and-fabric

On a covered cookie sheet, place your fabric on your covered cookie sheet. Using grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles, sprinkle beeswax on top of your fabric.

grated-beeswax-on-fabric

Place your cookie sheet into a preheated 150 degrees Fahrenheit oven. Beeswax melts at 147 degrees F and is flammable, so it’s highly recommended to heed the low oven temperature!

beeswax-fabric-in-ovenAllow the beeswax to melt. This takes approximately 8 (ish) minutes or so. The beeswax will begin to soak into the fabric. Using your paintbrush, spread the wax evenly over the fabric. This step was much easier when I used a thinner fabric. With one of my first attempts at this I used flannel, and the wax wasn’t up for spreading. (The end result was still great, however :)).

I found that spreading the beeswax over the fabric worked best while the cookie sheet was still in the oven. I worked rapidly; as this cools quite quickly.

beeswax-coolingHang the beeswax coated fabric over your kitchen clothesline for a few minutes and allow it to cool.

beeswax-fabric-food-wrap

Once cooled, your beeswax fabric is ready to be used right away! I used mine to cover our bean left overs.

beeswax-food-wrapThe beeswax fabric holds it shape and can be smoothed flat easily. Store rolled or folded with your food wraps or containers for easy use.

beeswax-cleanup

Clean up is a cinch. Peel off your cookie sheet’s covering and recycle. Store your (dedicated) beeswax paintbrush for further use and touch ups.

Tips:

  • Spot clean with cool to tepid water, and if soap must be used, be certain it is alcohol-free. (Beeswax and tree resins are soluble in alcohol). The fabric will clean up like a plate, not a piece of fabric.
  • Avoid prolonged contact with greasy or oily foods.
  • Since beeswax is all natural, some staining from highly pigmented foods may occur. This is normal and to be expected. Over time, some creases will develop as well. Enjoy the character.
  • Not for use in dishwasher, microwave, or with hot foods. Unless you want beeswax everywhere :)
  • Highly acid foods, like pineapple, may eat the beeswax coating. It is best to put those foods in a bowl and cover, instead of wrapping the fabric directly around it.
  • Beeswax is fluid resistant, so bee creative in your uses for your new wonder-fabric!

Beeswax fabric makes a great reusable sandwich bag for school and work lunches, picnics and camping. Watch for my next DIY tutorial on how to make these nifty bags. Subscribe to Sustain, Create and Flow so you never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Facebook and Pinterest to see what I’ve been up to :) I look forward to becoming friends!

Jerica-profile-photo

Jerica is a baby-wranglin’, slug-hunting, fair-weather fisherwoman, who knows how to have a good time! She enjoys her “new baby,” OK– almost toddler– and gardening with her family. At the urban homestead, the family cares for 6 chickens, 3 warre bee hives; and 3 domesticated, (well, sorta), pets. She is most happy on a hot, sunny day, mowing the lawn with her old push mower and her headphones on– playing her “Punch Brothers” radio station on Pandora. With an eye for the simple things and an ear for bluegrass, Jerica is most happy being with her family, living off the land, and preserving it’s bounty. She enjoys wildcrafting, anything herbal, the great outdoors and traveling! “So many destinations, so little time.” Being frugal is important to her, as is making her own household items and cosmetics. She firmly believes that ones “votes with their dollars,” especially when it comes to food purchases, and she focuses on frugality in an effort to “work” less for someone else.

She shares her journey in creating her urban farm, green-baby raisin’ and as many DIY’s as she can possibly muster at

www.sustaincreateandflow.com

Comments

  1. Suzanne says

    I love the idea. But can it be washed in soapy water and still keep the beeswax. Sorry for the question but I never used beeswax so its really all new to me

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