Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How to make bees wax sandwich wraps; no more glad wrap!

So here is the promised 'how to make a bees wax sandwich wrap' post!

These are so simple to make, we even did a Make Your Own stall at our local farmers market (to be the subject of another post). I've been using my sandwich wrap for about eight months and it's still going strong. I love them so much I also made some larger ones to use for wrapping my loaf of bread and also storing lettuce, celery etc in the fridge to stop them going limp - you know it's true, plastic does keep veggies fresher, but now there is an alternative!

You will need:
Cotton fabric approx 30 x 30cm. This is a good size for wrapping sandwiches but of course you can make them bigger if you like. 

Pinking shears. It's cute to use pinking shears to make the edges zig zag but not 100% necessary because the wax will stop it fraying.

Bees wax. If you have access to a hive you can refine your own but if not you can often get it from farmers markets or online. 

Cheese grater. You can use your good one and once you've finished grating the wax clean it by pouring boiling water over it. You might need to do this a few times.

Iron. Best to find an old iron from an opshop but you can use your good iron by covering it in alfoil.

Old towel to iron on. I think this is better than an ironing board so you can spread your gear out. 

Baking paper.

Method:
Grate your wax. This is pretty time consuming but easy. It looks like parmesan cheese once grated and is endlessly fondle-able. You'll need about 1/2 cup grated wax for one 30 x 30cm wrap, but less as you make subsequent ones because there will be residue left on the baking paper. 







Cover your iron with two layers of alfoil if you're using your good iron. Lay out your towels on a table for ironing on. Lay out your baking paper - you will probably need to overlap two sheets to make it wide enough for the fabric.


Cut out your fabric - here are the students cutting them at school. You can get some fantastic prints from fabric shops or if you want to be super sustainable you can cut up old shirts, bed sheets etc.


Lay your fabric on the baking paper and sprinkle on the grated wax just like sprinkling cheese on a pizza. 


Then lay over another layer of baking paper - again, you will need to overlap two pieces. Then get busy with the iron. It takes a little work to get it all melted and you have to be sure to sweep the iron from the centre to the edges to get the wax pushed out to the edges. You can see it going all melty under the paper so its pretty easy to judge how you're going.



Once it's all covered and while its still hot peel back the top layer of baking paper and then peel off the fabric by the corners. Its good to have a helper at this stage to hold down the bottom layer of baking paper. It takes about a minute for the wax to dry, so you can just wave it around for that long or place it on a clothes airer.

And this is the final product! The bees wax has anti bacterial properties which I really like and they smell great! To clean them simply lay them out and wipe with luke warm soapy water - not hot or the wax will melt again. I haven't tried but my eight month old wrap is looking a little sad now but I suspect if I ironed it again between the baking paper it would come back to its former glory.



Here we are making them at Hilton Primary School with the year 5/6 class. It really was such fun. The teacher had the kids working on other maths activities and we took three students at a time to the back of the class and made them. It took a couple of hours, but that's because lots of the kids loved them so much they stayed in at lunch time to make extras for their friends and family.





Lat weekend we did a second big event with a Hilton Primary School P&C stall at the local farmers market. We had four parents and three students helpers and we made about 70 wraps. I'll write a separate post about how to do that as a big event just in case you're as inspired as I am to cut the plastic AND get everyone else around you to too!



13 comments:

  1. Great idea. I'm definitely making some for school lunches.

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    1. Great - they are good pressies too for Christmas. :)

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  2. Love this! We use steel tins for the sandwiches but the filling can slip out. Bees wax wraps will help to keep everything together. I love the idea that I can use pieces of used material to create them. Thank you so much, you have inspired me.

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  3. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing it. Now I just need to source some beeswax.I found your blog today and I am also impressed with the way you have tracked and graphed so much data about your lifestyle. I am going to keep reading, but just thought I'd give you a shout out.

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    1. Thanks Lyn! I found some bees wax for sale at our farmers market and also at a local bee hive supply type shop. It's not cheap to purchase so if you can find a bee keeper that's even better - and more fun to refine the wax!

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  4. Hi Amy. Thanks for this, they look great. Im just checking - the beeswax only goes on the outside (printed side) of the fabric right? So to keep the inside / sandwich side clean, you just wipe it? I'm just visualising all the vegemite smears that lie ahead... Cheers, Anna

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    1. Hi Anna, When you iron it on the bees wax melts all the way through the fabric so it feels the same on both sides. So the vegemite smears should wipe off either side :)
      Good luck!

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    2. Of course! Thanks so much, I was imagining a kind of pvc coating, oops Cheers and love the blog, very inspiring. Anna

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  5. Just did one with an old tea towel. It's off to school tomorrow! I recommend avoiding what I did and not trying to make mulberry jam and mulberry pies at the same time! I rescued the pie from the oven in the nick of time, so all ends well! I suppose I could also try a beeswax pillow case to store my veggies in the fridge? Cheers, Bernadette

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  6. Hi Amy
    I have just read your blog on making beeswax wraps. I have also made them in the past and hope to make them on a larger scale with some school children. I noticed at the bottom of your blog you mentioned that you made 70 with some children and parents. Did you do this using the iron method? Also wondering how you go with grating your wax- I find it such hard work and when i am making them in bulk am tempted to by them as pallets- although they are more expensive. I would appreciate any tips you may offer.
    Warm Regards
    Rebecca

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  7. HI Rebecca, Sorry for the late reply! Yes i did use the iron method but we only had a few students at a time with as many parent/adult helpers. And yes, grating the wax was the trickiest part! We used a thrmomix to grate it - it wasn't mine and I was nervous (they are expensive machines!) but it did work. We had to keep cleaning it out with boiling water, but I think it was quicker. Otherwise I just do a bit at a time before the event with a cheese grater. Hope that helps.

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  8. Hi, I am making these too and liked your tip about covering the iron with aluminium foil to protect the iron BUT I ruined my very expensive ironing doing that. :( The heat travelled up the foil and melted the top part of the iron which wouldn't normally be exposed to heat. Have you never experienced this?

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