Contributed by: Denise of Thrifty by Design and Salvation Army Thrift Store Creative Expert.
Here’s a simple and super useful DIY that’s also darn thrifty – reusable food wrap. Most materials can be sourced from your local Salvation Army Thrift Store. I love this upcycling project since I’ve been working remotely for the past while and trying to minimize my eating out. Having some handy dandy reusable food wrap for my leftovers is a win… and when I’m back in the office and bringing lunch to work. Bingo! I have some very swanky ways to package it up.
– thrifted fabric (100% cotton and not too thick) – beeswax bar or pellets – scissors or pinking shears (scissors will work but pinking shears help minimize fraying) – ruler or tape measure – knife or cheese grater if you can’t source beeswax pellets – cookie sheet – parchment paper – paintbrush – oven – oven mitts – hanger with clips (something to hang the fabric with)
Note: I kept this DIY simple with minimal cost. Some DIYs use powdered pine resin and jojoba oil. Feel free to experiment on the mixture.
STEP 1: Source your supplies
Drop by your local Salvation Army Thrift Store to source your supplies. For fabric, look for something made with 100% cotton – a blouse, an apron, maybe a pillow cover! This project is also great for using up any scrap fabric you have in your stash. I found using thicker fabric, like canvas, didn’t work as well.
STEP 2: Source your beeswax
Source your beeswax. You can find this in your local craft store or natural food store. Beeswax pellets make it super easy but if you can’t find pellets then a bar works too. It just means you’ll need to break it up into smaller pieces manually using a cheese grater or knife.
STEP 3: Measure and cut
Once you’ve washed and ironed your fabric, you’re ready to measure and cut your pieces. The dimensions can be whatever works for your needs. My measurements were for this nested set of plastic bowls I thrifted. My fabric and the bowls were a cute combo and ideal for what I want the reusable food wrap for.
When measuring the diameter of my bowls, I added an extra inch all around to allow for folding over the edge. I tried to be strategic in how I used the fabric. The arm was perfect for the smaller bowl then the front side for the middle bowl and the back for the larger bowl.
STEP 4: Time to preheat!
Preheat your oven to 200°. Prep your cookie sheet by placing parchment paper on it. Once you’ve cut out your fabric then place it front down on the parchment paper.
Tip: I did a test run with scrap fabric which was helpful. Some of the fabric I used was thicker than others and didn’t have the best results compared to the thinner fabric.
STEP 5: Sprinkle and set in oven
Sprinkle the beeswax on the fabric making sure to distribute it evenly. You can add this sparingly to start and add more once the beeswax melts if you notice some untouched areas.
The bonus with this DIY is it’s very forgiving. A couple of times I needed to reheat the fabric since the beeswax wasn’t evenly distributed or I didn’t remove it from the parchment paper fast enough.
Leave in the oven for approximately 4-5 minutes or until the beeswax fully melts. Depending on the size of the beeswax pieces the time could vary. Add more time if necessary.
STEP 6: Let it cook
Once the beeswax is fully melted then remove from oven. Use your brush to even out the surface then use tongs or your fingers to hang the fabric. I found you needed to do this step pretty fast since the beeswax starts drying quickly and ruins the even finish. Another time where I put the fabric back in the oven to fix any mistakes I made during this process.
STEP 7: Allow to dry – patience is key
This is the final step – allow to dry. This won’t take long but best to leave for a bit to seal the deal.
STEP 8: And that's a wrap!
And that’s a wrap… har har har. Yes indeed now you can use your DIY for covering up bowls, wrapping produce, prepping lunches… the possibilities are endless.