DIY Reusable Food Wrap

DIY Food Wrap

Happy 4th of July! To everyone celebrating today…I wish you all a delightful and safe holiday! And when you’re done eating and putting away the leftovers…I hope today’s post will come in handy. :-)

Plastic wrap and aluminum foil are both useful when it comes to keeping food fresh, but also create a lot of waste! Since I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cut down on the amount of trash we produce, when I came across this idea in MaryJanesFarm magazine, I knew I had to give it a try. It’s SO easy to make – just about as easy as stopping by the store for a new roll of plastic wrap – and a real money-saver because you can use it over and over again. I even like the rustic, natural look of it. Several sheets of it folded and tied with a piece of twine would make such a nice house-warming gift! Here’s how to make your own…..

DIY Reusable Food Wrap

Supplies:

  • Thin cotton fabric (I used unbleached muslin)
  • Scissors
  • Beeswax
  • Cookie sheet
  • Paintbrush

Start by cutting your fabric into your desired dimensions. It might be a good idea to cut a few different sizes, to use on different sized containers!

DIY Food Wrap

 

Next, if your beeswax is in a bar like mine, you’ll need to grate some. I ended up needing about 2 tablespoons of grated beeswax per 12” square of fabric. If you have wax pellets, you can skip this step. :-)

DIY Food Wrap

 

Preheat your oven to 200. Then place one of your fabric pieces onto a cookie sheet, and sprinkle the beeswax over the top. (You’ll want to use about double what is pictured below.) Then place your cookie sheet in the oven until the wax melts, which should only take about 5 minutes or so.

DIY Food Wrap

 

Once the wax is melted, use your paintbrush to spread the beeswax around the fabric, making sure it is evenly covered. Then hang the fabric up somewhere to cool, and it’s ready to use!

DIY Food Wrap

 

You can use the food wrap to cover bowls and plates, wrap sandwiches or block of cheese, or even fold it into a container for snacks. Each wrap should last several months, and if it gets soiled, simply hand wash it in cold water (warm water will melt the wax) and allow it to air dry.

DIY Food Wrap

 

If the wrap starts to lose its’ grip over time, simply repeat this process to re-wax it, and it’ll be good as new! Not only will you be saving money over time, you’ll also be making a great choice for the environment!

DIY food wrap

 

 


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Comments

  1. Jocelyn says

    Love this idea! It would be cute to use leftover fabrics I already have for decorative covers.

    Did you put the wax on both sides of the fabric? Or, did it seep through to the other side do you didn’t need to do the back side? If only one side is waxed, which side down toward the food?

    Thank you and have a great day tomorrow!

  2. Joe says

    This is like doctors reusing syringes or reusing dental floss. This is the same argument against reusing shopping bags made of paper that might contain drippings of meat, milk etc. You might be doing the landfill a favor, but it at the risk of your health. If you don’t like to toss plastic wrap, then at least use a container you can wash. Many medical instruments are for single use because the medical profession does not trust the sterilization methods. Most stores have a bin so you can recycle your disposable bags. IL as a state condones the use of single use plastic bags. The real solution is to limit population growth, but the corporations don’t like that idea. However, China has limited population growth for over 2 decades. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I don’t know how else to express my opinion.

    • mdoe37 says

      …if it becomes soiled, you wash it.

      Would I wrap fresh meat in this….no. Would I wrap a relatively dry sandwich in it…yes.

      Common sense ,.,, Joe.

      And by the way…..are you assuming the plastic wrap you use is sterile? Its relatively “clean”, but not sterile. If you are that concerned you would need to wash it before using it.

        • says

          Sure, plastic wrap is approved for food. A *lot* of things are approved for food that some of us don’t actually WANT near, on, or in our food.

          People used oilcloth for centuries for storing food. It’s washable. (And if you want to get really knitty gritty, this cloth could bed boiled, and retreated.)

          And reusing syringes (medical devices that are actually inject your body) isn’t the same as covering a bowl of leftover potato salad with a reusable piece of cloth.

          Thanks Jillee for another great post!

    • Barbara says

      I agree totally, Joe. My first thought was this can’t be sanitized.
      Another option that I use are the Silicone bowl covers which CAN be washed in soap and hot water. Even dishwasher and oven safe.

    • silverdust says

      How we got from reusable food wrap to one-child policies is amazing.

      What do you expect from the Chi-Coms?

      “The Population Bomb, ” by Ehrlich has been soundly discredited many times over since its 1971 publishing date. It’s a bunch of fear-mongering from the Progressive (Commie) Left.

      Don’t worry about it.

    • Susan says

      Limit population growth…you go first. Who gets to decide the size of a family? Maybe Mormons or Catholics since traditionally they have large families. Or poor people of any race. Or Hispanics? Or Southerners since they’re all uneducated rednecks who shouldn’t breed. Make your own decision about it, but don’t suggest that it should be mandated or enforced. China’s policies have led to a huge population of young men and no women to marry.
      Susan (mother of 5)

  3. Lizzy says

    Beeswax is antimicrobial, so as long as your fabric is washed first, I believe you are safe to reuse. I think this is a cute idea to use as a top on a gift of jams or such.

  4. Sally says

    Sorry to say, but tired of the pop ups every time I come to your site. VERY ANNOYING! There are many good ideas, but with so many DIY sites without pop ups I will have to cancel this subscription. If the problem ever gets fixed let me know I am interested in the helpful ideas.

  5. mary says

    Can I ask where we can buy the bees wax? I can see that this might be useful especially for more ‘safe items’. I agree… you do have to use your common sense when wrapping /storing any thing. I do use reusable grocery bags but first put meat/poultry etc. in a plastic bag in case of leaks. My bags are all washable.

    • Beth says

      You can use soap when you wash the wrap just don’t leave it soaking. Over sanitation is really making people sick. As a species we are losing natural immunity. Relax this wrap is to cover a bowl in the fridge or wrap cookies or a sandwich not to prevent botulism in raw foods. If you are home canning worry about sterilization. If you are taking a sandwich to work for lunch and jusr don’t want it to dry out or come apart this will be fine.

  6. Claire R says

    I go to the beauty supply store and buy processing caps, which are elasticized and fit most bowl sizes. After use I rewash in hot soapy water, and air dry, so they last through several uses. They are very affordable, less than 10 cents each.

  7. Sarah says

    I have bought some of these in the past and love them. The heat from your hands is enough to mold the wax covered fabric and seal it up.
    I use mine for sandwiches and to cover bowls. I am very excited to make my own because they are a bit speedy to buy.
    As for food safety, I think it’s just fine. I rinse and/or wipe mine off and have not used them for meat or anything like that.

  8. says

    I use bees wax all the time in my cosmetics. At first I used the block that had to be grated. Then found the pellets and only had to measure. Neither of them melt easily even over direct heat. So washing/rinsing them with warm water is not going to cause melting. I am referring to 100 per cent pure bee’s wax. There may be some wax products that contain other ingredients that may exelerate melting so those may have a problem with warm water …

  9. says

    I had heard of reusable wrap cloths. Thank you for showing us how to make them. These are great because they are reusable and because it is a way to wrap foods without plastic. Thank you for all of the great tips!

  10. Ashley says

    Wonderful idea! My only question is how you store them when not in use? Are they ok at room temp or do they get sticky? Should I store them in a container so they don’t attract debris? Thank you so much for this exciting new idea!

  11. christy m says

    This sounds very interesting. However, the thing that would scare me is still having some bacteria lurking. I don’t know if cold water would kill it.
    I also had the same question as Ma

  12. Annie says

    Thank you Jillee, good idea.
    plastic wrap is not 100% safe nothing is, no matter what manufacturers want us to believe. The use of these two products, plastic warp and foil takes a long long time to break down, it impinges in big ways on our fauna -all for the sake of what???? paranoia, marketing, convenience.

  13. Janie says

    Well I see the FIREWORKS HAS BEGUN!! I for one am happy to know I can make these and use good judgement on how to use them :-) Sorry Jillee you may have lost some wind in your sails over this but just remember it takes a village!!
    Thanks for your great tips!

    Janie

  14. Marianne says

    Please, please, PLEASE people (like Joe above), STOP using OGTJ as a forum for your political, religious and environmental rants! Take your ravings to an appropriate website or start your own blog!! Not only is it inappropriate here, but it’s a real pain in the butt to the rest of us to have to be subjected to your nonsense. Your computer is just like your radio and TV…if you object to the content, turn the flipping thing OFF! (Sheesh!). I apologize for my own “rant”, but I get so tired of people who use this blog as their own personal soapbox.r

  15. Sara CK says

    Another great idea! I agree with some of the comments–I wouldn’t use this to wrap raw meat, but I can’t count how often I throw away plastic wrap/foil that’s never even touched food. My concerns would be where to store it and where to hang it while it’s drying after washing.

  16. Mary says

    In folk medicine, beeswax has long been used in the treatment of wounds and other skin irritations. You can think of beeswax as the original Band-Aid, and honey as the original Neosporin. It is known to be bacteria resistant, and there has even been a fairly recent study that shows that it has some antiseptic qualities. National Institute of Health has positive results on testing honey for inhibiting growth of “stuff.” There are no insects that will eat beeswax, so it has been used to seal things for thousands of years.

    • Leslie says

      Honey is virtually the only substance that is bacteria free. Bees have their own ingenious ways to create their own healthy environment, which of course includes bees wax. (Here’s my soapbox: SAVE THE BEES, plant flowers they love!)

  17. Jean Johnson says

    This is what they used back in the old days to bring food places. :-) Up through the depression era. It would be great to use this for the same reasons they did. With prices of things so high – its great to reuse for reasons of money alone. Not to mention the great benefit of recycling on the environment. And as for the sanitizing…I’d be more worried about eating GMO foods than whether or not my soap and water took every small germ off my beeswax cloth. ….just sayin’

  18. Judy says

    I would use the old pieces of cloth to put in my flower beds or garden to help with weed control. This is what I use my green grocery (reusable) grocery bags for when they finally wear out. It works!

  19. AUDREY says

    JUST A THOUGHT…SINCE THE MAKE-YOURSELF FOOD WRAPS ARE NOT WASHED IN HOT WATER, CAN THESE TRANSFER DISEASE-CARRIERS SUCH AS SALMONELLA IF THEY SHOULD BE ACCIDENTALLY TOUCHED TO MEAT, ETC.? JUST WONDERING ABOUT THAT SINCE ITS POSSIBILITY IS A SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM.

  20. STACEY says

    I mostly use an appropriate sized plate to cover the bowl diameter. It doesn’t seal against spills, but works great for leftovers and such. I also reuse zip loc baggies EXCEPT the ones that have had raw or cooked meats (those I rinse/wash out, drip-dry and recycle………..Oh, I use the plates bottom side down.

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