I’ll admit it: I used to be a huge Ziploc bag supporter. They were so handy for packing lunches and keeping snacks secure that I never stopped to think about the fact that their “use once and throw it away” nature isn’t very good for our environment! This goes for Press n’ Seal food wrap, too. You know the stuff - it’s sticky as all get out and is great for covering up things you want to save in the fridge, but it’s also a “use once and throw it away” material.
After being involved in the Bee Club, though, I learned about the latest, greatest, most environmentally friendly way to pack lunches, secure snacks, and keep food covered in the fridge: Beeswax Sandwich Wraps! Not only do these wraps look great with their fun patterns, but they’re anti-bacterial (to keep your food safe), can be used for up to a year (no adding on to landfills). and are super easy to clean (just take a little cold water and soap.)
Don’t Have the Resources for Homemade?
If you’d like to make homemade beeswax sandwich wraps, you can go ahead and skip this section! I’m including this for the people who don’t have the time or resources to make their own wraps but are still looking to make the change to environmentally-friendly wraps.
The Boulder-based store I bought my first beeswax sandwich wraps from is Khala Cloths! These wraps come in a number of sizes from small to sandwhich-sized to extra large, and there are a number of great prints as well. The couple that makes the wraps are super nice, too!
Some other companies I’ve seen mentioned are Abeego and Bee’s Wrap, and while a quick glance at their website makes me think that they’re pretty reputable, I don’t have any firsthand experience with either.
Homemade Beeswax Sandwich Wraps - An Easy and Fun Activity!
If you’re looking to make your own homemade beeswax sandwich wraps, then you’re in the right place! The process couldn’t be easier or more fun, and I’ll walk you through the process here.
There are a few resources that you’ll need to get started on your journey:
A variety of different cloths (I got mine from Walmart, but any home goods store like Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, or Michael’s would have some, too).
An electric griddle that you don’t plan on using for making pancakes anytime soon for melting everything together.
A paintbrush for mixing and melting.
Beeswax (I get mine from Beesworks).
Pine Resin to help make the wraps more stiff and sticky (Essential Living has a great one pound bag).
Jajoba Oil to help add a little moisture (I found mine at Traget, and I’ve seen it at Walgreens, too).
Tongs to help you pick up the wraps from the griddle.
Cut That Cloth!
Before you go about cutting your cloth, think about what size you’ll want your beeswax sandwich wraps to be. 6 inches by 6 inches is great for individual foods like half-cut avocados or onions; 11 inches by 11 inches is perfect for a sandwich, carrot sticks, or nuts; and 13 inches by 13 inches is great for covering up any large pans or wrapping up batches of homemade chocolate chip cookies!
After you’ve thought about the size that you want, go ahead and grab a pair of scissors and cut that cloth! You can cut the cloth one square a time or fold it on itself to cut two or even four at a time!
It’s Getting Hot in Here!
Now, plug in that griddle and turn it to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. You won’t want to go any higher than that, as it can cause the beeswax to burn. 250 degrees may not sound too hot, but please always make sure you’re being careful and paying attention to where you place materials / your hands when working.
Melt it all Together!
Get your beeswax, pine resin, and jojoba oil ready, because it’s time to make a melty mixture! For smaller wraps, use about two spoonfuls of beeswax, one half a spoonful of resin, and 3 drops of oil. For larger wraps, use about three spoonfuls of beeswax, a whole spoonful of resin, and 5 drops of oil.
Put everything on the griddle and mix it together using your paintbrush. You’ll want to push the mixture over the griddle so that it’s covering a space that’s a little bit bigger than the wrap you’ll be making.
Embrace Your Inner Drake and Lay Down Some Wraps!
Now, go ahead and lay your wrap down on the griddle! Take your paintbrush and spread the beeswax/resin/oil mixture so that it coats all part of the wrap…
…and then use your tongs to pick up the wrap and give it a flip! Be careful here - the wrap will be hot, so let it stay off of the griddle for a few seconds before touching it with your hands.
Now, use your paintbrush to spread the mixture over the other side of the wrap.
Let it Dry and You’re Done!
Finally, use your tongs to lift the wrap off of the griddle. Hold it for about 10 seconds, and then wave it back and forth for about 10 seconds more. At this point, the wrap should be dry, so you can go ahead and lay it down.
Way to go! You Have Your Own Beeswax Wraps!
Repeat this process for however many wraps you cut out so that you have enough beeswax sandwich wraps to pack a lunch, cover food in the fridge, and give a gift to friends and family. These wraps would make a great Birthday or Christmas present, and you can play up the fact that you learned how to make them from the CU Bee Club!
Travis Torline is the Founder and President of the CU Bee Club. Aside from having a huge love for all things bees, he enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts, going for long walks, and watching the Denver Broncos. Reach out to him about all things CU Bee Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.