Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reusable Cloth Food Wraps

It's a cold, wet and generally miserable day here in West Virginia.  I'm supposed to be working on lesson plans but didn't much feel like it, so to distract myself I decided to finally try my hand at making reusable food wraps.

I heard about them last year but never got around to making them.  They were said to be super-simple to make and clean (a bit of soap and hot water will do the trick) as well as a great way to replace plastic wrap as well as sandwich bags. 

The materials are pretty basic; food-grade beeswax (grate or purchase pastilles), cotton fabric (don't forget to wash it) and pinking shears.

There are three methods to accomplish making these reusable food wraps: using an iron, your oven or a pan.

Iron Method:

Supplies at the ready!
Supplies at the ready!
Ironing board, parchment paper, iron,
 shears, beeswax and cotton fabric.
Cut your fabric to the size you desire.  Cover your work space with parchment paper, and then cover your ironing board with parchment.  Lay the fabric on top of the parchment, sprinkle beeswax onto it (don't add too much or it will run down the sides) and then cover it with another sheet of parchment.  Use your iron to melt the beeswax, spreading it across your fabric.  When finished, remove the fabric from the parchment and hang until cooled.

Melting the wax.



Final thoughts the on iron method: I won't be doing this again.  Yes, it is easy.  Yes, if you are careful clean up should be fairly simple. However, even with all the parchment I still somehow managed to get beeswax on my ironing board cover.  NOTE: I have seen where people have used old blankets to make a makeshift ironing area so they didn't have to worry about any leaks or drips.

The other problem I ran into is that I needed to add more beeswax and while doing so I got just distracted enough to flip the parchment wax side up and set my hot iron right on it.  Now my iron isn't ruined but in this house, distractions are a constant. If there is an easier way to do this with minimal mess, I'm game!  :-)

Oven Method:

Covered with beeswax and ready for the oven.

How to do it: Cut fabric.  Heat your over to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Place your fabric on the aluminum foil and sprinkle beeswax over fabric.  Place in oven for 4-6 minutes or until the wax is completely melted.  Remove from oven and hang fabric to dry.

The End Result:

Cooled and ready for use.

Final Thoughts on Oven Method:

For me, this is the way to go!  Super easy, no fuss, no muss!  When you are finished, just throw the aluminum foil away or fold it up and save it to make more at a later date.

Pan Method:

I had every intention of giving this a go but to be honest, after trying the oven method I see no reason to sacrifice a pan to the beeswax gods!  If you've ever worked with beeswax, you understand the difficulty that can come with cleaning it up.

This is a great way to use up fabric scraps and random fat quarters you have lying around.  You can use various sizes of rubber bands to secure the food wraps to containers.  For sandwiches you can can keep them closed.  I've seen where some bloggers have even stitched large buttons to one corner and wrapped twine of string around the button to keep them secure.  

These good wraps can be as simplistic or fancy as you choose for them to be.  If you are frequently taking dishes to potlucks, you may want to consider embroidering your name or initials on them.  :-)

Have you made reusable food wraps?  What method did you use?  Do you like them?  Feel free to share your thoughts and pictures below!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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