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Oh beeswax!

Yep, it’s me here, under this fashionable looking theme. It was time for a change ~ no tinkering around the edges, a full knock down and rebuild! You are still very welcome visitors, come in the backdoor, make yourself at home, and we can sit and have a natter. I would love to know what you think of the new look, especially to know how easy it is to read and navigate.

Meanwhile, beeswax….

Beeswax wraps are quite the thing at the moment, as they are a sustainable and hygienic replacement for glad wrap/cling film. My friend Mary wanted to make some and asked me to help. Is it something you have ever thought about doing?

Of course there are plenty of websites and videos to set you up, but I thought you might like to get our thoughts too. This is the site we used initially but quick research will show that there are different ratios of wax and resin, oven temperatures, time in the oven and so on. One thing I learnt was that it’s not an exact science!

So, we started with 100 gm of beeswax

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and 20 gm of pine resin, and  2 teaspoons of jobo oil. It smelt wonderful, and took me back to my time in Indonesia so many years ago. Strong memories of the batik work there.

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Unfortunately the plumber was working outside and needed to turn off the gas. If the stove had been working we would have melted the wax etc. in an old saucepan. Instead Mary used the microwave. The stove would have been a better option because the wax/resin mix could have stayed at a nice constant heat.

Mary had some fabric we experimented with.

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The batik-inspired serviettes were our first experiments. The melted wax mixture was brushed on. It seemed to go on quite thickly and we weren’t sure how flat the base needed to be. The blogs and videos didn’t seem to worry about this, but we wondered if slight ridges and valleys would affect the way the wax melted.

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The next step was to put it into the oven (100ºC) for five minutes. You can see our solution for keeping the wax melted ~ putting it in the oven too. This worked okay, but the handle of the paint brush got quite hot!

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Then we took it from the oven and pegged it onto a coat hanger.

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It hardened quickly, and kept some tackiness. You want it to have some tackiness as it’s this quality that holds it in place when covering bowls etc. The resin helps with tackiness. This was the time to critically admire our handiwork. The results were good, but we were aiming for perfection! The wax was too thin in some parts and a bit uneven on the back. Instead of the foil we tried baking paper, which I think was a bit better.

And the thing that impressed me was that you can add more wax and redo them. As I said before, it is not an exact science.

One of the problems with the wax wraps is that they are not see through, which makes it hard to see what they are covering in the fridge. Mary thought that writing on some might help with that. I wrote PARMESAN with a permanent marker on an embroidered serviette. The marker ran a little with the heat, and we decided sewing words onto the fabric would be a nice solution. We also thought that the white cloth looked a bit marked once it was waxed, which could be off putting for a gift.

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After a bowl of very yummy soup for lunch (thank you Mary!) we watched a video that had a different take on how to do it. The presenter grated the wax over half the material, folded the top over, so the wax was a layer between the material, and put it into the oven. No resin, no oil. So we tried that too.

And the result was not bad.

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It was certainly an easier process, with less mess. The first process left us Mary (!) with waxy bowls, trays, knives and paint brushes. I think it’s worth playing around with, perhaps finely powdering the resin and sprinkling it over the material, along with drops of the oil.

And Mary found that tea tree oil was great for getting rid of the wax from our fingers.

Have you made your own wraps? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. If you haven’t, and are interested, I’d say “Give it a go”. While you can do it by yourself, it’s way more with a friend, especially if she happens to be Mary!

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29 replies on “Oh beeswax!”

Love the new look, stylish and uncluttered 🙂 Waxed wraps are starting to appear here too, there’s quite a bit on my WI facebook page about people making them, haven’t tried it yet but it’s on my radar!

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I had forgotten about Celia, but really she should have been my go-to person. She is fantastic at all these sorts of things. Thanks for the link. I use lidded containers more than glad warp too, but I am interested in wrapping cheese in these waxy ones.

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Now that you you know of them you will see them mentioned everywhere. Have you had that experience before? I am always surprised when it happens to me.
I am glad that the new site works for you.

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Nice, modern look to your blog though it took me a while to get used to reading down the right hand column.
I’ve made beeswax wraps with varying results. I used the ironing method first which resulted in me having to buy a new ironing board cover and the wooden floor got an impromptu waxing but I haven’t tried the oven method yet. I do find the whole thing slightly messy and my husband complains he can’t see what’s inside the wraps. I actually used soy wax beads first – pure soy, no added paraffin or anything – which are white and don’t dye light coloured fabric an unflattering shade of tea. They melted more evenly than the grated beeswax too. As a side note – apparently vegans can’t use beeswax wraps so the soy is a good alternative for them.
I made about six for myself and keep them in a mason jar on my kitchen shelf – plus I made several as gifts. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll continue but I don’t like using plastic film so I probably will.

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That’s really interesting about the soy wax. I have never heard of them, but would be a good alternative for vegans. The video we watched showed the presenter ironing; we wondered if if would stuff up your iron, but hadn’t thought of the ironing cover ~ or the floorboards!

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I’m not sure if it’s my browser or what, but I’m seeing your post squashed up into less than half the width of my screen? There’s an interesting pic of your wraps, I think, on the left hand side as well as…Odds and Ends? Haven’t tried that yet.

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No, it’s not your browser. It seems to be the theme, the blog and comments following down the righthand side while the featured image stays there. It will be important to choose a good photo for the featured image, otherwise I think it will be annoying to see an unappealing photo all the time. It’s going to take a little time to get used to…..but it is so easy to change the themes that I may well experiment with others!

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Yeah, “odds and ends” is the category I have chosen to put this post in. I think if you click on that you will be taken to other posts I have categorised that way…..which is quite a lot, as it is my “I don’t know where this goes” category!

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Sorry, I should have not assumed so much in the post….You can do either with them. I am going to try wrapping cheese in them, as I find it difficult to keep cheese in a good condition. I also use them to cover bowls etc. The warmth of your hands softens the wax enough to mould to the shape of the bowl/plate etc and create a seal. They are reusable ~ just wipe them with a damp cloth. The wax and resin have antibacterial properties that help them the be reused.

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I have tried making these wraps before. The first lot was following a method used by Maurag Gamble on her permaculture site using a sandwich maker. These were not so successful for a couple of reasons. One of the problems was that I used up a pile of old Indonesian batik fabric and the dye ran badly, making them unsuitable to use.
The next lot I make will be using Celia’s ironing method ( Fig Jam and Lime Cordial). This looks so easy to do. I have bought flat wax strips from Bee Sustainable in Brunswick East. They retail for around $3 each.
Love the update of your blog.

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A sandwich maker?!! Well, I would never have thought of that one, but a flat heat makes sense. It would have been disappointing to have the dye run, and not being able to use the material as wraps. There wouldn’t be such else you could do with the material once that had happened. I am going over to Celia’s blog too. She is such a practical woman that she has probably ironed out all the problems!

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definitely a surprise at your new-look blog…

as for the wraps “no haven’t done any” and probably won’t…

now before you all jump on case, I will explain why! About a decade ago when I got my online food shopping and had a major deep freeze which I don’t have now, I would buy other groceries.

well one day (should read the small print) I saw this great special for glad wrap and ordered a box of it…

I’m still using that CATERING PACK – miles upon miles the wrap…but I mostly use lidded containers, so it’s lasting!!! and lasting!!!

I do most of my grocery shopping online here at the new place, only started it this year ’cause of issues of getting and carrying said stuff…but I’ve never had to buy anymore “GladWrap” 🙂

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I feel like I am behind the times, I’ve not heard of this as an alternative to glad wrap. What a great idea, it will be interesting to know how long it lasts.
And I love your new theme! My only comment would be if it was possible to keep the menu at the top when you scroll. But that is me just being picky! I love your side photo/feature 😊

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Anne, I love your new theme. It took me awhile to get here. I read through the reader and couldn’t seem to view your page. I’m so glad I persevered.

I’ve seen these coated wraps before, but I’ve never known anyone to try it. What a fun experiment, and such beautiful cloth!

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This is interesting. We mostly use lidded containers for the stuff we put in the fridge, and I’ve some beaded muslin covers for when those things come out of the fridge – my initial thought was about cleaning the cloths; but I see from one of your comments that they just wipe clan – like the original oil cloths I guess! How are you doing with them, a month on?

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To be honest, my friend kept the ones we made. I think they are going okay. I don’t know for certain, because she is in Ireland for a few months. She is planning to make more over there! I do have some that I bought, and am finding them useful, especially for wrapping cheese. I love those beaded muslin covers! Are they easy to get?

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