Today's Chloé Makes comes with a bit of comic relief, as I may or may not have had a bit of a time making these wraps! Saying that, they are actually really easy, so long as you follow the instructions, and don't make the same mistakes I did!
You will need:
- 100% cotton fabric pieces cut to your desired size
- Natural cosmetic grade beeswax (I got mine from Amazon)
- A clean paintbrush (I'd recommend a new one especially for the wraps as it can stick to the bristles and you don't want bristles shedding on to your wraps)
- A baking tray WITH SIDES (I can't stress this enough)
- Baking paper
- An oven
And that's it! All of these products you can buy online, which is great, especially since we can't go out at the moment!
Preheat the oven to the lowest temp it will go, for me that was 100 degrees C. Cut your fabric big enough for what you want to use it for, but not bigger than your baking tray (I'll go into this later...). You can use pinking shears, but normal scissors are just as good, it just prevents fraying as much. I used both and they both came out great.
Cut the baking paper bigger than the size of your tray (again, I'll go into this more later). If your fabric has a pattern, lay it pattern side down on the baking tray and sprinkle the beeswax on top, you don't need too much.
Then put the tray in the oven for 6-8 minutes, I found with bigger sizes I needed a bit longer, so use that as a starting point and then go by eye. Once all the wax pellets are melted, take the tray out.
Spread the melted wax over the wrap with a side to side motion to ensure you cover all the fabric.
Then using either tongs, or your fingers (careful not to burn yourself) pick up the wrap and hang to dry, I put mine outside on our low washing line, but you can also attach pegs to a coat hanger and hang inside.
And there you have it! All done! You can customise them by sewing them into pouches, adding buttons or velcro, or simply leave them as they are. To keep them closed once over food, simple use your hands to warm the wax slightly and press gently to keep it in position. They can be a bit stiff to start off with, but they loosen up with use!
Beeswax wraps are best used for food you're likely to eat within a couple days and not raw foods such as meat or fish. So great for packed lunch! Simply wash after use with warm soapy water, leave to dry and re use the next day! If you notice the wax getting a little bare, the wraps are easily replenished with a little more beeswax where needed, and putting back in the oven! Simple as that...
...Now for the lessons I learned the hard way
Number 1: Don't cut your fabric without looking at the size of your tray!! I've made these wraps for my dad's birthday, as he is the biggest culprit for using non-recyclable plastic bags for his sandwiches. So, I chose the fabrics from the selection of single fat quarters we have in the shop and cut them there and then using the pinking shears, you may have noticed the pictures I have used are of a floral pattern, funnily enough, these are for me, not my dad. His aren't pictured. Anyway. One of the pieces I cut was quite large, and didn't fit on the tray, "No worries!" I thought, "I'll just put it on the shelf on top of the paper with no tray, it'll be fine!" Wrong. The wax dripped all over the bottom of the oven, under the grill pan we keep under the shelf and under a liner we keep in the oven too. This brings me on to my second point..
Number 2: USE A TRAY WITH SIDES!! I used a flat tray with a small lip on one side, this will not stop your melted wax from going everywhere, trust me, just use one with sides.
Number 3: Don't try to clean up the wax with kitchen roll...Lets just put it this way, I may have started a small fire on top of the cooker, I put it out, nothing got damaged, but just try not to make a mess, follow the proper method, and you'll be fine!
You all see why I don't cook now...
Hope this provided you with a little humour in this weird time, let me know if you've tried beeswax wraps, and how it went for you!