Environment

DIY Beeswax Wraps

They are super expensive in the shops but easy to make by yourself. They help us reduce our plastic use and are way better for the environment.

We all want to reduce our plastic use, and cling wrap is pretty lethal as far as plastics goes.

It is made of petrochemicals, is actually toxic to the environment and looks like jellyfish, so marine animals try to eat it leading to suffocation or death from intestinal blockages.

whale choking on plastic

And cling wrap is, by and large, unnecessary.

Folks have lived without Cling/Glad wrap for centuries, haven’t they? The alternative is to use something more organic and natural – a Beeswax Wrap.

natural alternative to cling wrap

Eliminate Cling Wrap – Make a Beeswax Wrap

To make a Beeswax Wrap, all you need is:

  • 1-2 bars of Beeswax – (from your hardware shop)
  • Fabric the size you want the wrap – plain cotton or calico is best
  • A kitchen grater – best to use one you don’t use every day
  • Greaseproof naking non stick paper
  • An Iron
  • Old Teatowels
  • Cardboard

How to Make a Beeswax Wrap

  1. Trim the edge of your fabric with Pinking Shears
  2. On the Ironing Board, lay down a piece of thick cardboard and top it with a layer of non-stick baking paper slightly larger than your fabric piece
  3. Lay the fabric down on top of the paper
  4. Grate the bar of Beeswax and spread evenly over the fabric
  5. Lay a second sheet of the baking paper to cover the fabric
  6. Cover with an old Teatowel
  7. Iron evenly across the size of the fabric ensuring you cross over all edges.
  8. Allow to cool
  9. Peel away the baking paper.

Your beeswax wrap is ready for use. It is that easy!

Recycling/Upcycling Ideas

Use up excess fabric or scraps of cotton to make beeswax wraps

Cut up a cotton shirt/ outfit you no longer wear, checking first that the material has no toxic dyes, so cotton is best.

Calico for making the Beeswax Wraps can be Tie Dyed. Make fun designs using string, rubber bands and non-toxic dyes. A great activity with the kids.

Tie Dye fabric

Other Alternatives to Using Cling Wrap

  • Use a washable container with lid. (Even if it is a plastic lid at least it can be reused hundreds of times before disposal)
  • Cover with damp or dry, tea towel
  • Wrap in a washable cloth bag for vegetable/ cold meats – works well with the Christmas ham
  • Wrap seafood and meat in butcher’s paper and place in a reuseable container

Something environmentally friendly to Ponder About

Green Bag
Community

Upcycle Tutorial – Environmental Bags

Say No to plastic! That is our new mantra, right?

When we think Green bags, what comes to mind? Those ugly, bland ones in garish colours, with some corporate log stamped all over it, offering fresh promotions to someone other than you. They might be practical, but more often, ugly. Or they get dirty and you can’t erase the marks, no matter what detergent you use.

Furthermore, I am inclined to prefer to drink my own ‘home-grown’, filtered water, rather than tap water, at my workplace, and thus, carry several drinking flasks to work, which becomes unwieldy in a regular handbag. My local, liquor store carry-bags have several interior compartments that are just perfect for holding bottles of wine, or, in my case, stainless steel drink flasks. Normally I carry 2-3 of these water flasks, which clank around noisily as I walk, and get dented or scratched in a normal tote bag.

However, carrying Liquor store carry bags into work each day, gives out the wrong message to my colleagues. “Look at her: she just can’t keep out of the Liquor store!!” I could almost hear it whispered about in the corridors of my workplace, each day. There had to be a better approach, I thought.

I have already shown you how to create a new shopping bag out of old clothes and fabric scraps here in this tutorial, but another solution to going plastic free and reducing plastic waste is to “Upcycle” the ‘green’ bags, by adding a pretty fabric cover which is machine washable. This gives me the chance to use some pretty fabric from my stash and get a stylish tote bag in the process. Here is how I did it:

Step 1

Grab some iron-on batting or interfacing, and a piece of pretty fabric (slightly larger than the bag’s measurements) or two, that is if you want to add a pocket on the outside to hold keys, phone etc etc.

Blog pics 001

Step 2

Try out a few combinations until you are happy with the contrast of fabrics and colour schemes. Keep in mind they should complement the colour of the green bag itself.

Blog pics 002

Step 3

Cut a piece of interfacing the dimensions of the bag. Now cut the fabric to fit the bag not forgetting to add a 1/4 inch hem allowance on all sides. I find it works better if I iron the hem allowance under, before I sew it. Tacking also helps keep the fabric in place. It will be impossible to sew the complete four sides of the bag, with the machine, as the bag is already assembled. So some hand sewing will be required in those places that your sewing machine foot cannot reach.

Blog pics 003

Step 4

If you are attaching a pocket, cut, trim and hem before you sew the fabric to the front and or back of the bag. Iron on the interfacing etc…. you already know how to do this….

Blog pics 005

Sewing in progress.

Tip: Use a strong/thick needle for sewing this bag. They make them tough and that will break a #80/90 gauge sewing needle.

Blog pics 006

Step 5

Repeat on the back side of the bag. As I said, use a strong/thick needle for sewing this bag. They make them tough and it will break a #80/90 gauge sewing needle.

Blog pics 007

Step 6 (optional)

The pocket looked  a bit plain, so I added a heart motif applique, for contrast.

That’s it…. all done, and I do like to take this everywhere now. Holding my lunch and water allowance for each and every work day. The bag fits in at the workplace in a way the Liquor shop carry- bag did not!!!

I hope this gives you some ideas to ponder about.

Blog pics 015