So you wanna zero waste your kitchen, you've seen that you can get those wax wrap things at your local zero waste shop, or online but they're really expensive. Hmmm..

But what you may not know is that wax wraps are super easy and pretty darn cheap to make! And today I'm going to be showing you exactly how to do it.

A few months ago I was on the phone to my mum who excitedly told be she'd made some bees wax wraps for her fridge, that they were really easy to make, and that she loved them! I wanted some of my own but as bees wax wasn't really vegan I didn't particularly want her to make me those. So the next time I was home I found she'd bought five kilograms of soya wax (you do not need that much) and had all of my dad's old shirts I could need to start my own little collection of wax wraps. I just needed some instruction.

Why use wax wraps?
For a lot of people going zero waste, Tupperware suffices, but wax wraps are a really good replacement for aluminium foil and cling film in your fridge and lunch box. Cling film is not recyclable and aluminium is a finite recourse, and takes a lot of energy to extract from the earth, and so using less of this is definitely better for the planet! Using some old cotton fabric, some wax, and an oven you can make your own wax wraps which can be wiped clean and used over and over again. I use mine to wrap sandwiches in for my lunch, to cover bowls in the fridge with, and house halves of vegetables and vegan cheese. Half an avocado in a little wax pouch takes so much longer to go brown than if you put it in Tupperware, it's amazing!

So keep reading to learn how to make your own, and where to buy these and more eco friendly cling film and foil. The hands in these pictures are my mother's, as she instructed me on how to make these wax wraps before I video'd myself having a go. Watch the video just below or keep scrolling for written instructions on how to make these yourself!
What You'll Need

  • Some Cotton Fabric (design of your choice)
  • A brush
  • Scissors
  • Soy Wax ~500g will do around 10 sheets
  • Greaseproof Paper
  • Baking trays
  • An Oven set to 100ºC
Note: it's worth making sure the wax you're using is safe for food as it will be in contact with food.
Step 1: Line your Baking Tray with Greaseproof paper
After preheating your oven, line your baking tray. This step ensures that your wax wraps don't stick to your baking tray, and that you don't get a lot of wax on your trays. Just cut and fold as necessary for the size tray you are using.
Step 2: Cut your fabric to Desired Size
Then put your fabric on top of your greaseproof paper, it being folded is not an issue as the wax will melt through. I've made pockets out of the fabric and waxed that, you can make little sandwich bags and wax them. I would also recommend making quite big sheets as bigger ones are generally more versatile, but a variety of sizes is always good.
Step 3: Add Wax to fabric
Once your fabric has been folded or placed onto your graseproof paper, you can add wax to it. Flakes of wax work better here as they melt easier than big chunks, and use a lot more wax than in the second picture (it's only partially waxed here). But don't worry if you don't add enough wax, you can always add more after you've taken it out of then oven.
Step 4: Place in Oven for a few minutes
In your oven, set to 100ºC it should only take a few minutes for your wax to melt, you can see it turning to liquid, once this has happened, remove it.
Step 5: If Necessary, Add More Wax.
As you can see from the picture, this fabric did not have enough wax on it the first time; there are still dry bits. If this happens, just add more wax and put your fabric back in the oven until the whole piece of fabric is coated in wax.
Step 6: Brush out Wax
The wax will not necessarily have melted evenly over your fabric and so you can brush the wax out to even it out and get any last little dry bits of fabric covered. This needs to be done when the wax is still warm, but be careful not to burn yourself.
Step 7: Leave to Dry
Drying your wax wraps should only take around 20 minutes, Make sure they are drying flat our and any pockets or pouches you have made are left to dry open! If any pieces are left drying while touching they will stick themselves together. If this happens just put them back in the oven and make sure that they're left to dry again open (I made this mistake making my little pocket).
Repeat as necessary, and enjoy!
You can do this with as many pieces of fabric as you want, it works well if you get into a rhythm of one in, one out of the oven. Once your done get to using them! And make your lunch boxes and your fridges clear of single use plastics like cling film and precious materials like aluminium.

Your wax wraps may need replenishing after a while of using them, if this is the case they can just be put back in the oven

Decided you want to buy some? Here are some links online for soy wax wraps.

Note that wax wraps cannot be used in the oven! And so if you do need to use aluminium or cling film in cooking then If You Care offers eco/recycled aluminium foil.

And remember when recycling aluminium foil to wash it thoroughly and make it into balls at least fist size before putting it in your recycling bin to ensure it is recycled properly.

Hope you've found this guide helpful, please let me know if you make these for yourself. Tag me  in the pictures! I am @muccycloud on social media. Also bees wax works just as well for these, but is slightly more expensive, though you need a little less of it to coat the fabric.

Let me know if there's any other crafty zero waste things I could try and I'll give them a go. Until next time!