Print your own Onion Patterned Beeswax Wraps

For the past year, along with much of the population, we’ve been looking at ways to reduce our dependence on single use plastic. I decided that rather than an evangelical purge of all single use plastic, it’s best to take small steps and ditching the cling film seemed the easiest way to start.

I had some commercial beeswax wraps that I’d used a few times and then forgotten about but with the zeal of a newly converted ‘no cling film user’ I started to use them regularly and realised they make a viable and more sustainable alternative to cling film. The only problem was that I didn’t have enough, so I decided to make my own, using the advice given in this post at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.

home made beeswax wraps printed with thermofax, onion, jelly print

Use patterned fabric that will hide the inevitable marks and stains that will appear or even better, print your own. The home made beeswax wraps above have been printed using thermofax, jelly printing and onions.

Home made beeswax wrap onion pattern printed over jelly print

To make Onion Patterned Beeswax Wraps, follow the instructions below. Use plain fabric or very pale patterned; in the picture above, I used an onion to overprint an unsuccesful jelly print, which has given some interesting patterning.



Print and make your own Beeswax Wraps


You will need:
Old towel
100% cotton fabric
1 large onion
Fabric Paint/Ink (or acrylic paint mixed with textile medium)
Palette or plate
Small sponge
Pure Beeswax pellets
Baking parchment


Lay your towel on a flat surface and spread your fabric on top.

Pull off any loose outer skin and cut the onion in half.

Put a small blob of fabric paint onto your palette and use the sponge to dip into the paint and dab it onto the cut side of the onion. You need a thin, an even covering of paint.

Press the onion (inked side down) firmly onto the fabric. Hey presto. You have a print.

Repeat your print until the fabric is covered and leave to dry.


When the fabric paint is completely dry, lay the towel on the ironing board and put a large piece of baking parchment on top.

Fold your fabric into six layers or if you’ve used several different pieces of fabric, just pile up six pieces of fabric and put them on top of your baking parchment, making sure there is a margin of at least 10 centimetres around the edge of the fabric in case the wax leaks.

Beeswax wrap making with wax pellets scattered over fabric

Sprinkle the wax pellets on top, cover with another piece of baking parchment, set your iron to the cotton setting and iron gently over the baking parchment. If the wax pellets are melting unevenly into the fabric, use the iron to push the wax to the dry spots.

Flip your baking parchment sandwich over and run your iron over again, pushing the wax to fill any more dry spots. If you have an excess of wax, just slip another piece of fabric under the baking parchment and iron again so that the new fabric soaks up the wax.

When your fabric has soaked up the wax, peel the fabric layers apart, taking care not to burn yourself as they may still be hot, and lay the fabric out to cool.

When it’s cold, the fabric will be slightly stiff with the wax.

Cut your waxed fabric to the sizes and shapes you require, using pinking shears if you’re worried that the fabric might fray. My largest wrap is about 35 cm x 35cm and the smallest one is 15cm x 10cm (perfect for wrapping a cut lemon).

You can also screen print your fabric using an embroidery hoop (see instructions here), use potato prints, jelly prints or block printing.

beeswax wrap jelly printed covering bowl

Beeswax wraps are ideal for keeping bread fresh, covering a bowl of dough that’s proving and for covering bowls of leftovers. Hold the wrap in place so that the warmth of your hands shapes it to the bowl. These home made beeswax wraps aren’t as clingy as cling film or the commercial beeswax wraps that use pine rosin and jojoba oil but I use a rubber band if I want a firmer seal.

beeswax wrap jelly printed made into origami box containing raspberries

You can use basic origami skills to make boxes or pouches, which makes them useful for packed meals.

After use, wash your beeswax wrap with cool water and a little washing up liquid and leave to dry. Don’t use them in the microwave because the wax will melt and don’t use them to wrap uncooked meat or fish.

After a year or so, either re-wax them using the original method or if they’re looking a little stained, use them as fire lighters or compost them.

19 thoughts on “Print your own Onion Patterned Beeswax Wraps

  1. Thank you so much for this, I have balked at the price of the commercially made ones, I also really like the onion printing.

  2. Oh what a wonderful idea. Could make some lovely, original wraps for using in the Mudlets’ pack-up boxes. Where do you get bees wax pellets from?

    1. We had some left overf from a candlemaking session which were from The Norfolk Candle Company. If you have a local beekeeer you might be able to buy a block of beeswax and grate it. A summer holiday project for the Mudlets perhaps …

  3. We’ve been converted to beeswax wraps too, but I’ve never thought of making my own – so thank you very much for this blogpost! I particularly love the idea of making little origami boxes 🙂 (btw we also use lilypads – airtight silicone covers made by Charles viancin to replace cling film. They’re not cheap but more long-lasting additions to kitchen equipment)

  4. Hi Anne, has anyone considered what ink is safe to print with? I keep seeing people using all kinds of printed fabrics. What is considered safe? I see lots of small setups selling handmade wraps but no-one seems to have any food safety certificates to indicate that the pattern printed, is with food safe ink.
    What is considered safe ink and does anyone have any idea where I could buy food safe ink or food safe printed fabric, in the UK.

    1. Goodness, I hadn’t considered that aspect and I’m not qualified to offer advice. I use Permaset ink for fabric printing, which are more eco friendly than many inks and some of their inks can be used for printing on infant clothing, but I don’t know about food safety. I think the best thing would be to ask the manufacturer.

      1. Thanks Anne, it seems not many people have considered this but I think it’s important to make sure we’re not hurting ourselves with potentially dangerous inks. I’ve tried to find food safe inks online but it’s difficult to know where to look. The best solution I’ve found is to use something like beetroot powder. Lot’s of people are starting to make beeswax wraps and using any old fabric but I used to work in the textile industry, so I suppose it was obvious to me but not to most. Any way, please pass on the thoughts and stay safe and healthy. Please let us know if you find any food safe printed materials. I’m finding it difficult to find any online. Great site and great blog. Your farm looks so much fun 😉 many thanks nOrm x

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