Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School and Making Beeswax Cloth

I now have an even better tutorial for making beeswax cloth here!

Daniel is starting preschool this Fall, and it seems like it's just around the corner. I am so excited for him, because I think he will love school. And sad for me because I love having him around all the time. I console myself thinking of running errands alone, uninterrupted crafting and occasional naps on those 2 afternoons.

Since he will be having snack at school, I decided to make matching snack bags and napkins for his Dick and Jane backpack. And I loved it so much that I decided to list the set on my Etsy store! The backpack is a great, free pattern from IndieTutes.

I've been looking into buying or making reusable snack bags for some time now, but it is hard to choose a material. I didn't want plastic or nylon touching his food. I mean, why not just use a Ziploc, then? And I didn't want the food to dry out either.

Then, I though that PUL might be safe since it's on his cloth diapers, but Hope at Little Moose Diapers told me that PUL is not food safe.  I found that a little alarming because there are TONS of PUL snack bags on Etsy, and other places.  So, my genius idea was to use beeswax cloth. But where do you find it? Well...I couldn't. But, there are tutorials for making it. From what I've heard it's a bit hit and miss. The basics are grating beeswax, spreading it over the cloth and melting it with wax paper and an iron. I head lots of problems with getting it even, and it soaking through and wrecking the look of the fabric. So I had to get creative about making the beeswax cloth and the reusable bags!

I ended up painting the beeswax onto the inside/liner fabric for the bags. I melted the wax over low heat on the stove and lightly brushed it onto the back side of the fabric. It worked great. I'm glad I did it only on the lining and not on the outside fabric for two reasons. First, the wax tends to bleed through on the edges and if it's on the inside it's not at all noticeable. Secondly, if I had done it on the outer fabric, I may not have made a liner and the liner makes it look way nicer, easier to wash and keeps the wax directly off your food. Not that it would be bad if it touches your food, but if it melted or whatever food got mushed in, it would make a mess. 

The upside to using beeswax: all natural, smells great, food safe, and keeps the food from dying out unlike plain cotton.
The downside: Hand washing in cold with mild detergent only. Worth it to me!

If you'd like a great snack bag tutorial, you can find one here.

I am excited to make a set. I have so many cute fabrics that are just waiting for a project! And don't forget to enter my giveaway!


  1. Thanks SO much for the mention! I would NEVER have thought to use beeswax for this project - hubby usually chews up the honeycomb before I can imagine a project for it!

  2. OOOOh, pick me pick me! I want to buy a school set for Caleb! Should I get it through you or your etsy? Does it need to be one of the fabrics there? (looking for anything with trains on it; or I can pick one of the fabrics you have... Maybe that orange gingham). Can I get just the set of reusable food bags and napkins (we are pretty in love with our Thomas the Tank engine bag for school right now).

    Excuse my ignorance, but what is PUL?

  3. Dayna: I will drop you a line to talk about what you want....I would happily do train fabric!

    PUL is fabric laminated with polyurethane. Not food safe. Some people say it's okay as long as the shiny side is not touching the food directly, but the manufacturers say NOT food safe.



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