Most people that use plastic bags would hardly realize that they’re a fairly recent innovation. Dating back to the Pioneers, and even further back to the Ancient Egyptians, people have used cotton bags to store food for centuries. Now, with sustainability in the spotlight, some people have restored the craft of using cotton bags over plastic.
The benefits are obvious. Aside from the environmental and potential health benefits of using natural cotton bags over petroleum-made plastic, cotton bags are completely reusable (meaning you save money). Plastic bags can be expensive, and if you use them regularly to pack lunches or store leftovers, that can add up. For an economical, sustainable, and functional choice, Celestial Gifts’ natural muslin bags provide a variety of sizes that can be used to store sandwiches, dry foods, snacks…. or even produce and leftovers.
One of the best and easiest ways to innovate our bags for additional purposes is to seal them with beeswax. A natural protectant, when beeswax is melted and applied to cotton it creates a sealing, plastic-wrap like quality. As the wax absorbs into the cotton fibers, the bag becomes less “breathable,” making it perfect for storing non-dry foods… especially since beeswax is antibacterial. Even better, you can decorate our bags before sealing them to make beautiful, economic, and sustainable storage bags that can be used time and time again.
DIY Beeswax Cotton Bags
- beeswax, grated (or pellets). About 0.5 oz. of beeswax per wrap
- Celestial Gifts’ bags of your choosing
- old cookie sheet (used exclusively for beeswax)
- paintbrush (used exclusively for beeswax)
- chop stick for stirring the wax as it melts
- cheese grater (used exclusively for beeswax)
- a make-shift clothesline and clothes pins
- Preheat oven to 185F (any higher will burn the wax).
- Place Celestial Gifts’ bags on cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle evenly and lightly with grated beeswax. You don’t need a lot!
- Place in preheated oven. Watch carefully! This should take 5 minutes or less.
- As soon as the beeswax is melted, remove from oven.
- Spread wax evenly with paintbrush to cover any spots that are not yet coated (including drawstrings).
- Hang on makeshift clothes line with clothes pins to dry.
- Once cooled, flip over and repeat the process for the other side of the bag. Make sure to brush both sides after, as the wax will have melted again. Once cooled, you can use!
- If your wax starts to harden before you have evenly spread it, simply reheat it.
- This recipe uses less than 1 oz. of beeswax per bag.
- If you have a lot of wax left on the cookie sheet, place another bag on empty cookie sheet and it will absorb the extra wax.
- Wash in cool water with a mild soap.
- Each wrap will last several months or more depending on usage.