DIY

How to DIY: Beeswax Wraps & Weighted Dog Blanket.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Ok!  Ramping back up from that stupid flu!

It took much longer than I expected and anticipated to get my energy and focus back which has been frustrating, a drag, and very very very boring.  Sheesh... but I persevered, all is fine!

So I thought I’d knock out some smaller projects that have been on my list to try such as beeswax wraps and a weighted blanket for the anxiety-riddled Finnmeister.

A bit ago I purchased some of those silicone covers* to reduce plastic wrap usage, ya know, trying to do what I can.

I have to say, when you’ve been using something for so damn long that serves its purpose well, it’s hard to cut down and/or eliminate it.   The struggle is real but it’s important to do.

So these silicone thingies, they’ve helped but they aren’t the best solution, for me anyway.   They don’t fit everything, they slip especially if there's moisture, they won’t do squares, and if they tear, they’re done.   And if it's done, silicone is complicated to recycle and doesn't decompose.  Boo.

I like that I can put them in the dishwasher, and they mostly work.  I am regretting this purchase now.

But.  So.  I thought I’d see if beeswax wraps would do the trick as you can make them any size or shape.

Several years ago, I found a super easy tutorial over on The Art of Doing Stuff.  She’s hilarious.  I wish she lived next door.  And man, she does a lot of stuff, it’s mind-boggling.

Anyway, I followed her process for the most part.  Hers look a lot smoother and tidier than mine.  Maybe I should've ironed the fabric after washing?  Hm.

Project needs:
So ok, I ran out to Joann Fabrics and picked up a yard of lightweight 100% cotton muslin.*   I figured the thinner the better, the easier it would be to shape.  And that is true.  Ran it through the wash.

I already had beeswax leftover from huh, heh, that “board butter” recipe of hers as well.

Using some pinking shears* that I picked up one year for holiday cards, I cut three randomly sized squares out of the muslin.  The shears are to avoid stitching the edges.  Flipped the oven on to 170° F.

I lined a baking pan with aluminum foil and laid out the squares, sprinkling a random amount of beeswax over them.  It was hard to know how much, if it would melt and spread or what (nope).

Popped the tray in the oven for about ten minutes.

Turns out 170° was too low and the beeswax beads, while they did liquefy, they retained their shape and didn’t spread.  I used a chip brush* to spread the wax but note the wax will re-form to a solid near instantly so move with urgency.

As such, I popped them back in the oven now at 190° F along with a smattering more wax beads to melt/re-melt then spread with the brush further.

...
If you can grate the wax, that would be ideal as it’ll be more even and in tinier, easier to melt shards.

Lift the pieces of fabric off the tray right out of the oven and they’ll cool in a flash.

So voila, tada, beeswax wraps!  Just like that!  Really super easy, right?!

diy homemade wax plastic eco-friendly beeswax wrapper
Tada!  Wrap!  Heh.
The verdict?  Heh, they’re ok.  They’re quite stiff.  While the semi-warmth of my cold hands molded the wrap around the top of this bowl, it’s not remotely a tight seal so the jury is still out.  I’ve mostly been using reusable lidded containers* and haven’t used the wraps yet.

beeswax wrap plastic reusable environmentally friendly
Ah ha.  Beeswax wrap on a bowl.  You can kinda tell how it's not sticky to the rim, especially in the photo above.  Hm.
I understand to clean these, use cool water and a gentle soap, hang or drape to dry.  Obviously then, these can’t be used with meats or germy things.  I understand too you can mix in a pine resin* to make these more flexible but that really really weirds me out.

We shall see!

Next up I wanted to make a dog size weighted blanket for Finn, our poor fella, mostly for fireworks season which I guess is practically the majority of the year in Humboldt Park.  Warmer weather mostly, early spring through New Year’s Eve.  Sigh.  Heh.

He’s a basket case, a shaking, quivering, panicked mess after even just one pop way off in the distance.  June leading up to the holiday is rough, then the week-of we have to shut up the house and dose him with Rescue Remedy* and increasing amounts of Trazadone (the pills I do not like as he still looks freaked, just a confused, incapacitated version of).  The day before and day of, hatches battened and drugs drugs drugs day and night.  Still doesn’t help.

He refuses to go out to do his business for fourteen hours or longer.  It sucks.

Thundershirt,* useless.  Classical music, a/c on, loud fans, blinds closed, not a single thing helps.

He’s just a nervous, anxious guy to begin with so I thought a weighted blankie might calm him, even though he’s not much of a blankie dog.

Really simple project thanks to Emily Grace King on Instructables. What you need most is time and oodles of patience, the latter of which I was a bit short on, to be frank.

Project needs:
Back at Joann I bought a piece of flannel,* forty two inch wide by almost two yards, perfect.

Measure your dog.  "Mooommmmyyyy, whaaaat are you doing?!  Stop it!"  This is Finn's favorite chew bone* as you can see, thanks to Bob, Heidi, and the girls (the in-laws).
Over on eBay, I ordered up twelve pounds of plastic pellets.  I’ve read a weighted blanket should be about ten to twelve percent of body weight for a human.  We don’t know what Finn weighs (vet trips are a nightmare for our little people- and dog-hater) but we gather roughly one hundred pounds.

Take your fabric and fold it in half into the finished size you’re looking for, stitch up one short side then the long side on the machine, leaving the other short side open.  Or you could stitch the short sides and leave the long open.  Either way, then turn it inside out.

Next you’ll stitch columns.  As I did a short and long side, I ran the fabric through the long way at about two and a half inches apart.  You can mark it to be accurate.  As I was free handing and making it up as I went, I was not accurate.

...
Grab a funnel, preferably with a wide bottom hole or make one with stiff paper, rolling it into a cone and tape or staple it into that shape.

Don't step away long lest this happens to you as well.  Every time, heh.  On curtains, on fabric....what a weirdo.  Hailey did this too though.
Place the funnel tip inside the top of one of the columns, drain an amount of pellets down and repeat across the rest.

A quarter cup of pellets was my random decision as I was losing patience, I started this waaayyy too late in the day, and did not feel up to doing the math required on how to evenly portion it out.

Me:  "C'mon big guy, you gotta skooch."  Him:  "No.  Naaaoooo.  No.  I'm too cute," as he swats me away.
To do the math, map out how many sections you’ll have ahead of time and divide that into the pellets, either by cups, ounces, whatever measurement works simply, is easily repeatable, and fits in each stitched pocket area.

...
Back at the machine, stitch that row shut across the short way.  Be thorough and ensure every pellet is away from the … *snap*, broke the needle.

Mmph.

Ok, one row stitched and shut, all right, repeat for the next row and ….. *crunch*, broke another needle.  Ah gosh darn it!  Ooooh-kay.  I'm done.

I didn’t finish this project.  That happens occasionally.  I think the flannel was an issue, snagging ahold of the pellets, making them tough to maneuver.

That's it, I give up.  Oh and look who's back!  hahaha, floor project = dog magnet.  So funny!
I’ll likely purchase a kid’s size blanket* for Finn instead.  Flu remnants, my downfall.

But this is definitely doable.  Keep repeating the process until you get to the last row and stitch it shut.  Tada, dog size weighted blanket!  Be sure to always supervise and keep an eye on your pooch while using it.

What’s on tap over here?  Spring is a’-knockin’ and I am tickled!  Tickled!

Although.  They're cutting down our tree out front this very minute and I am crushed.  Crushed.  So much for the loads of shade plants I've put in over the years and the shade grass seed I just bought.  Aw man.  Siiiiggghhhhhh.....

Bye bye lovely tree.  The guy said it's an ash and it's sick.  Ugh.  I'm really upset.
Hoping to wrap up the laundry room which I’m quite giddy about.  And I’ll share more of the master shower story forthwith!

*The silicone bowl covers, beeswax, chip brushes, pine resin, food storage containers, Rescue Remedy for dogs, Thundershirts, sewing machines, funnels, Finn's favorite bone, and child-size weighted blankets are Amazon affiliate links.  The muslin and flannel fabrics, heavy-duty thread, and pins are Joann Fabrics affiliate links.  The plastic pellets are an eBay affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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2 comments

  1. so you can order Rosin, also called tree rosin or gum rosin and it will give your wraps some stickiness.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, thank you, I've read that too. The pine resin concept kind of creeped me out though, but we'll see. Thanks for the tip!

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