Guest post today by Julie Anne Eason. What I like about this post, and what I think many preppers will also like, is that the product she’s describing here is eco-friendly, requires just a little do-it-yourself skills and it saves money. Many preppers understand the financial and common sense value of saving leftovers. This easy-to-make product will help you do just that.
One of my favorite modern conveniences is tinfoil. It’s cheap, it’s handy and I sure would miss it if/when the SHTF. But recently I found a much more environmentally friendly alternative. It’s completely flat (so it takes up no space) and it weighs next to nothing. Which makes it perfect for a bug-out bag.
I’m talking about simple waxed linen circles and squares. They mold to any shape you press them over or into. So, they work like tinfoil to keep leftovers moist and uncontaminated. They can also be pressed into a cup shape for use as a drinking vessel or mixing bowl. Then, when you’re finished using the vessel, you can just flatten it back out and put it in your bag. My family uses these for camping now, and it’s amazing how often they come in handy.
Here’s how you make them:
- Melt some wax over low to medium heat. Wax is flammable if it gets too hot, so be careful. I use 100% beeswax, but you can also use paraffin.
- While you’re waiting for the wax to melt, cut some different sized shapes out of linen. I suppose you could use cotton, too, but I’ve only tried linen because I have lots of scraps lying around. I like to use circles, but squares work just as well.
- Once the wax is liquid, drop the fabric into it. You’ll get a quick bubbling effect as the fabric fibers open up and are infused with the wax. It only takes a few second for the fabric to be completely saturated with wax.
- Then you just hang it up somewhere to dry for a few minutes. As the wax dries, it will harden and the fabric will feel like flexible plastic. You should be able to mold it and have it stay in that shape.
That’s all there is to it. You can make dozens of these in about fifteen minutes. If you’re stocking up for a shelter or long-term survival, why not make long sheets of it and roll it up just like tinfoil? Then you can cut the sizes you need later.
- Because wax does melt, these aren’t great for hot liquids. You can eat cereal out of them, but it’s not going to work for your morning coffee.
- If they get gnarly after a while, just heat them up and flatten them back out.
- If you know you want bowls, let the wet waxed fabric dry inside an actual bowl. It will hold its shape better that way.
- Don’t worry about hemming the edges of the fabric; the wax will take care of that.
- If you melt your wax in a disposable turkey pan (or other pan you don’t mind losing), you can just let the excess harden in place. Then when you need wax for another project, it’s all ready to heat back up.
Julie Anne Eason is a freelance craft and sewing writer.