Hand-dipping paper in beeswax gives it the patina of an antique and is a chemical-free way to preserve it. Here’s how to make your own beeswax paper.
Beeswax-coated paper has a lot of uses.
The yellow patina lent by the smooth beeswax coating makes paper an instant antique, a perfect look for many scrapbooking, card making, and altered book projects. Or perhaps you’re more interested in the waterproofing effect of the beeswax–a beeswax-coated paper bunting is one outdoor party decoration that won’t be ruined by a rainy day.
And just as with beeswax leaves, beeswax-coated paper is, while perhaps not archival, certainly preserved. A beeswax-coated newspaper clipping can live in a shadow box of other mementos without crumbling to dust, and your grandmother’s hand-written recipe card, coated in beeswax, is safe from all tomato sauce stains while you use it.
To make your own beeswax paper, read on:
I’ve said it many times in many tutorials, and I will likely say it many, many more times: a crockpot devoted to crafting is an invaluable resource. Get one from a thrift store near you.
In a double-boiler or crock pot devoted to crafting (get one!), heat a block of beeswax until melted. In your crockpot, this can be done with either the Low or Hot settings, but not the Keep Warm.
When the beeswax is melted, simply dip one piece of paper calmly but quickly into and out of the beeswax. Don’t attempt to immerse the entire sheet–keep your fingers safe!
Hold the paper aloft over the beeswax pot until it’s finished dripping. Continue to hold it up for just another minute until the beeswax coating is solid and cool.
Turn the paper around and dip the uncoated end, trying to overlap as little as possible the paper that you’ve already coated. Again, hold the paper aloft until melted beeswax has finished dripping from it, and the beeswax coating is solid and cool.
We use beeswax paper for so many things in our house: we make paper luminaries out of it, and weather-resistant buntings, and Christmas ornaments. I scrapbook with beeswax paper, coat newspaper clippings in it to preserve them, and dip sheets of poetry or old dictionary pages in melted beeswax to “antique” it. My girls use beeswax paper in any number of art and science projects, almost daily it seems.
Thank goodness for well-loved art supplies!