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Women for Kansas offer Earth Day craft
Kids can make beeswax wrap
Earth Day wraps
Wraps can be decorated using stencils and fabric markers, as shown in these samples. - photo by photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Women for Kansas members plan to share a green craft with children who attend next month’s Earth Day Celebration at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. On Sunday, members practiced making reusable beeswax wraps.

“They take the place of single-use plastic like Saran wrap or Glad wrap,” said Pam Martin with the Barton County chapter of Women for Kansas.

Several businesses and groups will have booths at the Great Bend Earth Day Celebration on April 23. Hosts for this event are the zoo, Rosewood ECycle and Great Bend Dairy Queen.

Women for Kansas will have a craft table inside the Raptor Center at the zoo, Martin said. Children as young as 5 years old can decorate pieces of muslin fabric that will be coated with a beeswax mixture. Families can use wraps to cover bowls or plates of food, or to wrap fruit, cheese, sandwiches and other food products.

“Using beeswax wraps reduces use of single-use plastic wrap and making them yourself is a fun, fairly simple family activity,” Martin said.

Plastic wrap is convenient but environmentally costly, she noted.

“This is a huge problem, impacting all ecosystems,” Martin said. “Disposable plastics such as straws, bags and water bottles never totally degrade, becoming microplastics. Studies conducted in 2020 of human cadavers found microplastics throughout their organs.” 

The chapter received a Women for Kansas Education Foundation grant to purchase supplies for the Earth Day celebration. Women for Kansas was founded in Wichita as a grassroots group that cuts across political, racial, cultural and economic boundaries. Martin explained why the Barton County chapter chose to take part in the Earth Day celebration:

“Protection of our environment against avoidable degradation and depletion of our natural resources is one of 11 legislative goals set by Women for Kansas,” she said. “Members of the Barton County Chapter have chosen to work on this goal, along with others, and reducing the use of single-use plastics definitely meets that goal.”

Several other organizations have committed to the local come-and-go celebration, which occurs a day after the official 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. Smoky Hills PBS is incorporating its Family Fun Day into the event and will bring a special PBS character to meet and mingle with children. Also participating in the event are the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Heartland Farms and the Rosewood Aktion Club, along with the hosts.

Women for Kansas members practice making reusable beeswax wraps that can take the place of plastic food wraps. From left: Dee Grummon, Jan Stice, Jancie Walker and JoAnn Roth. They plan to share this craft with children who attend the Earth Day Celebration on April 23 at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. - photo by photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

How to make beeswax wraps


• 100% cotton fabric

• Pinking shears

• Stencils and fabric markers (if desired)

• .35 oz. pine resin

• 1.25 oz. beeswax pastilles, or grated beeswax

• 1 Tbsp. jojoba oil

• Large popsicle stick

• Parchment paper

• Tape

• Paintbrush

• Iron

• Double boiler or canning jar and saucepan

Notes: Pine resin can be purchased online; beeswax and jojoba oil can be found in the candle section of craft stores.


1. Cut cotton fabric into different shapes and sizes, using pinking shears to reduce material fraying. Stencil, if desired, with fabric markers; allow to dry before coating.

2. Place one piece of parchment paper on table. Tape a separate piece of parchment to table, taping another piece on top of first.

3. Place one piece of cut fabric on single parchment paper.

4. Add resin, beeswax and oil, placing  in double-boiler or glass canning jar/measuring cup placed inside a saucepan.

5. Add water to saucepan until mixture in double boiler or jar is below waterline. Heat on medium-high,  to a simmer.

6. Melt ingredients, stirring with popsicle stick to mix, about 20 minutes.

7. When completely melted, transfer to table and place on hot pad, then begin brushing melted mixture onto fabric. Do NOT saturate the fabric. Brush lightly. Turn fabric over and brush lightly.


Wash in cool water with mild soap and air dry. Store folded in a drawer away from sunlight and heat. Beeswax wraps can be reused up to 100 times, lasting for up to a year and possibly longer if properly taken care of. 

Wraps can be decorated using stencils and fabric markers, as shown in these samples.