Magpie Anthology

Christmas in the Time of Covid (part 2)

 By Juliet Bawden from

Today’s novel Christmas decorations are made from re-cycled tomato purée tubes. Yes you did read that correctly.


1.When you have finished with your tomato purée, using kitchen scissors, cut both the top and the bottom off the tube and cut it down one side and open it out.

2. Wash the metal under the kitchen tap and then flatten the surface. You will have a lovely gold metallic finish on one side and the printed design on the other. The way to flatten the metal is to place it on a surface such as a newspaper and then smooth it with your index finger, in much the same way as you may have done with sweet foils when you were a child.

3. To create the raised pattern on the metal use a biro and press through the pattern from the printed side to the smooth metallic side.

4. Use a stationary punch to make the hole from which to hang the tree ornament. If you don’t have a punch, push a skewer or tent peg through the soft metal. Thread with string, sewing cotton or whatever you have to hand. Hang from your tree. 

An alternative use for the purée metal is to make cuffs for church candles. I made a Christmas table center by giving a wine case a thinned down coat of emulsion and then filling with candles, suitably cuffed, and odds and ends of old Christmas decorations.

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