Recycle tomato paste tubes! – Doda Smith

Hi everybody,

Today our fantastic DT member Doda is going to show us a recycling idea. For more ideas from Doda on her blog.

Doda says:

Tomato paste…what’s not to love. It’s a great addition to soups and stews and what’s more…if you buy the stuff that comes in a tube, once the paste is used up, the tube can become a great looking addition to your craft stash.

Once your tomato paste tube is used up, carefully snip of the top and bottom of the tube with strong scissors. Be very careful doing this, you don’t want to end up with fingers that look like they are covered in tomato paste if you know what I mean. If you can get the scissors into the tube snip down one side, and if not then take a very thin strip off one side of the tube, then carefully prise it open and wash it under a running tap, I use my kitchen scourer lightly with a touch of dish-washing detergent just to make sure I get all the bits of paste off. Pat the metal dry and then to flatten further, roll on a flat surface with a rolling pin. Your craft metal is now ready to use in your projects.

Paper punches will work well on this thin metal, so whatever punches you have in your craft room, try them out. You can then further emboss the metal using a ballpoint pen on the back of the metal to draw dots, swirls or whatever takes your fancy. You can then use these embellishments on cards and scrapbook pages.






If you have an embossing machine like the Cuttlebug or Big Shot, you can run the metal through an embossing folder. This gives a great effect. It is best to cut it to the size you are needing first with strong scissors.



I like to use this method to decorate my handmade journals. Because the journals are going to be handled a fair bit I don’t want the embossing to get flattened, I use a generous amount of PVA glue on the back of the piece which I smooth into the indents as if I was plastering holes in a wall –  you can just use a scrap bit of card to do this with. Then I leave it to dry overnight and it adds sturdiness to the embellishment.


Once your design is embossed it can also be sanded to distress the piece and smooth the edges. There seems to be a coating on the metal which gives it its gold colour, when you sand it the underneath tin colour comes through. Very effective.


Another thing you can do with the tomato paste tube is to cut it into thin strips and run it through an embossing labeller machine. You know the kind. I have an ancient one from Boots the chemist, and a Dymo one that has 3 different fonts, but I do find the basic font works best. This strip can then be used to decorate journals or sewing projects as seen here on this little keyring I have made. I sometimes like to add a further frame to the text just using a ballpoint pen and ruler on the reverse. It is easy to then punch holes with an awl so you can stitch it onto your projects. You can use the tape that comes with your labelling machine as a guide to getting the strip the right size. It won’t work unless it is exact. It can be a bit of a fiddle, but it is worth persevering as it  produces a very satisfying result.





I hope this has inspired you to look at tomato paste tubes in a different light. Have fun !

We hope you like this cool idea and maybe try it.


Happy Crafting,

Crafting Ireland Team

Categories: craft | Tags: , , ,

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4 thoughts on “Recycle tomato paste tubes! – Doda Smith

  1. carmen mulcahy

    This looks a brilliant idea. I will try it with the next empty tube! thanks.

  2. wow, i’m impressed with what you did with that can. i

  3. this is such a great ide – and execution, love the pieces with letters especially. well done, again, Doda!!

  4. I don’t think we have tomato paste tubes in the US, but will check next time I go shopping. It would be worth buying it just for this fun idea, but I’m sure something else will work just fine. I love recycling projects. Maybe Doda can also do a tutorial or UStream class on making a journal one of these days. Thanks for the great step-by-step tutorial.

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