Product in a Tin Design Brief

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Our competition is taking a break

Our D&T competitions have run since 2014 and we’ve had some amazing entries which have made the competitions a real pleasure to judge. We’ve also met fantastic students and teachers and given away brilliant prizes sponsored by Husqvarna Viking, Coles Sewing Centre and Mindsetsonline, whose support we are incredibly grateful for. 

The competition takes a lot of organising, something that has become more of challenge due to impact of the pandemic. We have therefore had to make the difficult decision to stop running our competition for now to allow us to focus on our other work. 

We hope our competition will return in the future but in the meantime the resources will remain on the website for schools to use as a module of work or as a competition within their own school.

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The inspiration for ‘Product in Tin'

The image shows an example of a real product in the shops that inspired our Product in a Tin activity. Visit to find out more about the product. 

Jollie Socks

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'Product in a Tin' design brief

  • Create a ‘Product in a Tin’ using materials from at least two of the materials categories used in Design & Technology e.g. wood, metal, plastic, textiles and paper/board. 

Product in a Tin competition
  • The product MUST use at least two different D&T materials e.g. wood and metal might be combined, or wood and plastic, textiles and wood, plastic and textiles, paper and textiles or any other combination. 
  • Materials can be in the form of a ready made/bought component or the material can be shaped and formed by the student.
  • The product has to fit in to a Pringles 40g snack size tin. Scroll down to find out more about the tin including sizes. The tin acts as a size restriction for the product and doesn’t need to be included in the design (unless the student chooses to do this).
  • The product can be smaller than the tin but must be able to fit in the tin with the lid closed. It can be rolled, folded or taken apart to fit in the tin (but remember it must be a made product and not a materials & components kit such as a first aid kit).
  • Any product can be designed but it must have a user and have a purpose/function. 
  • The product can be made using hand or machine techniques (products should not just use glue as a construction technique unless this is appropriate for the materials used). 

the-global-goals-grid-colorClick here to get resources to support this work

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I have to use 2 different categories of D&T materials. What does that mean?

Categories of D&T materials are:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Textiles
  • Paper and board

The product must include a material from at least 2 of these categories e.g. wood and metal, paper and plastic, textiles and metal. Any combination of 2 materials can be used as long each one is from a different category. Any amount of each material is used and one can be used much more than the other. 


Materials can be bought as ready made components or parts or can be cut and shaped. Above are examples of components and parts you might use to add a different material category to your work. They are a metal wing nut and bolt, a plastic clip fastener, an embroidered patch and metal split rings. 


The example products above show different materials categories used together in products. 

  • The ear rings are made of plastic bags that have been stitched with thread and attached to other polymer layers using heat. They also have beads made of paper and all the parts are held together using metal. The student made all of these parts except for the ear ring clasps which were purchase. 
  • The phone holder is made from wood laser cut by the student and embellished with textiles braid and a polymer button which the student bought ready made. 
  • The hamster bed uses textiles materials and hangs from metal carabiner clips which the student bought. 
  • The keyring is crochet and decorated with wooden beads. The metal keyring and the beads were bought by the student. 
  • Click here to get resources to support this work

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The tin!

  • The product has to fit in to a tubular tin that is the same size as a 40g Pringles snack tin or a 60g Nescafe Azera coffee tin. The Pringles can be bought from smaller supermarkets, petrol stations etc. and the coffee tin from larger supermarkets.
  • A tin doesn’t need to be bought and the dimensions are in the diagram below to help create a mock up to check the product is the right size.  
Product in a Tin
  • The purpose of the tin is give a restriction on the size of the product. This allows for choice on what can be designed but it keeps the product small enough to post cheaply. 
  • Don’t forget to clean the tin when testing to see if the product will fit!
  • The product can be smaller than the tin but must be able to fit in the tin with the lid closed. It can be rolled, folded or taken apart to fit in to the tin (but remember it must be a finished product and not a materials & components kit such as a first aid kit).
  • cap and ring set can be purchased from Mindsetsonline as an alternative to a Pringles can (use the template to make sure the height of the can is correct). 
  • The can could be decorated when making the product. It could also be a part of the product that is designed.

Product in a tin template

Click here to download a sheet that gives you the dimensions of the tin (you may need to change your printer settings to print it out accurately)

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Where can I get more ideas and inspiration?

Jollie Goods socks copy

Stuck for ideas & need some inspiration? Not sure how to use different materials together? Not sure what the terms ‘user’ and ‘function/purpose’ in the brief means? 

Are you a teacher looking for ideas on how to this activity?

Click here to get resources to support this activity

This activity used be one of our competitions. Take a look at some of the competition winners to get ideas for your own design. 

Mixed materials


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