Product in a Tin Competition

2016 Winners

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See competition winners from other years

2016 winners

2016 Competition Winner: Eliann from Burford School in Oxfordshire

Congratulations to Eliann, a year 10 student from Burford School in Oxfordshire, who is the winner of the ‘Product in a Tin’ competition for 2016. Also thanks go to Anne Lenton, Eliann's teacher for her support for Eliann's work. 

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Eliann's product is a reusable shopping bag that folds up into a pocket created by clever folding of the bag. It is made of a lightweight nylon fabric and uses hand and machine appliqué as well as buttons to create the foxes face. A clever drawstring across the corner of the bag means the bag can fold away into a small pouch. The bag uses French seams on the inside and has shoulder length straps. 

fox 2

The product was chosen as the winner because of high level of skill and challenge and quality finish to the product. It was also chosen because it is an unusual design idea that is commercially very marketable. The information on Eliann's application form was also taken into account when choosing a winner. She describes how her product meets user needs that now exist because of the new carrier bag law. She says this has created the need for shoppers to have small, reusable bags that are functional and easy to carry around with you all the time but which are also fun and appealing. 

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Eliann won a Husqvarna Viking H Class 100Q sewing machine for her school. A huge thanks goes to Husqvarna Viking and Coles Sewing Centre who sponsored the sewing machine prize. Eliann also also won a big bag of prizes for herself. 

Find out more about the machine Eliann won for her school. 

Watch the video below to hear Eliann & her teacher, Mrs Lenton, talking about the competition entry.

Find out more about the machine Eliann won for her school.

HUGE thank you to Coles Sewing Centre, Nottingham & Husqvarna Viking  who sponsored this fantastic prize. Check out the Coles Sewing Centre website or contact rose@colessewingcentre.co.uk if you are interested in this machine.

Runners Up

2nd place: Ellie Mortimer, year 9 student at Scalby School, Scarborough (teacher Lisa Biggs)

tic tac toe

Ellie’s entry was a fold up travel game of tic tac toe which included a small drawstring bag to store all of the star and planet shaped counters in. The game uses a variety of different fabrics and includes hand and machine embroidery, quilting, machine appliqué techniques The attention to detail is excellent as is the quality of the product. Ellie’s application form included a detailed description of the user of the product along with how her design would meet the user’s needs. She also talked about her inspiration coming from Sir Tim Peake’s travel to space which inspired the rocket theme with the planet and star counters. 


3rd place: Francesca Reynolds, year 8 student at Newlands Girls School, Maidenhead (teacher Wendy Bennett)

Pairs of pears

Francesca’s entry was an educational game called Pairs of Pears which came complete with instructions and a fabulous tiny clay trophy for the winner of the game. The aim of the game is to help children to learn the names of different fruits, to develop counting skills, and to help children become familiar with the idea of healthy food. 


Each piece of fruit is made out of felt and uses embroidery stitches and beads (the instructions also have sequin decoration on the back which can’t be seen in the pictures). The attention to detail on the fruit pieces is excellent and each piece literally looks good enough to eat! Francesca has also managed to get each piece to be virtually identical. There are some clever touches too such as the use of Velcro on the bananas so they can be peeled. What can’t be properly appreciated in the photos is how small each piece of fruit is; the strawberry is just 3cm square and the kiwi is just 4.5cm in diameter with all the rest of the fruit being of similar dimensions. This makes the level of accuracy and detail Francesca has achieved even more challenging. Francesca’s application form was also detailed explaining in detail about the user of the product and how it meets their needs. Special congratulations goes to Francesca as she also came second in last year’s competition and it was a real pleasure to see something very different to work last year. See her entry from last year. 

Highly Commended (listed in no particular order)

It is always such a pleasure to see all the competition entries each year and a genuine privilege that students and teachers have worked so hard to share their work with me. Choosing a winner and runners up is always extremely hard but this year was particularly difficult as there were at least 12 entries that stood out from the rest all for different reasons. Unfortuntely there couldn’t be 12 winners but the following 9 entries were awarded ‘Highly Commended’ and will also receive a small prize as each one only just missed out on being in the top three. 


Handy Hood, a fold up short hooded cape designed to carry around in your bag

5 a day bag

Sarah Seager, year 9, Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone (teacher Mrs Rawlins)

felted dolls house

Dinner in a Bag shopping bag with 5 recipes linked to QR codes to enable you to shop easily

sock teddy

Daisy Goodall, year 10, Flixton Girls School, Manchester (teacher Tracey Heaton)

play mat

Felted dolls house

Leonie-Mai Johnson, year 9, Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon (teacher Mrs Evans)

pencil roll

Sock teddy toy

Matthew Scott, year 7, Chipping Camden School, Gloucestershire (teacher Miss Streeter)

Travel car playmat

Ummhaani Mulla-Bulla, year 7, Clapton Girls Academy, London (teacher Hayley Morton)

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Travelling pencil case

Isaac Hodgson, year 9, The Lakes School, Windermere (teacher Ms Anderson)

dungarees 2

Owl light

Heather Edwards, year 8, Ashfield School, Kirby in Ashfield (teacher Helen Lloyd)


Child’s Dungarees

Lucy Turnbull, year 9, Weyvalley School, Weymouth (teacher E.Glass)

Toy to teach the days of the week & weather 

Elena Rossetti, year 9, St Clement Danes School, Chorleywood (teacher Mrs Firth)

Merit prizes (listed in no particular order)

The following entries were awarded a merit certificate. Although they weren’t quite good enough to be a potential prize winner each one had a little something extra that deserved recognition. 

merits 2

Rose brooch by Ria Shoesmith, year 11, Prince William School, Peterborough (teacher J Richardson)

Survival kit for budding explorers (includes e-textiles emergency light) by Rebecca Gaskell & Morgan O’Hara, year 7, Madeley High School, Crewe (teacher Olivia Hinton)

Roll up pencil case by Louisa Grieco, year 9, St Clement Danes School, Chorleywood (teacher Mrs Firth)

Pop up pin cushion (this is made perfectly to size so it pops up like a jack in a box when the box is opened) by Katie Woodbridge, year 7, Chipping Camden School, Gloucestershire (teacher Miss Streeter)

Paperweight and pin cushion by Eve Mayer, year 9, Wilmslow High School, Cheshire (teacher Miss Speed)

Dog lead holder with e-textiles torch by Sophie Hitchen, year 8, Prince Henrys School, Otley (teacher Gina Williams)

merit 3

Cutlery roll (made of knitted plastic bags) by Amy Smith, year 9, Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon (teacher Mrs Evans)

Fold up dolls house with finger puppets by Rebecca Abbey, year 9, Scalby School, Scarborough (teacher Mrs Biggs)

Finger puppets by Georgia Bayliss, year 10, Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone (teacher Mrs Rawlins) 

Planet inspired stress relievers by Phoebe Aldrich (special congratulations to Phoebe as she was also the winner of the 2015 competition), Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone (teacher Mrs Rawlins)

Children’s activity pot with a toy rabbit, pencils & paper attached to the lid by Megan Shearn, year 7, Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire (teacher Miss Streeter)

Outstanding School Award

This award (and a small prize) goes to Denise Firth at St Clement Danes School in Chorleywood. This was awarded to the school as they submitted 11 entries which were all of a consistently good standard (including a 'Highly Commended’ and a ‘Merit’ award). All of the products were very different from each other and many were unusual and challenging. Students also completed the ‘user’ and ‘function’ sections of the application form in some detail. This prize aims to acknowledge the hard work of teachers who use the competition as a whole class project.

Outstanding school award

Other entries

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Here’s a selection of other competition entries that impressed the judges. Can you see yours?

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. It has been a real pleasure to see the work of so many students and teachers. I know many schools also ran the competition as an internal school competition with only the best entries being sent to me so thanks also to those students who took part in the competition at their school. The standard of the work this year has been particularly impressive with a wide range of different ideas and high quality products. 

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What will happen to the entries?

Unfortunately entries can’t be returned but they will be displayed at various events I am running across the country over the next year for teachers. 

Click here to find out how to enter the current competition 

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