'Product in a Tin’ Competition (ends 1st Aug 2018)

Product in a Tin competition

Return to the main competition page

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See the 2017 competition winners 

The inspiration for the competition

  • The image below shows an example of a real product in the shops that has inspired the competition. Visit www.jolliegoods.com to find out more about the product. 

The design brief: What do I have to do? 

  • Create a ‘Product in a Tin’ made using a material from at least two of the main materials categories used in Design & Technology e.g. wood, metal, plastic, textiles and paper/board.
  • The product MUST use at least two different categories of D&T materials but there's no restriction on the type of materials used, which combination of materials are used or how they are used in the product. For example an entry might combine wood and metal, wood and plastic, textiles and wood, plastic and textiles, paper and textiles or any other combination. 
  • The materials used can be in the form of a ready made/bought component or part or the material can be shaped and formed by the student. Whilst ready made components and parts can be used, entrants should note that judges are more likely to be impressed where students have shaped and formed materials themselves. 
  • Entrants must produce and submit an actual product and not just design work.  
  • The product can be made using hand or machine techniques. Entrants are advised to think carefully about techniques that are used and products that are glued are unlikely to be successful (unless this is appropriate for the materials being used). 
  • Entries must be of a high quality with well executed techniques & a finished piece of work that looks attractive. In particular don’t forget to make the product look good from all angles and that it is fit for the purpose and user it was designed for.
  • The product has to fit in to a tubular tin that is the same size as a snack sized Pringles 40g tin. Scroll down to find out more about the tin. The tin is not part of the competition entry and doesn’t need to be posted. A tin doesn’t need to be purchased and the dimensions are listed in the information below to help create a mock up to check the product is the right size.  
  • 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).
  • Any product can be entered but it must be designed for a particular user and have a purpose/function. Information on the typical user is & what the product function/purpose will be included on the application form).
  • An application form is required with each entry where an explanation of the materials that have been chosen has to be given. These forms often play an important role in the judges understanding an entry, and it is often these forms that can be the deciding factor when choosing a winner.
2017 competition checklist

Use this checklist to see if your entry meets the competition criteria

This competition ends on 1st Aug 2018

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

Categories of D&T materials are:

L Ella Robinson stitched wood
  • 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  (the judges might be more impressed with the last one!). Below 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 bird and house are made from wood and the split ring on the key ring on the key ring is metal. The jackalope toy is one of the joint 3rd place winners of the 2017 competition. It uses textiles materials, plastic for the button and beads, as well as metal wire wrapped with paper to create the antlers. The button and beads are bought components but the antlers were made by the student. 

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.
  • The purpose of the tin is give a restriction on the size of the product. This gives choice on what to design and make but keeps the product small enough to post cheaply. 
  • Don’t forget to clean the tin when testing to see if the product will fit!
  • 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  
  • 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
  • DON’T post the product in the tin unless it is easily crushable. Non crushable products should be carefully packaged up in an envelope as this will be cheaper for posting.
  • Although the tin is not part of the competition entry students could choose to develop the packaging as an additional design activity if they wish. 

Click here to download a sheet that gives you the dimensions of the tin (to print it to scale set your printer settings to 100%)

Where can I get help, ideas and inspiration?

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 design brief means?

Are you a teacher looking for resources to support the competition?

Click on the links below to get help and resources for the competition

Get inspiration from previous competition winners & runners up

What are the prizes?

The competition winner wins a Husqvarna Viking H Class 100 sewing machine that retails at over £300. Find out more about the prizes. Below you can see Ellie May Hadlington, the competition winner from 2017, with her winning certificate, the sewing machine prize she won for her school, Wolverhampton Girls' High School, as well as a portfolio full of design related prizes, plus a big box full of other goodies that she won for herself.

Ellie Hadlington Prize Giving copy

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.

The competition aims to encourage students to enter the competition and therefore there are lots of prizes to be won. As well as the main prize, students in 2nd and 3rd place will also receive a prize. In addition there will be small prizes and certificates for students whose work is judged as ‘highly commended’ or ‘merit’. 

There will also be a prize for the school whose students’ entries stand out for some reason. This is not about the number of winners a school has, or the quality of entries, but more about how the teacher has used the project in school, for example, whole school competitions that might have been run with a selection of entries being entered into the main competition. Teachers are therefore advised to give a little bit of information on how they used the project when submitting their entries as it is usually this information that helps the judges decide on the winner of this prize.

Who can enter

  • Any mainland UK school or college student in year 7-11 (age 11-16). Note the age group has changed from previous years and entries from post 16 students are no longer allowed.
  • Entries outside the UK mainland are accepted but these won’t be entered into the official competition and they can’t win any of the prizes. If any outstanding entries from outside of the UK mainland are received they will be acknowledged by being featured on the website as a separate part of the competition. 
  • Individual students can enter the competition independently and the entry doesn’t need to have been made in school. Anyone submitting an independent entry should note that the main prize goes to the school. 
  • Students can submit as many entries as they wish.
  • All application form must be signed by a D&T teacher in order to confirm the age of the student and that it is their work. This includes independent entries to the competition. 
  • Teachers could do this competition as a class project and submit a number of entries from a class. The competition could be run internally with prizes being given and the best work being submitted to the competition. This will reduce postage costs and also means that students will have the chance to have their work rewarded even if they don’t win anything in the main competition. 

Is this competition the same as last year?

The competition is similar to the one that ended on 1st August 2017 but it isn't exactly the same. Last year students had to use two materials, one of which had to be a textiles material. This year students must still use two materials but they must be from 2 different categories of D&T materials. They can be any combination of D&T materials used in any way e.g. wood and metal, textiles and plastic. The materials can be in the form of ready made/bought components, although the judges will be more impressed if the materials have been shaped and formed by students themselves. 


Is the competition just for textiles students?

3D printed light

No. The competition started out as a textiles competition but it has now broadened out to include other materials to reflect the broader materials approach to D&T. The judges are looking for two D&T categories of materials being combined together in a product and it doesn’t matter what these materials are. 

Does the work have to be done in school?

No. The work can be done at home, in school or a combination of both. Independent entries can be submitted but these must be signed off by a D&T teacher to confirm the student’s age. It should also be noted that the main prize goes to the school and not the student even in the case of independent entries. 

When is the closing date?

Monday 1st August 2018

(entries can be sent at any time during the year)

Will I get my work back?

Unfortunately work can’t be returned because of the large number of entries received.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the competition?

Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk if you have any queries about the competition. Don’t forget to read information on this page first as the answers to your question might be here.

The application form & getting your entry ready to post

  • Each entry must be accompanied by an application form. Note this is 2 pages long & includes information on who the user is for the product, along with the product function and some information about the materials.  This helps the judges understand the product better. 
  • Think carefully about what is written about the user, product function and materials on the application form. Don’t just state the obvious - explain thoughts in detail and justify decisions. These explanations help the judges understand the product and can make a big difference to who is chosen as a winner.
  • Entries MUST have the entrant’s name & contact details securely attached e.g. stitched on, written on, using a safety pin. DO NOT use paper clips or ordinary pins to hold the name in place. 
  • Make sure you read the ‘Terms & Conditions’ before posting entries. 

Where do I send my finished entry to?

Send finished entries along with a completed application form to:

Julie Boyd, 375 Hucknall Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, NG5 1FU

Notes on posting entries:

  • Don’t forget to make sure your name & contact details are attached securely to your entry (e.g. stitched, written on or pinned on with a safety pin. Don’t use paper clips or ordinary pins)
  • Send your entry with the application form. Don’t forget there are 2 pages to fill in.
  • You don’t have to send the tin as part of your entry. 
  • Entrants are responsible for delivering their work & receipt of entries can’t be acknowledged. If proof of receipt is required it is advised entries are sent by Royal Mail ‘Signed For’ or ‘Special Delivery Guaranteed’ 
  • Make sure the package is well wrappedAn ordinary envelope is usually not sufficient and many of these type of entries arrive ripped with the products damaged. Padded envelopes work best. Wrapping packages with lots of tape also helps make them stronger.

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Click here if you are a student looking for help & ideas

L Ella Robinson stitched wood

Click here is you are teacher looking for resources

Application form

Click here to download all application forms and other important paperwork

Product in a Tin competition

Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk

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