2017: 'Product in a Tin' Competition

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Return to the main competition page

See the 2016 competition winners & runners up

This competition runs from Sept 2016 - 1st Aug 2017

The design brief: What do I have to do? 

  • Create a ‘Product in a Tin’ made using textiles materials and techniques as well as at least one other material. 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. 


  • Entrants must produce and submit an actual product and not just design work.  
  • The product MUST use at least one type of textiles material.
  • The product MUST use at least one textiles technique. Machine or hand techniques can be used.
  • The product MUST use at least one other type of material that is not usually considered a textiles material e.g. plastic, wood, metal, paper. This could be in the form of a button, bead, or component or as a material e.g. fusing plastic bags together to make a material that can be stitched together to make a product. If you are using a button, bead or component made out of a non textiles material this can be bought ready made or you can make it yourself (although judges will be more impressed if you make it yourself!).   You will be asked to write an explanation of the materials you have chosen in your application form. Below are some examples of ideas you could use for inspiration (note that entries that are just copies of these ideas are very unlikely to win).
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The images above show examples of products that fit the competition brief. The earphone holder is made of fabric and has metal components to attach it to the bag. The light is 3D printed from ABS plastic and has a non woven fabric melted onto it. It has textiles base and e-textiles is used to create the light. The luggage tag is made of fabric and has a metal eyelet to enable it to be attached to luggage. 

  • Glue must NOT be used as a method for joining textiles materials and appropriate textiles techniques must be used. Glue may be used to join other materials but only where essential and appropriate.
  • 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. 
  • You don’t have to buy a tin and can use the dimensions listed in the information below to help you create a mock up to check your 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).
  • You can design & make any product you like but it must be designed for a particular user and have a purpose/function. You must tell the judges who the typical user is & what the product function/purpose is (you include this on the application form). 
  • Think carefully about what you write about your user, product function and material. Don’t just state the obvious - explain your thoughts in detail and justify your points. These explanations help the judges understand your product and can make a big difference to who is chosen as a winner.
  • 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 neaten the insides of things and to make your product look good from all angles.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by an application form. Note this is 2 pages long & includes information on who the user is for your product, along with the product function and some information about the materials.  This helps the judges understand the product better. 
  • 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.
  • There are additional resources for students to help them understand the important parts of the competition brief. There are also additional resources for teachers to help them build the competition into a module of work. 
  • Note: The competition is open to entries from the UK mainland. Entries from 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.  

Above are more examples of ideas you could use for inspiration. The first keyring uses yarn wrapping, tassels and embroidery. It also has a small mirror as well as metal clips. The book has a textiles cover with embroidery and beads made of plastic. It also has a mirror in the centre of the embroidery as well as paper stitched at the spine to create the book. The last keyring has pompoms made of yarn which are attached to a metal chain and clip. 


The tin!

  • Your 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.
  • Don’t forget to clean your tin when testing to see if the product will fit!
  • You don’t have to buy a tin and can use the dimensions in the diagram below to help you create a mock up to check your 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.
  • The purpose of the tin is give you a restriction on the size of the product. This gives you lots of choice on what to design and make but keeps the product small enough to post cheaply. 
  • Although the tin is not part of the competition entry you could choose to develop the packaging as an additional design activity just for yourself

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 you might 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


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

Get more inspiration from the 2016 competition winners & runners up


What are the prizes?

The main prize is a Husqvarna Viking H Class 100Q sewing machine for the school the winning student attends. This machine normally retails for over £300. The winning student will also win a smaller separate prize. Students who enter independently should also note the main prize is awarded to their school. 

Click here to find out more about this machine 



A HUGE thanks goes to Husqvarna Viking & Coles Sewing Centre who have sponsored the main prize.

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 are all of a consistently high level, where the paperwork is well completed and where the spirit of the competition aims have been fulfilled. This prize aims to acknowledge the hard work of teachers who use the competition as a whole class project.


Who can enter

Any mainland UK school or college student in year 7-13 (age 11-18).

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. 

All application forms 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. Anyone submitting an independent entry should note that the main prize goes to the school. 

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. 

Click here if you are teacher looking for resources to support the competition

Students can submit as many entries as they wish.


Is this competition the same as the 2016 one?

Fox

The 2016- 2017 competition is similar to the one that ended on 1st August 2016 but it isn't exactly the same. The new D&T GCSE starting 2017 requires students to have an understanding of ‘broader materials’ so the competition takes this into account. As part of the design students MUST use a material that is not usually thought of as a textiles material. They can use this in any way they like for example, applying a plastic button, including a zip with metal teeth, applying wooden laser cut beads, making the product made out of plastic bags that have been stitched together. Students do not need to have made these parts of their design themselves. The amount of textiles and non textiles materials that are used is up to the student but the work MUST include textiles and at least one other material and it MUST also include at least one textiles technique. 


Is the competition just for textiles students?

3D printed light

No. The competition started out as a textiles competition and it still has a textiles bias but it has now broadened out to include other materials to reflect the new GCSE D&T starting in 2017. Students MUST use at least one textiles material and technique and MUST also use at least one material that is not usually thought of as a textiles material. The amount of textiles and non textiles materials that are used is up to the student. The non textiles bits of the product can be bought components and materials or they can be made by the student themselves. 


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. 


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When is the closing date?

Monday 1st August 2017 

(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 all the information on this page first as the answers to your question might be there.


Where do I send my finished entry to?

Send your finished entry along with your completed application form to:

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

Notes on posting your entry:

  • 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 the form. 
  • You don’t have to send the tin as part of your entry. Simply post your entry in a padded envelope.
  • Make sure the package is well wrapped. Use a strong envelope, or a padded one, & put lots of tape around it to protect it. 
  • 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 any entries that are posted are well packaged. An 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.


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

Click here is you are teacher looking for resources

Click here to download all application forms and other important paperwork


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

You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

© Julie Boyd 2012  All  text, images & ideas on this website are the copyright of Julie Boyd & may not be copied or reproduced without permission.. All rights Reserved.