Classic Blue Peter Upcycles to Fill You with Nostalgia

When the iconic theme tune 'Barnacle Bill' first played in 1958, the producers of Blue Peter could hardly imagine that the show would still be on the airwaves during the 21st century. However, the format proved a massive success and generations of children have grown up wanting to earn a Blue Peter badge. Alongside the badly-behaved pets, celebrity interviews and simple cookery and garden lessons, upcycling plastic packaging and household junk has long been a staple of the show. Do you remember any of these?

A pritt stick, scissors and a pen laid on coloured card

1960s: Cat Bed (Washing Up Bowl)

If they took Valerie Singleton's advice, children in the 1960s would be putting their pets to bed in an old plastic washing up bowl. The bowl was padded with foam plastic at the bottom and the kids could use their knowledge of sewing to make an elastic-hemmed removable washable cotton cover. These days of course, kids just let cats sleep on their laptops.

1980s: Blake's 7 Teleport Bracelet (Margarine Tub and Cottage Cheese Container)

Blakes 7 hit the airwaves in 1978. Created by Terry Nation, best known for designing the Daleks in Doctor Who, it was a popular space opera with a low budget. When Lesley Judd taught science fiction fans how to make their own Blake's 7 Teleport Bracelet using her famous sticky back plastic, it probably wasn't that different to the props they used in the actual show. Listen out for the phrase "the all-important cosmic button".

1990s: Tracy Island (Toilet Roll, Yoghurt Pot and Tissue Box)

Thunderbirds was inexplicably popular for a brief time in the 1990s. The plastic Tracy Island toy cost a whopping £34.99 and had sold out in most toy shops. Anthea Turner came to the rescue in 1993 with her homemade Tracy Island. The make was so popular that a speeded up version was shown at the end of another episode, with the instruction that viewers record it and slow it down!

We love a nostalgia trip as much as anyone and we are always interested in plastic innovation. We'd much rather see plastic packaging items reused, recycled or used creatively by children than wind up in landfill. At Coda Plastics, we reuse over 90% of any waste we produce. If you want an environmentally responsible company to produce your plastic packaging, talk to us. Email us at or call us on +44 1692 501020.

Did you ever attempt to make something you'd seen on Blue Peter? Share your stories with us on Twitter at @CodaPlastics.

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