What kinds of contests do YOU want to see on Instructables?

Hi everyone! As we're planning contests for the next year, we wanted to get suggestions and feedback on the types of contests we're running. :D

Is there a contest we ran years ago you'd like to see again?
Any contests you're sick of?
A weekly challenge you'd like us to expand on?
Do you want the contests to be more specific or more open ended?

We're trying to shake things up in contest-land - so any and all suggestions are welcome! I'm especially interested in what types of tech contests you guys would like to see, as well as ideas for food contests. 

P.S. For anyone wondering about weekly challenges - we're still trying to figure out a way to do it that makes it easy for you guys to enter and easy for the editors here to run. But I promise we are discussing it! :)

Have prize suggestions? Check this topic.
Want to get a preview of some of our upcoming contests?

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I'd like to have an "After the Fact" contest. I've had plenty of projects that I've made over the years (before I came across instructables) that I've never documented. It takes skill to document something after it's been made. Both the project and documentation would both need to factor into the contest.

That would be interesting :)

JM19992 months ago

What would it be like if you limited the number of votes each person ha for each contest?

I think that 10 votes each or 1 vote per 10 views would be a good start.

JM1999 JM19992 months ago

** each person HAD**

The "D" key is hit and miss on my keyboard.

lime3D JM19992 days ago

Rather than limit the number of votes, I'd like to SEE the number of votes each instructable receives from the member community.

JM1999 lime3D2 days ago

Then there would be favouritism.

It would be cool to see the number of votes each entry got AFTER the contest ended though.

JM19991 month ago

Carnival style contest.

Instructables would give the competitors something to do and the first person to get it done is the winner.

Or maybe something could be hidden around the site and the contestants had to find it.

Have you seen the Extreme Commenting game that's been going on?

Yes I have, I have gotten both the 3 month PRO and the 1 year PRO memberships.

I guess it is sort of the same thing I was thinking.

JM1999 JM19991 month ago

It helped me a lot on my way to GOLD comments ;p

Haha, it good to have goals to work towards!

Yes it is, it would be more interesting if Instructables added more levels to the achievements like Platinum, Rhenium, Osmium, Iridium,.

I just find it a big jump especially in the views, it goes:

-Gold: 10M+

-Silver: 1M+

-Bronze: 10K+

there is a long way between 10,001 and 1,000,001 think about the 50,000 and 100,000 and the 250,000 and the 500,000 and the 750,000 and then the million would be cool.

lime3D JM19992 days ago

Why? The points don't mean anything.

JM1999 lime3D2 days ago

I guess there is no point, some people just like that sort of stuff.

nat334 JM19991 month ago


JM1999 nat3341 month ago

Yay, someone agrees with me!!

Have you considered a contest with projects made from PVC? The project can be constructed in any fashion as long as the primary item used is PVC. The prizes could be home improvement products or tools.

Yes, I second the PVC idea. We've seen hundreds of instructables made from pallets. But please, no more how to make the letter ____ out of PVC.

AlexKein5 days ago

Lego Contest

Oh God, please no more Lego, K'Nex or Minecraft.

Or maybe there should be an instructables site just for kids. C'mon, how many of us over the age of 12 will ever build something with K'Nex?

Actually, there is a pretty large K'Nex following amongst adults here at Instructables. There's a whole forum category devoted to them.

They've made some really amazing projects.

That has already been and gone, they will be holding one next year - it is an annual contest they run.

gearup5002 days ago

how about a survival contest? I could be about urban survival, survival in the wild or how to make a bug-out pack

lime3D2 days ago

How about a Coffee contest? This would include recipes for coffee drinks, but also plans for DIY coffee roasters, coffee mugs, accessories. I could see alternative uses for coffee, and even uses for used coffee grounds. Prizes could be high-end coffee makers, mugs, gourmet roasted coffee, etc.

There needs to be a contest where the prizes are 3d printers, but people who already own 3d printer can't enter anything that was made by the 3d printer or is 3d printing related. Kind of like the first time author contest going on right now except instead of not allowing people who have previously made instructable, people who own a 3d printer can't enter. The reason I think something like this should exist is because I see all these contests with 3d printers for the prizes and the winners of those printers were people who made something using a printer. This I find unfair because it's not allowing people who don't own a printer a chance to win one, of course there is the occasional person who wins a printer with out using a previously owned one, but this is rare( at least from what I've seen).

There is no way to prevent someone who owns a 3D printer from entering the contest, but I agree that the prize for a 3D printer challenge should not be a 3D printer.

I'm glad we see eye to eye on this.

I've been trying to think of a solution, but it's not easy. Generally folks that are into 3D printing need to do post-printing activities, like painting, glueing, etc. Maybe craft/tool kits would be a good prize for contests like that.

You have to keep in mind that there are tons of ways to get your 3D design printed other than owning a printer yourself. There are many sites online that will print and ship. Makerspaces and even public libraries have 3D printers for public use. Just because you've made something with a printer doesn't mean you own one.

lime3D10 days ago

How about a quick-fire challenge, like on Top Chef? The idea is that you have 24 hours to write an instructable on topic X.

That sounds like so much fun, I would love to see a contest like that.

Himers5 days ago

Fire/Pyro Contest

JM1999 Himers5 days ago

Yeah, make it so it coincides with the papercraft contest and get bic as a sponsor!

lime3D10 days ago

If you could get some of the networks or studios as sponsors, you could have TV or movie themed contests. Big Bang Theory, Walking Dead, Star Wars, etc.

I've been marathon watching The Walking Dead for the last week and I would love to see a contest with those themes! Maybe something more general like apocalypse preparedness or, I like this!

The key would be finding appropriate sponsors, for prizes that would appeal to those of us that would want to enter such a contest. Has anyone at instructables looked into getting gift certificates donated, rather than physical prizes?

We generally can't give away gift certificates because we have to give away things that have value to people all over the world. If someone in Europe won a gift card to a US company it wouldn't really be of any value to them.

I think doing something broader could work out though!

They don't ship everywhere, unfortunately :/

I second the apocalypse preparedness idea!!!!!!

Attmos8 days ago

I was just watching the Ohio State / Minnesota game. Seeing all the fans in the stands and how they all dress themselves up and make posters and lots of other stuff made me think that a "how do you support your team" contest, or something similar, would be fun.

That would be a fun contest!

I think so too. I'm not a huge sports fan but I know how dedicated so many people are. Pointy fingers, body paint, tail gating, game day costumes and outfits, parties, banners; there are soooo many possibilities.

RJM200117 days ago

What about a challenge who can give the best and easiest to follow instructions for one particula item or you build a item and get us to find out the best way to make it?

(do you get what I mean?)

I like the second thing you mention, it'll be interesting to see the different approaches to make the same thing. Great idea

I think we should have a penguin contest. Show how to build draw or make anything penguin it would be so cool. The prize could maybe be a 6 foot penguin. That would be so cool

wesseldyk18 days ago

bracelet making contest

Raitis10 days ago

It's just a rough idea, but an "Interactive home" contest or something along the lines - aimed more at entertainment, than useful smart home hacks (I like function, don't get me wrong).

Possible entriesI can currently think of: table with lit pressure and/or temperature sensitive surface, sound reactive lighting fixtures, DIY arcades, big red Do Not Push buttons doing magic at home and so on, you get the idea.

cdstudioNH10 days ago

christmas tree theme contest!


Music related hacks, gadgets and robots contest

gearup50012 days ago

How about a camouflage contest? Or an airsoft/Nerf contest? I have seen many instructables on these categories so if you want a major contest this is the one to use. And I mean major. But if you want a contest that is a challenge and singles out users I would suggest a bicycle modification contest that includes before and after pics and details of what they changed. And if you wanted only the elite to contest then I would suggest an airsoft Nerf and paintball bicycle contest where contestants have to make it so that their weapon of chose is attached to the bike. To make things even more interesting make a separate contest that includes motorbikes instead of bicycles. If you want something that is more subtle then make a contest that includes software development( I'm taking html5 css3 courses at and and games. Also I would highly recommend a black ops instructable contest, few users make these. I hope this post helps :)

Wired_Mist13 days ago

UP-Cycle contest anyone?

bertwert13 days ago

I would love a photography related contest.

bertwert13 days ago

I would love a photography related contest.

chienline18 days ago

What about "Transformer Contest", not the movie nor electric transformer. I am talking about one unused object get transformed into another object using at least 75% of its old parts and/or add some parts not more than 25% of the new object. So the idea is just like transforming a Chevy Camaro to Bumble Bee (having the same parts in both). So this is different from Sustainability Contest where we use old parts from several objects to create a new one.

When you said transformer, I thought of things that transform from one thing to another and then back again. For example, a ball gown that transforms into a short part dress or like the chairs that transform into a step ladder.

I'd love to see more ibles for objects that transform!

Yes, that one is awesome really. A chair to a ladder, that's what I mean. Not a chair to a another chair. But being able to transform back and forth like that one is hard to find, we will lack of contestants. I think permanent transformation should be eligible as long as it transform to other object and using most/all of the parts.

That's a really cool idea! I'll add it to the list and see if we can fit it in somewhere :)

Raitis19 days ago

It'd be interesting to see a hard&brittle material oriented contest for things made mainly from glass, rock, tile and similar.

xGrape1 month ago

Will there be any Christmas/holiday themed contests? I mean there is 4 alone, just for Halloween.

We will have some judges' prizes for holiday and gift themed projects in larger contests and we are having a 3D Printed Ornament Design Contest going on right now!

jessyratfink (author)  xGrape1 month ago

In the past we've held lots of little holiday themed contests for gifts/toys/cards/etc, and I bet Danger has some stuff planned for this year like that too!

They probably won't be anything like Halloween though! Halloween is the only major holiday we recognize at Instructables. ;)

I hope there isn't any "political correctness" reasons behind Halloween
being the only recognised holiday? It would seem odd to recognise a
Pagan holiday whilst not other religeous holidays.

It's not for political correctness reasons at all, it's just that Halloween provides so many great opportunities for making things :)

We will have some judges' prizes for holiday and gift themed projects in larger contests and we are having a 3D Printed Ornament Design Contest going on right now!

it's not for example they had a christmas contest and still will and everyone who knows how it spell christmas should know what it's first 6 letters spell the name of a christian figure, ps i have a second user name 35 timmy but call me Tim

TimP222 days ago

it would be beneficial for a material science for 3d printing contest

you also need a zombie survivel contest

combine contest where you pick two items and put them togheter like a snow mobil bike.


Whole Next Level Contest: Like "remix" but not. Create something using raw materials made from another Instructable. Or maybe just use an earlier Instructible as base steps for your own.

Instructables combination contest.

cammers JM199926 days ago

I like that idea. Maybe use three or more instructables to create something new.

HollyMann26 days ago

Just thinking - have you guys ever had a "nerd" or "geek" related contest? Make something nerdy yet useful - or so nerdy that it's cool. :) Just a thought.

We have had some Game.4.Life contests before where people could enter gaming themed projects :) We have a specifically minecraft one coming up and a superhero and supervillain contest going on right now. What other types of nerdery would you like to see?

Thanks for the reply Danger! :) Hmmm...I came across a post online before with the title "Nerd it Yourself" and some other related content that had some tech-nerdy projects - like a USB locket or other so-called "nerdy" gadgets. I am not sure exactly about the nerdery I would like to see! I do like the game contests coming up - I guess I don't think of any of them as nerdy but maybe that's because I am one! LOL...anyway - I was just trying to come up with some ideas for contests. I did find something I thought was very cool online about projects or crafts from the past - basic DIY projects from about 100 years ago. I think that would be awesome too!

That sounds really cool! Keep coming back with ideas! We always appreciate more ideas!

Thanks - will do! :)

tzq33tdq1 month ago

How about a contest for complex or advanced electronics and stuff like that? I have a project I'm sourcing parts for thats a 4-bit CPU to control Christmas Lights.

We have the Make it Glow Contest going on right now!

How about a kind of "all star" contest where you had to use something you had won in a previous contest?

That's an interesting idea. There might not be enough potential entrants to make it worthwhile, though, since there are far fewer past winners than current members.

Then, perhaps a challenge instead of a contest with one winner and a few runner ups like the apple challenge that is currently open? The competition would be fierce.

Sounds like a plan!

I think this awesome, but instead of for those who have won previously, how about those who have been featured before in the contest category? So if it's an "All Star Tech" contest (because I love tech), anyone who has been featured in the tech category can enter?

antagonizer1 month ago

I'd love to see a tool making contest. A lot of folks cant afford a well stocked workshop and improvise many of the tools they work with. Some of their solutions show amazing ingenuity and creativity. There could be 5 categories; leather, wood, metal, electronic, and a general craft with prize packages reflecting each. It's a great way to bolster their arsenal of tools which, in turn, would allow them to level up their work. Win win.

This is a great idea! I remember reading an instructable about "how to win instructable contests," and one of the tips was to make something you'll find useful or get enjoyment from. Ideally, making a tool would fulfil both of those requirements!

How about a 'steampunk' or 'vintage artefact' contest

We just ran a vintage contest in July and August, but we might do it again if people are interested!

Please keep me posted...thanks. I don't know how I missed your competition.

You can always look at our list of upcoming contests here to keep an eye out on what contests are scheduled :)

Jack Moran1 month ago

Maybe a water based contests, so everything has to float, or to do with water

This sounds like a fun contest to run next summer!

tmarable1 month ago

What about a lifehack contest?

We just ran the DIY University contest but we will definitely be running more of these types of contests in the future!

tmarable1 month ago

Or what about something like a utility apparel contest of some sorts?

We have a winter wearables contest coming up! That might have some overlap!

Tcdevine1 month ago

Have you ever had a contest that featured projects that use Velcro. Velcro is amazing and there is so much you can do with it. Just a thought.

rptech2 months ago

I would love to see a photography contest. There can be multiple categories/themes. However, pictures taken before the contest opened should be accepted. The pictures can be graded on creativity, intensity, quality, etc...

Every level of winnings should offer a DSLR camera and runner up prize should be an amazon gift card.

Great idea! Sounds fun. How about a Mark iii as the grand prize?

chocolatechip2 months ago

Maybe more contests with cooking! What about a baking contest?

A baking comtest sounds fun!

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