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?

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

FROM SCRATCH CONTEST!! ... everything made from scratch ...

Deeg5 days ago

Maple contest: recipes using (real!) maple syrup or one of the maple byproducts (maple sugar or maple cream. If you've never had maple cream you are living a sad and pathetic life. Maple cream is the elixir of life.)

we haven't seen a clock contest in a long time. No pun intended. The last one had some great projects.

Kiteman9 days ago

How about a cube-themed contest?

Things made of cubes, things made cube-shaped when they normally are not, things made to fit exactly inside cubes...

The prizes could also be cube-themed; LED cube kits of various sizes, a Cube 3d printer, or those electronic/robotics kits where the different units are all enclosed in cubic enclosures.

foobear5 months ago
Vegetarian food contest plz. Seems its all about bacon around here. ;)

Of course I am pro recycle - reuse positive also - would like to see that.

I wish I hadn't missed the musical instruments contest - would like to see that again - I wasn't so interested in the prizes they had last time, but I love the idea of it - have so many thoughts and ideas for it

Steam punk - things to do with gears, mechanisms, crank power

How about sweat-punk? Bicycle powered contraptions are interesting

Life hacks? Everybody's got little cool tips and surprising uses for things

A boardgame contest sounds fun




I want the clay contest again

Water powered contest? Bring back Byzantium pneumatic animatronic fountains?

Rube Goldberg contest?

Math appreciation? Scholars always talk about the beauty of math and only the elite mathematicians ever get to experience it  - Can you bring math love to the masses?

I know I have other thoughts, I'll post them if they come back to me

Thanks for allowing this feedback/input
foobear foobear5 months ago
Wind power! Whirligigs, mobiles, wind socks, wind mills, fluttering flags
mistic foobear9 days ago

wind powered creations are fun to make and can be enjoyed by all.

I have several see my constables shillings. Still functioning in my pAtio. After three years in Chicago weather.

Chikpea foobear5 months ago
Ohhh, my Dad works with wind power! Awesome idea!
ynze foobear4 months ago
Math appreciation contest! That'd be cool. And we'll invite ViHart to enter a special made video :-)
Chikpea foobear4 months ago
Great Idea, I've subscribed to you! Your vegetarian contest sounds awesome, as I am a vegetarian. :)
Sadi78923 days ago

I think an MS Paint Adventures contest would be super fun. For those of you who don't know what that is, the best way to find out might be to click on "new reader?" on the website. What Pumpkin (The MSPA store) would probably love to sponsor the contest, and the Homestuck fandom is very DIY oriented to begin with. I'd be happy to help organize this (if help would be of use.)

Some other contest theme ideas:

Contest In My Pants (Nerdfighter contest, title taken from the VlogBrothers)

Fandom Contest (EX: Harry Potter, LOTR, Dr Who, etc. related projects)

Music/Instruments Contest

What about a creative medium theme, for those of us who draw or paint? The theme could be using any found object as part of an artwork?

jessyratfink (author)  Coldfire121524 days ago

This is one we've been thinking about for a long time, but we'd like to find a sponsor for it. I hope we'll have just an "art" contest running at some point in the future. :D

shazni24 days ago

How about interior decorating?? like wall art, sofa slip covers, upholstery and so on??

jessyratfink (author)  shazni24 days ago

We're hoping to do this later this year! I hope we'll be able to get it sponsored, but we'll see how it goes. :D

Shadow51325 days ago

How about a video game making contest. people would submit video games they made using scratch, ruby, python, unity ext

What about a short film-making contest? It could help showcase all the creative voices out there!

enelson81 month ago

How about an under $20 contest? Let's see how resourceful everyone is!

I think you'll should bring a new contest for making 3d environment like living room, play ground, city, houses,etc. It will be a great challenge for all instructable members.

shazni1 month ago about Wall Art? Upholstery? kids?

shazni1 month ago

how about wall art contest??? Everyone needs wall art for there house :-)

BikeHacker1 month ago

A bike hacking contest would be awesome!!!

foobear3 months ago

I'd like to see a nutty inventions contest.

Attmos foobear1 month ago


jwbasham1 month ago

However, what better for a tough winter than outdoor survival? Campfire recipes... canning recipes... fruit preserve recipes... deer/beef/ostrich/whatever meat floats your boat jerky recipes... hunting techniques... fishing tips... keeping the air clean while keeping yourself warm (I live in CA where there a bunch of clean air days this last season)

also the winter Olympics were this year. What about methods for making snowboards, skis, finding the best slopes. All kinds of winter sports tips could be acted upon.

People were stuck in the snow. How do you get your car out? What are effective ways to melt the snow quickly to get going? Is salt really the best way to melt the snow (NO!) to get going again. How do you attach chains to your car and when would you use them, how do you pick out the best snow tires?

That's just the east coast. Now the west coast. What are the best ways to conserve water. How do you keep water flowing to your plants and grass despite the fact you are in a drought? What steps need to be taken in order to conserve every drop of water and still have enough for myself? Are there water tanks I can set up that can assist in storing water?

So you see, it doesn't matter which side of the country you are on, there are plenty of projects people would be interested in, it is simply choosing from contests that will bring in DIY projects that will focus on those projects people would focus on the most. Maybe some of these projects were already done (I do recall seeing something about the jerky recipes before) but most of them I don't remember seeing. Maybe not large contests, but several small, ongoing contests that give people time to gather their thoughts (and allow them to get their power back if need be)

Attmos1 month ago

I've been looking through some of the art people make, and thought that a lot of the wall hanging pieces are cool. Maybe a wall art contest.

thematthatter5 months ago
how about a "improve your life" contest. featuring weight loss, physical fitness, organizing clutter, emphasis on before and after photos.

and retro science fair projects. like that science fair project that you always wanted to enter but all you could come up with is vinegar/baking soda volcano.
jessyratfink (author)  thematthatter5 months ago
Ohhhh I like the improve your life theme! That would probably be good motivation for some folks too. :D

I'm interested in doing another retro/vintage contest, and I think we're going to be having another Instructables science fair too. Not sure they'll cross, but I like both of them.

+1 for improve your life theme, I guess I already have an ible in my mind :D

We'll definitely be running an "organization" competition, which hits 1/3 of the self-improvement ideas you mentioned.
foobear1 month ago

It would be fun to see a contest sponsored by Dollar Tree. You just make something out of stuff you find at Dollar Tree. I think Mikeasaurus works/ed there in some capacity. Anyway, for prizes, they could give out Dollar Tree gift certificates or something. I bet they would be game. Just a thought. I love that place! (please don't judge me).

Make-up contest! :)

AngryRedhead2 months ago

I'm not sure if this was just Instructables but ever since the bicycle inner tube contest, I've kept inner tubes on hand (they make great ties for plants and wonderful rubber bands) and have noticed a number of projects featuring them.

Back during the contest, I remember a few sites complaining about how many inner tube projects there were, but I really think that's the power of an inspiring contest and its long lasting effects. It still makes me chuckle because there was a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm and creativity surrounding a throw-away material.

Gosh knows what would happen if there was a soda bottle contest! :P

Just saying...

Instructables Robot contest! we've already seen a number of projects but it would be fun to trigger the number of instructables robot projects in a cool way (through contest!) :D

'make it in 5 minute' contest, would be fun :)

With videos as proof!

sure! that's a great thought :)

sf49ers3 months ago

A paper airplanes contest!!!!!!!

My mere appearance on this thread probably implies the suggestion I would make...


How about season contests? They could start on the first day of that season and a lot of different projects would be acceptable.

For example for the summer contest you could enter your favorite ice cream recipe, but also how to make a summer dress.
nerfrocketeer4 months ago
K'nerf contest! (My version failed)
jessyratfink (author)  nerfrocketeer4 months ago
We're doing another K'Nex contest this summer, and will happily accept K'Nerf guns in there! If they get super popular we might even be able to get a special prize together for them. :)
Alright! Spunds great! I'd better start preparing! :)
I like the contest ideas :
office pranks/April fools contest as suggested earlier
improve your life contest as suggested
software instructables on say graphic design or digital art or animation or music
make things using magnets
miniature working models of large functioning objects
toys and games contest
aero models contest
recycling for the office worker e.g. stationery
more of photography related accessories such as filters and masks and lights and reflectors and stands and waterproof covers etc
jessyratfink (author)  micromarketers4 months ago
Lots of good ideas! Several of those should be happening next year, including april fools', toys, reuse, and hopefully a photo contest. :)
i think a apocalypse themed one would be cool, it could involve every thing from making a solar water heater or a way to cook food efficiently to making weapons to even making electricity some how. the only rule is that electricity cant be used in the building of whatever it is.
Ohhhhhh I like that theme! We've done Redneck, Macgyver and Indestructable themes before, so that one would fit right in, I think. :D
GreenGuild4 months ago
Another vote for a "Scrapheap" Challenge. Reuse of dead equipment and materials for long term green energy use, ie. wind turbines, alternators, e-bikes etc.
i think a apocalypse themed one would be cool, it could involve every thing from making a solar water heater or a way to cook food efficiently to making weapons to even making electricity some how. the only rule is that electricity cant be used in the building of whatever it is.
Geli125 months ago
Some kind of boardgame related or "reuse" challenge would be great!
jessyratfink (author)  Geli124 months ago
Thanks for leaving feedback! We've had a few request now for boardgames, so we'll need to look into that. :D

Reuse should definitely be happening this next year, too! Maybe around Earth Day? We'll have to figure out timing :)
BrittLiv Geli125 months ago
+1 on the board game idea. It would be great, if it could be combined with a wood working contest (I am desperately waiting for it to happen...).
I always liked the furniture contest and I still think a steam punk contest would be fun.
ynze BrittLiv4 months ago
+1 on the Steampunk contest! Great entries will be entered, I'm sure!!
VHester BrittLiv4 months ago
Agree with board game and also would love the steampunk
ynze Geli124 months ago
+1 on the boardgame contest!
jessyratfink (author)  Geli125 months ago
Boardgames or games in general could be a really neat idea. :D

It's definitely time for another reuse contest soon, too! It's been a little while since the last.
How about a reuse for Holiday wrap and trim at the end of December?
What about a doll making contest? that would be cool.
Attmos5 months ago
A tire reuse contest. What can you make with old tires and inner tubes.
ynze Attmos4 months ago
Like this one...
Attmos ynze4 months ago
Kiteman5 months ago
Rubber band powered things.

Group/class projects.

Public display projects (art, information, protest etc).

Non-programmable electronics.
ynze Kiteman4 months ago
+1 for the Rubber band powered contest and the class contest :-)
VHester4 months ago
Crafts for Kids Contest
Crafts for Bazaars Contest
Metal and Chain Contest
blissful20154 months ago
maybe a 'yeast and bacteria contest'? it would cover many fun things such as wine and cheese, kimchee and kumbucha, bread and salami ... =)
happy thanksgiving!
angry king4 months ago
chip made contest.
DIY93934 months ago
Car Makeover Contest!

Fix up your old rust buckets!
Deeg5 months ago
How about a max price context? Anything goes but total price for all components is, say, < $35. I can imagine it being pretty tough determine the final price, though.

One idea you've used in the past (I think) are contests based on using a junk item, like old CDs, phones, or milk jugs--something that is normally used up and thrown away.
wilgubeast Deeg4 months ago
That is an idea that we've kicked around the Instructables office a few times. It's awfully hard to keep tabs on how much people have paid for things, but a collection of cool projects someone could make for under $20 would be pretty interesting.
jessyratfink (author)  Deeg5 months ago
I really do like the idea of a "under $50" contest. We've talked about it in the office before, so that might need to be something we look into a little more. :D

Many of those reuse themes were weekly challenges, but I do think it's probably about time for another big reuse contest! Maybe around Earth Day.
azharz5 months ago
A Science contest, to make things related to chemistry, physics or biology, that how some one can help in these subjects or inventions.
Kiteman azharz4 months ago
There is one! It closes in (as I type) 25 days!
Graffiti contest!
Chikpea5 months ago
Oh oh oh.... Definatly a Pets Contest! You know, like pet foods, pet homes, pet life hacks , the list goes on! Please, please, PLEASE make a pets contest Instructables!
jessyratfink (author)  Chikpea5 months ago
We're actually working on that one right now! I don't have any solid details yet, but one should be coming next year. :D
Awesome, thanks!
Lori2165 months ago
I would like to see a contest specifically for pet beds and furniture. Thanks.
jessyratfink (author)  Lori2165 months ago
We should be having a pets contest soon!

Also hoping to bring back the furniture contest - it always does well. :D
BenjiDaa5 months ago
Archery contest.
Paracord contest.
Extreme contest.
jessyratfink (author)  BenjiDaa5 months ago
Paracord should be happening within the next six months!
Kiteman BenjiDaa5 months ago
"Extreme contest"?

What would that be?
BenjiDaa Kiteman5 months ago
They had one in the past. Here's the link to the extreme challenge.
Kiteman BenjiDaa5 months ago
Ah, I see.
blinkyblinky5 months ago
Stunts and Tricks Contests (Gags, tomfoolery and fun stuff in all shapes and sizes)
April Fool?
Similar but not as dastardly. Maybe more just stunts and tricks. April Fools jokes are more like pranks and large scale...maybe more like a show off contest: something you can use to show off your skill despite the fact it may or may not need it.
TSJWang5 months ago
The cheap contest: make things from the least expensive materials, that have the most practicality.
foobear TSJWang5 months ago
love this
angry king5 months ago
flammable contest.
ElmarM5 months ago
Make it warm contest: Heaters, outerware, winterizing home or vehicle and keeping animals warm when outside.
kondzio295 months ago
Instructables Contest (step by step process of making instructable )
ElmarM5 months ago
Restoration (making old things new again)

Comic book theme contest
Jetpack55 months ago
How about an anthropomorphic contest, making things into people or characters?
Jetpack55 months ago
I've got some ideas for tiny things or nerdy art...

The weekly challenges were fun also. I don't have tome for them all, but it was fun when I did!
Kiteman Jetpack55 months ago
Oh, a size limit, that's interesting. Things that fit in matchboxes!
Jetpack5 Kiteman5 months ago
I didn't have a particular limit in mind, but the moment I saw matchbox size I said, "Yes, perfect!"
Kiteman Jetpack55 months ago
It's a natural extension of past "pocket sized" contests.

You could build a tiny chest of drawers, each drawer stuffed with a whole instructable...

Sorunome5 months ago
How about some kind of programming contest?

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