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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Here are a few more contest ideas!

Chess contest.I know there was a board game contest but a chess only contest would be very cool!

Wild food contest

Magnet contest

I would like to propose a new Contest category, if it doesn't already exist. I would love to see a contest where EVERY LAST PART of your project must be made from used recycled old junk. Anything can qualify, just as long as it came out of something that was previously used and must be at least 10 years old. Items could be grouped into sub-categories, electronics, papercrafts, automobiles, etc, etc. Maybe such a contest already exists, but it would be nice to see people using a little more of the old stuff. I'm seeing projects from 3D printers and arduino powered robots, and that is super cool, and I want to try those projects, but that kind of thing caters to only the techno-geek with half a life time of tools and knowledge. I can't speak for others, but I don't have a Raspberry Pi, or other Arduino mini-comp to program those super-cool projects; Nor do I have a 3D printer or autocad, etc, etc. Lets Dumb it down a bit for the older crowd, we're not as aware of the latest Tech as the young crowd is. I'd like to see more posts that can be done without having to go out for anything, unless it's to go to the tool shed or Garage for that old blender you were meaning to fix 20 years ago! Also, if a project posted on here costs more than a retail version of it does, then I think the point of this site has been missed entirely. This site rocks!!!! I come here every day, and I get inspired every time I come here, even if I don't have the knowledge

DrCarrott15 days ago

Your idea of Intractable's Contest is FANTASTIC! It reminds me a little of the DARPA or NASA Challenges. Everyone benefits when we share ideas. But, just like most people if you offer food or a prize you get more players. Again a fantastic idea.

May I add a contest suggestion - Math. A way to help anyone struggling with some kind of math problem or how to visualize a math problem.

sabu.dawdy16 days ago

baby challenge? Like clothes etc? Felt contest?

I'm so bummed that I've been sewing a lot lately and there are no contests that those ibles really fit in. It seems like forever since the last fashion/fibers contest.

Marbie251 month ago

I think a really fun contest would be "Gifts" (maybe this has been done before?). The theme would be making a gift for someone - could be held during a holiday or just a gift for someone's birthday, anniversary, etc.

A requirement could be to talk about the purpose of the gift and have at least one photo in the Instructable of the person opening it.

We have actually done Gifts contests before over the Holidays! We may do it again this year, but nothing is nailed down yet.

I would like to see more contests that level the playing field. I don't think that the issue is age, occupation, or experience.The problem is not a 47 year old competing with a 16 year old, or a professional competing with an amateur. I willingly take on any competitors, regardless of age or profession. What I can not compete against is access to specialized equipment worth $5k+. How can I possibly win a contest for $1000 of computerized gadgets, when I have no access to the gadgets to make the project entry? Entries created without using expensive equipment is easy to verify just by reading the entry. How about a low tech contest to win a high tech gadget?

Thats the whole idea of the maker spaces. Theyre only in a few select cities now. A lot of colleges have specialized tools that the students have access too. There are sites that will 3d print, laser cut, etc for a price if you come up with the file necessary to do so. How good someones instructables are is going to be highly dependent on what sort of tools and workshop they have. Though to be fair the same projects that can be accomplished with plasma cutters, 3d printers, etc, can be accomplished with simpler tools just not as easily. For the hardcore, there are also instructables out there detailing how to build those high tech gadgets at much lower cost than they can be bought. X-box connect sensor 3-d scanners, E-waste 3d printers. Recently I saw an instructable of someone who self taught himself the concepts of how a plasma cutter works and after years of trial and error built one. The laser cutter is really the only the ridiculously out of budget piece of equipment I can think of that I've seen used, and that's usually the contest prize at which point once someone has won it they proceed to laser cut custom jigsaw puzzles and burn celebrity portrait images onto their grilled cheese, not really anything spectacularly contest winning. Also to win, you need votes. I'd be more inclined to vote for the person who had accomplished their goals using more rudimentary tools. When someone not only makes a project, but makes the tools to make the project as well, that impresses me.

Thank you for the reply. I live in a rural area. Those maker type labs are not located here, and the college labs are restricted to students only. Even finding a ceramic kiln or wood working router is challenging. I intend to focus on hobbies that do not require expensive machines for future projects.

Don't lose heart my friend. There will always be those with more money and sadly I did see a contest winner yesterday involving a laser cut record made from a tortilla. However that is a very clever idea. Much like with major league sports how there is a fuzzy line between legal and illegal nutritional supplements, so too is there a fine line between gadgetry and 'come on now thats too much gadgetry' gadgetry. However , a wood router and a ceramic kiln? You're a far cry from a laser cutter with those simple wishes. I would say less than 50 dollars for a cheapy wood router and less than 100 for a good one, bought online, shipped to your door. That's assuming you live for example in the United States where shipping is reasonable and not for example in Mexico where shipping on a 50 dollar router would be 150 dollars. Now as far as a ceramic Kiln, living in a rural area may actually be an advantage to you. Let the other people of the world pay a thousand dollars for a kiln and 3 dollars in electricity every time they want to fire a tea cup. A DIY wood fired kiln, made from bricks or a steel barrel fed with extra air from a hair dryer, leaf blower etcetera is possible at low to no cost depending what you have on hand. In my area and I assume in most there is raw clay under the level of the topsoil. I dont know....I'm just saying. If you have all the money in the world, where's the challenge?

I had this thought several times, that there should be some way of helping people who don't have the tech, yet want to get in the field with the kind of contests you described. And well, to be honest, there sometimes are open ended contests with great prizes where the winners are also somebody who didn't necessarily have the tech, but that's pretty rare.

Thing is, I can't really think of a scheme where the contest and entries themselves are awesome enough to give a fancy prize yet the contest itself is limited. I mean there are some, but not too many.

And another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of awesome prize contests are sponsored and sponsors play a role in setting at least some of the guidelines I imagine. Looking business wise, I'd prefer that a person already knowing how to use a similar tool and one who has good ideas and presentation skills wins my machine, because it's more likely to put to good use and be mentioned or shown in future media from workshop or similar, which, due to the skilled craftsman also reaches more people.

Just another angle for thoughts. I would still be more than happy if that became a reality more often. :)

Instructables has done a contest along these lines before.


I agree all I have is a soldering iron, solder and a volt meter

Back to School!

Supplies, clothes, locker organizers, backpacks, lunch boxes...

Babies contest! You would do well to get the "makin' babies" jokes out of the way early, however.

You can't ever have to many robotics contests :)

Marbie252 months ago

I think it would be neat to see a contest where the medium is stone. You can do all kinds of stuff...paint them, make a walkway, decorate a wall...

trailtrekr2 months ago

Here are my ideas:

Geocaching Contest

Animation Contest

Pool Contest

and more to come!

DaleMitchell2 months ago

Another Raspberry Pi contest!

sonic broom4 months ago

Here is one more idea an oil based Plastic reduction contest.

Making you own bio plastics and ways to reduce your plastics consumption. also recycling plastic could be a part of the contest. Please tell me what you think of my idea. i think it would be a great contest for a good cause!

We are running a Reuse Contest right now that these types of projects would be perfect for! http://www.instructables.com/contest/reuse2015/

Yes I might enter if I get the time.

bginoza4 months ago

video game contest! video game crafts, video game mods, video game foods, costumes, accessories. So many possibilities.

There is a Fandom Contest coming up which include video games and cosplay!

Contest Ideas:

1.Woodcarving Contest

2.Animation Contest

3.Geocaching Contest (https://www.geocaching.com/play)

4.Chemistry Contest

5.Lego® Contest

Hope that some of these ideas become contests someday.

These are some great ideas! If you want to make a geocaching project, you might want to take a look at the Hiding Places Contest that is going on right now! http://www.instructables.com/contest/hidingplaces/

propchap6 months ago

I was wondering if you could do age groups for those of us who are competing against professionals. Please do. Thanks!

sto843 propchap4 months ago

yes! you should really do that because i'm only ** years old.

Kiteman sto8434 months ago

1. Some of our best contest winners are teenagers.

2. How would we verify ages anyway?

d0vr Kiteman3 months ago

Please do consider this, or perhaps have prizes for different 'categories' of contestants? It does seem somewhat unfair to have contestants who have access to heavy machinery entering against those who don't. Same with contestants who have 20+ years experience in their area of expertise, against young kids with none.

I remember when the contestant winners tended to have extreme Instructables which were truly epic, but it seems that these days, teenagers are winning with what some might consider... less epic Instructables (forgive me)? Even when there have been the amazing, spectacular entries in the same entry pool. Is this a deliberate effort to try and spread the prizes around by chance? Separating the entries to some degrees would greatly improve the opportunity to focus on both types of Instructables in contests.

instructables has had a "youth prize" in some contests

but i don't think there has to be a "youth" contest

take ASCAS for example he is 16 and has won 21 contests

kiteman only has 3 more contest wins and he is 47!

Kiteman d0vr3 months ago

As I said - how would you verify ages?

katerlyn Kiteman4 months ago

i agree....more work..let us just get good ideas out there..no age limits.

I agree. Maybe a professionals contest, and a teens contest. It would also be cool if there were a student contest too.

bertwert3 months ago

DIY Photography

there is a photography contest coming up already

Brooklyntonia3 months ago

When's the next fibers/sewing/fashion contest?

wmusser3 months ago

I think it would be a terrific idea to have a "upcoming contests" page on the app. It would help people who only use mobile to see whats coming up without having to open it up in the web browser.

Raitis wmusser3 months ago

There are a bunch of other things which could be added to the app, but I agree that seeing the forums and questions wouldn't be bad at all.

Instructables ought to have a second Book Contest!

fabloom3 months ago

there can be a photo frame contest (can be made with all things except palstic and metals

we should have a sewing contest and/or refashion contest.

sonic broom4 months ago

Here are my ideas for contests.

Popsicle sticks contest anything that is made out of or uses them.

Invention contest

Homemade board games contest

chess themed contest

diorama contest

I hope these ideas may be of use to instructables.

+1 for Board games. I know I would have liked the 'how to play' contest to be flexible enough to allow for building custom game boards.

Yes I would like to have a contest like that.

+1 to Invention contest

+1 to Homemade board game contest.

We just had a contest that included board games & chess:


(Don't most contests involve some sort of invention?)

Yes i see.

A drought contest to help us Californians out?

nancyjohns3 months ago

How 'bout Make Video Games Contest? Instructutorials* on how to make games, tips, and improving your games.

*Instructutorials: tutorial instructables

kokoleo4 months ago

A perler bead contest.

A flower-themed contest.

A hat-making contest.

A contest all about hair - styling, accessories, etc.

The upcoming contest page was just updated and there is a hair contest opening in June.

6/22-8/3 - Hair and Makeup Contest

Hunting contest?

InstaMorph moldable plastic contest?

a injuries contest

Madman1464 months ago

I would like to see a Remote Control contest.

We should have a Game Life 5 contest

sto8434 months ago

DEFF. NEED TO DO THIS ONE: MINI VIECHALS USING ONLY KITCHEN THINGS!!!!! no cheating by saying you have a mini car in your kitchen....THE ONLY RULE:IT HAS TO RUN ON EITHER A MOTOR OR A SET OF GEARS like a bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nancyjohns sto8434 months ago


Did you drink too much coffee???

too many whisky in the coffee? :-)

lol, yeah, maybe.

a LEGO contest would be awesome!!!

katerlyn4 months ago

A contest for ideas of how to score for fair winning....i could not find feedback or contact us....so i inadvertently mentioned this in the forum. Thanks for all you do...especially to help pets and their owners.

Check out the contest FAQ http://www.instructables.com/community/Contest-FAQ... hope that helps :) You can also always email service@instructables.com any time!

katerlyn4 months ago

A contest asking for something like a deluxe new angle at creating a vented cat litter box...

We just had an animals contest!

nancyjohns4 months ago

How about a Hand-Held Gaming Contest? The idea is make hand-held games, modify consoles, and others!

P.S.: I just really like gameboys. lol

Oh, also, making consoles that are made to be played on a TV made into a handheld version. Like the Grape 64 and the Make a handheld NES. (portable nintendo entertainment system).

a make it safe contest!

A freerunning / parkour contest would be awesome as I have seen a few instructables on it but not as many contests

King Awesome4 months ago

Another Drones Contest

nancyjohns4 months ago

How about a contest where it's not centered around anything, but how well the instructable it's self is made? Meaning, don't judge it by what it's about, but how well explained everything is, good grammar, spelling, and good quality pictures.

rickyeatough4 months ago

smartphone accessories contest, or a Virtual Reality contest.

or even better, a Projector contest (all about projectors)

zaphod074 months ago

Wood working

What you can make out of a single 8ft whitewood 2x4. But allowed to use hardwear to finish.

Seamster was running a personal challenge like this!

I like the idea of bounding it like that. Maybe 1 sheet of plywood or a single deck board?

Another idea might be turning; maybe pens or simply state a maximum size?

c1284 months ago

you can make DRONE contest ;)

- speed drone

- battery fly drone

- beautiful drone

- small drone

- low cost drone

Electrospark4 months ago

I just thought of a Steampunk contest!

Maybe a recycled light bulb contest? ^^

fryars1236 months ago

What about a farming/smallholding contest? any takers?

sto843 fryars1234 months ago

yes here's a taker

sto8434 months ago

kind of getting tired of all of the welding and soldering from trying to make the electronics...still have pics

sto8434 months ago

craziest hair contest

sto8434 months ago

collection contest

bginoza4 months ago

cosplay contest! XD

honey1814 months ago

Lights and DIY audio contests attract me a lot! ;)

starforest5 months ago

How about a kitchen utensil contest or just kitchen contest? I've seen a lot of tool contests and it would be nice to have something a bit diffrent.

We do have a Snack Contest launching on Monday and some good food themed contests coming up this summer!

Saiyam5 months ago

Maybe a breadboard contest or solderless projects contest.

ScarabCoder5 months ago

Could you do one for paper airplanes? It would be really fun, and the judges could actually fly the paper planes and the one that flies the best will be the winner.

zaphodd426 months ago

There is very little about 'glass' on Instructables, as a maker craft or art form. And I dont believe there has has ever been a glass contest. Seeing as how the science of glass is so relevant right now, it would interesting to see what our fellow instruct-ablers think about the subject.

Raitis zaphodd425 months ago

I completely agree, both me and others have suggested this before, so hopefully there will be something along the lines after all!

Corinbw zaphodd425 months ago

I was actually just gonna post an instructable on making glass because we did it in out material science class, but now I want to wait until this contest if it ever comes.


Kiteman zaphodd426 months ago


I'm behind you on that one.

smalltortoise5 months ago

Custom video game controllers

Anachronistic contest (cannot use electricity)

Recipes for miracle fruit friendly foods

lakshay garg5 months ago

Robot contest Pleeeeaaase

nancyjohns5 months ago

Please make another "MakerLympics" contest for summer of 2016!

nancyjohns5 months ago

Hand-Held Gaming contest. You can make your own hand-held games, modify pre-existing ones, or make a "meant-to-be-played-at-home" console into a portable version.

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