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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nancyjohns5 days ago

My little brother suggests a Medical Contest. About making medical supplies and how to use them.

FamousMods6 days ago

Id like to see more Micro-controller (Arduino) related contests, really just anything technology related!

mrsgyver6 days ago

How about an instructable to make something useful for the elderly or disabled. From scratch, or a clever modification. To make life a little easier or pleasant.

Boombuzz7 days ago


How about an Altoids tin contest; make something utilizing at least 1 Altoids tin?

Ha! That would be great if I had any Altoids tins!


THE GOOSE10 days ago

how about a SIGN contest.

neon, led, metal, wood, paint, ???

garage signs, business signs, man cave signs, graffiti, things you made out of street signs, crop circles, whatever sign you made.


Breaking news: Stolen street sign amount just increased 5 times. Investigators suspect instructables users.

I sort of like the idea :)

I like that idea! I haven't heard that one before either.

I don't see any technology related contest coming up! :'(

Oh well, I'll have to wait a bit more before posting my first electronic instructable...

A lot of companies sponsor electronics contests, so they will be happening, they probably just won't show up on this calendar, sorry!

Okay, I can't wait! :D

I think we should have a penguin contest or challenge for anything penguin related. and the grand prize could be a roll of penguin duck tape & a i-pad or something. I hope we do because I have like a ton of ideas for a penguin contest I would probaly post like at least 20 instructables I have so many ideas.

That would be a pretty funny contest, but it's really specific. Maybe you can make some penguin themed projects that would fit into other contests? Maybe some kind of project for the Explore Science Contest about penguins! That would be awesome and then you could share your penguin knowledge with the world! :D

Sounds like a pretty neat idea! Penguins for Life!

Thanks I really hope we have it :)

indeepknit11 days ago

I'd love to see (and participate in) a kitschy foods contest.I mean funky looking stuff out of the 50's and 60's like aspics, bologna loaves, meatloaves covered in cheese sauce and peas, and fizzy green and pink cocktails. Please? It would be SO much goofy fun!

Haha, that would be so fun! I'll see if something like that would work :)

milkywaybar10 days ago

How about an Analog Game Contest? Things like board games, card games, playground games, etc?

We have been tossing this idea around for a while! Great idea!

indeepknit11 days ago

I'd love to see (and participate in) a kitschy foods contest.I mean funky looking stuff out of the 50's and 60's like aspics, bologna loaves, meatloaves covered in cheese sauce and peas, and fizzy green and pink cocktails. Please? It would be SO much goofy fun!

That would be a neat idea! Love it!

milkywaybar10 days ago

Or maybe a Fandom contest! Prop Replicas, Cosplays, and other projects from any popular series.

milkywaybar10 days ago

Perhaps a "Learn from your Mistakes" Contest? For Instructables on how to fix DIY mistakes, and even ones stemmed from mistakes?

THE GOOSE10 days ago

how about a contest for used auto parts.

cars, trucks, boats, planes, trains, motorcycles, semi trucks, ufos...

find unique ways to reuse parts on cool projects.

weather its for survival, art, furniture, or fun. it would be interesting to see what we build.

BenjiDaa13 days ago

A metalworking contest

i 2nd that idea!

tomatoskins1 month ago

We should have another copycat recipes contest.

I would enjoy that.

nancyjohns27 days ago

I suggest a Instrument Contest about everything about how to make instruments and how to play them.

I thought of this because I just looked around my room and saw lots of instruments that I can play.

It's on the schedule :)

Do you mean it's going to be an Instructables contest for sure? And if so when?

It's not 100% for sure yet, but it will probably be this spring :)


Rachael K17 days ago

Reclaimed Contest - Any old object or material refinished and repurposed. Perfect for Earth Day.

Outdoor Cooking Contest - Anything cooked outdoors. From everyday BBQ's to outdoor survivalists skills. Even eggs on rocks if you live in places like AZ. Great way to kick off Summer or Memorial Day.

Backyard Contest - DIY firepits, decks, patios, vegetable gardens, lighting, sprinkler systems, lawnmower mods...there are so many different ways to have fun with this one!

I'm new to this site so I have no clue if these have already been done.

AustinLLS21 days ago

I've been loving Instructables for a while :D I think the contests really challenge people and get out some really cool ideas.

Some ideas I think a lot of people would enjoy that may be good (others may have mentioned some, but there are 384 posts of ideas right now!)

-Social Media 101 (People teach beginners how to Tweet/Post/Instagram/Stream/Social Media safety/etc) (I would love to read those myself!)

-Something involving how people share/store/display their memories/photos/ephemera.

-More upcycle/re-purpose style hacks

-Book Art (Maybe gift card to Amazon for a prize? Half Price Books?)

-Office (workplace) Upgrades & Hacks (Or maybe Cubicle Space Hacks?)

-Setting Up Shop (how to sell things/advertise/list/marketing/working with a local SBA/making a business plan/accounting/all matter of setting up a business)

-Tiny House (building/living/organizing/installing a toilet...)

-Studio/Work Spaces (organizing, decorating, remodeling, layout)

-Fandom (like I did a couple of Doctor Who things-but Doctor Who may be too narrow of a topic to use only)

-I think someone mentioned Science Fiction - would love that!

-Dead Appliance & Electronics Hack (Hack up an old refrigerator/toaster/TV/Computer!)

Like I said, I love browsing ANY of the Instructable categories - even looking through the ones above my skill level. Some I have suggested to other people because I love browsing here! I enjoy that it isn't JUST for people with laser printers and AutoCAD, but I love that those are available too!

kokoleo24 days ago

A sports-themed contest. Sports-themed crafts, room decor, party food, etc.

A necktie contest.

A contest for pet-related projects.

A contest only open to kids.

We have the Tailgate Challenge coming up! Sports-themed crafts would be perfect for that!

Toga_Dan26 days ago

Organizing stuff.

Check out the list of upcoming contests! We have a Small Spaces contest coming up that I think will be right up your ally :)

JM19994 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 JM19994 months ago

** each person HAD**

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

lime3D JM19992 months 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 months ago

Then there would be favouritism.

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

Raitis JM19992 months ago

It would be really interesting and probably useful to see that after the contest!

As for limiting the votes - why do you think that would have advantages?

Ha! Do you really think member votes count? It's just like 'American Idol' where the producers already know who they want to win. The editors will NEVER show how many votes are cast, because they don't match what they've picked.

Once you develop a following, you'll understand that votes do count. I felt the same way you do when I first joined. Don't get discouraged, it'll happen for you.

Actually, for contests that aren't bought or sponsored, approximately 50% of the finalists are chosen by votes, and staff picks the rest. That way it's fair to awesome, last-minute entries that haven't had a chance to get a lot of votes.

You can see more info about contest policy on the Contest FAQ thread here

Hope that clears things up a little bit :)

So is there any chance you could display the amount of votes after the contest ended?

I mean it's probably possible, but that would be a big task for our dev team and they have a lot more important priorities, like keeping spam off the site, especially after our most recent spam attack, haha.

They don't necessarily count for 100% of the finalists as is stated in some other topic regarding contests and all of that.

And even if the votes didn't count at all - I don't really care. Showing them afterwards is still useful. You see, the staff and members are people (sorry 'ibles robot), therefore there is a good chance for correlation between member votes and a staff pick. So despite the fact that, theoretically, votes don't matter - if you get to see them afterwards you can determine which of the 'ibles appeal more, which less and hone your writing, making and other skills accordingly, if that's your goal.

Okay, so let's hear it STAFF. Why don't we get to see the votes that are cast by members? Why do you hide them?

We used to display vote counts, but we found it lead to unsportsmanlike behavior and cheating. Also, when people were able to sort by vote, it just caused things that already had a lot of votes to just get more and more and caused other equally awesome projects to get overlooked.

Hope that makes sense :)

JM1999 Raitis2 months ago

Then people who voted would be more cautious about who they supported.

Raitis JM19992 months ago

No idea why you consider this an issue. Do you vote for nearly every entry in a contest right now? Because I don't, nor do I have a reason to think that most of us do.

JM1999 Raitis2 months ago

I only vote for the entries I think would win (and 70% of the time I get it right)

And I also vote for myself.

All the rules in all the contests have rule #6. Voting Period.... "Entrants may not vote for their own
entries, may not compensate anyone in exchange for votes, or otherwise
obtain votes through fraud, coercion, or other unfair means. Sponsor
reserves the right to exclude any votes that have been obtained in
violation of these Rules." This rule has been there for as long as I have been at Instructables. Always read all the rules before entering any contest, and please don't vote for yourself, I hope this doesn't have any negative consequences on your contest entries. I like your stuff, it's way better than some of my stuff. Happy one year anniversary!

Güd idea.

Attmos22 days ago

What about a Tiny House Design contest.

Valentine's day microcontroller contest

k00lk0der24 days ago

Raspberry Pi contest

dalegribble25 days ago

I think that its time to do a Back to the Future contest. I'm sure it'll be talked about a lot this fall. Props, flux capacitors, and Mr. Fusion(green energy). Who knows maybe somebody will make all of our childhood dreams come true and make a real hoverboard.

1 More Electronic Contest Plese ;D

Let it be like doing something for own home to get Techy!


Animal bed contest, dragon contest, Jim Henson's creature shop contest, medieval contest, old movie proops contest, Muppet challenge, American Horror Story contest, bone contest, Face Off Syfy contest, and recycled CD contest

Robot contest

nancyjohns1 month ago

I have a suggestion for a contest, the Coding Contest. It's about anything programming. I hope you like the idea, and I would like to see it happen!

patsheldon1 month ago

I think it's time for a PIZZA contest! :D

yes........ I make pizza!!

I'd like to see more Fandom themed contests. It would probably be most realistic if you went by genre, for example: Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek are all space Sci-Fi.

vanweb1 month ago

One thing that surprises me is that lack of Mobile App Instructables on the site, there are many absolutely free tools in order to create mobile apps. And almost everyone has a mobile phone. There are plenty of electronic Instructables that require low level programming for things like Audrino. People even create wifif connected devices run by mobile apps but I hardly ever see the instructable concentrate on the App. Why is there no Mobile App Instructables?

Maybe if you build a contest for them "they will come".. Prizes would be easy as they could be anything from books to phones to tablets to computers or even wifi connected devices...

Kiteman vanweb1 month ago

Maybe because reading how others write an app is, to be honest, quite boring?

vanweb Kiteman1 month ago
What is the difference between the excitement level of writing an Instructable on creating App vs programming an Audrino vs a Food Recipe vs how to do something in Minecraft vs cutting and folding paper for Papercraft? different things excite different people. I find 75% of the instructable topics quite boring yet others find them fascinating. That is what is so great about this site.

But thanks anyway for the demotivation for everyone who was thinking of creating an app instructable....

I think the reliance on votes to decide winners should be reduced, as this disproportionately favors the ones who enter their instructables earlier.

Votes only account for half the finalists. The other half are chosen by staff in order to make sure that awesome last minute entries have a fair chance, you can learn more about our finalists selection process here:

Oops I apologize I did not realize that only half of the finalists are chosen by voting. Allow me to restate myself. I have no gripes with voting an I like it for the same reasons that you guys do, but I just wish the process was more secure. However, the fact that the staff chooses them too satisfies me. Thank you guys!

I think the voting is great because it involves the community. I like being able to vote for my favorites and see them do well. The Instructables staff does a great job of pulling great ibles into the finals that are entered late in the game.


Karthik Raj1 month ago

how about an "out of the world contest"? to host stuff not found anywhere

lime3D2 months ago

How about Office Survival contest? This could be broad enough to include desk accessories (pencil cup, tape dispenser, etc.), computer tips, making your cube more comfortable, lunch tips, etc.

little.g.ban2 months ago

A game dev contest might be interesting... See who can make the best element of a game? This could include sprites, sounds, music, or the best overall game. To allow more entries it could also primarily support a language like scratch.

gearup5002 months ago

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


We will definitely be running something along these lines early next year :)

Ok seems like a plan to me!

monkeyhart52 months ago

I would love to see more recycling contest

tomatoskins2 months ago

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 :)

JM19993 months 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 JM19993 months 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 months ago

Why? The points don't mean anything.

JM1999 lime3D2 months ago

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

nat334 JM19993 months ago


JM1999 nat3343 months ago

Yay, someone agrees with me!!

SpecificLove3 months ago

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.

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