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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A contest on ikea hacking


Make a film contest

scooter767 days ago

Another bacon contest. You can never have enough bacon

cpurola16 days ago

Re-furbish, Re-fashion, Re-purpose old/discarded wood furniture.

great idea


Kiteman cpurola16 days ago


Mr.Sanchez8 days ago

Blacksmithing and forge would be awesome !

1). Things that Float.

2). Things that Make Music

3). Exercise Equipment

4). Travel or maybe Adventure Travel.

wood working contest

a duct tape contest

Darthorso15 days ago

Hey Jessy!

I've already talked about it some weeks ago, but I renew my purpose.

What do yuo think of a Nerf/Toys mod contest? Like aesthetic and hardware mods... I think that we can see great projects in a contest like this! ^_^

Sam King17 days ago

things re lated to hacking or gaming or clay

and prize could a ps system and gaming Cd's

or prize related to the contasts

Just a thought....
Hide it or find it comp. How to hide your treasures, keys, gun,
diary, yourself, pimples, or vegetables from the kids. How to find
buried, treasure, pipes, power cables, water, or lost keys, pets,
kids, glasses, phone, the meaning of life. Perhaps some could solve
the mystery of the missing sock.

prizes?... metal
detector, stud finder, hide a keys, camo clothing

User11 month ago

Bicycle wheels with LEDs

Hello all,

Being a bicycle rider, I'm ALWAYS interested in anything bike related. With that in mind, I'd like to see a competition with LEDs on bicycle wheels! I'm thinking that there's gotta be some interesting things to do with LEDs and some people might be pretty dang talented. There may even be sub categories. Such a one wheel designs and two wheel designs. Something that can be viewed on both sides equally and who knows what else!

I know Monkey lights has been around for awhile now, but I'm betting there's quite a few schmucks, <cough, cough>, that can follow the directions on building something like this!

I hope I haven't suggested something that already happened. If so, you have my deepest apologies.


There was a contest, not too long ago, sponsored by MoneyLectric.

Yeah that wasn't really what I was thinking. Monkeylectric did a contest around LEDS in general that was called "GET THE LED OUT!",

Looked good, but I'm thinking a contest that pretty much revolves (no pun intended) around bicycle wheels and LEDS. I'm betting someone can do images on both wheels that doesn't rotate as the wheel turns!

There can be contests based on age limits like Under-15yrs etc

gbeaulieu29 days ago

Today looks like it's going to be another of those rainy days of summer where you never know what to do ! So I came with the idea of making a contest on stuff people do during raining days !

jibrail329 days ago

paper craft contest

advaym1 month ago

in my opinion, a 'Gardening Contest' would be awesome! it can be tutorials about how to grow certain plants/herbs, or tips and tricks about gardening to help first timers! or other creative ideas to make the garden prettier and more bountiful! it could be about setting up of a simple herb garden to grow herbs which are used daily!
As prizes you can offer some self-help books on gardening or a set of simple gardening tools! such a contest would be very popular!

'Labor Saving Devices for the Home' Contest.

'Under Pressure' Contest.... Anything that uses some type of 'fluid' (in the classical sense; i.e., air, steam, water, hydraulic fluid, CO2, etc.) under pressure to serve a purpose.

maybe a "Students' Hacks" contest where we can show off all our creations we've made to try and save money and time while at college

I agree

Darthorso1 month ago

What about a classical Nerf Mods contest? Like aesthetic and hardware mods, even combined togheter!

I see that Nerf are pretty popular around here! :D

No_Limits1 month ago

Maybe a "Things that float" Contest?

How about a made with Rhubarb contest some spring.


How about a made with Rhubarb contest some spring.


MooMeat421 month ago

Food and more made from scratch. The catch is that no entry is allowed to use a product that can be labeled a finished product that you could go out and buy at the store and just eat or use right out of the package. Like as if you're on an Earth without factories.

mikael bl1 month ago

I know a rubber band bracelet contest.

vishalapr1 month ago

Another "Teacher Contest" would be great!

Maybe subject-specific prizes or awards, like "best Geography demonstration".

Yea that would be awesome, Best chemical experiment etc

madminor1 month ago

"Doing Good" you have to make things that help others like disabled people or people in need. Maybe also a 'What would you do contest' - what i mean is there is a prize like 3d printers and things, and you have to submit an instructable saying what you would do if you had a 3d printer, and showing plans and things for it.
Also would be cool to have a monthly competition - For the best instructables each month, any instructable is illegible, and this time there is no voting - just contest judges and instructables staff!

Oh, I like the idea of "if only I had a... contest", and one of the finalist judging criteria could be that it would actually work, so you'd have to include a proper rendering of the finished project (like, all the laser-cut pieces fitted together).

repkid madminor1 month ago

I agree on this one. The E-Nable people can always use more help.

bosmaru1 month ago

a boat contest where you make a usable boat

pantherj122 months ago

a wire contest! Any thing that can be created out if wire creatively

knexpert17002 months ago

I want to see an Engineering Survival contest!

sharonnester2 months ago

How about a contest for the best storm shelter! Safe Room even, here on the plains we need some good ideas

Mikeman42902 months ago

Have another paracord contest or have a created from nature project where people build from only items in nature

Maybe you could do a "Inspired By Nature" Contest.. People can make anything that is inspired by nature, in working or in appearance.

Another idea I've had for a while now is a "Two in One" Contest, in which contestants build something that serves two purposes (=

jessyratfink (author)  MakeBreakHackRepeat2 months ago

I really love the first one! The second one could be a great speed contest, too. :D

Thanks! And for the inspired by nature contest, how about some filament extruders as prizes! I've seen a few that can actually extrude 3d printing filament using plastic bottles, old plastic junk, faulty prints etc. That's nature friendly so it's related to the theme of the contest itself, plus filament extruders are awesome, specially since you guys give away so many 3d printers too.. Check em out

I like both those ideas, but especially the first.

Great ! Hope I see it implemented soon, thanks !

Deeg3 months 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.)

jessyratfink (author)  Deeg2 months ago

Ohhhhh yeah. I like this one! I think ingredient themed contest are a lot of fun. :)

Shadow5133 months ago

another contest, or a movie or book inspired project contest.

jessyratfink (author)  Shadow5132 months ago

Game.Life should be coming back next year, and I hope we'll have a book version soon, too!

gamerguy132 months ago

How about a "fiction to reality" contest: people can make various sculptures, crafts, toys, plush, dolls, or anything really. The point of this contest would be to bring something or someone from a book, manga/anime, tv show/cartoon, artwork or anything fictitious into some physical form through an 'ible.

On a side note, why aren't people allowed to enter any 'ible they've already made into a contest?

jessyratfink (author)  gamerguy132 months ago

We do something similar with video games - we have a yearly Game.Life contest! We're also wanting to do one that's book-themed. But opening it up to more mediums would be awesome. :D

As far as your second question - we want new and exciting content from our contests, which is why projects must be published during the time the contest is open. Plus, it'd be really unfair to let some of our top winners enter contests over and over again with the same project.

It encourages novelty, creativity, originality and growth of both the site and the maker.

Also, there are nearly one hundred an thirty thousand projects on the site, many thousands of which would fit in any contest started; voting and judging would be a nightmare.

Kiteman Kiteman2 months ago

(Oh, and they do a contest like this : Game to Life)

cammers2 months ago

If it hasn't already been done, I'd like to see a contest of practical ideas to make life easier for people living in poverty or places with limited resources.

For example: cheap solar or wind generators, water pumps, water purification, personal security, housing, education, communication, etc.

The list is endless and we could really make a positive difference.

ilpug2 months ago

Here's my idea for a contest: It would be called the Instructable 2.0 contest.

This contest would be different than the other contests because it would be in two parts.

For the first part, anyone can submit any of their ALREADY PUBLISHED Instructables. Projects published within, say, six months of the contest start are ineligible. These Ible's must meet a few simple guidelines. These guidelines serve to filter out junk Instructables or ones that no one liked. It may mean that some projects are ineligible, but its more democratic that way.

1-They have at least 1000 views (easily obtainable if the Ible is useful or in any way interesting)

2-At least 3 Favorites- This is also easily obtainable if the Ible is worth anything.

3-Instructables that have been Featured are automatically eligible.

So, any Ible' that meets these guidelines is eligible. After the entry period is over, voting begins. The community votes for the projects that they most want to see revisited, rebuilt, finished, or improved on. After the voting period is over, the top 25% of the projects voted for are eligible for the second round.

In the second round, anyone who was chosen in the first round can revisit and improve their Instructable however they want, and re-enter it. After the entry deadline is over, people vote for their favorite re-visited project, and the voting and winning works just like a normal contest.

I dunno if this is practical or not, but It seems like fun to me, and would definitely motivate people who have Ible's with potential to revisit them and produce something really amazing. After all, practice and revision makes perfect!

I'd like to hear any community/developer feedback on this?

Kiteman ilpug2 months ago

I think that's an interesting challenge. I would certainly enter it.

I imagine it would be rather complex to administrate, though, and quite hard to attract a sponsor to a contest that, at heart, produces nothing new.

(Six months? Why not a year?)

ilpug Kiteman2 months ago

That's true, sponsorship would be a bit hard to get, I hadn't thought of that.

It wouldn't produce anything new, but it would help some projects reach their full potential, and explore new applications and ways to do it better. Improving what is existing is just as important as creating new stuff.

A year is fine too, the six month figure was just a guesstimate.

ilpug Kiteman2 months ago

That's true, sponsorship would be a bit hard to get, I hadn't thought of that.

It wouldn't produce anything new, but it would help some projects reach their full potential, and explore new applications and ways to do it better. Improving what is existing is just as important as creating new stuff.

A year is fine too, the six month figure was just a guesstimate.

Coldfire12154 months ago

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)  Coldfire12154 months 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

An Art Contest sounds fantastic! That is a great idea.

goldlego2 months ago

I suggest a "Greeting Card Contest". It would include birthday cards, holiday cards, invitations, etc.. I think this would be a great contest and would also spark a lot of interest to all of the creative crafters in the instructables community.

creativity1232 months ago

Hi! Here are a few of my contest suggestions: Cookie Contest, Made with Paint Contest, Craft Contest (again), and a Crayon Contest.

tofu9112 months ago

5 Minutes Contest: instructables anyone could start and finish in under 5 minutes. Then you have to make every second count. :-)

5 Items Contest: instructables that uses 5 or less materials and tools to make.

Copycat Cooking/Baking Contest: a better imitation of the real dish or dessert.

Kiteman tofu9112 months ago

Oh, there was a thirty second contest, time back. You had to enter a video instructable exactly half a minute long.

That was fun.

gsyme132 months ago

An asian food contest

King of Clubs3 months ago

Telescope/Space/Astronomy Contest

Shadow5133 months ago

a movie or book inspired project contest.

BAURO3 months ago

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

stevemoseley3 months ago

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

Kiteman3 months 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.

foobear8 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 foobear8 months ago
Wind power! Whirligigs, mobiles, wind socks, wind mills, fluttering flags
mistic foobear3 months 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 foobear8 months ago
Ohhh, my Dad works with wind power! Awesome idea!
ynze foobear7 months ago
Math appreciation contest! That'd be cool. And we'll invite ViHart to enter a special made video :-)
Chikpea foobear8 months ago
Great Idea, I've subscribed to you! Your vegetarian contest sounds awesome, as I am a vegetarian. :)
Sadi7893 months 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

shazni4 months ago

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

jessyratfink (author)  shazni4 months 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

Shadow5134 months ago

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

Coldfire12154 months ago

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

enelson84 months ago

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

dragonferno84 months ago

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.

shazni4 months ago about Wall Art? Upholstery? kids?

shazni4 months ago

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

BikeHacker4 months ago

A bike hacking contest would be awesome!!!

foobear6 months ago

I'd like to see a nutty inventions contest.

Attmos foobear4 months ago


jwbasham4 months 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)

Attmos4 months 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.

thematthatter8 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)  thematthatter8 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.
foobear5 months 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! :)

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