Unusual uses for ordinary things make life easier. Do you want to color wood, but don’t want to invest in stain? Try coffee! Need to do a quick load of laundry, but forgot to buy detergent? Use mouthwash! Want a cheap and easy alternative to dryer sheets? Believe it or not, tennis balls will do the trick! It is simply amazing what you can do with ordinary items that you have just sitting around your house.

Come up with the most unusual and helpful uses and you could win a Gift Card. Check out this great collection for inspiration!

The Unusual Uses Contest is closed.

Grand Prize


Grand Prize

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

First Prize

Three First Prize Winners will receive:

Second Prize

Five Second Prize Winners will receive:

Runner Up

Ten Runner Up Prize Winners will receive:
  • Instructables Mug Prize Pack

Write an Instructable

Create a new Instructable that fits the guidelines outlined in the contest description above. To be eligible, Instructables must be published between Oct 18, 2021 and Dec 13, 2021 (11:59pm PT).


Upon publishing your Instructable you'll see checkboxes for open contests. Select Unusual Uses Contest. If you have entries currently eligible for entry, it will also show up by clicking "Enter this Contest" on the right side of this page.


Entries are accepted by Instructables staff within one business day Monday - Friday. What matters is the submission time, not acceptance time.


A panel of judges made up of Instructables staff and respected members of the community rate the finalists. The averages of the ratings determine the winners.


When the winners are decided they will be notified and announced here on the contest page.