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What contests do YOU want? Answered

I've seen a few complaints recently about contests - the "wrong" kind, or contests coming along just after they publish what would have been a killer entry.

So, why not suggest the contests you would like to see?

It doesn't necessarily have to be a contest you would enter, but maybe one that you think would have a decent response.

I'll start:
  • A hat contest.  Either making hats from scratch, or doing cool stuff to hats.
  • A science contest.  Entries either make a piece of scientific equipment, demonstrate a scientific principle or process, or otherwise provide a learning experience.
  • A walking stick contest.  I noticed that my mother's walking stick is hollow.  People must be able to come up with all sorts of things to make that empty space more useful or entertaining.
  • A useless but bizarrely entertaining device contest.  Things in the vein of the Useless Machine and Rube Goldberg set-ups.  Entries must include how to make the device, and a video of it in action.  Judging would be based largely on entertainment value.
  • A Time contest.  Anything related to time, timepieces or keeping time.
  • A Scouting contest.  Entries that would fulfil the requirements of any badge of any part of the Scouting or Guide movement across the world.  (Extra credit for shots of entrants being awarded their badge?)
  • A Guerilla Making contest.  Not making gorillas, but making something, then leaving it somewhere for strangers to find or encounter.  Include contact details for the entrant (or the site?) and see what happens.
  • Volume Two contest.  Isn't it about time to start thinking about producing another book?

Now, what do you want to see?


I love the hat contest idea. Hats are fun!

I also like the science idea, and I'd like to see a math competition where people can geek out on the mathematics involved in certain projects.

I would probably like to see more specific sewing contests since it's hard to compare many entries in the sewing contests to one another.  There's whimsical and practical, which might be easy to judge based on the cool factor but the practical items tend to have better construction.  Judging from the entries that typically get submitted, there could be:
  • Costume (not just Halloween but the broad sense of costuming which includes cosplay, steampunk, cyber goth, military re-enactment, etc.)
  • T-Shirts (turn a t-shirt into something other than a t-shirt)
  • Quilting
  • Accessories
  • Street clothes
  • Household (e.g., cases, bags, and cozies)
  • Sleepwear (e.g., pj's and slippers)
  • Unusual materials (something other than fabric)
I'm also all in favor of a shoe competition which could include socks and tights.

Perhaps a Birthday Competition which would probably get some pretty wild entries.

Tasty treats with unusual ingredients? or maybe an outright bacon competition?


Storage (house, vehicle, office, locker, etc.)

Outdoor Art

Do Something Amazing in 1 Minute - One Sixtieth of an Hour, Show off Your Mad Skill Power

I'd absolutely love a gurilla contest, It'd be fun seeing the pranks people play. But I'd love for at least once for there to be a proper knex contest, and the prizes could be like knex coasters. Im sure alot of guys would back that up.

but hiyadudez you would so beat me because you have more mknex

The amount of knex doesnt count. Its how much thought you put into your build and how well it works. Just cause I have loadsa pieces doesnt mean that i will win. Maybe i could come in first place, but there would be runner up prizes and stuff too.


7 years ago

I've noticed a few glow in the dark paints/powder related intstuctables lately that would be a fun contest.


7 years ago

DealExtreme contest: Make something out of an item bought at DealExtreme.com

Concrete Contest: Make something out of concrete

Laser Contest: Make something that uses one or more lasers

Fake Contest: Make a "fake" item. For example, fake ice cream out of foam insulation

IKEA hacks contest: Hack an item from IKEA.

Obsolete Tech contest: breathe new life into a piece of obsolete technology (VHS, floppy drive, 8 track, dot matrix printers...)

Astronomy contest: anything to do with astronomy

Solar Contest: anything solar powered

Under $5 contest: do anything you like, as long as it costs less than $5.

Soda Contest: Anything to do with carbonated beverages

Car parts contest: Build anything, using car parts

Flight Contest: Build something that flies

Automata Contest: Build a mechanical automaton

Movie Prop Contest: Build a prop from any movie, TV show or video game

Board Game Contest: Create your own, or modify an existing board or table-top game

Apple Hacks Contest: Hack something made by Apple Computer

Propeller contest: Build something that incorporates a propeller

Glass Contest: Build something that uses glass (or transparent plastic)

Copycat Contest: Recreate something found on a fancy design blog

Kite Contest:  Make a kite.  Prove it flies with a video!

Candy Contest:  Make some candy!  Any kind!

ABS contest:  Make something out of ABS pipe (or any kind of pipe)

Toy hacks contest:  Hack a childs' toy into something else, or to make it do something else.

Office Supplies contest:  make something cool out of office supplies

Copycat Contest: Recreate something found on a fancy design blog

+1 for this idea- maybe it wouldn't run as an official contest but it would definitely be worth a "I didn't pay $4,000 for this lamp because I made it myself, take that design world" patch :)

That's exactly what I was thinking. ;) I think someone else here saved over $11,000 on a lamp when they made it themselves...

Ha, a good chunk of my to do list is ripped off Notcot.org...

THe flight/propeller contest have SORTA been done already, via the Klutz rubber band contest. ANother wouldn't hurt though.

True. But, a contest dedicated to flight could include rockets and model airplanes and helicopters, among other devices that fly...

that woulb be awesome. of course they will have this contest when I am away from home and cut off from my supplies. I wasnt RocketScientist2015 cuz i thought it sounded cool :D

Fake & obsolete interest me.


. Isn't that called Steampunk? heehee

Ha, I would be *so* on the kite contest!

Apart from that, I like the idea of concrete, glass and propeller contests.

Haha, yeah, I imagine a kite contest would be right up your alley!

I think we should have a k’nexpert contest that people over 12 can enter

Apparently K'NEX are running a contest themselves?

I love idea for a hat contest, I need an excuse to make one anyways :D

Here are mine:
  • Music Contest- Anything related to instruments of music
  • Furniture Contest- Related to any furniture pieces
  • Art Contest- Related to the arts, including sculptures
  • Simple Machines Contest- Simple machines, gears, pulleys, etc., no electronics
Also, like Krypto's idea for a metal contest. :D

And related to your recent topic, a ring contest would be dandy :D

all ideas are fun, but I haven't ever seen any open to Canadians. It would be cool to enter with the hope of being considered for a prize (a shirt for instance would be cool)

What what whaaat? I've won tons of stuff, and never had a problem receiving prizes. I even won a prize in a contest that said it was US-only, but they shipped me the prize anyway! So yeah, all you Canadians - go nuts with the contests. You'll get your stuff, no worries.

What? So, those "international entries welcome" contests (most of the current and recent ones) all exclude Canadians?

I may be very wrong-but I was under the impression that only American entries are eligable to win prizes

You can get the 1 year pro but not physical, shipped items IIRC. Many prizes are electrical so there's an issue with outlets to begin with. There's also the issue of imports, taxes, filling out forms, laws, etc. Granted, there's less issue with Canada and Mexico, but having shipped items out of the country that had nothing to do with prizes, it was annoying and pretty darn expensive. I sent an 8 oz package to Germany last Christmas, and it cost $22 - the shipping was almost as much as the item. The basic runner-up prize (t-shirt, patch, stickers, etc.) weighs more than that. Even shipping to Canada isn't fun. However, I have a feeling the major issue lies with the US law, and since I don't run a competition, I don't know what that law is.

I have been sent a number of t-shirt packs over the years, to the UK.but I've never actually won a bigger prize than that.

Well, lol, you should ;0) your posts are very very good. But hey-Instructable shirts IMHO, are excellent prizes. Rock on kiteman!

Best answer is "it depends". Heavy prizes are often US-only, but others are not. Check each contest as it comes up.

I imagine the Sugru contest will be OK, since Sugru is based in the UK.

Contest Idea - Edible Mini Foods!                                                                          
                                                                                                                                   Oh! Pick me! (Waving hand frantically in air) I've got a great idea for an official contest. it involves food that's miniaturised thats edible for example mini burgers, pizzas (like scooch's pizza on a stick) if you could consider the idea, That would be really cool!!

media center pc that are funky or small or something; like a via itx or atx motherboard in a gamecube case with ubuntu and fedora with built in speakers and maybe connected to an eyeclops mini projector and an eye tv hybird tv tuner thingie

exactly kiteman we should have some contests by skill level so I don't have to worry about you beating me (again)

Engine contest! Anything that utilises some kind of engine!

A PicAxe programming competition would be great!

I think a Science Contest would be great or a Useful circuits design contest. And more Tech contests in general would be an improvement.

Metal competition. Main building material must be metal.

A ninja contest. Make something a ninja will use!!!

Maybe an outdoor/camping skills/tools challenge?

I would enjoy a hat contest... I love my hat...

A Guerilla Making contest.  Not making gorillas, but making something, then leaving it somewhere for strangers to find or encounter.  Include contact details for the entrant (or the site?) and see what happens.

This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.


Remember Boston and the LED bomb alert? Star at the airport with playdoh?

How many cities can we bring to a standstill at once?

THat would be mildly entertaining... I'm thinking put a bunch of 8' tall Ibles robot, complete with flashy, blinky lights and mildly intoxicated robot noises.

Personally, my main gripes with the comps are a lack of notification and clarification of how I'd get my prize. I mean, is it worth your while to ship stuff over to England without me paying postage? Or would/could you send some sort of e-voucher for a 'similar' item available here in Derby?

Anyway, back to the topic...

It seems, from reading what's already been posted, that just about every topic/forum will have people wanting a comp (presumably as they have 'a killer entry') - come on folks, how's about some suggestions for stuff you can't find - even on here?

For example, make your own print-head cleaning fluid - and how many other things can it be used for? After all, that is what the site is all about!

Just a couple of things more:

I'm not sure about a 'concrete contest' on eco-friendly grounds, as it takes so much energy to produce - maybe a contest for an alternative or three?

And, on the hidden walking-stick blade post by MichelMoermans, I believe they are illegal (in Britain, at least), so that issue would need to be very carefully considered before allowing such items into any comp.