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Picture of How to win Instructables contests.

There are few things more thrilling than receiving a prize package at your front door. And who doesn't love a brand new robot t-shirt? Instructables always has an awesome contest running. If you've never entered one now is a great time. Of course, if you don't enter you can't win. Here are a few ways to give your instructable a fighting chance.

Note: The contents of this instructable are based on my personal experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of instructables or its parent company. All photos used are under public domain.

Step 1: When in Rome...

Picture of When in Rome...

Instructables has a culture. To know what makes a good instructable you have to know what a good instructable looks like. Check the home page often. That's where featured instructables go. Featured means your doing things right.

Keep in mind, like real life, cultures change. For example when I first joined, circuit boards and nixie tubes were about as high tech as you saw. Nowadays laser cutters, 3D printing, and arduino are common place.

Stay in the loop by visiting instructables. Check out the latest builds. When you do, read the comments. See what people are saying. Leave a comment yourself.

Staying current will help you think of "up to date ideas" for the next contest.

Dumbphone1 month ago
I am totally amazed and bewildered at the level of talent and ingenuity this site displays with each tutorial I browse. I am anxious to learn so many things on here. LED lighting and 3-D design are just 2 of the classes I signed up for so far. Thank you for allowing so many of us to appreciate other's works and share what we can with the same.
jpharkey5 months ago
Hi! I just published my first instructable but I don't see where the button is to actually enter the contest. The contest is still open. Can you offer advice? Thank you!
From the Contest page, click ENTER and it will look for an instructable published after the contest openiong.
paleseu1 year ago

What makes me happy the most about partecipating in contest is that it really upped my game.

I have deadlines so my projects stopped sitting around for ages un-finished.

I started finishing them better with more attention to details and aesthetics, instead of being barely functional.

It makes a good journal of my thought and projects, which otherwise would probably just get forgotten in a notebook or in the mist of my mind.


Phil B1 year ago

I have entered a few more contests than prizes I have won. At one point I resolved never again to enter another contest. I have also been a judge in a couple of contests. My task and that of other judges was to narrow the field for final judging by site members. I took that task very seriously and looked at my choices several times before submitting them. Most of my choices, but not all, agreed with the choices of the other judges. Still, the final results rested with users who responded in the open voting.

As concerns judging, I looked for good clever practical ideas presented well. If the Instructsble would save someone who made it some money, that was a bonus in its favor. I did not favor something novel just because it was novel.

When I rebelled against ever entering another contest, I was turned off by how some high quality efforts got little favor in the results, but something that looked "cool" won a nice prize, even though there was very little real substance in it. (That actually haopened.)

I wish I could say I carefully planned entering Instructables that won prizes for specific contests. I did not. In one case I won a MIG welder on an Instructsble I almost did not submit. That was because I had earlier worked very hard on a somewhat similar Instructable that got only a few views and very little response even though it was not for a contest or entered in a contest. But, I had taken photos in case I did write and submit an Instructsble. I confess I decided to give it a try when I saw the prizes offered. The rest was a happy accident. I did nothing to promote votes for my Instructsble, but let it rest on its own merits. When it became apparent I was one of the finalists and would win something, I told myself repeatedly that it would be one on the lowest tier of prizes. When I did win one of the top three prizes, i quickly sent a thank you e-mail to the sponsor and got a nice note of appreciation in return. Sayng "thank you" to someone who provides a nice prize is always good.

If I were to develop a strategy for winning, I would have some photos in my files ready for submitting an Instructable. I would wait until a contest came along that I thought my idea could compete in. Then I would write up and submit my Instructable to be within the time frame required by the rules. As it is, several times i have seen a contest that fits something I have already done, but the time frame is way off and I cannot submit that Instructable in the current contest.

LanceBuilt1 year ago
What about timing? is it better to enter a contest earlier in order to have more time to accumulate votes?
vedaant1 year ago

I have a question:

How many times can we vote?

1 time per day?

msolonko1 year ago

This is very meta! Useful though!

Fun to see that you wrote an Instrucatble about how to win Instructable ;-)

Do you have any view on a French translation of the website? or even international? because I get friends willing to support and vote... but not speaking english at all therefore this is harder to get votes.. and this will anyway be more proud if I get votes from strangers ;-)

Maker Saga2 years ago
Well written and insightful!
Is there a limit to how many entries one user can enter into a single contest?

Hi, I posted the same question in the questions section of this site:

Hopefully you'll find it helpful, have a great day!


Anabistrica2 years ago

Great idea, I can find here many good ideas for DIY

This is very well thought out and very helpful. Thanks!

thank you soooooo much.

Thanks for this! I'm a big fan, and it's cool that you'd give contest pointers. keep making cool stuff for me to get inspired on!
Do I have to pay if I win any contest I'm from India
ohoilett3 years ago

I've had 3 Features, but contest wins are still eluding me. Thanks for the guide!

JilC13 years ago
This is a well written and thoughtful instructable! Thank you for spending the time to write it!
KkG4 made it!3 years ago

I got copyright for UMASK (C) 2015 (Uniform Multi-lingual Alphabets Soft Keyboard) which is a touch screen keyboard and having all world languages like English, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, German etc., All are in alphabetic order. So that even a school child can learn native language very easy, we can also able to teach more languages through this UMASK. As well as anyone can start to type very easy without memory or practice. Because it has more languages, I need proper supporters from all of the country. I have shown English for sample. For more see my blog . You can't learn, teach or type with the help of the present any computer, because it not in alphabetic order. Nowadays all people need very simple method to type language. Calculator for Maths, likewise UMASK for easy learn and type languages..

Make Zone3 years ago
Hi, if you get tons of views in a contest entry does your chance of winning increase?

Not necessarily. The quality of the content is a much larger factor to your winning chances than views. (I am not saying views don't matter, they just are not the most important)

Thanks very much!
To enter a contest do you just submit an instructable then what? I'm hoping to follow your instrucyions

Hi this probably wont get a reply but how do I enter a contest? I pressed enter and it said I dont have any eligible instructables. I have two published about hair dye, and the contest I want ks about dye, so I dont know whats going on

Mrballeng (author)  SickFlowerChild3 years ago
Hey there, your instructable has to be published during the time frame of the contest you want to enter. There are several contest entry options from the publish screen. Hope this helps.

Thanks this helped alot

JokerDAS3 years ago

Quick question about contests (advance apologies if it was already asked in the comments)... is it frowned upon to solicit votes in your instructable?

Mrballeng (author)  JokerDAS3 years ago
I don't think so. Sometimes I'll put a link to the contest into my instructable. I'll encourage people to both enter and vote. But if your instructable is truly prize winning it's not necessary.
JokerDAS3 years ago

I definately learned more than a few tips to help in the contests! Great narrative! Thanks for sharing!

clubjen3 years ago

Beautifully said!

smashman4 years ago

you have an awesome picture sense dude

hats off.

sup_b4 years ago

This is wonderful. I love all your pictures! Thx.

Corinbw4 years ago

thanks, I know how it feels to see someone's contest entry and say well I hope they win instead of me because they deserve it. I love the story and emotions portrayed in the end of this instructable. I absolutely love it. Favorite

Fantastic insight! Thankyou.
SparkySolar4 years ago

I love this. Thank you


sabu.dawdy4 years ago

i didn't do even a single thing which you have told... explains y i never won any contest.. But you have inspired me alot :) thank you for that.

antoniraj4 years ago

very nice information you provided here. That's why you have won so many contests

JR Tyner made it!4 years ago

I made this instuctable based on this one to try and win the Aquarium, Fix and Repair, and University DIY contests.

enelson84 years ago
I love this!! This is great strategy and inspiration!! Thanks!!
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