2008 D*S DIY contest!

by Grace Bonney

i’m thrilled to announce the start of the 2008 D*S DIY contest, sponsored by 2Modern.com. it’s been a while since the last contest so i thought it would about time to get things going again. this year, thanks to 2modern and our friends at sparkability and growmodern, we’ll be giving away $1500 in prizes- that’s a lot of diy supply money!

because DIY projects generally take a while to do, we wanted to give everyone time to work on their projects, so we won’t be closing the submission gates until sunday, march 2nd. that gives everyone three full weeks to put on their diy hats and start opening up their tool boxes and craft kits. your project can be anything (furniture, decoration, etc.) that you’ve created by yourself for the home (sorry, no jewelry or fashion-based projects this year).

this year we’ll be awarding four prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and an honorable mention.

  • 1st place will receive a $500 gift certificate to 2Modern and a check for $150
  • 2nd place will receive a check for $450
  • 3rd place will receive a check for $300
  • and our honorable mention will receive a check for $100 toward future diy projects (or something else fun)

we’ll open up the polls to voting on wednesday, march 5th and will accept votes through that sunday, march 9th– with winners announced on monday, march 10th. and of course- we’ll give you a preview of the submissions as we go along.

here are the guidelines:

  • all entries should be emailed to designsponge [at] gmail [dot] com no later than 7pm EST on sunday, march 2nd. all entries received after the deadline will gladly be considered for our regular diy wednesday posts.
  • all entries should have the words “diy contest entry” in the subject line and include well-styled photos of the final diy project. if past contests are any indication you guys like to vote for photos that look as pretty as the project so please keep that in mind when taking pictures.
  • please note: we whole-heartedly welcome multiple submissions. if your project has appeared on another website or publication please note that in your entry. please do not send photos you do not want to run on design*sponge.

thank you to the incredible julia rothman for designing this year’s diy contest logo- you can check out her site right here and shop her new card collection from hello! lucky right here.

and thank you again to our generous sponsors: 2modern.com, sparkability and growmodern. you can visit their sites by clicking on their banners below.



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  • OK, I have a question! This might be obvious, but what is actually going to be judged here? The DIY project idea, or the end result? Or both?

  • katie

    both ;) the final product will probably weigh more heavily for the voters but it’s up to you guys!


  • Angie

    Absolutely- just to clarify though- all payments will be sent in US Dollars and if someone out of the country wins first place they’ll need to consider the shipping costs on their $500 worth of goods from 2Modern ;)


  • jeannie

    it can be an improvement or a combination of found materials- but there needs to be a DIY element to the project- something you’ve done with your own two hands.

  • I have a question about the definition of “DIY” in the contest – does the project have to be made from scratch, like building a piece of furniture with planks of lumber, or would a revamp project of a piece of existing furniture count?

  • I’m excited to learn about the contest, but I’m wondering – if the project is an improvement- will the entry require before and after photos and a description of the improvement? Thanks!

  • joe

    before shots are necessary, though they are helpful.

    description text will be required if you are a finalist. for your entry a simple summary will do.


  • Would it be okay to take one of the projects from your DIY posts, replicate it and submit it for the contest? Or should the project be more original than that? Just asking. When will you start posting submissions for viewing?

  • victoria

    if it somehow ends up looking very different that might be ok but my gut reaction is that voters won’t be as interested in something they’ve already seen before on the site- unless there’s an interesting spin on it.


  • Does it have to be a project that we started and completed in the three weeks, or is it ok to be a larger-scale project that’s already underway?

  • wendi

    absolutely- it could be a project from months ago if you’ve got photos and directions ready ;)


  • This is just the motivation I need to translate some sketches into an actual piece for my house. Thanks for the kick start, Grace! Looking forward to seeing the entries.

  • How fun!

    Would you prefer that we send photos as attachments, or can we send you a link to photos (like on Flickr)?

  • I love this contest, now I have to find some time to create something beautiful. Will you be entering something yourselves as well Grace?

  • Wow – I live in England and have just bought my first flat so am doing SO much DIY at the moment its unbelievable! I love this site – it gives me loads of insipration :D

  • Are projects that were featured on a D*S DIY post eligible? Would we resubmit the same images and description for the contest?

  • No, I meant can I submit MY DIY project (the canisters) – not a redo of someone else’s project – as a contest submission. Or does that still fall under the “seen it before” category (or non-eligible because of other publication)? Thanks!

  • hsp,
    I had the same question you had
    (I wanted to submit my table/door DIY from 1.30). Grace encouraged that I try a new project. Since it falls under “seen it before”, it may not get enough votes. But I think you can still submit your previous DIY project. Grace, is this right? Julia

  • I know that you said nothing jewelry or fashion related, so this may be a super ridiculous question, but….
    Would a jewelry box be acceptable if it doubled as art?

  • amy

    we would prefer something that hasn’t been published but feel free to submit them- please just let us know if it’s been covered and where.


  • This sounds like lots of fun — really looking forward to seeing everyone’s submissions.

  • should we send the instructions with the pics or wait to see if we are even a finalist first?

  • I’m living in Uruguay, can I participate in this contest??? It is necessary put some images of step by step??? because I have a lot of thins DIY by me but I no have photos step by step …

  • michael

    answers to your questions are in the comments above, but to reitterate:

    anyone can enter, this isn’t a girls-only contest.

    the only rules are in the post above. must be hand-made by you, that’s pretty much it.

    we’d prefer that it’s a project that hasn’t already appeared on d*s unless your result is different enough to stand out from what we’ve already posted.


  • I am new to DIY and have a question that is probably stupid but, could it be a small table that you refurbished??

  • a before and after is not required, but it is helpful.

    england- if the table is refurbished in a way that looks dramatically different than yes, absolutely. i’m worried that with the level of competition a simple repainting job may not win enough reader votes. but something unique would definitely stand a chance.


  • grace, this is a great contest! i am so excited! is it ok if the submission/s is something (ie ceramics) that can be used in the home as opposed to something that is strictly decorative or furniture?

  • I think this is a great idea. I sent the info to all my local artists and designers I carry in my store this information. You guys are fantastic and thanks for supporting the DIY movement!

  • Like Justina, I’m also interested in being able to see the previous winners. Is this possible?

    Thanks for ridiculously cool contest opportunity!

  • Oh I am so excited! Now I just have to narrow it down to a favorite project and get to work. Thanks for hosting this! :)

  • I’m a bit confused by one of the answers above. The question by joe was whether or not before and after pictures are required. Your answer said yes they are necessary. But sounded as if you meant to say not necessary but helpful. Could you clarify please? Sorry if i’m being redundant!

  • Hello, i have submitted and entry and i sent a b4 and after pic but i was wondering if we need to send “lots” of photos and a blow by blow of how the project was done.
    i did sort of a pictorial step by step.
    should i send that in or wait til i win! LOL Thanks

  • hey – I was wondering if for the submission we should just attach pictures and a basic description of some sort, or can I add a little personal story? (mine has a history of sorts) thanks!

  • Can the interior of a house be submitted if the moldings, doors, built-ins and furnishings are designed by, built, carved and finished by the artist?

  • I was just wondering where the actual diy projects are going to be posted? what is the link? thanks!!

  • lucia

    the finalists will be posted on the main blog on march 10th. i can’t post everyone’s entries because we had hundreds ;)


  • jessica

    i may do a preview this week but we got way, way more submissions that i thought we would so i’m trying to wade through them all right now.


  • alexandra

    i will narrow down the entries to a top 10 (or 20, we’ll see how far i can get it down) and then you guys get to vote on winners.

    i’ll be sharing some of the entries that didn’t make the finals as well, because i think we’ll have a lot to choose from ;)


  • i can’t believe i remembered the wrong date for the deadline….
    Seriously thought it was this weekend =(

    I have no chance of submitting any more huh? ::sniff::