The Owner-Builder Network

8 Effective DIY Compost Bin Ideas

DIY Compost Bin Ideas Main Image

Anyone who is growing or planning to grow their own produce should be composting as well. This ensures a healthy garden and a bountiful harvest. It’s easy, it’s free and it benefits the environment, too!

To get started you’ll need a compost bin, of course! You can buy one but why not make one yourself using repurposed materials you might already have? The right or best option for your garden will depend on a couple of factors…

One of those factors is the size of the composter that you need. Consider how large your yard is and how much plant matter you will compost. How much kitchen waste can you add? Remember that you can also compost paper and cardboard, although it does slow the process.

You should also decide which of the two types of compost bins you want to have – will it be a stationary bin or a rotating compost tumbler? All compost piles require to be turned regularly to combine decaying materials and provide oxygen. 

However, having a compost tumbler makes the composting process faster. If you need your compost in as fast as a week, then a compost tumbler is for you.

A stationary bin is good if you have a nice, sunny spot to put your compost bin on. Of course, which kind to choose will also depend on the materials available to you.

What are the 8 effective DIY compost bin ideas?

Now here are some materials that make great compost bins. Have a look and read more about them to help you decide what type of DIY compost bin to make!

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1. Plastic Milk Crate

This is a good and inexpensive option for backyard gardeners with a small space, who only need a relatively small amount of compost for their yard. It’s vertical, has plenty of air circulation, easy to use and inexpensive.

2. Pallets

You can build a compost bin of any size with pallets! You can even incorporate it with rabbit hutches. 🙂

3. Garbage Can

Garbage cans make perfect compost tumblers for small space gardeners. You can have them hanging high to get more heat from the sun all throughout the day.

4. Straw Bale

A straw bale compost bin is great, especially for wide areas since it is not a ‘permanent’ type of compost bin. This means you can put your compost mix directly on a future planting area. Since the inside walls of the bin are exposed to the elements breaking down in the center, they become part of your compost.

Eventually, you can mix the remaining straw to compost further or to spread it right away on your lot as a heavily composted mulch. Use straw, NOT hay as the latter contains seeds that can cause you problems with weed. Plus, they are usually more expensive than straw.

5. Plastic Gallon Drum

If you have a plastic drum barrel, use it to build a composting tumbler. Build a double decker for more compost in a small amount of space!

6. Wine Barrel

If you can use plastic drum barrels, you can definitely use wine barrels as well. Perfect if you want something beautiful for your garden.

7. Storage Bin

Got empty storage bins in your garden? Put it to use by turning it into a small compost bin! Again perfect for small backyard gardeners. 🙂

8. Indoor

You can also make an odor-free compost bin for the indoors if you are living in an apartment or a small home with very limited backyard space.

If you liked this, you might also like these gardening ideas…


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