How To Make an Easy DIY Compost Bin

Composting, you have probably thought about it.  Visions of a giant heap in your backyard that is smelly turn you off from the idea, though.  Or maybe townhome, condo, or apartment living restricts you from even attempting it.

Well not any longer.

This very simple compost bin gives you the opportunity to try composting without too much commitment, cost, or space needed.  It will debunk some of your ideas about composting.


  • Storage bin (the darker the color the better)
  • Drill

Yes, that is all you truly need to make this bin.  You can borrow a drill if you do not have one of your own.  Storage bins are around $5 at your local mass merchant store, but if you have one that has a crack or hole it and no longer functions properly as a storage bin, you can just use that one for free.


Drill holes all over your storage bin.  Remember to drill holes on the bottom to allow for water drainage.  You want all four sides and the bottom to be covered with random holes.

The lid should have holes drilled into it, as well.  This will allow for air to circulate.


Put some dirt in your compost bin.  You can grab any random excess dirt you can find or a package of cheap top soil works great to start with.

Add any fruit or vegetable scraps you may have.  Peelings and cores are great.  Plant clippings and trimmings work wonderfully, too.

Anytime you add contents to the compost bin, you will want to give the bin a shaking.  This will help aerate the compost and allow it process faster and more efficiently.  Simply attach your lid securely on the bin and rock the bin from side to side.  Then tilt it front to back.

Now you have a bin that can easily be put anywhere, even on your patio.  Compost does not stink, despite the rumors you have heard.  As long as you add the proper ingredients, it actually smells kind of sweet.  So place your bin where it is the most convenient for you to use everyday.

Many compost piles will take about a year to provide good compost for use.  This bin allows that process to go much faster.  You can get good compost in as little as 4-6 months.


  • You want your compost to remain moist like a sponge.  This provides optimum conditions for the articles to decompose.
  • If possible, place your bin in an uncovered area to allow rain to moisten the compost.  This will help conserve water.
  • Never add any food that has had salt or butter added to it.
  • Never add any dairy products or meats to your compost.  If it grew in the ground then you can add it.
  • Add a glass of water to your compost each time you add waste.  This will help maintain the desired moisture level.
  • Adding worms to your compost really helps the process along.
  • The smaller the articles you add to your compost, the faster they will decompose. So try cutting peeling and trimming into smaller pieces before adding.

What do you think?



  1. 19

    Sounds really good, I have a plastic or plastic type dustbin with a hinged lid on it that was left behind when we were issued with the new coloured dustbins. Would that be useful.
    When putting compost in an open type container that I made years ago, I added some composting powder to the mix. Could I do the same in this plastic type dustbin

  2. 20

    This is a really affordable way to try composting. Great share. However, a few tips for the newbies:
    1. composting food attracts bugs, namely ants, so keep the bin away from the house.
    2. if the bin gets filled with rain or the contents get soupy, then dump it out, dry it out, and begin again. If you don’t you’ll grow some nice molds that freak out your allergies.
    3. at some point you have to stop adding and let it cook in the sun for a few weeks so you can empty the container. If it gets too full, you won’t be able to rotate it and it will get soupy (see #2).

  3. 21
    Avatar Melissa Hedden says

    Awesome idea! I have honestly wanted a compost bin for several years but had given up the thoughts of having one because they all see hard to make or really expensive to buy. This makes it TOO easy to keep putting it off!

  4. 22

    I think your post/info is/was very helpful > we appreciate post/info Thank you 🙂 Lori Arnold & Family, Vince, Caitlyn, Carlee & Taz

  5. 23

    Yay! I want to try this, but I do have one question. Should you leave the lid on or off?

  6. 25

    Brilliant!!!! Cheers to the hope and inspiration that we all do this for our plants and gardens 🙂 !!!!

  7. 26

    Thanks! This is a great alternative to buying an expensive compost bin. Can you use a plastic garbage can, rather than a storage bin? I have several of those on hand.

    • 27

      To AA. I am asking the same question about using a grey plastic dustbin or as you say garbage can. But no suggestion have come.
      I’ve had a thought, as a garbage bin is quite large to turn the amount of compost over in, possible it would be a good idea to make compost in a smaller storage bin more quickly, then when ready, let it dry out and store it in the garbage bin, and do it two or three times to get a store of good compost. I’m going to try it and also use a compost powder when creating the compost. Just a thought.

  8. 28

    awesome! so simple!

  9. 29

    Thank you! I just built my bin today, following your instructions. So easy 🙂

  10. 30

    Very interesting… I might actually try composting now. Every time I peel a veggie or crack an egg, I want to – but have always been intimidated by the effort and expense.

  11. 32

    Hi! I love the simplicity of this idea and the re-purposing concept. However, I don’t feel great about using plastic (I don’t drink from plastic water bottles because chemicals can transfer to the water, especially when heated up.) Do you have any similar projects that don’t use plastic? Thanks!!

  12. 34

    These guidelines seem easy to follow.
    I’m going to use this method.
    Thank you for having this option available and simplifying it as well.

  13. 35

    This information, and photo’s were a great help, thank you so much

  14. 36
    Avatar Vicky Trejo says

    Ya lo hice y me quedó muy bien. Fue facilisimo.

  15. 37

    Such a great idea and so easy to make too! Definitely think I will be making one of this for this growing season. 🙂

  16. 38

    Thank you.. I have been hesitant about purchasing a compost bin, but already have a plastic storage container. Please keep these great ideas coming!

  17. 39

    Great tip. I love this! Compost is used to recycle and fertilizer for gardens, correct?