I wouldn’t consider myself incredibly environmentally savvy, but as a hobby farmer I do have a natural tendency to notice the amount of waste produced around my place, and lately, I’ve been very focused on lowering the amount of trash my family produces, despite feeding many of our scraps to our poultry. I also am prone to using glass and metal discards in DIY projects, but I’ve been hard-pressed to find a way to put used paper products (think tissues, napkins, paper plates, and cardboard) to good use. Enter the compost bin.
A few months ago I was further introduced to composting techniques, and I truly was amazed at how many things can actually be composted (paper products included). I decided I needed a more detailed look into this as I had always been a manure girl; and didn’t think I had much use for compost in my garden – until now.
In my recent forays into composting, I have come across some amazing composting bin ideas for both home and yard that has made me want to open a charge account at my local building supply store. Recently I completed my own do it yourself composting project in preparation to the upcoming planting season, and thought you all might like to have an extra addition to your yard (or kitchen) as well.
STORAGE BIN COMPOST
All this simple idea takes is a large storage bin from your favorite warehouse and a few supplies to create an enclosed compost bin to keep your dogs and other critters out of. Hint: buy one with the wheel so you can move it to your gardening areas.
TERRACOTTA COMPOST COLLECTION
Terracotta pots are a popular garden accent to serve as purposeful planting containers. However, they can be useful in more ways than one! In using them as a stackable, and rotatable, composting station, you can add both an artistic display and beneficial nutrients to your garden.
SPINNING COMPOST TUMBLER
Mixing your decomposing materials often is a must if you want a decent compost, but pitching and turning heavy soils can be tedious. Consider letting gravity do the job for you with this homemade tumbler that allows you to flip it all with very little effort.
X-MARKS THE SPOT
Looking for some awesome aeration techniques in a humid environment? Creating a channel beneath a simple wired bin allows excess moisture to drain, all while keeping a steady flow of air from below your pile to speed up decomposition.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN INDOOR COMPOSTER
All this takes is a coffee can and a few other items, a little bit of time, and voila! You have an awesome little apartment composter that is perfect for your houseplants! Consider keeping a few of these around to have a steady little supply of compost to use through the year.
WIRE PANEL COMPOST BIN
Livestock panels and hardware cloth ‘round’ out this open air bin for the decomposition of larger, delicate litter in the creation of leaf mold for garden application. Air is a crucial component of decomposition, although you may want to provide more protection depending on the local climate.
STRAW BALE COMPOST
Create a zero-waste, temporary compost bin that you can actually build right over your garden at the end of the growing season (if you so wish) to break down all the good stuff in preparation for the following planting season.
CONCRETE BLOCK BINS
Concrete landscaping blocks and pavers are an excellent choice for composting containers, and also blend well into well-manicured yards. This design combines blocks and wireframe for easy compost access and good airflow.
HINGED PALLET COMPOSTER
Recycling pallets into a compost bin isn’t a new idea, but there are so many ways you can create a functioning composter that fits your needs through the use of the materials provided within a pallet. This bin includes a hinged door for quick access to materials. Create your own!
TIMBER POST COMPOST
Looking for a large area to stash your waste and create A LOT of compost? This is a perfect design for use in large garden plots and it can handle anything you throw at it – including all your kitchen waste, as well as anything else you have trimmed back, raked up, or need to dump.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN PALLET COMPOST BIN
With all the pallets collected for DIY projects, it’s only natural a quick and easy pallet solution would materialize into a creation of a simple outdoor composting bin. This is also a very versatile design that can include enclosed sides and a top if you so wish.
BARREL WHEELBARROW COMPOST TUMBLER
This is pure genius, and simplicity defined. Whoever thought up a lifted barrel compost tumbler to fit a wheelbarrow under to dump the finished product in was definitely thinking about convenience during the blueprint stage.
EASY BUILD COMPOST PILE
Most composters are fairly simple in design, affordable, and only take a few hours out of a weekend to put together. This picket, 2×2, and hardware cloth bin has everything you need to get your own pile started.
LATTICE DESIGNED BIN
I’ve mentioned a few times the issues surrounding compost bin aesthetics, but despite that a few neat conceptions have come forth to help quell those concerns. Take this latticed bin design for instance; delicate painted lattice surround and hides your compost, and if placed correctly, even provides a nice backdrop to your flower gardens.
UPCYCLED SHOWER DOOR
Using discarded materials you have in storage is an excellent way to upcycle for your recycling project. This old shower door is the perfect answer as a cover for this compost bin. It holds in the moisture, but also allows the sunlight in for heat- especially useful in the winter months.
GARBAGE CAN COMPOSTER
Take a simple garbage pail (plastic or metal), add some holes for aeration, and start composting! Round pails can be tipped on their sides to tumble every so often (be sure to use a locking lid!), where more squared up containers can be rocked or even tipped over to help mix the materials inside.
PLASTIC BARREL COMPOST TUMBLER
Tumbling composters have become a very popular backyard garden addition in recent years. But why spend a few hundred dollars when you can build your own for a fraction of the cost in just a few hours?
CINDER BLOCK BINS
Create a more permanent structure using open cinder blocks and timber for an accessible and stable composting system. This ingenious design allows for a sliding removal of the front boards to the wanted height.
*You might also like to read about the best composters.
WINE BARREL STATIONS
Upcycle your wine barrels (or plastic barrels if they are easier to get hold of) into a composting station that holds new scraps, composting materials, and finished compost. As each fills the next it is that much closer to being ready for use to create a never-ending supply of black gold!
SMALL DRUM ROTATOR
Looking to create a bit of compost in a small space with a minimal amount of overall care? This small drum rotator is a great choice for small garden enthusiasts who want to break down a bit of their waste for use throughout the year.
VERTICAL MILKCRATE BINS
Stackable milk crates create a rotating system of decomposition to use in your garden. A few simple supplies round out this quick project that can be personalized to blend into your yard space, or stand out- whichever you see fit.
TRIPLE BIN VERMICOMPOSTER
Worm composting, or vermicomposting (whichever you prefer), is an effortless way to produce large amounts of nutrient-rich soil food in a reasonable amount of time. This triple bin design helps separate the various stages of decomposition, all while allowing your worms to move freely through the materials you may add.
INDOOR WORM COMPOSTER
You don’t need to have an outdoor space to be a compost Queen (or King). Not even if you are a fan of worm composting. This clean, stackable, and neat looking series of bins help create the environment needed for your waste chomping little critters, and supplies you with plenty of compost for your potted gardens.
CLASSY THREE BIN COMPOSTER
This thing is a work of compost bin art. Well built and sturdy, the three sections ensure a steady supply of compost for your gardening needs, and should last up to years and years of use.
WOVEN COMPOST BIN
Most compost DIY containers aren’t always the most decorative of items, but with a little initiative, you can turn almost anything into a compost bin, including this woven garden bed. This unique construction is not only visually pleasing but also useful!
COMPOST BIN WALKWAY
Deadset against showing off your decomposing waste? Why not incorporate them into your existing landscape in such a way that people won’t even know they are there? Sturdily built composting bins are hidden under the walkways of these raised garden beds to make them both practical, and well out of the way.
Bottom access compost cribs are all the rage as they take very little continual maintenance, and you can get your black gold on-demand as soon as it is ready through the lower compartment!
Hide this cute little composter away under your kitchen sink while it works its magic and creates what you need to feed your garden soils. Larger than other ideas, this concept takes a small garbage pail and transforms it into something a bit more usable.
Compost piles aren’t always the prettiest thing to lay eyes upon, and if you don’t have a hidden, out of the way corner, don’t be turned away from creating your own compost due to this lack of resource. Instead, build a pretty, enclosed composter that fits into your decor and hides the unsightly scraps.
DOUBLE LAYER VERMICOMPOSTER
Worm composting is a fun way to get your kids involved in the gardening process, as well as a great way to break down wastes without the efforts of turning over your materials. Worms both oxygenate and eat up through the compost, leaving behind all the good stuff in the bottom pail.
FLATPACK COMPOST BIN
If you don’t have a lot of room, or are looking for something easy to create compost a little bit at a time, using a pop-up collapsible garden bin (use these because the materials are designed to breathe and hold moisture well without decomposing).
TAKE YOUR PICK
The great thing about building your own composter is you can take any of the above ideas and make them your own. In fact, have fun and combine a few different ideas to create your own perfect composting design that fits your style of work and the effort you are willing to put into both the project and the care of it.
Have any favorites from the above list? Or perhaps you have one you’d like to see added? We’d love to hear from you concerning your suggestions and comments surrounding DIY composting ideas!