38 Awesome And Inexpensive DIY Compost Bin Ideas

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Composting is a hobby for those who know the value of black gold. If you’re thinking of getting into composting, then congratulations! You’ve made the right decision.

There are many ways to make your own compost bin and it all boils down to what you can comfortably build, and the materials you have available.

The following DIY compost bin plans have been compiled from across the Internet in the hopes that one or more of them will stir up your creative genius and get you building.

1. Woven Compost Bin DIY Guide

This tutorial was originally intended for making an elevated compost flower bed but you can also use it only for compost without the flowers. It’s written by a German, so you’ll also have to use your imagination sometimes to fully understand the instructions.

The goal here is to use willow rods or any similar material to weave a bin. This project will be perfect for you if you have some rods already available. You’ll need to soak them overnight before beginning the build.

The rest of the process is quite straightforward and the tutorial includes relevant pictures. You’ll need wooden posts to weave the rods around and you can also choose how wide you want it.

2. Pickets Compost Bin DIY Tutorial

Susannah and her husband Todd made this one using pickets and 2×2’s. Of course you can use different wood scraps if that’s what you have available.

The 2×2’s were used as posts which got hammered into the ground, while the pickets connected these 2×2’s to create a solid frame. The next step was adding of the hardware cloth and the frame got completed .

Adding a lid is the last step. Todd used the 2×2’s to make the lid’s frame as you can see in the picture, but you can always improvise with whatever materials you have available.

3. Permanent Compost Bin DIY Tutorial

The previous 2 tutorials were for compost bins that were neither very sturdy nor looked like they could last very long. If you have worries about durability, then why not try out this plan?

It uses concrete blocks to build a strong and durable compost bin that is sure to last for decades. The only consideration here is that you’ll need the right set of tools for laying blocks such as a shovel, square, hand compactor, and a circular saw with a masonry blade.

You get a list of the materials, as well as a step by step picture tutorial, which shows you how easy it is to build such a compost bin.

4. Sturdy 3-Section DIY Compost Bin Free Plans

If you would like to build a large and sturdy compost bin using wood, then you might like this one. It’s build using 2×4’s, 2×6’s, and 1×6’s, including hardware cloth, bolts, washers and nuts.

It comes with a 12-step tutorial, a materials list, and diagrams. Each of the steps does not have a diagram, so this 12-step guide is not the easiest to follow.

The frame is based on a 35 x 36-inch square frame, which are 4 in number, covered by hardware cloth, and then joined together.

5. $50 Spinning Compost Bin Guide

Here’s a very simple but effective design for those who don’t enjoy turning their compost. You can build 2 A-frames to support a barrel which will be your easy to turn bin.

This guide is very detailed and includes detailed drawings and a 12-step construction guide. The wood is 2×4’s and other materials include a galvanized pipe and PVC pipes.

For a total of $50, this construction is really practical. It is easy to turn and portable because you can easily move it from place to place.

6. Ultimate Compost Bin Using Cedar Guide

If you can get your hands on cedar for building a compost bin, then that’s great. This guide did just that and the cedar looks great too.

There are 3 sections here, each covered in hardware cloth and a general lid that closes all three bins. The front panels are removable and feature spacing between them for circulation.

You should note that any wood other than cedar will not look as beautiful as this 3-bin compost system looks.

7. Crazy DIY California Dreaming Compost Bin

This DIY compost bin is based on a design called the California cylinder, which the author saw in an old book in a bookstore. It measures 4 feet in diameter and will create about 1,000 liters of compost.

This bin has an unconventional design and looks odd, but it was invented by an organic gardener and it works. You’ll need a saw, a drill, mallet, and screwdriver. Materials include garden wire, cardboard, stock fencing and wood boards.

This tutorial is very simple with its 9 steps and it gets straight to the point. There are pictures each step of the way, so you can’t fail to get it right. Give it a try if you like strange stuff.

8. 23 x 23 Inch Wooden Compost Bin Tutorial

This project will cost you anywhere from $100 upwards, depending on the kind of wood you decide to use. The wood in this tutorial was thermally treated to make it both weather and rot resistant. Cedar is also a choice here.

The bin is 23 inches wide, 23 inches deep, and 24 inches high. The boards are 1×4’s and they are cut into 48 different pieces to make this bin.

There are 6 steps in the tutorial and each step includes a diagram to make it easier to understand. One unique and nice thing about this project is the set of two slide-in panels, each with 3 slats.

9. Milk Crate Compost Bin Tutorial

I just love the creativity behind this compost bin. By using 3 milk crates, a lid, newspaper, and a screen, you are good to go. It’s also in stages, with the upper stages feeding the lower stages with leech water.

It might take a little while to understand how you have to move the crates when each one is full, but once you get it, you’ll appreciate the idea.

This ingenious design came from a terracotta home composter tutorial and the guide has the link to it. Feel free to check it out if you want something a bit more beautiful.

10. Madeleine’s Wooden Compost Bin

This one is pretty solid. Designed in Google Sketchup and built using mostly 2×4’s and 2×8’s, it looks great as well. It’s a 2-bin system, but you can build just one or even 3 if that’s what you need.

You get a 9-step tutorial here, with detailed photos and descriptions. It should cost around $50 to $100, depending on your choice of wood and any other changes you might want to make.

For tools, you’ll need a saw, clamps and a pocket hole Jig. The Sketchup .skp file is also provided for free and this is great if you want to make quick changes to the design.

11. Well Thought-Out DIY Compost Bin Plans

There are few times you say to yourself, “Wow, that’s cool.” Seeing this compost bin was one of those times for me. It’s so well thought out, with everything in place, hinges, corner braces, a lid and an exit door.

Although it got covered in chicken wire, you can always use hardware cloth like the builder later did, to keep his sniffing dog out.

You’ll need 2×6, 2×4, and 2×2 boards, plus about 6 hours of working time to get it done. A tool’s list is available as well, including large and bright pictures that leave no details out.

12. Indoor Compost Bin DIY Guide

Sarah here is one of those DIYers that can truly think out of the box. With everything on this website dedicated to making the best out of your apartment, this indoor compost bin guide also falls into place.

The design is a little odd though and one has to get used to having a compost bin under the sink, but if you love gardening and you want to make your own compost, plus you don’t have space, then this is your solution.

You get a list of the materials that you’ll need, which include a container, some old newspapers, and a tray. For tools, you just need a drill to make some holes, which you can also do with a hammer and nail.

13. Pallet Compost Bin DIY Guide

Pallets are very popular in the DIY world. They are free or dirt cheap, easy to up-cycle into lots of stuff, and they are strong and easy to work with.

With this guide, you’ll learn to turn 4-6 pallets into a useful compost bin. To do that, you’ll need L-brackets, hinges, a gate hook, latch, and a handle, which will all cost less than $20 at the hardware store.

The compost bin is basic and features no fancy additions, but you can decide to customize it to your needs or even sand and stain the pallets to make them look nicer.

14. Mrs. M’s Steel Drum Compost Tumbler

Her husband built it for her and she loves it, although she sold it. With this compost maker, you can get rich and dark compost in about 3-4 weeks. Now that’s fast, although you’ll have to turn the bin 6-8 times per day.

You’ll need a steel drum because they heat up well, and paint it black too. Other materials include heavy-duty rollers, hinges, and door latch locks.

The short and sweet tutorial teaches you how to set it all up. You’ll need a saw or angle grinder to cut the door into the drum before attaching the hinges and locks.

15. Simple & cheap $15 Compost Bin Guide

If you need to keep your compost contained and away from your dog or critters, and you want your compost bin cheap, then here’s the plan that you have been looking for.

All you need is a $15 container with a lid and a tool to make holes in it, plus wire mesh to seal the holes using glue. This is a relatively simple system and the container can either be as large or as small as you want.

16. Simple DIY Open-Top Compost Bin Tutorial

Unlike most other designs in this list, this compost bin does not feature a lid, but it’s made using pressure-treated wood, which should last longer outdoors.

Its material list also includes door hinges, hook and eye assemblies, chicken wire, and other hardware. For tools, you’ll need a circular or table saw to cut the 2×4 lumbers.

The simple idea is to build four squares which are then joined together to create the enclosure. Each wooden size is 36 inches high and 36 inches wide.

17. The Ultimate Compost Bin DIY Guide


Well, if you think you can handle it, then why not try building this ultimate compost bin. It’s not exactly a beginner’s project, but it also doesn’t require extreme skills to build.

The 3-bin system is well laid out and looks very professionally made. If you like video tutorials, then you’re in luck here because there are many videos.

Although everything was rightly done with this build, it’s still possible to add a lid or some sort of cover if you need it. The design has space for it.

18. Lowe’s Inspired High-Quality DIY Compost Bin

I know a compost bin should just hold dirt, but nothing stops it from being beautiful as well. This compost bin has some style. It has neatly cut boards, is a 2-bin system, and it includes a lid.

The original plans are from Lowe’s, but Don here also posted a link to a PDF tutorial, which makes it easier to build. You get a material’s list in this PDF, plus a tools list which includes a drill, chisel, a saw, and 2 clamps.

For the tutorial, there’s a 13-step guide which touches on every single stage, from making the frame to installing the hardware cloth and removable slats. This PDF is a very user-friendly guide and recommended for anyone who loves step-by-step tutorials.

19. Cedar Lattice DIY Compost Bin Tutorial

Here’s an interesting method of building a compost bin, which is quite fast and looks good. You’ll need some wood lattice panels to do this, preferably cedar.

In 7 steps, this tutorial shows you how to cut the 4 x 8 panels into 3 parts to create 3 equal 32 x 48-inch panels and to finally turn it into a 48 x 24 x 32- inch compost box.

Each of the panels needs framing with either a 2×2 or 1×4 or anything you have available. You can add a door if you want, including any other extras as you please.

20. Double Compost Bin DIY Guide

Jamison, aka the Rogue Engineer also shared these free plans for making a 2-compartment compost bin using 4×4 and 2×4 wood boards.

Each compartment is 40 inches wide, 42 inches deep and 40 inches high. The 4×4’s make very solid posts, increasing the bin’s lifespan.

Extras include a PVC roof and fancy hinged doors. Jamison also includes a link to the downloadable free PDF plans.

21. Cheap & Perfect Compost Bin

Designed by horticulturists from the University of California, this compost bin meets many of the expert’s requirements, which include simplicity, a cheap price, ease of use, and good composting efficiency.

It takes about 3 hours to build and will cost around $50 to $75 depending on your choice of wood. This guide includes a material’s list, plus a 4-step building tutorial and even some good composting tips.

22. Easy DIY Trash Can Compost Bin Tutorial

Here’s another simple and easy to build compost bin that takes an ordinary trash can and converts it into a black gold maker. All you need to make it is an extra trash can and a drill.

Loriele shows how easy it is to drill the holes and where exactly to drill. Holes are important in a compost bin because compost needs lots of fresh air.

23. Dana’s DIY Pallet Compost Bin Guide

Dana is the frugal type, so a pallet compost bin tutorial from her is just about right. She shows you a unique method of turning pallets into a compost bin.

You’ll need five pallets, plus L brackets and screws. Needed tools include a drill and a saw. You’ll also need to cut one of the pallets in half and build a door on hinges from it.

The beauty of this compost bin design is how cheap it is to make and how sturdy it can get. Once you can get the pallets for free, then you just need the hardware, which can cost as little as $10.

24. DIY Hardwood Compost Bin Tutorial

This tutorial comes from Bunnings, the Australian hardware store. It includes a video, a 15-step guide, and a tools and materials list.

The boards used were 2×8 hardwoods and the tools you’ll need include a drill, a circular saw, and a hammer. This bin features 3 compartments, but you can also change that to fit your needs.

Bunnings designed this tutorial very beautifully. It shows you each step of the process with a picture and detailed instructions. If you need the most sturdy wooden compost bin you can build, then this is it.

25. Glass Top Compost Bin Tutorial

Al Urie and Anita his wife made this compost bin which includes a glass top. The glass came from a sliding bathroom glass door which they removed while remodeling.

If you also have a glass panel or two lying around, then this tutorial could be helpful to you. You’ll just need to make changes to fit the dimensions of your glass.

There’s a list of supplies which includes three 12-ft long 2×12 boards, plus a 10-step building tutorial, which ends with painting the bin and drilling holes for air circulation.

26. Concrete Blocks & Wood Compost Bin Plans

How about building your compost bin using cinder blocks? You’ll definitely end up with a bin that’ll last you for so many years more than other bins.

This tutorial is very short and straight to the point. There’s only one paragraph of instructions, but the included plans make everything easy to understand.

You’ll use mortar to hold the blocks and use wood boards for the slide-in doors. Very simple but effective and durable design.

27. Straw Bales DIY Compost Bin Guide

If you’ve got access to straw bales and you’d like to build your own compost bin without using any tools, then check out this one.

It shows you how to build the base of the compost bin using straw before filling it with compost. Be warned though, this kind of compost bin is not as fast as a barrel compost bin. You might have to wait for up to 6 months to get results.

28. Tom’s DIY Compost Bin Tutorial

Tom Powers made this compost bin using 2 sizes of wire mesh. He lives by the ocean and this design works for him. If you like it, then why not give it a try?

The problem I see with this design are critters. If you don’t mind having rats and mice in your compost bin, then good, else, this build does offer enough air for the compost.

29. Wooden Drum Style Composter Tutorial

Drum compost bins are very effective in composting because you can easily rotate them. This compost bin’s design is like a rotating drum but only wood and wire mesh were use in building it.

It will weigh about 30 lbs when filled with leaves and cost about $15 to build. You’ll need plywood to cut the circles, plus fence wire, nails, and staples.

For tools, you need a drill, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a tape, and a hammer. There are 6 steps in the building instructions and they also include nice pictures.

30. Simple 3-Crate Compost Bin Guide

This compost bin is a different take on the number 9 system in this list. All you need are 3 crates, duct tape, landscape fabric, and some newspapers.

Unlike the previous bin though, this one only got a plastic lid with bricks to hold it down. This just goes to show you that you can get as creative as you want, in making your own compost bin using whatever you have available.

31. Black & Decker’s Super Beautiful DIY Compost Bin

Some people may consider it an overkill, but if you’ve got the time, then why not build yourself a beautiful compost bin complete with lattice sides?

In a way, this project is more than simply building a compost bin. It’s a challenge. A work of art. An opportunity to create something which is nice and functional at the same time.

Black & Decker takes its time with this tutorial and presents you with everything you need to get it done, including lovely pictures of each step of the construction.

32. $50 XXL Compost Bin Tutorial

How about an 8 ft x 8 ft. large composter made entirely from logs? This one was built using 25 pieces of 8 ft. long landscaping timbers, plus other hardware like 4-ft. long steel rods.

All you need is to drill holes at the end of the timbers and then stack them together by passing the rods through the holes as you can see in the picture.

33. Wine Barrel DIY Compost Station

If you have access to wine barrels or anything similar, then try out what Todd and Jan did here. They used 3 old wine barrels to build a compost bin station that is very functional and equally a beautiful work of art.

Todd used a 1-1/2 inch electrical metal conduit as the support for the 3 barrels which have holes in their middles. Each of the barrels also has a hole for draining its compost tea, which is often a great boost for crops.

One thing missing here is a tight lid. If you could add a water-tight lid of sorts to this, then you can easily rotate the barrels from time to time, to produce compost faster.

34. Shaun’s DIY Cardboard Compost Bin Guide

Shaun uses a cardboard bulk box to make a simple and free compost bin here. This offers many benefits like having no need to build anything because the box is ready, it withstands the outdoor weather, and it’s free.

One thing you’ve got to keep in mind with this system is that you cannot reuse the box once you’re done composting. You’ll need a new box.

Shaun shows you how to compost in a cardboard with this very detailed cardboard compost bin guide.

35. $98 DIY Concrete Blocks Compost Bin Tutorial

Spending over half of its $98 cost on concrete blocks, this tutorial uses wood for the lid and includes wire mesh, which get used in covering the rest of the lid.

Very few tutorials are as detailed as this one. You get a buying list, a 4-step tutorial, and an entertaining guide overall. It took Joe about 3 hours to build everything, including the 20 minutes for attaching the hardware and chicken wire to the top cover.

36. Simple DIY Composter Tutorial

The idea here is very simple: hammer 3 or 4 wooden posts into the ground and wrap chicken wire or hardware cloth around them, and you’ve got a composter.

You’ll need a hammer or metal file, pliers, and heavy-duty wire snips. There is also a link on this guide to a more detailed tutorial if you need more information.

37. Kitchen Countertop DIY Compost Bin

You don’t need to always run outside from the kitchen, just to throw in some egg shells or fruit peels into your compost bin. There has to be a better way, and this is it.

With a countertop composting bin, you’ll have somewhere to quickly throw in food scraps while you are busy in the kitchen. And when you have the time, you can then take it out to the large compost bin.

Instead of buying a store-made countertop bin, this post shows you how you can simply make yours and save yourself some money.

38. Large-Scale Straw Compost Bins Guide

This last one is for those who need compost on a large scale, say for a few hectares of land. The guide explains what you need to do and what you need to look out for.

Straw composting is relatively easy to make. All you need are straw bales, a garden fork, some space, and your organic waste for composting.


We’ve come to the end of this long list of DIY compost bins and I’m sure a project or two must have caught your eye. In that case, this list will have achieved its purpose.

Also feel free to leave us a comment and say what’s on your mind. We’re always grateful for some feedback. Check out woodworkingtoolkit.com for more awesome ideas like this!