How to Make an Indoor Compost Bin


Create your own compost--a dark, sweet-smelling organic matter that enriches the quality of container or garden soil--by recycling kitchen and yard scrap instead of letting it take unnecessary space in landfills. Use red wrigglers or red worms to decompose the waste and create this nutrient-dense "black gold." Although compost bins of different materials and sizes are available in garden supply centers, making a bin yourself will help you save money.

Step 1

Cut a 4-by-8 foot plywood sheet into two equal halves with a circular saw. Measure and mark one half (48-by-48 inch board) into three equal lengths, and cut with a saw. Two of the three pieces form the bin's front and back. Cut the third piece into two equal halves for the bin's ends. Cut the second 48-by-48 inch board into two equal lengths for the bin's lid and base.

Step 2

Cut an 8-foot-long 2-by-2 inch board in the middle so you have two 4-foot lengths. Measure and cut two 20-inch lengths from the second 8-foot 2-by-2 inch lumber. Attach these lengths to the base with galvanized wood screws. Cut another 20-inch length from the second 2-by-2 inch lumber and attach it to the center of the base with wood screws.

Step 3

Drill 15 to 16 3/8-inch-wide holes over the base piece. Space these evenly apart.

Step 4

Measure and cut two 14-inch lengths from the 2-by-4 inch lumber. Also cut two 14-inch lengths from a 2-by-2 inch lumber. These lengths form the side board's corner blocks. Hold both the 2-by-2 inch pieces against the front board's top edge and drill in place. Similarly, hold both the 2-by-4 inch pieces against the bin's back board and drill in place.

Step 5

Assemble your bin. Stand the front board and hold an end piece against its edge. Align both piece so the tops are level and the joint is flush. Join them together with wood screws. Repeat this procedure to attach the backside to this structure, and then the second end piece. Also drill wood screws to attach the hinges to the 2-by-4 inch corner blocks in the back.

Step 6

Flip the structure upside down and lower the base board evenly over the corner blocks' edges. Drill galvanized screws to secure it in place.

Step 7

Measure and mark two 51-inch lengths and two 18-inch lengths on the 2-by-4 inch lumber and cut the pieces with a circular saw. Arrange these lengths to form a rectangle. Lower the lid piece over them and secure it in place with wood screws.

Step 8

Lower the lid evenly over the bin. Extend the hinges to the lid's back edge and secure in place with wood screws.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-by-8 foot plywood, 1/2 inch thick
  • Circular saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • 2 8-foot 2-by-2 inch lumber
  • Drill
  • Wood screws


  • Tilth Worm Composting Bin
  • University of Missouri Extension: How to Build a Compost Bin
  • Cal Recycle: Vermicomposting

Who Can Help

  • USA Gardener: Compost, Manure & Fertilizer
Keywords: indoor compost bin, wooden compost bin, worm composting

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.