Homemade Compost Maker


Create nutrient-rich compost instead of throwing out garden, lawn and organic home waste by making a low-cost home compost bin out of wire fencing products. Carbon-rich brown-colored matter and nitrogen-rich green-colored matter placed into the bin in even layers will work together to decompose into usable compost fertilizer for vegetable and flower gardens. Brown matter consists of eggshells, coffee grounds, dried leaves, paper and soil, while green, nitrogen-rich matter comes from garden waste, grass clippings and green home refuse.

Step 1

Cut a 10-foot length of 3-foot-wide chicken wire with 1-inch holes or hardware cloth with 1/2-inch holes.

Step 2

Form a hoop by joining the short ends together and overlapping them by 3 inches. Twist two pieces of heavy-duty wire through each end of the overlapped area and two to three pieces through the center of the overlapped area to hold the fencing together.

Step 3

Place the hoop in a sunny location near a sunny garden area with a grass or gravel surface. Set the hoop so one open end is facing down and the other is facing up.

Step 4

Secure the compost bin by pounding four fence posts evenly around the inner area of the bin to a minimum depth of 6 inches. Place the posts snug to the bin to provide support and prevent the wire from sagging.

Step 5

Fill the bottom of the bin with 3 inches of sawdust or wood chips to control the moisture content of the compost. Add green and brown organic matter to the bin in even layers.

Step 6

Apply water to the bin to moisten the organic matter. Do not saturate the matter with water, which will slow the decomposition process. Mix the green and brown matter once a week with a pitchfork and add water as needed to keep the contents moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire or hardware cloth
  • Heavy-duty wire
  • Wire clipper
  • Fence poles
  • Sawdust or wood chips
  • Organic matter
  • Water
  • Pitchfork


  • University of Missouri Extension: How to Build a Compost Bin
  • University of Arkansas: Wire Mesh Compost Bins
  • Alameda County Waste Management: Build Your Own Bin
Keywords: make compost bin, homemade compost bin, build compost maker

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.