How to Make a Compost Bin at Home


Composting is currently not only trendy, but it also benefits your landscape and household. It accentuates your vegetation, saves money, is good for the environment and helps get rid of trash organically. Composting is a project you can do easily at home with a 5- to 10-gallon bucket and some knowledge about what and what not to compost.

Step 1

Decide how large you want the compost bin to be, depending on the space you have. On average, use a 5, 10 or 15 gallon bucket for composting. Create air circulation holes in the compost bucket with the drill and a 1/3 inch drill bit. Make the holes evenly spaced all over the bucket, spaced about 6 inches apart.

Step 2

Layer the organic materials into the compost maker. When composting, it's important to understand that there are four elements to the process: nitrogen, water, air and carbon. There are literally hundreds of household materials that possess the nitrogen and carbon elements, such as fruit and vegetable peels, shredded paper, coffee grounds, hair, landscaping trimmings and cardboard. See references for full lists of materials.

Step 3

Moisten the compost layers by adding water. Gently pour water down the sides of the compost bin on the inside, making sure it is touching the materials. If you live in a rainy environment and keep the compost bin outdoors, you probably have the water element covered. Keep the lid on the compost maker airtight unless you are putting things into it or taking the compost out.

Step 4

Make sure the compost maker receives sun every day, at least a couple of hours. You can do this by either storing it outdoors or by placing it outdoors daily .

Step 5

Keep the air circulation consistent in the compost bin by aerating it every two days. Do this by sifting around the layers with a trowel or shovel, or by keeping the airtight lid on and rolling it around on the ground.

Step 6

Add a layer of straw on top of the compost to prevent odors.

Things You'll Need

  • 5- to 15-gallon container with secure airtight lid
  • Drill
  • Organic materials
  • Water
  • Straw
  • Dirt


  • Plantea: What To Compost
  • Journey To Forever: Building a Compost Bucket
Keywords: composting materials, making compost, compost bin construction

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.