How to Build Your Own Compost Bins

Compost can be easy to make in a bin. image by Margaret Telsch-Williams


If you want to enjoy the resourcefulness of recycling materials into compost in your own backyard but don't want to spend a fortune, then consider building your own compost bins. Simple to build, a homemade composter can be put together in just a few hours. Gather your supplies, and ask a friend to help to make the job easier. Once your bin is in place, you can start composting immediately.

Step 1

Layout four boards on the ground to form a square. Let the "top" and "bottom" boards overlap the ends of the "side" boards.

Step 2

Insert screws diagonally through the corner intersections to attach the boards together. Use two screws at each intersection.

Step 3

Cut the hardware cloth with tin snips into four 3-by-3-foot sections. Fold over one inch along each edge to strengthen it.

Step 4

Place the hardware cloth over the wooden frame, and center it evenly on all sides. Hammer a poultry wire staple into each corner through the 1-inch fold to hold it while you secure a staple every four inches along all four sides.

Step 5

Repeat Step 1 to 4 to create three other panels. Set one panel aside to be the "door" of the composter.

Step 6

Stand the other three panels up, and lean them against one another to form the sides and back of your bin. Insert screws through the sides and into the back panel of the bin all the way down each side, spacing the screws six inches apart.

Step 7

Put the "door" panel up to the front of the bin, and hold it aligned flush on each side of the bin. Attach two hook and eye gate latches on each side of the door panel so it can "lock" in place with the sides. Typically the hook works better on the sides with the eye screws on the door.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always follow appropriate safety procedures, such as wearing eye goggles and protective gloves when doing any woodworking project.

Things You'll Need

  • Sixteen 2-by-4-inch boards, three feet long
  • Galvanized screws three inches long
  • Drill
  • Twelve feet of ½-inch hardware cloth, 36 inches wide
  • Tin snips
  • Poultry wire staples
  • Hammer
  • Four hook and eye gate latches


  • The Rodale Guide to Composting; Jerry Minnich and Marjorie Hunt; 1979

Who Can Help

  • Information about composting
Keywords: build your own compost bin, make your own compost bin, build a composter

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.

Photo by: Margaret Telsch-Williams