How to Build a Compost Maker


Composting is all the rage in the organic and conservation world, and it is simpler than people think. It can be done in a pile in your backyard, but also in a 5- to 10-gallon container, which will make it easier for you to care for. Building a compost maker will help you save money, feed your garden, and get rid of your organic waste.

Step 1

Build your compost maker in the size you want it to be. A small one (5-gallon) or large one (15-gallon) is the average range. Any larger and you might as well make a compost pile on your landscape. Use the drill to make circulation holes all over the container of about 1/3 inch in diameter. Distribute them all over the sides and the bottom of the container, drilling just enough so there is adequate air and water circulation.

Step 2

Layer organic materials into your compost maker. There are four equal parts to compost: nitrogen, carbon, water and air. There are hundreds of household nitrogen and carbon organic materials, including coffee grounds, shredded paper or cardboard, hair, fruit and vegetables peels, cores or trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, old food, etc.

Step 3

Moisten the compost maker by pouring some water down the sides so it touches as much of the compost materials as possible. It needs to be kept consistently moist, whether that is from you or rain. Always keep the compost maker's lid securely on unless you are adding things to the bin.

Step 4

Store the compost maker in a place where it gets full sun to speed up the composting.

Step 5

Provide air circulation for the compost by aerating it each day or two. Move the bucket around by simply rolling it on its edge for a minute.

Step 6

Keep your compost maker moist. Water speeds the composing process, too. Add a layer of straw to prevent odors.

Things You'll Need

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


  • Building a Compost Bucket
  • What To Compost
Keywords: composting, making compost bins, compost bin tips

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.