How to Make a Homemade Compost Maker


Compost is a nutritious addition to every garden. Organic material is allowed to decompose in a heap or bins, then added to the garden soil. Unlike purchased fertilizers, compost is practically free and is totally organic. Compost can be made indoors or outdoors and is the perfect green solution for many items that would normally be thrown away.

Step 1

Wash a half-gallon milk container; let dry. Wash again if any scent of milk remains and allow to dry completely again. If the container has a screw top pour spout, tighten well. Lay the container on its side and cut along three corner seams to create a door or flap on top.

Step 2

Wet one page of newspaper and wring it out until it is slightly damp. Place the newspaper in the bottom of the milk carton. Sprinkle organic material, such as vegetable peels, crushed egg shells, and coffee grounds, on top of the newspaper. Place another layer of damp newspaper over the organic waste. Close the flap and secure with tape or place an object such as a coffee can on top of the carton to keep it closed.

Step 3

Stir the composting material after every addition of organic material. Place the compost maker on a counter top for easy access or under the sink if desired. Water should be introduced to the mix if it begins to feel dry. A few sprinkles or a spritz with a spray bottle should be sufficient.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not add meat, oil or any animal waste. This causes offensive odors and will attract pests. Do not allow to become soggy or you may grow mold instead of making compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Milk cartons
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Organic waste


  • Spokane Regional Solid Waste System: Compost Bins
  • Our Everyday Earth: Worm Composter
  • Fine Art of Making Compost

Who Can Help

  • Mother Earth News: Labor Saving Compost Bin
  • Florida's Online Composting Center: Can I Compost It? (a list of things you can compost)
Keywords: DIY compost maker, homemade compost bins, build compost maker

About this Author

Julia has been writing professionally for 4 years and has appeared in WNY Family, Baton Rouge Family, Unique Magazine,, and, just to name a few. Julia attended Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Part of her health care education was provided by training through Elderwood Skilled Nursing Facilities.