How to Make a Compost Plastic Drum


Compost is one of the best additives for just about any type of garden, whether organic or not, and one of the easiest ways to make compost is using a plastic drum that you can tumble. There are many methods for making a tumbling plastic drum for composting, but the simplest is to create one that you can place on its side and push around the yard.

Step 1

Spray the barrel out with water to remove residue of any food or substances that have been stored in the barrel.

Step 2

Remove the lid from the barrel and set it aside.

Step 3

Mark a pattern of holes around the barrel using the marker, from top to bottom and around the sides, spacing them between 8 and 12 inches apart.

Step 4

Drill the holes you marked on the barrel using a 1/2-inch drill bit.

Step 5

Replace the lid on the barrel. Attach with bungee cords if the lid will not stay on securely when rolled.

Step 6

Lay the barrel on its side and roll it across the yard when it is time to turn the compost.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't use barrels that once held toxic chemicals. They could possibly seep into your compost and wind up in your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • 55 gallon plastic barrel with tight lid
  • Marker


  • Homemade Compost Tumbler
  • Tumbling Compost Bin
Keywords: compost plastic drum, make a drum composter, tumbling plastic drum composter

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.