How to Make a Compost Bin from Scrap Pine Wood


Compost bins provide a convenient location to store moldering organic material until ready for use as fertilizer to enrich garden soil. Manufactured compost bins are available to suit almost any budget, from modest metal and chicken wire bins, to lattice wood designs that look like they belong on the grounds of the Taj Mahal. A homemade compost bin of scrap pine wood is just as effective and frees up financial resources that could be devoted to the garden, such as buying plants and tools.

Step 1

Pick out four pieces of scrap pine about the same length for use as posts around the compost bin. Each post should be at least 4 1/2 feet long.

Step 2

Measure the other pieces of scrap pine to determine the dimensions of the compost bin you will be able to make. If the scraps are at least 4 feet long, a compost bin measuring 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide and 4 feet deep, or 64 cubic feet, can be made from the pine.

Step 3

Dig four holes in a square marking the four corners for the posts that will hold the compost bin together. Make the holes about 6 inches deep and no wider than necessary to hold the end of each pine pole.

Step 4

Set the four poles in the ground and pack them solidly with dirt to hold the poles firmly upright.

Step 5

Using nails and a hammer, tack pieces of scrap pine on each of three sides around the compost bin, leaving the fourth side open for adding, raking and removing compost. Start by tacking a piece of scrap pine between two posts across the top edge of each post, then work your way down the side adding another piece of scrap wood until one wall is enclosed. Repeat for the remaining two walls.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear work gloves when handling pine, which is a soft wood that chips easily, leaving splinters in the hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap pine
  • Tape measure
  • Work gloves
  • Shovel
  • Hammer
  • Brads or small 1/2-inch nails


  • Composting in Santa Cruz County: Compost Bin Types
  • Better Homes and Gardens: Six Easy Steps to a Compost Bin
Keywords: gardening resources, making compost bins, outdoor projects with scrap pine

About this Author

Evan Burgess is an award-winning writer with 20+ years of experience, covering business, politics and government, the arts, public relations and marketing. His popular film blog can be seen at He received his bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's degree from the University of Virgina.