Now that spring is finally here and summer is around the corner, we’re finding that our minds are really starting to concentrate on outdoor projects and ways that we can improve upon our yard spaces. There’s just something so satisfying about using our DIY skills to customize the space around us, even outside the house. That’s especially true if the project at hand also has an awesomely useful, practical function! We’ve been trying to amp up the “green factor” in our lives lately and make more eco-friendly choices, so we’ve been thinking a lot about composting.
Whether you already compost but need a better way to do it, want to expand the space you’re working with and increase the amount you’re composting, or just starting out, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are all kinds of tutorials out there to help you make the best kind of DIY compost container for your, your goals, and your space. Check out these 15 top quality plans, tutorials, and ideas below!
1. Double sided wooden compost
Are you hoping to do some classic composting but also make the most of the leaves, brush, branches, and so on that you’re regularly clearing out from the lawn in your big yard? Well, if you’re not afraid of the idea of doing some very simple woodworking then you might appreciate this tutorial from DIY Network. They show you how to make a double sided composting area using wide boards; one side for classic food and scraps composting like the kind you might blend with gardening soil and one side for stacking your larger surplus greenery to make mulch.
2. Free wooden composter plans with a hinged lid
Are you totally okay with the idea of making a much smaller composter, since you’re working with a smaller yard space anyways, but you’re also concerned about the racoons and other animals trying to get into it like they do with your trash cans? Then you might get along a little better with something like this wood and chicken wire composter that has a hinged lid. These simple plans from Practically Functional, complete with a step by step tutorial, guide you through the the process of putting it all together well, even if you’re new to the idea of building structural things from scratch.
3. Easy DIY compost bin from a trash can
Are you a little newer to the DIY game and feeling more confident in the idea of altering something, rather than building your own standing piece from scratch? Perhaps you’re just a little bit pressed for time. Either way, we have a strong feeling that you’ll have a better time trying your hand at this idea featured on BHG. They show you how to drill strategically placed holes in the sides and top of a small plastic outdoor garbage can with a lid, letting you house your composting safely but still with enough air to do it correctly.
4. Simple 2×4 compost bin
If you loved the idea of a square wooden composting structure but you’re just not sure that you want to work with quite as much metal material as you saw in the idea featuring chicken wire and hinges, take a look at this design outlined by This Old House instead! They walk you through the process of making a simple square structure with a good, spacious centre, affording it air and security thanks you well placed boards and a simple lifted board top. It’s a slightly more naturally materialized option.
5. High compost with a gate
Are you the kind of avid gardener who actually composts very large quantities at once and would like to be able to fill your wheelbarrow and take out large quantities as well, without having to lift them quite so high? Well, that doesn’t mean you can’t still built a nice, high-sided composter that will keep what’s inside protected from small animals and kids at the same time. Check out how DIY Network built this piece that has a front opening gate for easy access. It’s also a great repurposing project, since it’s made of wooden shipping pallets!
6. Circular wire composters
Maybe the idea of building a very well ventilated composter like the kind you often see made with chicken wire is actually the idea that appeals to you the most of everything so far? Well, particularly if you’re not a person who has any experience with woodworking, then we think this concept laid out on Judopuff might float your boat a little more! They show you how to bend sections of chicken wire into standing cylinders to be filled with composting layers that have plenty of space and air to settle properly.
7. Single and double lumber compost bins
Just in case you’re not quite decided on whether you might need a single bin, a double bin, or both yet but you’re convinced that building a wooden composter is the project for you, here’s a plan that will actually give you everything you’re interested in at once. These surprisingly easy plans from Old World Garden Farms show you how to build cubic stands with good, high sides and open tops in either stand-alone or doubled frames.
8. Triple compost bin
Just in case you’re a slightly more experience composting enthusiast who has several different bins that you keep and wants to build a new system, here’s a great tutorial if the double sided design still isn’t enough! You’ll find all of the information you need to build a triple composting bin instead on Stuff. You’ll even learn how to vary the heights of the bins, and why.
9. Jumbo hinged compost row
Have you actually been scrolling through our list looking for something even bigger than any of the designs you’ve seen so far, so you can really get a handle of what you’re actively composting, which bins you’re taking from, and how you’re storing it? Then we have a strong feeling you’ll appreciate this resource from The Washington Post the most. They show you how to make triple bins from wood and chicken wire, but this time jumbo sized and with hinged lids to keep everything protected but also accessible.
10. DIY compost bin from a larger classic trash can
Did we actually really catch your attention with the idea of transforming a regular outdoor trash can into a composting container but you’re just not sure that the idea you saw before gives details for a version that’s quite large enough for what you’d like to do? In that case, we have a feeling this simplified and sized up design and tutorial from A Healthy Life for Me might be a little more up your alley.
11. Super simple compost bin with top board
Just in case you’re still thinking about the smaller, simpler wooden bin designs we’ve shown you so far but you’re not quite sure that you’re feeling up to the challenge of tackling a hinged wooden lid, here’s a version that’s a little easier to complete. Home Depot‘s tutorial teaches you how to make a version with a top board, much like the ones you saw above only sized for smaller spaces and smaller compost loads, rather than being three large bins across.
12. Simple square bin from wire and scrap wood
Do you love the ventilation abilities of the spaced wooden board frames but you’re worried that small animals might still scavenge your compost from the sides? Then maybe you’ll be more impressed with this design from Saws Hub that combines those bins that caught your eye with the idea of making one from chicken wire. Check out their page to see how they not only built the frame but also lined it for a little more protection without sacrificing breathability.
13. Triple open front shipping pallet compost
We’ve already talked about front loading composters, tripple bin systems, and pallet upcycling, but what if we told you that you could actually do all three of those things in one place? If that sounds good to you, then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at this tutorial from Joe Gardener TV. It’ll teach you how to make these corral style compost bins from whole pallets quite easily.
14. Plastic rain barrel compost bin in a frame
Of course, wooden pallets and plastic outdoor trash cans aren’t the only material you can alter and upcycle to make a composting system! If you happen to be able to get your hands on a rain barrel, like the classic blue plastic ones you might have seen, then you’ll have almost everything you need to make a slightly larger but still space efficient composter like this one from Instructables. This tutorial shows you how to cut and hinge a hatch door in the side, seal the barrel off at the top, and then build a wooden X-frame and mount the barrel inside for a composting solution that you can actually rotate to keep it evenly mixed inside.
15. $8 angled compost bin
Just in case you’ve actually taken great pains to make your little yard space visually appealing and you’re hoping not to interrupt that even for the sake of your composting, here’s a smaller option that might work better for you. This wooden piece from Practical Sustainability is made from 2×4 boards that decrease in length towards the bottom for an angled look. We love that the whole thing can be made for under $10 worth of materials!
Do you know another DIY enthusiast who has been thinking about making their very own homemade compost bin but who still feels like they could use a little bit of guidance? Share this post with them so they have all kinds of information and designs to work with!