Building a Compost Bin for your Backyard Homestead is not all that hard. You can easily make your own wooden compost bin in less than a day with just a few tools and materials. Making your bin out of pressure treated lumber will aid in preserving the life of the compost bin. All you need is a little time, knowledge, tools, and muscle!

When we decided to start composting, we knew we wanted to use a wooden compost bin. While not necessary, a bin will help to retain heat and moisture. A wooden bin made with pressure treated lumber will also withstand the weather climate we live in. Not to mention, it also helps keep your compost pile neat! Since Grumpy is a great handyman, it made sense for us to build our own compost bin.

Why We Decided to Compost

Over the last few years we have become more environmentally conscious. We also have become much more interested in learning how to become self-sufficient by hunting for and growing our own food.

One of the most essential things for growing your own food is good fertilizer. This is where our compost bin comes into play. Compost will help to improve the soil. You save money this way as it eliminates the need for you to purchase fertilizer. And, you are also making use of your food scraps!

Completed compost bin being placed in the backyard

Building FAQ’s

Do you have to have a bin in order to compost?

Not necessarily. My dad has compost pile that is not enclosed. We chose to use a bin for our compost in order to keep it contained and so make it more visually eye appealing.

Should a compost bin be made of wood or plastic?

A compost bin can be made of either wood or plastic. You can buy a bin already made, or you can make your own.

Is it expensive to build a compost bin?

It all depends on what you use for materials to build the bin. We used pressure treated lumber to build our compost bin. It cost us approximately $125 in wood. As you can see from the photos, it made a very sturdy, weather resistant, and good sized bin.

Materials cut and stacked, ready for assembly

Building a Compost Bin

Time needed: 1 day.

See DIY Card at end of article for full instructions

  1. Cut all materials to length

    You will need 2- 4x4x8’s, 14- 5/4x6x43″ deck boards, 10- 5/4x6x55″ deck boards.Cutting boards to size with a Miter Saw for buiding a compost bin

  2. Lay boards a flat surface

    Start with 2- 4×4’s. Next lay 3 of the 43″ boards across the 2×4’s.

  3. Fasten the first board

    Using a square, align 1st board with bottom and outside of both 4×4’s and fasten. Repeating until all 7 boards are fastened.Fastening the boards together using a pneumatic framing nailer

  4. Align, space, fasten, repeat!

    Using a scrap piece of board as a spacer align the next board and fasten, repeat until all 7 boards are fastened Aligning boards for fastening with a spacer

  5. Fasten the sides together

    Stand your 2 sides up so you can start fastening the 55” boards to the back and front.All sides of compost bin fastened

  6. Place your compost bin in its designated spot

    Find a spot in your yard that is idea for your compost bin to sit. We live in a hilly area so we have a spot in our lower yard that was perfect for this!Compost Bin being placed in Yard

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Building your own compost bin

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How to Build your own Compost Bin

How to Build your own Compost Bin

Materials

  • 2 - 4x4x8’s (cut to 45”)
  • 14 - 5/4x6x43” deck boards (sides)
  • 10 - 5/4x6x55” deck boards (front and back)

Tools

  • 12” miter saw
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Framing nailer and nails

Instructions

  1. Cut all materials to length.
  2. Lay out 2 4x4’s on a flat surface.
  3. Lay 7 of the 43” boards across the 2 4x4’s.
  4. Using the square, align the 1st board with the bottom and outside edge of both 4x4’s and fasten.
  5. Using a scrap piece of board as a spacer align the next board and fasten, repeat until all 7 boards are fastened. 
  6. Build your other side using the same process.
  7. Stand your 2 sides up so you can start fastening the 55” boards to the back and front.
  8. Just as you did for the sides, fasten 7 boards to the back using the spacer.
  9. The front of the bin doesn’t need as many boards (I used 3 boards). The reason for fewer boards in the front is so you can easily access your compost for mixing and using.

Notes

You can also add a hinged to the bin if you find that your compost bin is too wet or dry. The top should be kept solid to keep heat in and unwanted rain and direct sun out.