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29 DIY Compost Bin Ideas – (Updated 2020)

Are you thinking about making compost but don’t have any compost bin ideas? Check out these DIY compost bins below with links to the instructions.

It is said that compost is a gardener’s black gold. This nutrient-rich fertilizer can be made in your back yard, or even inside your house, at little to no cost. You can feel good knowing your diverting kitchen scraps and landscape waste from the landfill. Composting is an important step towards living a zero-waste lifestyle.

If you’re interested in how composting works and how to get started go to our guide on composting methods here.

If you want to know how to use your compost effectively, see our guide here.

1. Heap

compost bin idea compost heap

This has to be the easiest way to build a home compost. It costs nothing and the setup time is almost 0. All it requires is some space and organic waste to get started. This method can handle large amounts of yard waste. Make the pile at least 3 feet high by 3 feet round and let nature do the work for you over the next 6-12 months.

Can’t wait? We recommend the Berkeley hot compost method. This will turn your organic waste into usable compost in less than a month.

Tutorial/Source: Berkel

2. Worm DIY Compost Bin

diy compost bin worm bin

It also goes by the name Vermicomposting. This is a fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain compost system. This system takes up little space and can be set up in your basement or garage. The worms eat your food scraps and other organic material, which turn into compost as they pass through the worm’s body.

Tutorial/Source: EPA

3. Pallet Bin

diy compost bin pallet bin

Old pallets are usually easy to come by. With 7-10 pallets and a handful of deck screws, you can create a 3 bin compost system in less than an hour. Just make sure to look for pallets with the “HT” stamp. This means they are heat-treated, not chemically treated.

Tutorial/Source: goodcheergarden

4. Concrete Block Bin

Concrete doesn’t rot so its the perfect material for your outdoor compost bin. It’s also heavy and durable so it won’t move and will last many years. We recommended dry stacking the block so if your landscape design changes (or you get bored), you can easily move it.

Tutorial/Source: UniverstyofWisconson

5. Cedar DIY Compost Bin

diy compost bin cedar compost bin

Cedar is rot-resistant which makes it a great material to build a bin from scratch. It will cost a bit more than pine or spruce, but it will last a lot longer. If your bin will be visible to guests and neighbors, cedar is the best choice.

Don’t want to build your own? Many garden supply stores sell pre-built cedar bins.

Tutorial/Source: thisoldhouse

6. Wire Mesh Bin

wire mesh compost bin

One of the easiest ways to start composting is with wire mesh bins. These are super easy to make, cheap, long-lasting and portable. You want to buy wire mesh with a ½ inch or smaller grid (a.k.a hardware cloth). Its recommended adding a top and bottom panel to make the bin pest-proof.

The only downside is you have to remove the entire cylinder to access the compost. Try making smaller cylinders instead of one large one.

Tutorial/Source: permaculturenews

7. Garbage Can Composter

If you don’t have the space for a large compost pile or your community doesn’t allow backyard composting, this is the perfect DIY compost bin. You’ll need a 32-gallon or larger trash can. Preferably one with a locking lid to keep out pests.

Tutorial/Source: thespruce

8. Vertical Stack Milk Crate Composter

milk crate compost bin

Why use a milk crate? They stack easily, they are sturdy, have lots of airflow, handles for easy lifting, lightweight and low cost. To get started all you need is 3 milk crates, a screen, a newspaper, and a lid. It may not be the most eye-catching compost bin but it gets the job done!

Tutorial/Source: instructables

9. Bucket Bin

diy compost bin bucket compost bin

Find yourself a bucket with a lid and drill holes in the bottom. A few more holes in the lid and your good to go.

Tutorial/Source: faithfulfarmwife

10. Perfect Kitchen Compost Bin

diy compost bin kitchen compost bin

Not much room to work with but you still want to compost? Find an old coffee can or small plastic container. You can also use stainless steel or bamboo containers if you want to match your decor.

Tutorial/Source: BHG

11. Super Fast Plastic Storage Bin Compost

plastic compost bin

If you needed to start a compost yesterday, this is the bin for you. All you need to do is buy or re-purpose an old plastic bin. In less than an hour, you will be ready to compost all that kitchen waste you don’t know what to do with.

It’s easy to turn your compost. Just lift the bin and give it a shake every few days.

Tutorial/Source: thespruce

12. Homemade Compost bin tumbler

homemade compost barrel tumbler

A barrel tumbler will compost faster than a stationary bin and its easy on your back. You can churn the waste and instantly aerate it. You should be able to find a 55-gallon drum easily. Just make sure it wasn’t used for harsh chemicals or oils.

Tutorial/Source: familyhandyman

13. Cardboard Box Bin

diy compost bin cardboard box

Do you want a cheap compost bin? It’s as easy as putting a cardboard box on the ground and filling it with grass clippings, dirt, dry leaves, and kitchen scraps. Then let it sit. The box will break down with the contents.

Don’t know what to put in your compost bin? Check out this guide on composting methods.[link]

14. Old Tire Bin

Using old tires is a great way to save them from the landfill. Lay one on the ground and fill it with organic material. Keep stacking tires as the lower ones fill up. The only downside is it’s hard to turn the compost.

Tutorial/Source: doityourself

15. Wheelie Bin Composter

wheelie compost bin

Why send your compost to a commercial facility when you can use the curbside bin for a home compost. This is an easy DIY project that will get you finished compost in no time!

Tutorial/Source: instructables

16. Wattle Compost Bin

wattle compost bin

This compost bin design is easy on the eyes and blends in with your garden and landscape. Perfect if you live near a forest and have access to lots of thin long branches. You can have a 2 or 3 bin set up in less than a day.

Tutorial/Source: studyabroadinswitzerland

17. Fridge Worm Compost

fridge worm compost

If you have an old fridge that doesn’t work or is inefficient you can upcycle it to a vermicomposter. Don’t let your old appliances go to waste!

Tutorial/Source: aflorestanova

18. Wine barrel compost tumbler

diy compost bin wine barrel compost

If you can acquire old wine barrels in your area for cheap this is a great DIY project. The best part is every time you cut or drill into the barrel it gives off the scent of the previous contents. This makes it one of the best DIY compost bins out there.

Tutorial/Source: bishopbackyardfarm

19. Lattice DIY Compost Bin

lattice compost bin

This bin system is one of the easiest to assemble and use. You can create large amounts of rich soil fast with a cedar lattice compost bin. The openness of the lattice allows for fast and easy composting plus it’s easy to take apart when you want to use the compost.

Tutorial/Source: wikihow

20. Chicken Wire Compost Drum

wire drum compost

Building a compost bin doesn’t need to be hard or expensive. A wire compost drum is easy to build and rotates so the compost can breath. This helps the organic matter break down faster.

Tutorial/Source: instructables

21. Double-Decker Drum Composter

double drum compost

This is just like a regular drum composter but better! Because there’s two.

Tutorial/Source: instructables

22. Straw Bale Bin

straw bale compost

If you want a cheap bin design look no further than the straw bale bin. Just stack bales in a sunny spot and start tossing in organic material and kitchen scraps. You’ll have nutrient-rich compost in no time.

Tutorial/Source: wikihow

23. Timber Compost Bin

timber compost bin

If your looking for compost bin ideas for your garden that look great, look no further. A timber compost bin is not complicated to construct and will blend in with your backyard decor.

Tutorial/Source: instructables

24. Willow Compost Bin

willow compost bin

When building a compost bin, sometimes it’s good to think outside the box…literally. Make yourself a beautiful round compost out of willow tree branches. It’s very satisfying to work with and lends itself to making rustic structures and supports for a beautiful natural look.

Tutorial/Source: GrowVeg

25. Keyhole Garden Compost Bin

keyhole garden compost

This is the perfect garden box for geographic locations where it is hot and dry for most of the summer. Not only do you not have to water as much, but it also creates its own fertilizer when built properly. The magic happens in the center composting tower.


26. Log Compost Bin

log compost bin

Large timbers and logs are perfect for a garden compost bin. Not only will it last many years, but it will also look amazing. You don’t need to buy new ones. Use old fence posts or cut up small trees that have fallen over or died naturally. A perfect DIY compost bin for the thrifty gardener.

Tutorial/Source: creatingreallyawesomefunthings

27. Multiple Bin Compost System

multi compost bin

Do you have lots of organic material to compost? I’m talking LOTS! Then you need multiple bins. Having more bins isn’t just for storing more compost. You can use 1 bin for fresh organic material, another for mid-way through composting, and the last bin to store finished compost ready for use.

Tutorial/Source: familyfoodgarden

28. Wooden Barrel Composter

wooden barrel compost

Similar to a regular compost tumbler, but you make it from 2×4’s. Do you know where you can find an abundance of 2×4 lumber? Go to new housing developments. You wouldn’t believe how much wood is thrown in the dumpster. And if it’s in the dumpster, it’s yours.

Tutorial/Source: motherbackyard

29. 5 Gallon Bucket Composting DIY

diy compost bin 5 gallon bucket compost

This is perfect for those who live in an apartment or have very little space. The key to making it work is drilling a lot of holes for airflow and layering your organic material.

Tutorial/Source: hunker

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