How to Make a Compost Bin

How to Make a Compost Bin – DIY

Most compost bins cost between $60 and $200 depending on the size and style. That’s not exactly cheap. So can you make one for less?


If you take a close look at a typical compost bin or if you’ve had one in the past you know they are plastic and either rectangular, square or round like a barrel. So it’s basically a square plastic box…like a generic storage container right? And they have aeration holes or slots in them…and they have a lid.

Here’s a typical compost bin. Priced at $65.00.

Let’s look at a plain large storage container with a lid and see if we see a compost bin in it.

Yep…I see a compost bin in this storage container. And it’s only missing one thing….aeration holes. If you have a drill and a 3/8 drill bit, you can easily turn this $8.00 (Walmart) storage container (Rubbermaid Roughneck 18 Gal) into a compost bin in 5 minutes.

Where to drill aeration holes and how many.

The bottom of the compost bin will need drain holes. The number of holes is not that critical. I would drill 3 holes across the width evenly spaced in 4 rows…so a total of 12 holes in the bottom. Do the same for the lid.

Now the 4 sides will need aeration holes also. I would drill 3 rows of 4 holes evenly spaced for the length and 3 rows of 3 holes for the width. Again the holes and the spacing are not critical at all. You just need to allow air to get in and get out. Once this is done, you’re ready to start composting.

The cool thing about this storage container/compost bin is that it’s expandable. That’s right…you can expand this into a multi level compost bin. Just stack one on top of the other. All you have to do in order to stack these is to cut out the bottom of one container and the lid on the other container. Now you have a much larger compost bin.

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