DIY Compost Bin | Composting for Beginners

After months and months of thinking about it, I finally decided to start composting! I’m so excited because it’s basically a win-win-win. It reduces waste, it helps my plants, and its easy & free.

I decided to make my own bin for the outside and I wanted it to look semi-nice. I didn’t like the look of the garbage can with the holes in it but also needed it to be small and functional. So, I got some wood in the outdoor section at Lowe’s and stained it (so when I eventually build garden beds they will match!).

To make it easier on myself, my intention was to just use all the wood and let the bin end up being whatever size that ended up. My husband had the design in his head so he was the one with the real plan, but assured me it would be the right size.

The bin did turn out to be bigger than I thought...but that’s what I get for letting my husband do the math lol The good news is that the size doesn’t really matter and we end up with a TON of yard waste and food waste, so I think we will fill it up just fine!

The thing about it, is that as long as you have a box like shape, you can't really do it wrong. In the end, you're making dirt so does it really need to be perfect?? Mine wont really be seen by anyone but me so I would have been happy with however it turned out :) 


Materials for a 2.75x2.75 bin:


  1. Stain wood according to the package directions. (optional)


  1. Cut the fence wood into thirds. We measured the length of the wood, subtracted out the decorative top, then divided the length by 3. So, the pieces with the decorative top would be slightly longer than the other pieces. We cut the pieces 2 ft 11 ⅝ in long. 

  2. Cut the 1x4 pieces of wood to about 2 ft. 8 in. long pieces. (You need 8 pieces total). If you choose to use less fence pieces (we used six - see below) cut this wood to just slightly smaller than what you choose.

  3. Lay 6 pieces side by side (about 2 ft. 9 in. wide) and on top, put two 1x4 pieces and screw into place



5. Attach the pieces with the corner brackets (2 per corner) so the 1x4 pieces are on the outside.



6. Screw the top pieces of the fence wood (the more decorative pieces) to the outside evenly spaced around. Use 4 pieces per side.


DIY Compost Bin

Once you have a bin, you are ready to compost! Wish me luck!


DIY Compost Bin

So now I'm ready to compost! You should use a 2:1 ratio of "green" items to "brown" Items. Here is  a short list to get you started:


  • Fruit Scraps

  • Vegetable Scraps

  • Coffee Grounds

  • Loose Leaf Tea

  • Old Herbs and Spices

  • Yard Waste

  • Grass clippings

  • Leaves


  • Egg Shells

  • Coffee Filter

  • Tea bags (made from natural materials)

  • Paper Bags

  • Napkins/Paper Towels

  • Cardboard Egg Cartons

  • Cardboard Cereal Boxes/Pasta Boxes

  • Dead Plants

  • Fallen Leaves

  • Straw or Hay

  • Branches (best to chip or shred)

Happy Composting!!!

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