How to make a compost bin using limited tools


Composting is good for the environment, great for your garden, and it will save you money: Soil amendments can be very expensive to purchase at the garden store. There are lots and lots of ways to make a compost bin but I based mine on Kristopher’s three-stage bin and designed this one to be a project that anyone can make with a limited set of tools.  All you need is a saw, a drill, and a staple gun.

I only have space for two of these side-by-side, but since this system is modular, you can make as many as you want. Even a single bin will work fine. The top is hinges to allow access and I’ve added chicken wire to keep the local critters out. The boards in the front slide into slots and are easily removable. This will make it easy to shovel compost when needed.


How to make a compost bin

Want to learn how to compost? Here’s a great video from Kristopher on Home & Garden for Mere Mortals.

This is the rare project where you can feel confident cutting all the pieces at once. There are only a few different sizes of boards and you don’t have to drive yourself crazy with precision.  I used my miter saw to cut everything.


I screwed a couple 2x4s together to act as a big framing square. I used this to help keep the sides and lid square while I screwed them together.






I applied a coat of redwood deck stain to all the pieces to help extend the life of the wood. I figured this would be easier to do now, rather than when the compost bin is in place.


I used long screws to join the three sides together.




These strips attach to the fronts and extend toward the inside of the bin.


And adding these strips creates a long slot for the front boards to slide into.



I stapled chicken wire to the lids and to the insides of the bins.



I used two T-hinges to attach each lid.


In order to keep the front from spreading apart, I drove stakes into the ground and screwed them to the front posts.



WWMM Compost bins 2

Free compost bin plans



    • I am Sharing my personal experience about one of the wood working plan i am using for my project. it contains all woodworking plans include workbench plans, shed plans, chair … blueprints and detailed instructions for building all kinds of wooden,
      check here to get all the wood working plans >> ( )

  1. Hi! Thank you so much for the amazing video and plans.
    I am a total beginner wood worker, but am convinced that I can teach myself this skill. I would like to use these plans to build a compost bin. I was wondering, do you have a list of materials, and the number of boards I will need?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hey I’m also going to be doing this project soon. I’ve been doing some homework on it before I get started these last couple days. I went and bought the wood for it yesterday.
      You’ll need two 2x4s, seven 1x4s, one 1×3, and two 1x6s. All of these are 8ft.
      You’ll also need 2 stakes and chicken wire. This will get you one of these bins.

      I don’t have Sketchup installed, but this information might very well be in that file linked above.

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