How to make a composter

I have never been so thrilled about dirt and food scraps in my entire life! I must say that  I am really excited to get this composting party started!  Ooooo I think I may just have invented a new dance…’ve heard of the “lawn mower” dance so now let’s do the composter.   Here we go…….(get a beat going in your head) now toss the scraps, toss the scraps, and lock it up, now roll the bin, ro ro roll the bin.   Oh sorry, what were we talking about?

What you need:

  • (4)- 3.5″ 1/4 bolts with washers and  nuts
  • (3)- pressure treated 2x4x8
  • (1)-galvanized chain link fence post
  • (4)- Latches
  • (1) -Piano hinge (also known as continuous hinge)
  • Box of 3″ nails
  • Electric drill and 1/4″ drill bit
  • Jigsaw


  1. Cut all the 2×4’s in half (leaving you with  (6) 4 foot long pieces of wood)
  2. Stack 2 boards together and mark at the center.  Drill through both boards with 1/4″ bit.  Repeat with another 2 boards.
  3. Insert a bolt through each hole and put on a washer and nut on other side.  Tighten nut almost all the way then move boards to form an X then tighten nut the rest of the way.
  4. Optional:  hammer 2 nails at cross section for increased stability.
  5. Connect the 2 X’s with the last 2 boards to create frame.  (See Picture)
  6. Trace diameter of fence post in the center of the top and bottom of barrel with jigsaw.  This is where the fence post will be inserted.
  7. Creating the door:  Mark out the shape of the door on the barrel.  It should be large enough to fit your shovel through easily.  the lid
  8. Drill in the (4) hinge sides of the latches. 
  9. Then drill in the top portion of the piano hinge only.
  10. Drill the receiver side of the latches into the barrel leaving enough room to jigsaw out the shape of the door.
  11. Jigsaw the 3 sides with the latches then close latches and cut out below the piano hinge and drill final 6 screws of piano hinge into the door.
  12. Drill small hole to add a rope handle.
  13. Drill 20-30 1/4 holes randomly around the barrel for aeration.  Then insert 8 nails into random holes to help break up the material in the composter.
  14. Now collect your food scraps!


Check out this great resource by Planet Green on what you can compost.

This resource by Mother Nature Network is on what you should never compost.



This entry was posted in green living, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to make a composter

  1. Jane says:

    Wow, this is awesome! I’ve been wanting to make something like this for ages. I just printed it up to show my husband.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.


  2. keli says:

    This post is getting forwarded to hubby right now. 🙂 Now I just need to figure out where to put it!

  3. I love your post.
    Be sure to check out

    Our top 10 at the DIY Club will go up tomorrow.


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