10 Compost Bin Plans

A wooden compost bin outside a house

Practically Functional

If you're looking for a way to get rich soil for your garden or plants while taking care of food waste, consider using one of these compost bin plans so you have a dedicated area to compost. Building your own compost bin is a great budget-saving alternative to buying one.

Composting is an easy process with a lot of benefits that takes green waste (fruit, vegetables, weeds, eggshells, and coffee grinds) and brown waste (leaves, sticks, cardboard, and newspaper) and mixes it until everything decomposes to make rich soil. This rich soil can be used in your garden or flower beds, giving them the nutrients they need. Be sure to learn what you should and shouldn't compost before beginning.

If you want to keep your compost out of sight, consider using a DIY privacy screen to do so. If you're interested in composting but you don't want to keep your compost, several composting services will take your compost and put it to good use.

  • 01 of 10

    Under $5 Worm Bin

    A black plastic worm bin in a yard

    Attainable Sustainable 

    Creating a worm bin is a great way to begin composting, and takes up a lot less room than a large composter. All you need is a couple of five-gallon buckets and an hour to make this under $5 worm bin.

    Under $5 Worm Bin from Attainable Sustainable

  • 02 of 10

    Trash Can Compost Bin

    A person putting compost in a trash can

    BartCo/E+/Getty Images

    Making a compost bin out of a trash can is a great way to get a compost pile going quickly and without much of a budget. You'll need a plastic trash can with a lid and a few other materials to build it. The whole project will take you less than an hour.

    Trash Can Compost Bin from The Spruce

  • 03 of 10

    Compost Bin Built From Pallets

    A compost bin built out of pallets

    Mike's Backyard Nursery

    Here's a free compost bin plan that's an affordable choice for someone who wants a permanent area for compost, but isn't looking to spend very much money. This plan uses pallets to build the frame and some hardware to keep everything together. It's pretty easy to find free pallets, making this an inexpensive way to compost.

    Compost Bin Built from Pallets from Mike's Backyard Nursery

  • 04 of 10

    Wooden Compost Bin

    A wooden compost bin outside a house

     Practically Functional

    If you're serious about composting and want to commit to building something that will last, this wooden outdoor compost bin is what you'll want. A hinged lid makes it easy to add in items you want to compost but is sturdy enough to keep out any animals. Added features include hardware cloth which provides air circulation and hinged access to the bottom of the bin to get out the composted soil.

    Wooden Compost Bin from Practically Functional

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Wire Fence Compost Bin

    Compost bins built with wire

    mtreasure/Getty Images 

    If you have an area outside where you'd like to start a compost pile, this plan will show you how to make it secure by surrounding it with chicken wire. You can easily change the size of this compost bin depending on the area you have.

    Chicken Wire Compost Bin from The Spruce

  • 06 of 10

    Tote Compost Bin

    A black plastic tote in a yard

    Just Call Me Homegirl

    A plastic tote can easily make a compost bin with some drilled holes to promote air circulation. Since this compost bin is low to the ground, it's also a great way to get kids involved with composting.

    Tote Compost Bin from Just Call Me Homegirl

  • 07 of 10

    Straw Bale Compost Bin

    Straw bales in a yard

    ottoblotto/Getty Images

    Another way to make a permanent outside compost pile is by surrounding it with straw bales. This lets you decide the size of the pile and you can easily change it as you see fit. It also provides insulation making quicker compost. As the straw breaks down it can easily be incorporated into the compost pile.

    Straw Bale Compost Bin from The Spruce

  • 08 of 10

    DIY Compost Tumbler

    A compost tumbler in a field

    Kinda Crunchy Kate 

    This compost bin plan makes a compost tumbler, which makes it very easy to turn over your compost. Turning your compost pile is important to controlling odor and making sure material at the edges mixes in to heat up and decompose. These can be pricey if you buy one, but this tutorial shows you how to make one on the cheap with an old barrel and some sawhorses.

    Compost Tumbler from Kinda Crunchy Kate

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Plastic Storage Container Compost Bin

    A woman putting kitchen waste into a compost bin

    BartCo/Getty Images 

    Here's a slightly different way to build a compost bin out of a plastic storage bin. It includes directions on how to cover your drilled holes with wire mesh if you'd like to get even more air circulation inside the bin.

    Plastic Storage Container Compost Bin from The Spruce

  • 10 of 10

    Dig and Drop Composting

    A plan shoveling in his garden

    Mint Images-Henry Arden/Getty Images

    The easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to start composting for a garden is using the dig-and-drop method. All you need to do is dig a hole by your garden and then add your organic matter to it. Cover the hole back up and you'll have automatically enriched the soil for your garden. If you're looking for a way to use this method for a large garden, consider trench composting.

    Dig and Drop Composting from The Spruce