DIY Recycled, Wooden Compost Bin

Use scrap wood to construct your own simple backyard compost bin using this ‘Country Almanac of Housekeeping’ guide.

  • For the back of the compost bin, slide the salvaged wood into the slats created on each side.
    Photo courtesy Fair Winds Press 2012
  • Building details for the wooden compost bin that will supplement your garden soil all season.
    Photo courtesy Fair Winds Press 2012
  • In "The Country Almanac for Housekeeping Techniques," Richard Freudenberger and the editors of "BackHome Magazine" have collected hundreds of formulas for effective cleaning, gardening and home maintenance — as well as ways that our ancestors saved on heating bills, prevented costly repairs and maintained a cozy, charming home with little besides ingenuity.
    Cover courtesy Fair Winds Press 2012

Recent studies show that modern commercial household cleaners are causing serious health issues for individuals and their families. The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money (Fair Winds Press, 2012) by Richard Freudenberger and the editors of Back Home Magazine shows you how to keep a clean and healthy home for just pennies a day. Using a collection of formula for effective cleaning, gardening and home maintenance. Don’t just clean your household, get the longest life out of every item. The following excerpt describes how to make a DIY wooden compost bin from salvaged materials.

Build a Simple, Wooden Compost Bin

Cost savings
Between $55 and $169 compared to store-bought, depending on design and manufacturer

Easily assembled from salvaged materials, and can be sized to suit your needs

Commercial drum and bin style compost containers are expensive, and they often don’t hold enough working material. A nice slatted box is simple and cost effective if you use salvaged materials. Try plank cedar from old siding, or any weather-resistant wood. Pressure treated 1 x 4s and 2 x 4s will also work, though many people prefer not to invite salt chemicals in the wood from leaching into their garden soil.


• 32 boards (3  1/2 inches [8.9 cm] wide)
• Additional scrap wood (for a brace)
• Square level
• No. 8 x 1  5/8 (4 cm) deck screws
• No. 8 x 3  1/2-inch (9 cm) deck screws
• Jigsaw
• Protractor
• Drill and 7/8-inch (2.2 cm) auger bit
• Sandpaper

5/5/2014 11:09:48 PM

Is there a safe, homemade paint I can make to help preserve the wood in my compost bin and in my wooden garden boxes? Thanks for your advice.

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