Matt & I have been composting organic matter in a pile in the backyard (behind the garage so we don’t have to look at it) for way too long. I finally got around to building a compost bin this weekend using scraps left over from our back fence. I had no real plan to build from so there was quite a bit of improvising. My mom and stepdad are in town for a few days and she was kind enough to take lots of pictures to document the process.

The first step was to build the gate that will lift out of the front. This will allow easy turning of the dirt. I spaced out the five boards evenly and screwed to board perpendicular to hold them in place.

Front gate

In order for the front gate to slide in and out properly there needed to be some type of joint (there is probably a more accurate term for it but that is all I could think of) in place. I inserted a 1″ x 2″ between two of the cedar boards and screwed them together to form the joint.

Adding the side joints

2 x 4s were added to the back to create a frame for the cedar boards.

Creating a frame

Next, I screwed the cedar boards onto both sides and realized that I didn’t have any boards long enough to fit across the length of the back. I cut a center brace to fit and trimmed the cedar boards to 1/2 the length and attached them.


Complete (almost - I added cedar boards to the top to cover the 2x4s)

Matt finally came out to assist in moving it into place and moving our compost pile into our new compost bin. There were far too many spiders around for me to do that job.

Putting Matt to work

Wow, we really need to weed our beds again. So, there it is and I didn’t spend a single cent. Every board was left over from a previous project. Now we have one less thing on the to-do list.

For more on composting, check out:

Composting 101