Homemade Compost Barrel

The warm mid-January weather had us looking forward to spring and we started planning our garden. One of the things we needed was a composter so we could turn our kitchen scraps into rich compost for our garden. John David researched and decided to build a compost barrel. He purchased a barrel for $10 via Craiglist and within four days had turned it into a compost barrel.

He mounted the barrel on two 4x4s which are buried and concreted in the ground.

A close up of the opening, he cut this out and then mounted the hinges and closure.

The opening to the barrel.

Dumping in the very first bucket of scraps!

The contents of our compost barrel, kitchen scraps and a little bit of garden soil.

The barrel is designed to be spun to help mix the compost. Once the scraps are added, we close the door and then give the barrel a spin. Paxton enjoyed helping out by spinning the barrel.

Once the compost has ‘cooked’, we’ll simply place a bucket underneath the barrel, spin it to where the door is facing downward and open it to get compost for the garden.


responses to “Homemade Compost Barrel” 16

    1. I know worms are really good for compost! Are your bins like ours? I'm worried they'd overheat and die in the hot summer months due to being confined in that black barrel {maybe that's silly!}

      1. We use some old big rubbermaid containers. They're shaded, though, and we keep them a little damp with cool water, so I don't think they overheat.

  1. It seems that both of our hubbies are engineers at heart! 🙂 I was thinking John David may turn the barrel into a potato barrel to grow sweet potatoes this season. Or possibly a rain barrel go water the garden like my hubby did with a plastic one he got for free. But nope, the engineer mind came up with a compost bin and I love it! Great job!

    1. Yes they are! I'm constantly amazed at John David's abilities!! He's talking about stacking tires to grow potatoes in…maybe we'll get around to actually making that happen.

    1. He used 3/4"Dia. Galvanized Floor flanges <a href="http://{http://low.es/yXrLpS}” target=”_blank”>{http://low.es/yXrLpS} bolted to the two ends of the barrel and then used 3" long 3/4" pipe pieced to go through the 4×4 posts and then put pipe caps on the ends to prevent the pipes from slipping out of the posts.

      Feel free to send me an e-mail if you have more questions!!

  2. This is a great idea! I have looked into purchasing a compost barrel, but they can be very expensive! I will give my husband this idea and see if he would be able to build something similar to this for our home! Thanks for another great idea Rachel!

  3. This looks really easy! I have been holding off making a compost pile thinking it would be too much work, but this seems doable. Where did you find instructions to make one?

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