How to Build a Compost Bin in 15 Minutes for about $30

I don't want to spend over $100 for a commercially made plastic compost bin, so I came up with my own solution using wire mesh fencing. I spent under $35 total for the materials and was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was to put together.

Here's how to build a similar compost bin. You'll need four 3' light-duty steel fence posts (under $2 each), about 12' of 2' vinyl coated wire mesh fencing (about $27 for a 50' roll -- I'm going to use the leftovers to keep my dog out of the veggies), a mallet, and wire cutters. You can use 4' posts with 3' mesh if you want a taller bin but I wouldn't go any taller than that or it will be hard to turn the compost.
  1. Using a mallet, pound each of the four posts in to the ground in a rectangle until the top of the cross-bar is about level with the ground.

  2. If necessary, use a screw driver to pry open any of the hooks on the posts that have been smashed down.

  3. Hook the wire mesh to one of the posts to start. On the 3' posts, there are two hooks pointing up and two hooks pointing down. It's hard to align all four up at once, so I slip the wires into the top two hooks and pull down on the mesh a bit so the wires on those hooks bend. Then you can easily hook it on to the two bottom hooks and bend the wires back slightly so they all stay in place.


  4. Unroll the mesh, hook it to the three remaining posts, and again the the first one. Don't worry about pulling it tight -- it's okay to have a little slack. (If you pull it too tight at the top, the posts will bend towards each other.)

  5. Cut the horizontal wires one block past where you've hooked it onto the first post.

  6. Pound the t-posts into the ground further, so that the bottom-most horizontal wire is close to or touching the ground.
The Slow Cook has some really good tips on what to add to to your new bin.

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