Build Your Own Bin

Build your own worm composter out of wood

If you don’t want to spend money on a composter or are looking for a simple project using basic tools and need a plan, we have created this page to help you make your own composter.

So, How to Build Your Own Composter?

The easiest way is to use a rubber bin. If you want to build your own bin, the following are important basics:

  • Your bin should be around a foot in depth. (no more than 1½ feet).
  • Your bin should be opaque and have a proper lid.
  • Make sure to make enough air holes around the side of your bin.
  • In order to drain the liquid (Compost Tea) out of your compost bin, you will need some kind of pan on the bottom.
  • You can decide your size, but 2 feet long by 1 and a half feet wide by 1 foot deep is recommended.
  • Use a 1-inch bit to make the holes on the sides of your bin and at least a 1 to 1½ inch bit for the holes in your lid.

The depth of your bin is important. If you have at least a foot, your bedding is more likely to compact, especially when it turns into castings or vermicast. With less air going through your system, it will turn from an aerobic stage to an anaerobic stage which is when your compost bin starts to smell!

The choice of bin material is really up to you. As long as you have good air flow and proper humidity in your bin, any kind of material is okay to use. Some people use old bath tubs or even drawers of unused dressers to make their composter. Use your imagination to create your own, just don’t use anything that was previously used for chemicals and keep in mind that materials react differently.

Wood for example, will suck moisture out of your system and rot with time. However, it can be a good option because you have the advantage of being able to make it exactly the shape you want, so it can fit underneath your sink or on the bottom of a closet, for example. Make sure to not use treated wood or cedar as these will kill your worms. Plywood is a great building material for this kind of project. With wooden bins, you may need to add water once in a while.

Plastic bins are easy to deal with and will last longer. Most people use them because they come in different shapes and sizes with a proper lid. The only problem is that they can keep moisture trapped in your bedding, so make sure you create enough air holes. Basically, do not use anything that would harm your worms.

Drilling holes in a plastic bin
Drilling holes in a plastic bin
Completed plastic bin in use
Completed plastic bin in use
Building a Wooden Worm Bin using instructions from "Worms Eat My Garbage"
Building a Wooden Worm Bin using instructions from “Worms Eat My Garbage”
Wooden Build-Your-Own Worm Bin in Use
Wooden Build-Your-Own Worm Bin in Use

Here is a short video that we do recommend to show you what’s involved… not much work and a lot of fun!!

Note: There is a lot of information on the internet, but don’t think that everything you see is “good advice”. There are some really questionable plans/videos out there! If you are unsure of information, feel free to send it our way and we’ll help you identify what might be useful.

Worms Eat My Garbage - book for sale by Wolrd of Worms in Kelowna

Check out Cheap and Easy Worm Bin for a set of simple online plans.

If you are looking for more plans, on “building your bin and taking care of your worms”, we sell the excellent book, “Worms Eat My Garbage “, by Mary Appelhof.