Collapsible Compost Bin
homemade compost bin you can break down

This is an update to my original compost bin.


Like my previous model, this is built from stacking layers, which allows for easy turning. This idea was inspired by the book Build It Better Yourself from the Rodale Press.

compost bin side lincoln log

Each layer is built from interlocking pieces similar to Lincoln Logs. The interlocking piece is made from half of a 5.5"x6' cedar fence picket. The notches and end block create a study interlocking joint. A marking template made sure the pieces were the same length and a spacer made sure the interlocking joint was a loose fit.

compost bin corner detail

I attached the end block with rust resistant Kreg Blue-Koteā„¢ screws, which are widely available. These pictures were taken 4.5 years after the bin was constructed and the screws show no corrosion. The washer head helps prevent the picket from splitting.

Hinged Lid

compost bin hinged lid

To keep animals out, I created a hinged lid with hardware cloth (heavy screen).

compost bin lid detail

The top frame, which holds the hardware cloth, is jointed at the corner using half laps. A thin strip on top keeps the hardware cloth from poking us when we lift the bin.

This is a picture of the lid removed from the compost bin and turned upside down:

compost bin lid detail

The lower frame is made from two pieces of fence picket and two pieces of 2x4 cedar. The notches in the pickets allow the lid to interlock with the top of the bin. The pickets are simply screwed into the end grain of the 2x4.


The main improvement over my original design is that the bin collapses. The interlocking pieces stack in a small pile when not in use.

I encourage you to build one. It’s a fun project.

Daddy,  Can We Play in the Workshop?

If hand tool woodworking is your passion, you may enjoy my children's book, Daddy, Can We Play in the Workshop?