Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DIY Compost Tumbler

I've been wanting to write this post for over a year now! I have a post in my "drafts" called Attempting Compost, that  started last year.  This is what it would have looked like. 

(Ooops! One of my plastic knives that I use for marking plants is in my pile! I know plastic is not compostable!)

Yup. Just a compost pile. Nothing fancy. I had tried to do compost in a small bucket but it didn't go over very well. It became stinky fast. Yuck.

So it was back to the drawing boards, and library for some research. 
I first figured out why it became stinky. Not enough oxygen. 

That's when I just started a pile in the corner of my garden. Though the pile worked alright, I wanted something a little faster and not so in your face. 

So I started looking into composter's, or compost tumblers. My first reaction. Wow, kinda pricey. 
My second, I've got to be able to DIY this. So that's where the internet came in handy. I found that a composter could be made out of a 55 galloon drum. So that's the route I went. Once I got my drum, I just needed some hardware, and wheels. 

To make your own compost tumbler:
- a 55 gallon drum
-4 wheels (stationary, not casters that spin)
-Something to attach wheels to ( I used plywood)
-Bolt lock
-Drill & Saw
The first thing I did was clean my drum out, I used vinegar because my drum had car wash solution in it. 

Next I drilled a bunch of tiny holes throughout the edge to allow oxygen to flow.

Next came the door, I had hubby cut a rectangle out for me. 
Make sure you keep your rectable, because you need to reattach it using the hinges and bolt lock.

Attach your wheels to your plywood.

To assemble, place your plywood wheel side up where you want it to be (before you fill your drum!)
Place your drum on wheels and get spinning!

So far this is working great for us! Carter can spin it! I can fill it! And it was so cheap to make!

Phew! Another task off the garden to do list!

I can't wait to share what's growing in our garden this year! If you thought I was crazy ( I did!) last year, wait til you see what we have added!


  1. This is great! Did you just ask for the drum? Love it!

    1. Yes! I know the people who own the car wash, and they said they have another guy who picks up the drums too! So ask your local car wash!!

  2. I am so glad to have found this post! Thanks for sharing!


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