16 Cool DIY Compost Tumbler Designs & Tuitorials

Diy Compost Tumbler

There is one thing that most gardeners, if not all, will agree upon – compost is a must have. It is said to be one of the best soil conditioner as well as an enricher.

Compost works to fertilize the soil add valuable humus and aerate the soil. What most gardeners love most is perhaps the fact that it is free.

But despite the major benefits, most gardeners seem to shy away from making the tried and proven organic elixir. Most fret the labor, care and nurturing process involved.

Luckily, there are techniques that have been developed to fasten the process and cater to the unpleasant smell that comes with compost heaps. Compost tumblers are the most preferred. The commercial models are insanely expensive.

But you are in luck. We have put together a list of DIY compost tumblers that are cheap and will only take 1-2 hours to construct. Enjoy.

1. DIY Drum Compost Tumbler

DIY Drum Compost Tumbler

Compared to stationary compost bins, drum composts tend to convert yard waste into compost faster. This is because they allow for churning and aeration of the waste. Adding to this, drum compost tumblers tend to be easy on the back.

The Family Handyman blog details the process of building the compost tumbler. Following the guide, you should expect to spend anything between $100 and $500. The drum used in the project cost $150.

To create the compost tumbler will take about 1 day. While it has a moderate complexity rating, a beginner can hack the project as well. Also, the tutorial shares instructions on building stand with rollers for the compost tumbler.

The stand makes it easy to churn and aerate the compost and is easy on the back.

2. DIY Chicken Manure Tumbling Composter

DIY Chicken Manure Tumbling Composter

An average-sized chicken produces about 1 cubic foot of manure every 6 months. If you have lots of chicken, it will not be long until you have to deal with heaps and heaps of chicken poop.

But there is an upside to this, the chicken manure is rich in potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen. Think of it like black gold. But to have the chicken manure, you need a compost tumbler to simplify the process.

The compost tumblers designed by Community chickens blogs are simple. Basically, they are 55-gallon drums suspended on a frame that allows them to spin. The drums cost about $150.

The blog tutorial details the process of building the spinning compost tumbler from scratch in a step-by-step process.

3. DIY Spinning Composter

DIY Spinning Composter

If you have just started your garden and want it to be a great success, you will want to build a compost tumbler. This particular compost tumbler is perfect especially if you are looking to save on cash.

This compost tumbler by the Potholes and Pantyhose blog costs $30. This is because some of the materials used are recycled. To build the unit, it will only take a few hours to complete.

The blog tutorial provides an intricate guide and instructions for making the spinning tumbler along with the wooden frame on which the composter hangs. The food-safe barrel is installed upright and spins from top to bottom.

The tutorial also contains a list of supplies you will need to make the project a success.

4. Cheap DIY Compost Tumbler

Cheap DIY Compost Tumbler

If you already make your own compost but in the recent times your quantity needs have increased, you need to get yourself a compost tumbler. A compost tumbler will get the work done fast and cater to your increased demand.

In addition to being efficient, this simple compost tumbler by The Prudent Garden is cheap. Making one cost about $20. This is the cost of 1 bin. The project is easy for beginners and can be completed in 30 minutes.

The supplies needed for the success of the project include; a 15-gallon trash can (complete with its lid), 2 bungees, and a drill with a 5/16 bit. 

The instructions in the tutorial are straightforward and easy to follow. The tutorial even details how to create compost in case you do not know how to.

5. DIY Basic Compost Tumbler

DIY Basic Compost Tumbler

If you do not want a compost tumbler that sits too high making it difficult to shovel and rake the contents of the tumbler, and want to keep the costs low, then this compost tumbler by Instructables is perfect.

This compost tumbler rides on a platform with wheels. The tumbler itself is simply a 55-gallon barrel. To assemble the tumbler, you will need a drill and a miter saw (or any other cutting implement).

It is simple beginner project and does not require advanced skills.

6. DIY Inexpensive Rolling Compost Tumbler

DIY Inexpensive Rolling Compost Tumbler

If you want to learn how to make DIY compost tumbler this tutorial is perfect. The beauty of this compost tumbler is that it is efficient, simple, long lasting and best of all, costs way less than $275.

This compost tumbler has been designed from a simple garbage can. Nonetheless, it still is just as effective as other complicated compost tumblers. Note that to churn the contents, you will have to roll the bin.

Aside from a garbage can, you will need a drill or a nail and hammer to make the aeration holes. Additionally, the blog tutorial by A Cultivated Nest provides a recipe for perfect compost.

The layering of material is just as important as an efficient compost tumbler.

7. DIY Industrial Strength Compost Bin

DIY Industrial Strength Compost Bin

If you have a sizeable vegetable garden, it only makes sense that you will need to recycle organic waste from your kitchen to make compost manure and save on industrial fertilizer.

Sure it is a stinky project but one that pays off immensely. If you are looking to mix a great deal of compost, you will need to have a strong compost tumbler. But decently strong compost bins are expensive.

With a commercial compost bin, you can pay about $250. To save on cash you can build this $50 compost bin by the Weekndr blog.

For supplies, you will need 2 20-gallon buckets, stainless steel bolts and nuts, metal conduit, duct tape, saw horses and rubber grommets. The blog tutorial provides instructions on using these supplies to build the compost bin in a weekend.

8. DIY Homemade Compost Tumbler

DIY Homemade Compost Tumbler

I should start by warning you. This may not be as pretty or a fancy as the DIY compost tumblers you see online or in retail outlets.

However, it does get the job done. This compost tumbler has been made from a garbage can. It is simple and easy to build. It does help with the daily turning of the compost. All you have to do is roll it.

To build this compost tumbler by the Compost Junkie, you will need a plastic or metallic garbage can, elastic tie downs, duct tape, drill bit and a drill. The instructions provided are concise and clear.

9. DIY Double Decker Drum Composter

DIY Double Decker Drum Composter

Contrary to popular belief, composting is actually fun and easy - when you have the right tools anyway. In the PDF tutorial provided by Instructable, you will learn how to put together a spinning double drum composter.

The tutorial details the process of building the frame and the compost drums a well. The frame is made from 3 4x4s and 1 1x4. The lumber used is pressure heated to ensure longevity.

The barrels come perforated on the side for ample aeration and have lockable doors. The tutorial contains 11 steps in total and is easy to build.

10. DIY Low Heat-Retaining Compost Tumbler

DIY Low Heat-Retaining Compost Tumbler

The ready-made compost tumblers are needless to say, expensive. In addition to this, they tend to sit high which makes it difficult to turn the composting materials in them.

If you are looking to have an efficient tumbler, one that is low is best. This is because a low tumbler will make use of the earth’s natural heat making the composting process progress faster.

This is particularly of benefit during the cold seasons. To make this low compost tumbler as detailed on the Permaculture blog, you will need a barrel, a 36x18-inch boards, 4 non-pivot wheels, hinges, pin locks and wood screws.

The instructions on the blog tutorial will guide you to building the efficient low set compost tumbler with great ease.

11. DIY Wine Barrel Compost Station

DIY Wine Barrel Compost Station

Many of the DIY compost tumblers we have outlined in this article are made with metal or plastic drums. However, if you have wooden wine barrels, they would work as well.

Garden Tenders decided to use a total of 3 wine barrels for their project. This was so as they could make enough to meet their compost demand.

The wine barrels were suspended in the air using a metal electrical conduits supported by two fence posts. The fence posts are secured to the ground with concrete and are thus strong enough to withstand the pressures of spinning barrels.

The tutorial is brief and simple for a beginner to follow.

12. DIY On-the-Ground Tumbling Composter

DIY On-the-Ground Tumbling Composter

If you want to learn how to build an efficient tumbling composter, you should consider following this wikiHow tutorial. The tutorial details the process of building an inexpensive and simple tumbling composter.

The composter rolls on the ground and is built from a simple cylindrical container. A garbage container will work fine. Your choice of container will depend on your demand of compost.

That said, a container measuring between 30 and 55 gallons will work fine. The tutorial is simple to follow and has images to guide you as well.

13. Simple DIY Compost Tumbler

Simple DIY Compost Tumbler

There are numerous compost tumbler designs and options you can choose from. So much so that it can be overwhelming. But what they all have in common is great aeration, ability to churn and combining ingredients.

Instead of sieving through complicated compost tumbler option, build this compost tumbler by the One Hundred Dollars a Month blog. The blog tutorial lists the supplies needed, instructions and even what to add to the tumbler for perfect compost.

The compost tumbler rests on a simple stand featuring coasters that make it easy to churn the tumbler contents with ease.

14. DIY 7-Gallon Compost Tumbler

DIY 7-Gallon Compost Tumbler

Composting is a great natural way to reduce waste ending up in landfills, recycling nutrients and enriching the soil. This particular DIY compost tumbler will allow you to make your own compost fast and with great ease.

The tumbler design is straightforward, compact and cheap. It is perfect for a farmer/gardener who is short on space. The tutorial by hobby Farms contains a supply list and instructions to follow.

For the 7-gallon bucket, whether you choose to repurpose or buy a new one, you should ensure it is built from food grade materials to avoid contaminating the compost with chemicals and toxins from the container’s previous contents.

The support can be modified to suit any shape and size of container you use. The Home Talk tutorial is straightforward and easy to follow.

15. DIY Drum Garbage Can Composter

DIY Drum Garbage Can Composter

This is a pretty simple compost tumbler. Actually, the only part that you will be building is the support. The compost tumbler is almost ready made since you will be using a garbage can.

The frame will allow the can to rotate a full 360 degrees without touching its sides. The process of building the frame is not provided in the PDF DIY compost tumbler plan.

However, it is pretty straightforward so it should be simple to build. The tutorial provides a guide on how you should prepare the garbage can for the frame.

According to Instructables, if you have to buy the garbage can, you will have to part with about $15.

16. DIY Inexpensive Compost Tumbler

DIY Inexpensive Compost Tumbler

If you are new to the world of composting, you surely must have heard of all the good things they offer. You also might have come across some DIY compost tumbler projects.

To build one, the Kinda Crunchy Kate blog takes you through the project step by step. The project makes use of simple supplies including a barrel, some saw horses, a screw bolt, pillow block bearings and some power tools.

The instructions are provided in the tutorial. The result is a sturdy and spinning compost tumbler.

And there you have it – 16 compost tumbler ideas to choose from. They are great since they are inexpensive and easy to build.

When you choose any of the compost tumbler ideas and decide to build it, feel free to share the images of the results with us.

Also, if you have any additions or corrections, comment in the comment section below.

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