D.I.Y. sleeper compost bin

Michelle, Team member
View the video

D.I.Y. sleeper compost bin

View the video
×

More D.I.Y. Advice

bokashi

Composting How to use a bokashi bin View our guide on making compost with a bokashi bin, an eco-friendly composting system used in your kitchen.

Mulch

Composting Everything you ever needed to know about mulch Here’s everything you need to know to choose the right mulch for your garden.

compost bin 03:40

Composting D.I.Y. sleeper compost bin This three-station timber compost bin is easy to make and will create plenty of nutrient-rich organic material for your garden.

Person mixing brown and green waste 01:40

Composting How to make your own compost Find out how to fertilise plants naturally by making your own compost. It’s a great way to save money and get rid of some household waste.

lavender

Planting & Growing Protect your garden with companion planting Companion planting is growing certain types of plants together so that they help each other to grow better. They can keep pests or insects away, improve a plant's growth, attract insects that help with pollination and fix nitrogen in the soil.

Vegetable garden

Planting & Growing How to start a vegetable garden Nothing tastes better than home-grown vegetables. To make it easy for you, we’ll take you through some things to consider like where, what and how to plant vegetables, as well as how to feed and care for them.

garden tips

Planting & Growing Garden tips for the dry season Once the warm weather sets in, there is plenty you can do to make sure your garden stays healthy and is well watered. Check out these few simple tips that will help your garden thrive and cut your water usage at the same time.

Project Overview

Composting is a great way to recycle kitchen scraps and help improve your soil. This three-station compost bin is easy to make and will create plenty of nutrient-rich organic material for your garden. Continue to step-by-step instructions
depth drill
View the video
00:17
×

How to drill to a certain depth

If you want to match the length of a fixing or avoid drilling through to the other side, here’s an easy way to get the hole depth right every time. Take your fixing and line it up with your drill bit. Wrap masking tape around the bit to mark the length of the fixing. Then drill until your masking tape marker is flush with the surface.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark where your compost bin will go
2 Measure, mark and cut the sleepers
3 Measure and cut the sides and dividers
4 Lay out the back and the sides
5 Measure and mark the dividers
6 Attach the second level
7 Secure the guides to the front
8 Cut the front guides
9 Cut the inner gate guides
10 Attach the front guides
11 Attach the inner guides
12 Cut the gates
13 Attach the lid
14 Start composting
15 Congratulations on a job well done
  • Step 1. Measure and mark where your compost bin will go

    Measure and mark where you want the compost bin to go. The redgum sleepers make it too heavy to move once it’s made. Also, be sure to leave enough working room for wheelbarrow access.

  • Step 2. Measure, mark and cut the sleepers

    Our compost bin is two sleepers high and the back is 2300mm long. Measure, mark and cut the four sleepers for the back of the bin using the circular saw. Don’t forget to wear safety gear when using the circular saw.

  • Step 3. Measure and cut the sides and dividers

    Measure and mark the eight dividers for the compost bin, each one should be 700mm long. Measure and mark for the two front guides, they’re 420mm long. Cut the dividers and the guides with the circular saw.

  • Step 4. Lay out the back and the sides

    Lay out the back piece and the sides at both ends. Then pre-drill with the 4.5mm drill bit before screwing into place with two x 100mm galvanised batten screws. Use galvanised screws because they won’t rust.

  • Step 5. Measure and mark the dividers

    With the sides in place, measure and mark for the two dividers, ours measured 700mm between each bin. Put the dividers in place. Pre-drill with the 4.5mm drill bit and screw into place with 100mm galvanised batten screws. If the compost bin isn’t in place, have a friend help you move it before attaching the second level of sleepers. 

  • Step 6. Attach the second level

    Repeat the previous steps to build the second level of the compost bin.

  • Step 7. Secure the guides to the front

    Place the two 420mm guides at the front of the two centre bin sections. As well as being guides they also help to hold the frame together. Pre-drill with the 4.5mm drill bit and screw into place with the 100mm batten screws.

  • Step 8. Cut the front guides

    Now it’s time to cut the timber for the front guides. Take a 420mm x 200mm piece of timber, then measure and mark a line down the centre. Clamp and cut the wood with the circular saw.

  • Step 9. Cut the inner gate guides

    Measure, mark and cut your sleeper into 50mm widths using the circular saw. You need to make six of these. Clamp the timber to a workbench to make sure it’s secure while cutting.

  • Step 10. Attach the front guides

    Take the 100mm front guides and put them in place. Pre-drill with the 4.5mm drill bit and screw into place with 100mm batten screws. 

  • Step 11. Attach the inner guides

    To fix off the inner guides that will hold the gate, use a 700mm sleeper as a spacer and allow a 10mm gap to ensure the gate doesn’t stick. Pre-drill with a 4.5mm drill bit and screw into place with 100mm batten screws. Repeat for the two other compartments.

  • Step 12. Cut the gates

    Now it’s time to measure, mark and cut the gates. Ours measured 700mm but it will depend on the size of your compartments. Once you’ve cut them, slide them into place.

  • Step 13. Attach the lid

    We attached a lid to cover two of the three stations of our compost bin. Ours was made from 19mm formply cut to 1550mm x 870mm. Formply is ideal because it’s water resistant and will keep the bin dark. Hinging is a good idea because it gives easy access to the bin. We screwed 40mm screws into the sleeper and 16mm screws into the formply on the top.

  • Step 14. Start composting

    Start with a layer of straw mulch, some garden compost and kitchen or green scraps in the first station in the compost bin. Continue to layer straw and green scraps. Keep the compost aerated by giving it a regular stir. Move the compost from one station to the next as it decomposes. When it reaches the last station it’s ready to go onto your garden

  • Step 15. Congratulations on a job well done

    Now you’ve made your compost bin, you can start recycling food scraps to benefit your garden. It’s not only good for your soil, it’s environmentally friendly as well.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Combination square
  • Cordless drill
  • 4.5mm bit
  • Impact driver
  • Circular saw
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver bit that fits bugle bolts
  • Work gloves

Materials

  • 200mm x 50mm x 2.4m hardwood sleepers x 8
  • 1.8m x 1.2m x 17mm formply
  • 100mm galvanised batten screws
  • 85mm hinges
  • 40mm screws
  • 16mm screws
sprinkler

Planting & Growing How to take care of your plants in summer With its combination of hot and dry weather, summer can be really tough on your garden.

Worm farm

Planting & Growing How to make a worm farm A worm farm can turn your organic waste into rich fertiliser to feed your garden. It’s also a fun and rewarding way to get the kids actively involved in the environment.

Six plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

Planting & Growing Six plants that repel mosquitoes and flies Using plants is a natural and effective way to repel mosquitoes, flies and other insects from entering your home. Here’s a list of the six best insect-repelling plants.

protein

Planting & Growing 10 high protein foods you can grow at home Grow these high protein vegetables and protein rich foods at home in your very own garden. Whether you’re a vegetarian or are trying to eat healthier, here’s our list of top 10 high protein vegetables to grow at home.

Five reasons to plant a mature or advanced tree

Planting & Growing Five reasons to plant a mature or advanced tree Planting a mature or old tree in your garden can be a quick and easy way to create the backyard of your dreams. Here's a few good reasons why planting a mature tree might be worth considering for your garden.

A bee on a flower

Planting & Growing How to attract bees and butterflies Bees, butterflies and other pollinators are great to have in the garden. Unfortunately bees in some parts of the world are under threat due to climate change, parasitic mites and poor farming practices. As gardeners, we can all help!

How to control and eliminate garden pests organically

Planting & Growing How to control and eliminate garden pests organically Try controlling garden pests with these approaches from Eco Organic Garden.

Person putting on protective edging on the raised garden bed 01:38

Planting & Growing How to build a raised garden bed Building a raised garden bed is a simple project you can do yourself. Learn how to build a raised garden bed with this guide from Bunnings Warehouse.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content