Home / DIY / 23 DIY Compost Tumblers To Make Composting More Fast & Easy

23 DIY Compost Tumblers To Make Composting More Fast & Easy

Creating a DIY compost tumbler will enable you to transform kitchen waste into a usable product for the garden. Compost is an organic, nutrient rich product that feeds vegetable plants and flowers so they can produce their best.

A DIY compost tumbler will provide you with organic plant food to promote plant growth so you won’t have to use chemical fertilizer in the garden. Composting is the ideal way to recycle food scraps and keep them out of the landfill, so a simple compost container like one of these will help you reduce your carbon footprint on the planet.Check out these 23 homemade compost tumblers we have collected for you to find the one that is right for your composting needs.

1- Cheap and Efficient Compost Tumbler

Make this diy compost tumbler out of a barrel which retains only a little heat. You only need a barrel, a 36”X18” board, four non pivoting wheels, two hinges and two pin locks. The first thing to do is to make a door using the board and the hinges. Drill a few holes to aerate your compost container. Next, mount it in a wooden frame and fill it with kitchen waste. Remember to turn your compost barrel frequently.

DIY Compost Tumbler
Cheap and Efficient Compost Tumbler

2- Drum Composter

Easy on the back and very efficient, this drum compost design we have here is one of the best compost tumblers for the home gardener.

The 55 gallon drum is mounted on a frame at just the right height to make loading, turning and unloading easy to accomplish without bending over. The black plastic drum heats up quickly and allows the kitchen scraps and yard waste inside the drum to heat up and decompose very quickly.

The ease of turning this DIY compost tumbler by Family Handyman will encourage you to turn it often and keep the interior waste products well aerated.

DIY Drum Composter
Drum Composter Idea, Image via: Family Handyman

3- Drum And Wood

If you have an old black plastic drum and some scrap wood on hand, watch this video to discover how to put the materials together and create a DIY compost tumbler like this one on Youtube.

This is an easy build that will help you use up scrap building materials and transform food scraps into plant food.

Ideal to have in the backyard garden area. The drum and wood composter is easy to use and makes compost fast. Compost is the ideal organic plant food for vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, shrubs, trees, and grass.

4- Recycled Kitchen Composter

No need to invest in new materials to build a DIY compost tumbler by Permaculture,  just use what you have on hand to create one.

A used metal or plastic 55 gallon drum, a few pieces of recycled lumber and a steel rod are the main components of this rotating diy compost tumbler. All these items are often left over from other DIY projects or can easily be bartered for from a friend.

These free plans will show you how to use recycled items to make an efficient kitchen composter so you can keep your garden plants well fed throughout the growing season.

build a DIY compost tumbler
Recycled Kitchen Composter, Image via: Permaculture

5- Garbage Can Compost Tumbler

Transform an ordinary plastic garbage can into a DIY compost tumbler by Acultivatednest then transform kitchen and yard waste into plant food with this great idea.

A store bought model that is similar to this design can cost close to $300, but this DIY version will cost less than $20. If you have an old plastic garbage can on hand, then it will cost almost nothing to make.

To make this diy compost tumbler just make a few air holes in the garbage can, then layer in organic material until the garbage can is full. Secure the lid on the can with a bungee cord and roll the can around for a few minutes. Roll the can around in the yard each day to keep the organic material aerated and promote decomposition, and in just a few weeks you will have nutrient rich compost for your garden.

Garbage Can Compost Tumbler
Garbage Can Compost Tumbler, Image via: Acultivatednest

6- Garbage Can Composter

You can make a diy composter by Instructables with the use of a garbage can and a few nuts and bolts. A 35 gallon garbage can will cost just $14.99. For making the frame you will need a few pieces of 3”X4” wood which will cost less than $10.

Garbage can composter
Garbage Can Composter, Image via: Instructables

7- Cheap Composter

A black plastic trash can and a bungee cord is all you need to make this diy rolling composter by The Prudent Garden. Load the trash can with organic scrap material, secure the lid with a bungeee cord, then roll it around daily until the material decomposes.

rolling composter
Cheap Rolling DIY Composter, image via: The Prudent Garden

8- 50 Gallon Compost Tumbler

The following is the way to make another rotating compost bin by One Hundred Dollars A Month. Here also you use a food grade 55 gallon barrel for making it. Other items you need are nuts and bolts hinges and wood for the frame. You need to create a door that will allow a shovel to pass through. For aeration you need to drill holes in the barrel. Finally, you mount it on the wooden frame and start using it. You may also like to check out how to make compost.

50 Gallon compost tumbler
50 Gallon Compost Tumbler, Image via: One Hundred Dollars A Month

9- Double Decker Composter

If your family produces a lot of kitchen waste, but you don’t want to dedicate a large part of your yard for composting, check out this double decker composter by Instructables.

This design only takes up a small space in the backyard and will turn out a large amount of compost in a short amount of time. Two 55 gallon plastic barrels are placed on a vertical frame to provide two compost bins in one space.

These rotating compost bins are easy to build, easy to rotate and easy to empty.

Double Decker Composter
Double Drum Composter Design, Image via: Instructables

10- Spinning Composter

Small, easy to build and fun to use, this will transform food waste into plant food very quickly.

The small wood stand and 55 gallon plastic barrel are light weight and can be moved as needed. The design makes scraps easy to put in and compost easy to get out. Your kids will want to get involved with composting with this DIY compost tumbler by potholesandpantyhose since it’s fun to spin. Kids will also be amazed to watch how vegetable peels and other food waste transform into black soil inside the spinning composter.

diy compost tumbler
Spinning Composter, Image via; potholesandpantyhose

11- Rotating Drum

Follow these free detailed instructions for building a garden composter by instructables and keep your plants well fed. This is an ideal composting design for those who use sustainable gardening practices. This idea uses the rotating drum over the large compost pile so everything is in the same location.

Add grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste to the bottom pile until there is room inside of the composting drum. The larger organic material will begin to decompose before it goes inside the rotating drum along with smaller kitchen scraps and decomposition will be mush faster.

building a garden composter
Building a Rotating Drum, Image via: instructables

12- Bucket Composter

Here we have a design that uses two, twenty gallon buckets instead of a 55 gallon barrel. The rotating compost bin by Weekndr will be smaller and is good for households that don’t generate a lot of kitchen or yard waste.

These free, step by step instructions will take you through the building process with ease so you can build this in just one weekend.

The wooden frame is a simple design and will eliminate bending over to help make composting easy on your back.

rotating compost bin
Bucket Composter Bin, Image via: Weekndr

13- Low Down Composter

If you would prefer a composter that is low to the ground, then this design is for you. Some people prefer a rotating compost bin by instructables that is just inches off the ground so it can be loaded and unloaded easy. And that is what this model does.

A 55 gallon plastic barrel is the main component of this DIY compost tumbler, along with four wheels and a piece of plywood. The height of the compost container does not impact the rate of speed at which the organic material decomposes, the aeration provided by the turning determines that. This low down composter does the same job as a composter that is several feet off the ground.

Low Down Composter
Low Down Composter, Image via: instructables

14- Small Kitchen Composter

Keep scraps out of the landfill and create nutrient rich soil for a small garden with this composter design by Hobby Farms that uses a 7 gallon bucket.

Ideal for small households and small gardens, this small kitchen composter will turn out big results.

Use these instructions to build a small wooden frame and attach the 7 gallon bucket. Fill bucket with organic scraps and start turning. It won’t be long until those scraps turn into usable plant food.

Small Kitchen Composter
Small Kitchen Composter, Image via: Hobby Farms

15- Chicken Manure Tumbling Composter

If you have backyard chickens, then you have an abundance of chicken manure. The manure is an ideal soil ammendment and organic fertilizer, but it does need to be broken down before it can be utilized by plants.

Use these free building plans to construct an efficient and practical DIY tumbling composter by communitychickens to compost manure generated by your backyard chickens.

Chicken Manure Tumbling Composter
Chicken Manure Tumbling Composter, Image via: communitychickens

16- Inexpensive 30 Gallon Compost Tumbler

Finally, we have yet another diy compost tumbler by Kindacrunchykate made out of a 55 gallon food grade barrel. Since there is a picture tutorial on how to make it you will find it easy to make it. The cost will remain around $35. This is also a large compost bin tumbler that could accommodate a lot of waste material disposed from the kitchen.

Inexpensive 30 gallon Composter
Inexpensive 30 Gallon Compost Tumbler, Image via: Kindacrunchykate

17- 55 Gallon DIY Compost Tumbler

The next one is the best composter by Instructables for a large family that have lots of waste as it is made out of a barrel with a capacity of 55 gallons. This container needs to be of food grade. You need a few more items such as nut and bolts, latches and wood for the frame. However, the entire lot of items will not cost anything more than $30 to $35.

55 Gallon compost tumbler
55 Gallon compost tumbler, Image via: Instructables

18- Wooden Compost Tumbler

A DIY composter by CNET will enable you to make compost the fast and easy way. A wooden compost tumbler like the one shown here is cheap to make and easy to use.

This great idea uses 2 x 4s and OSB board to create a tumbler that will promote the fast decomposing of food waste so it can be used to feed garden plants.

If you have leftover lumber, this DIY rotating compost bin will be cheap to build. It will help transform organic scraps into nutrient rich plant food fast and easy.

Wooden Compost Tumbler
Wooden Compost Tumbler, Image via: CNET

19- Plastic Barrel

This YouTube video will show you how to make a composter from a food grade plastic barrel. The plastic barrel is a 55 gallon size and can be found very cheap or sometimes even for free.

The DIY project is fast and easy when you use the detailed instructions of this video. A DIY compost barrel like this one on Youtube will create an environment for food waste to decompose faster so you will have a steady supply of compost to use in the garden.

Recycling food and yard waste into compost is good for the planet and helps keep usable material out of the landfill.

20- Under $50 Compost Tumbler

You can make a homemade compost tumbler by HGTV for under $50 with this great idea. These free plans will show you how to build a wooden frame that has wheels to allow for easy turning of the barrel. Even when the 55 gallon barrel is filled with food scraps and yards waste it will still be easy to turn. And best of all, the DIY compost tumbler will cost less than $50.

Compost is called Black Gold by gardeners because of how valuable it is in the garden. Compost makes the soil fertile, prevents soil compaction, promotes good drainage, attracts earthworms, and can transform poor soil into good soil. It’s the one thing all gardeners need and you can make your own fast and easy with this cheap compost tumbler. You may also like to check out homemade worm composting bins.

Under $50 Compost Tumbler
Under $50 Compost Tumbler, Image via: HGTV

21- Recycled Cable Drum

Free is always a good price and recycling is always good for the planet. Combine them and you can build a free DIY compost tumbler that creates free plant food.

Cable drums, also called spools, are typically not re-used and can be recycled into many useful items. These detailed plans will show you how to recycle a large cable drum into a DIY rotating compost bin by Instructables.

A large yard and garden needs a large receptacle to hold all the organic material until it decomposes. This large tumbler can hold a large quantity of fallen tree leaves, grass clippings, small twigs, dead garden plants, and much more.

It’s easy to turn and will enable you to make large amounts of compost for your large garden and landscape plants.

DIY rotating compost bin
Recycled Cable Drum, Image via: Instructables

22- A Frame Compost Tumbler

This DIY compost tumbler on youtube is made differently than most of the other designs. The compost barrel is easy to empty when the compost is ready and easy to refill with raw organic material.

Watch this YouTube video to discover how to build an A frame compost tumbler that will generate compost fast and easy. A gardener can never have too much compost and to keep the food scraps and garden waste decomposing quickly is essential.

This unusual rotating compost bin will keep the organic waste material well aerated and mixed so the nutrient rich compost will be ready quickly. If you have some scrap lumber and a plastic 55 gallon barrel on hand, the build will be very cheap.

23- Pickle Barrel Composter

Learn how to make a composter from a recycled pickle barrel in this Youtube video. The building project is fast and easy and transforming raw material into finished compost is also fast and easy with this rotating bin.

Gardeners need compost fast to keep their hungry plants well fed and this DIY compost tumbler will promote the fast decomposition of the raw organic material. The wheels make the pickle barrel easy to turn so the organic material inside the barrel is thoroughly mixed and well aerated with each turn.

Pickle barrels, or any food grade plastic 55 gallon barrel, are cheap or free to obtain and make perfect rotating compost bins.


Since you have twenty three diy compost tumbler plans we have shown you above which will guide you on how to make them, you have ample opportunity to choose the one that suits your household. Not only you could save money but also you will have the satisfaction that you made it yourself. On top of all, you will get the compost necessary to get your plants to grow well.

Based upon some of the most common questions asked I have prepared a questionnaire. 


What is the difference between a compost bin and a compost tumbler?

The compost bin is an open still container unlike tumblers that are sealed and rotate from time to time. Compost tumblers are durable and expensive as compared to tumblers. Tumbler produces heat quickly that speeds up the process of composting. There is also a difference between their size, mobility and cost.

Do you need worms for a compost tumbler?

Adding worms in the tumbler is optional and not necessary. Some gardeners say it will speed up the composting process such as Certain types of worms, like red wigglers do. While some suggested not to use earthworms in tumblers as they will not feel comfortable as a result cannot digest food and provide nutrients for plants.

How long do compost worms last?

The compost worms can live and survive upto one year. If any of the worms dies you can’t find them as their body has 90% water. They become part of compost and new worms come to do the composting process.

What are the three types of composters?

There are three types of composters such as aerobic, vermicompost and anaerobic. Each of them has its pros and cons. Their selection depends upon your preference of material, available space you have and climate as well.

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

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