How to Build a Tumbling Composter

Composting is a useful activity to makes good use of spare organic materials from your household and to use them as a natural fertilizer for the nourishment of your garden, lawns and plants. However, mixing and turning the composite heap with a pitchfork or shovel requires proper effort and time. Therefore, it is better to take advantage of useful gardening equipment like a Tumbling Composter. It is used to turn and air out the organic materials, forming a rich composite.

The commercially available Tumbling Composter can be a bit expensive and contain quality issues most of the time. Therefore, it is better idea to build your own tumbling composter for a cheap and much better way. It is a simple activity and can be carried out with a few easily available items.

Things Required:

– Plastic barrel – your choice of size
– Four foot long piece of pipe – about two-inch
– Four 4x6s – each at least four feet long
– Nails
– Hand Saw
– Hammer
– Drill and drill bits
– Measuring tape
– Two hinges
– Hasp closure
– Two foot length of rebar


  • 1

    The selection of the plastic barrel matters a lot in the construction of your Tumbling Composter. Keep the size of the organic material’s pile size in mind while finalizing the barrel and select a one with a lid and base intact.

  • 2

    Now, use a hand-drill machine to bore a two-inch home right in the center of the top and base (bottom of the selected plastic barrel).

  • 3

    Pick up a pencil or marker and outline a rectangle on the external (outside) of the plastic barrel. This rectangle will act as an opening of the barrel. So it should be large enough to carry out the material’s compositing smoothly.

  • 4

    Use a handsaw to carefully cut out the outlined rectangle on the outer side of the barrel, without disturbing any of the plastic on the four sides of the hole.

  • 5

    Attach the two medium or large hinges on one side of the Tumbling composter’s door opening and then put a hasp closure on the parallel side (other side).

  • 6

    Now, cross two 3×6s in order to make an “X” and then secure the crossed pieces, using some nails and hammer. Repeat this simple activity to make another matching “X”.

  • 7

    Use a measuring tape to gauge two length of about 3×6, making sure that they are a couple inches longer than the overall height of the plastic barrel.

  • 8

    Pick up some more nails and use them to secure two pieces of wood, from about one-foot of the “X” to the another one from a brace. Now support the other foot with the other piece of 3×6.

  • 9

    Your wooden frame is all set to place the plastic barrel at the top. Ask someone for help and set the barrel along with the pipe on the top part of your wooden frame.

  • 10

    At this time slip, the piece of the rebar right through the hole that you bored earlier and use it as a handle to turn the Thumbing composter. Enjoy composting!

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