Composting doesn’t have to be intimidating or difficult. Here’s an easy do it yourself composting bin you can make with your kids! It’s so cute and compact you can keep on your deck or back porch.
What You’ll Need:
- Large Storage Bin with lid (approx 18 gallon)
- Brightly Colored Craft Paints
- Clear Acrylic Sealer Spray
- Heavy Duty Knife or Power Drill
What You’ll Do:
1. Cut a series of holes about a centimeter wide and three centimeters apart, along both edges of the bin. On the bottom of the bin, cut a hole one centimeter wide and three centimeters long in two opposite corners. The compost bin will need ventilation in order to let air and moisture circulate.
2. Decorate your bin by painting flowers, grass, leaves, and even insects by using your child’s thumbprints. Once the paint is dry, in a well ventilated area, spray with the acrylic sealer to protect your painted surface from the outdoor elements.
3. Fill with your starter compost. See below for instructions. If you are using your new bin on the deck or on your patio or porch, you may want to use an extra lid as a drip pan.
Starter Compost Recipe
Line your bin with a couple of inches of clean potting soil. Dry leaves are full of nutrients and make a great addition to your potting soil. Small pieces of black and white newspaper also work well.
Vegetable and fruit scraps make a great addition to your bin. Apple cores, banana peels, potato or carrot peels are good examples. These items will add moisture too, so make sure you have plenty of dry matter to keep the moisture level from getting too high. And don’t throw out those eggshells, those work too.
Dry Matter can be dry leaves, grass clippings, or straw and even some weeds or green garden debris.
Some things you will want to avoid because they decompose slowly are: Meat, dairy, fish or bones… The smell will be unpleasant and may attract some unwanted animals to your back door! Also avoid unknown materials from the street as they may contain chemicals.
Add a layer of moist matter covered by a layer of dry matter. You’ll want to turn and mix (aerate) the content of your compost bin every 4-5 days. If you can feel heat coming from the mixture you know that your bin is working properly… Look at you! You’re composting!