DIY Compost Bucket

One day, D and I were talking about gardening and D mentioned composting (to help with the garden I eventually want to have on the balcony) She told me her parents had one in their backyard and it was very successful! So much of our waste can either be recycled or composted instead of trashed! I remembered my parents also tried composting years back. My dad and this fancy bin and worms. But, because he didn’t keep up with it the worms died and the whole attempt failed. I didn’t want to do something on a large-scale. We live in a condo – it’s not like I have a whole backyard for these projects to live! I needed something compact and I didn’t want to pay a whole bunch of money to do so! After some research on composting so that I could learn more about the composting process, I found this awesome site to make your own compost bin! A lot of my initial Google-ing showed me results for homemade trash can compost bins that you have to roll around the yard to aerate. Again, no yard. This result was just perfect. Using a container, drill holes into the lid and hot-glue a carbon filter to the lid so your compost wouldn’t start to smell. Perfect. Plus, because it’s all dependent on the size of container you choose, you can easily fit your container under the kitchen sink!

My modification? Well, why would you want an un-decorated container? You wouldn’t! So, I used that awesome technique from my wall art post – the collage of magazine clippings! I gave you fair warning and told you I obsessed about decoupage all the way home from O-town. This is just another wonderful outlet for it!

What you need:
Empty container
Package of carbon filters from your local pet supply store
Drill with 1/4″ bit
Hot glue gun
Homemade Mod Podge
Magazine clippings
Clear-coat, gloss finish water-proof sealant

Cost breakdown:
Container – free
Homemade Mod Podge – made previously
Carbon filters – $5 (for package of 2)
Clear-coat, gloss finish water-proof sealant – had some leftover from the wall art project; but, I think they run $5-$7 at an art supply store
Total cost: $5 (possible to make another bucket at no additional cost!)

What to do:
Peel off all the stickers from your recycled container (if applicable), make sure you get all the sticker goo off with something like Goo Gone. Wash with soap and warm water.

Thanks for this awesome container, work!

Trace an outline of your lid onto the carbon filter with a white gel pen or silver sharpie. Cut carbon filter a little smaller than the outline you traced so that the lid can close or screw on all the way. Your carbon filter may just fit right in there. Unfortunately, my local pet supply store only sold square ones (don’t ask me why, they also only sell those igloos that only take the round ones…no clue.).

Drill some holes in your lid. Make sure your drill is charged, or you might crack your lid a little. If you have some rough edges from the sandpaper, just smooth it with some sandpaper.

Used some sandpaper to smooth down the rough drill edges.

Use your hot glue gun or super glue to glue the carbon filter to the inside of the lid.

Yep, could’ve taken a better picture for you! Sorry!

Your compost container could be considered complete at this point. It is not a requirement to decorate the outside! If you would like to continue on to decorating, choose your colors and cut your magazine clippings!

Green. I loved the pop of the lime green and how it related to gardening.

Decoupage the outside of your container, one side at a time. After completing a side, put it face down on some wax paper and place heavy books on top to squeeze out those air bubbles. While working on this, I realized I could decoupage the opposite sides at the same time and use wax paper on both sides (between the counter and container; and between the books and container) so that the weight would work on both sides at the same time. It’s a suggestion, you can definitely work leisurely and just do a side at a time. I left my container like this for 15-20 min at a time. Continue until all sides are covered. Then, go back and do the corners.

Get rid of those bubbles!

Let everything dry for at least 24 hours. When it’s dry, spray with clear-coat, water-resistant/water-proof gloss sealant. This is very helpful because you don’t want your occasional messy and wet fingers to ruin all that beautiful decoupage!

Done! Compost bucket!

I really had a lot of fun with this project. And, it’s so useful! I think I’m going to make another one once I find another container! Enjoy and have fun!

Under the sink!

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