Skip to Content

DIY Tote Compost Bin

When moving into our home I had visions of walking through my huge vegetable garden, picking juicy tomatoes and filling my basket with tons of cucumbers and watermelons.

I decided to start small. I had my dad make two raised beds. I decided only two since I have never grown vegetables before I would get the hang of it and then expand the next year.

Well, it’s been three years and I haven’t expanded at all. Last year my crops consisted of a few beans I just ate off the vine. My tomatoes didn’t grow, my cucumbers were an inch long and dead before I could pick them.

I did worst last year than I did the year before!

So this year, I still planted but I wanted to make my garden flourish. I think one of the reasons why is my soil. I ordered top soil when the beds were made and sometimes I would sprinkle some egg shells on it. That was what my fertilizing consisted of.

This year I decided I wanted to try composting to make beautiful soil to help my garden.

I thought about purchasing a compost bin, but then decided I should just make one. I found some compost bins made out of pallets, scrap wood and a bunch of other materials.

It was one day when I was looking out our kitchen window I saw a large tote that my husband and son were using as a soccer goal sitting in the yard. I wondered it I could make a compost bin out a tote?

DIY Tote Compost

I thought it was genius! I was really onto something! So I did a quick search on Pinterest and apparently I was really late to the party.

There were a ton of tutorials on how to make a compost bin out of a tote. I found this one by Young House Love and used it as my inspiration.

Supplies Needed:

  • Large tote
  • Drill
  • Shredded cardboard
  • Dirt
  • Organic material

I first used my drill to create holes all over the tote. I did get a bit hole happy and drilled holes on all sides instead of top and bottom but I think it’s fine.

I then added shredded cardboard to the bottom and added some dirt from the raised beds.

Tote Compost Bin

Tote Compost Bin

I gathered egg shells, dryer lint, banana peels, coffee grinds, and avocado skins and threw them in.

Tote Compost Scraps

I sprayed some warm water over everything and gave the whole tote a big shake.

I continually add more scraps and mix it around every few days.

DIY Tote Compost Bin

It’s only been a few weeks but I can’t wait to start using my soil. But I do believe it really won’t be ready for about 3 months. So maybe next year’s garden will benefit from all my composting!




Sunday 10th of June 2018

I like this method and will try it. I read there were two types of compost one produces nitrogen and the other; I think it said carbon (Uses egg shells, coffee grounds). The one that is nitrogen (Uses peelings from fruit and potatoes). It looks like you combined the two that us OK? Or what your supposed to do, need both of them? What does carbon mean? Thank you.


Thursday 21st of June 2018

You need some of each to make compost! You need "greens" (fruit and veggie scraps, etc) which I believe are rich in nitrogen, and also "browns" (cardboard, eggshells, coffee groungs, etc) which provide other nutrients. I'm not sure if the exact science. But I do know that you need layers of brown and green to make compost...not just one or the other. I started a 5 gallon bucket compost bin about a month ago. I put all of my scraps in it. Everything that can be composted!! Its now full and doing great. I turn it once a week, add a little water if needed and just let it do it's thing. I've started a second bin made from a tote. It's doing well also. I hope this helps!!

Comments are closed.