Compost Bin from Pallet Timber

wooden box beside grey timber potting table

A large bin or composting bay system could be made using whole pallets but by dismantling them bins can be made in the size or shape to fit your needs.

I wanted a bin about 500mm wide to fit beside the potting bench for spent potting mix, used cuttings etc. which gave me the opportunity to try making one to suit from previously dismantled heat-treated pallets.


The process was quite simple:

dismantled heat treated pallet

Dismantle the pallet/s

Calculate the materials for the size required:

I had decided on 500mm x 500mm and about the same for height. 6 boards high gave me 530mm – great! Therefore I needed 24 boards, 500mm long and four corner posts 530 mm long.

pallet timber cut to size for a project

Cut the timber to size: the sides, front and rear were made by cutting the slats into 500 mm lengths and the corner braces from the base boards.


timber board nailed to two supports

Make the sides by nailing the boards to the corner posts (you could use screws)

two sides of a wooden box, one laying, one standing

two sides made, one lying down, one standing up (out of the way)

timber box made from pallet wood under construction

Join the two sides together by adding the back boards.

old timber, roughly cut

Make sure you attach to the corner post not the side boards

timber box made from pallet wood under construction

Sides and back done, now add the front. Start at the top, in line with side boards but don’t attach the two lowest boards, these form the door.

wooden box under construction

Bin made, except for the door. Trim the corner posts to size.

Make the door

line for cutting timber marked in pencil

Mark the inside of the bottom two boards to show where the corner posts are.

two pieces of timber braced together with shorter pieces

Take the two slats and join them on the inside – the material used to join them needs to be inside the post mark. This forms the access door.

timber box made from pallet wood under construction

Finished bin with finished door. All that’s left to do is to fix the door in place and move the bin to its final position.

old pieces of timber screwed to frame

Secure the door. The simplest method is to screw the door on using exterior grade screws

A simple bin at no financial cost. The nails were also reclaimed from the dismantling and the screws left over from a previous project.

A top, if required, could be made like the sides, or use a piece of board, a canvas tarp, hessian bag, or similar, tailored to your requirement. I am using an upturned shallow tray I use when working at the bench.

Only hand tools were used in this project so no electricity was required.

You can paint it or leave it – the timber has been heat treated so should withstand the weather.

Hope that helps!
Mark 🍅

Mark is available to help you plan, prepare, measure and complete your DIY project. A free consultation of up to 30 minutes by Zoom, FaceTime, or phone is available. If you need more than 30 minutes, the consultation fee for the project will be negotiated between you and Mark depending on the size of the project.
Please note that Mark is not available to build the project for you. Instead, the aim is to teach you the skills you need to get the job done yourself.
If you live in the area around Emu Heights, New South Wales, Mark can come to your site (Tuesday to Saturday).
Please use the contact form on this website to get in touch with Mark.


Published by Lynne

I'm one half of the partnership that owns "Hillside Homegrown and Handmade". We teach people how to develop food security by growing some of their own, learn basic handy-person skills to complete their own DIY projects and to live in a manner which is more sustainable for themselves, their families and the earth.

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