I was asked to try some roofing and siding products to make something for my yard. So, I decided to make two Gated Pallet Compost Bins. I added the front gates so it would be easy to scoop out compost as needed, as well as to rotate the compost piles to encourage healthy bacterial growth as well as to easily incorporate piles of new clippings.
Make a pair of Gated Pallet Compost Bins – handy as outdoor tool sheds, to hide your trash bins, or recycle bins as well.
Frame Cut List Base is 36” square; front height is 36”; rear height is 48” for roofing drainage:
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers @ 39 ½” (front vertical corner pieces)
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers @ 51 ½” (rear vertical corner pieces)
- Four 2x4” pallet stringers @ 33” (upper front and back horizontal pieces, and two additional back pieces for support, spaced 12” on center - not shown in drawing)
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers @ ~30” (cut a bit long to be sure angles are right – upper right and left pieces)
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers with forklift arches @ 36” (front and rear lower frame pieces)
- Six 2x4” pallet stringers with forklift arches @ 34 ½” long (right and left lower frame pieces, and side supports, spaced 12” on center - not shown in drawing)
Compost Bin Lid Cut List (36” wide, 33 ½” tall, hinges on either side to your preference):
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers @ 33” (top and bottom gate rails)
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers @ 26 ½”” (left and right vertical gate rails)
- Two 2x4” pallet stringers @ 30” (two cross pieces; spaced 12” on center)
- Scrap piece of 1x2” board to use as a prop stick – length depends on where you mount it
Gate Cut List (36” wide, 33 ½” tall, hinges on either side to your preference):
- Two 1x4” pallet deck boards @ 36” (left and right sides of lid)
- Four 1x4” pallet deck boards @ 28”, spaced 12” on center (four centerboards)
Siding does not have a measurement, as I did a pattern on the front panels, and then just practically sided the remaining sides.
What tools & consumables will I need to build a pair of Gated Pallet Compost Bins
- Tools to break down pallets – we used a reciprocating saw (Sawzall)
- Small punch to remove nail heads
- Utility knife
- Kitchen/heavy duty scissors
- Miter/Chop Saw
- Tape measure
- Utility scissors
- Drill & various drill bits
- Impact driver
- Ink marker (Sharpie)
- Chalk line
- Triangle Square
- Clamps (various sizes are handy)
- Wood glue (water-resistant)
- 4” outdoor deck screws
- 3” outdoor deck screws
- 1 5/8” outdoor screws
- 1 ¼” outdoor screws
- Four door hinges
- One hobby craft-sized hinge (about 1” or slightly smaller) for lid prop stick
- Three 4” bolts
- Ondura Roofing Nails & Tuftex nails
- Ondura Roofing Vent Support Foam
- Tuftex Seacoaster Vinyl panels
- Tuftex Foam Supports
How to build your own Gated Pallet Compost Bins for upcycling clippings, or as outdoor yard tool storage, trash bin concealment, or more
I broke down approximately five pallets, but some were of a lightweight style with what looked like rounded fencing slats (they held lattice at our local home supply center). We loved the almost log feel of them, but you can side your bins any way you want. I used pallet stringers with the forklift arches for two reasons: 1) easier to move with hand-holds, and 2) it just looks cool. You could substitute 2x4" boards if you chose. I attached the subframe and gate assemblies with 4” screws after pre-drilling.
Assemble the frame, gate & lid for your Gated Pallet Compost Bins
See the drawings for the cut list per section of build and cut your pieces. Double-check measurements since pallet wood isn’t consistent! I assembled the lower frame, added the vertical pieces, and then the remaining support cross pieces, installing everything with 4” screws after pre-drilling. I added more 2x4” supports, 12” on center throughout the three solid sides of the frame to support the added weight of the compost bin. Add more as you see fit. We did NOT build a bottom floor to our bins – we prefer to leave the bins open to the ground, so we get free worms, and drainage is easy.
Start adding siding onto your Gated Pallet Compost Bins. Use any materials you like, but I used pallet wood
I didn’t bother sanding anything on these pallet compost bins. However, I still wanted a LITTLE style, so I did a bit of a pattern on the fronts of the bins. I used more of that ¾” x 3” curved board that resembles fence boards, but it’s thicker in the center and thinner to the edges.
Roof and Line your Gated Pallet Compost Bins
The product is extremely easy to work with and install, which is why I went with them. The fun part was using the Seacoaster vinyl to line the bins. It cuts easily with a utility knife or heavy duty kitchen shears. We cut the panels starting at the front left corner and ran the corrugations vertically. When we got to the back corner, we purposely flexed the panel around and curved it, then started the next panel and overlapped the crowns and valleys by two crowns to keep the compost controlled.
P.S., I sorta broke the rules on these Gated Pallet Compost Bins...
Now, this is not an officially approved use of the products. Seacoaster panels are NOT intended as liners, and there’s no data that I could find on safety regarding potential leaching as it breaks down. But, as I use the compost to mulch around my flower beds, I didn’t care, and it’s a practical solution and a long-term problem-solver. Sometimes thinking out of the box to line the box is the better way to handle a problem. You probably also noticed that there are two ways to do the prop sticks for the lids, and one of the bins has hinges that are on the side. That's because my husband got involved and we started having a competition/race - which made the build, even more, fun! I personally like MY ideas, but of course...*shrugs* HA HA HA I think pallet crafting SHOULD be that fun! Check out the build-up process in the video below!