There are many, many ways to make a compost bin. After reading in several places about making a compost bin from a huge plastic garbage can, we decided on something a bit smaller, for reasons of cost and convenience.
I started with a hammer, a nail, and a 30 gallon plastic storage bin that I got for under $10 at one of the ever-popular enormous home improvement stores. I picked this one because it was big enough to hold the recommended minimum of 18 gallons of compost. It is also 99% recycled plastic, which makes me feel even more virtuous about starting to compost.
I spent about an hour and a half pounding in the nail, pulling it out, and developing a blister on my finger that was holding the nail. It was very slow work and the holes were not very big. Oxygen is really important for compost, at least, the kind we are doing. My Handsome Husband decided to use my nail holes as guide holes to drill into the bin.
We both liked those results, and so did our little girl.
We put in a good mix of browns and greens: dried leaves, weeds from the lawn, rinsed and crushed egg shells, and banana peels. We also watered the compost with our watering can.
We have a #10 can that we keep in our fridge of compostables that accumulate during the day: apple cores, potato peels, orange peels, onion skins, dryer lint, shredded newspapers, more egg shells, more banana peels ... Every day or so, we empty it into the compost bin and stir it all up with a stick before putting the lid on again.
We are really excited to see how our compost turns out!
EDIT 2/29/2012: For an update on how our compost turned out and what we are doing with it, please visit this newer post.
Do you compost? If so, what do you use as a compost bin? If not, have you considered it?