Monthly Archives: September 2015

How to make a compost bin with a simple plastic tote

“Compost is an organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer or soil amendment.”

Thanks, Wiki. But how do you make a compost bin? A quick Pinterest search can lead to premature exhaustion and overwhelming apathy. Do not fret, you do not need to go all out to create a simple home compost bin. Thankfully, there is an easy and inexpensive way.

I’m always trying to find new, unique ways to use those plastic totes that line my basement walls. As I watched the slowly changing leaves this weekend, it hit me: compost bin.

Here is a simple step by step process on how to make a compost bin:

Take your pick

Find a plastic bin fit for the job. Whether you have on laying around or must purchase one, make sure it is tall. At least two feet. And it must have a very secure, latching lid to keep our any curious critters.

Once you have a bin picked out, grab a drill or a hammer and nail to create air holes. Put at least eight hols in the bottom of the bin and in the lid. This will allow for proper air circulation and therefore even composting.

Fill it up

Back to those leaves. If you have them, collect some dry leaves from the yard and fill a quarter of the  bin with them. You can also use newspaper for this, but I really recommend the dry leaves for a more pure compost.

Next is dirt. You can buy some for a hardware store or just dig it out of the ground at home. Either way, fill the bin with dirt until it is half full.

Scraps

Next, just add you food waste.  Every time you add waste to the bin, make sure to stir it gently with a shovel or hand spade. Then spray it lightly with water until it is moist — you do not want to make it too wet. Be gentle!

Finally, just place the DIY compost bin somewhere outside in the shade so it doesn’t dry out. Come spring, you will have the best fertilizer for your gardens. And the cycle continues!

Find products for this project and more at StacksandStacks.com.

 

 

 

How to build a cat shelter with plastic bins

Winter weather can be deadly for our feline friends.

If you’re  a cat lover like me, it can be difficult to ignore the feral kitties that come begging for food. Sometimes these felines come knocking, but for whatever reason we just cannot welcome them into our homes. That doesn’t mean we can’t help.

The colder months are creeping in on us. Whether you have feral cats that roam your yard or just prefer letting your pets explore the outdoors, plastic bins can be used to make some inexpensive, very cozy kitty homes.

How to build a cat shelter

The easiest way to create a DIY cat shelter is by stacking two different sized plastic bins. Use a large plastic bin as the main unit, cutting  entrance and exit holes. Then place the smaller bin inside and cut matching holes. From here, fill the space between the bins with your choice of insulation to help maintain body heat. Put the lid on the smaller bin and place more insulation on top. Next, put the lid on top of the large bin and – voila – kitty house!

Ideas for insulation include: blankets, foam insulation and straw. If you’re not sold on the plastic bins, consider:

  • A styrofoam cooler
  • Picnic cooler
  • Storage bins

What to keep in mind

When building an outdoor shelter for family or feral cats, remember:

  • Keep shelters away from dogs!
  • Keep shelters out of sight from any indoor cats you may have. When indoor kitties get a glimpse of other strange cats roaming around their domain, it may trigger some aggressive behavior inside the home.
  • Consider cutting two entrances so cats have an escape if confronted by opossums, raccoons or other rodents.

Photo courtesy Catster.com.

 Find a wide selection of plastic bins at StacksandStacks.com.