a content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Kenna's Felt Forest: worm bin DIY

Sunday, October 10, 2010

worm bin DIY

We try our best to recycle and repurpose most of our trash- striving for one bag of trash per week. We have a compost heap in the back for branches and fall leaves. And we have a vermicompost. HAD. Our worms used to reside in a makeshift, ventless Rubbermaid container that we kept in the kitchen. The worst part of this system was that we had to hand-sift the compost out each month, trying to separate the rich compost from our worms and their fragile worm eggs. Separating rotting food and worms by hand= YUCK. But alas, with no money to upgrade, our worms struggled through the winter and sadly died off in their rubbermaid prison.

Well, my husband has had his eye on this awesome "Can-O-Worms" kitchen compost bin for months, but we never seem to have the extra money to spend on it. We actually saw the Can-O-Worms worm bin in action, and it is much tidier than our current system, and the worms seem happy. As they move up, you can easily access the rich compost in the bottom trays. NICE!

Finally ready to attempt vermicomposting again, but STILL not able to afford the Can-O-Worms, I stumbled across this easy DIY online, and Hubby and I decided to give it a try. It basically described a cone-shaped felt bag with an open top and a drawstring bottom. As the worms eat their way up, you can get to the compost from the bottom, via the drawstring. The felt bag hangs from a handmade wood frame, and is very cool. I didn't want to build a frame, though, so we needed another option.

1. I headed over to Ikea and picked up the Antonius shelving rack for ten bucks. I also grabbed a clear plastic tray for the bottom to collect worm tea and store newspapers.

2. I popped over to the craft store and bought a couple yards of black felt, some white rope and a stop cord (a drawstring mechanism doohicky).

3. I used wire cutters to snip the bottom out of the mesh drawer that came with the Ikea Antonius rack. The bag hangs right through the wire drawer. This is cool because if I want to add a top to this bin, I can simply pull the worm bin out to fill it and then push it back in without removing the top.

4. Hubby sewed up a felt bag using the instructions online, creating a drawstring bottom, and some button holes along the open mouth of the bag. I affixed the top of the felt bag around the sides of the shelving rack using some cord, laced through the button holes. I like the idea that this is breathable material, that it's cheap, and that it's thick so we don't have any oozing.

Here's our finished worm bin. We're both so proud of it!!

4. About a week before I went to Ikea, I ordered a pound of worms online. They are soo cute and wriggly!! Can you see them? (be aware- worms can't ship if it's too cold, so plan accordingly.)

Once the worms arrived, we started layering worms, wet shredded newspaper, kitchen scraps, and coffee grinds. We shined a little desk lamp at the top of the pile for about a week to keep the worms underground. We didn't want them wandering off!

Live long and prosper, little worms! I'll keep you updated as to how they fare. (and how well the smell is contained, how well the felt holds up, etc. ) Stay tuned!


  1. So glad to see this! I just pulled out some extra material I have to see if I can rig one up! Thanks!

  2. Any updates as to how this worked out for you?


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