Tag Archives: diy

Rain Barrel at Work

Installed this puppy last night, just to keep it from raining all week…


I hacked into my rain spout, in a very amateurish way, and then directed the overflow tube from the barrel back into the spout. I hope it works. The broken slate tile on the top is not part of the set up, just was using it to keep the screen cover from blowing away while I was working on it.

I have the parts, and plan on tackling the two DIY barrels this weekend. Bring on the wire feed welder!

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Posted by on May 7, 2009 in going green


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Saturday Project: Slate Tile Table Top

Knocking one thing off the honey-do list this weekend. This ‘table’ is actually a spool left here by the electric company when they repaired a broken underground line last year (it was actually an under-driveway line…). They left it sit there for weeks, so I thought we could recycle it as a patio table. We’ve been using it since then, but Jaim has been wanting to spice it up a bit.

We had a bunch of broken slate tiles left over from our patio project, so it’s now becoming a slate tile topped table. I tiled it this afternoon, and I really enjoyed the work. There’s something about tile that is quiet and primitive and beautiful to me. When it can be outside and I’m using natural stone tile, I guess. Really liked chipping away at the tiles carefully with my hammer to shape them without shattering them. Planning to fill in with grout tomorrow. I’ll show you the final artwork…

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Posted by on August 2, 2008 in etc., going green


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Ready to Rot: How I Built a Compost Bin For Free

[This is a post that I started last August (2007), but for some reason didn’t finish and publish. I just ran across it recently and thought I’d wrap it up with a pretty bow for you.]

compost construction

DIY Compost Bin Construction

It’s pretty easy (and free!) to build a compost bin for your yard or garden. I built this one all with stuff I found in my garage. Inspiration for the design goes to Mike McGrath’s Book of Compost (I think–not 100% positive where the idea came from).

You will need:

  • One used 32 gallon plastic garbage can, with lid. Mine has broken handles and a couple cracks in the lid. I’ve had it for years in my garage.
  • At least four feet of plastic drainage tile/tubing. I had dozens of feet of this black, ribbed stuff from when we built our house and I tried (tirelessly) to keep the rain spouts from washing away by grass seed.
  • A utility knife
  • A hand-held drill and auger bit. No precise size–I used a bit that drills a hole a little larger than the circumference of a pencil.
  • Organic garbage to dump inside (see my recipe below).

Now the instructions are pretty simple.

  1. First, cut the drainage tube to a length that will fit level with the top of the garbage can when stood up vertically on the inside bottom of the can (see the pictures below if that doesn’t make any sense).
  2. Now drill holes all over the can, lid and tube. Space them about every couple inches; even closer on the tube. Just dot that sucker with holes.
  3. Now, stand the tube in the inside center of the can, so the top of the tube is even with the top of the can. Check to be sure the lid fits nicely, with at least a few inches between the top of the tube and the lid.
  4. Fill ‘er up and let it rot!

The tube allows air to circulate into the center of the can. This is great news, because it means you don’t have to turn or mix up your compost so often (I still mix mine once in a while).


Here’s what I threw in the can:

  • I filled the can a little over half full with brown leaves I collected at the ballpark. I also collected poison ivy during that expedition, so BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU GET YOUR LEAVES!!! While it’s fun to scare children with an elephant man face, it is Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by on June 25, 2008 in compost, going green


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