In the So Many Fairies story “The Dirty Dusty Gnome,” we find out that gnomes love soil and they love to make compost. They also love to come into dirty houses and rooms and look for discarded things like socks and lint and apple cores and banana peels.
In this story, Buddy loses his favorite toy under his bed and has a dream about it being brought outside by the gnome in his room to become part of the earth again. When he wakes, he doesn’t want this to happen and makes a change for the better.
This compost bin is all about cleaning up while also helping the gnomes. Since gnomes love messes and dirt we want to put all those things in an organized place so they can use them outside. The last thing you want is for a gnome to come looking for compost materials in your playroom or bedroom closet — or worse, the fridge!
I’ve created this compost bin from recycled materials you can probably find in your home right now. Do you have the weekly ads that come in the mail, an old plastic container with a lid, and some kitchen scraps? If so, you are more than halfway there. Let’s go!
- plastic container with a lid (empty yogurt container or bulk nut container)
- drill with a small drill bit
- newspaper or mailing ads
- decorative paper
Start by gathering your materials. You’ll want to drill the ventilation holes in the lid first. You can make as many as you like. I drilled about a dozen or so holes.
Next, if you have a container that is clear like this nut container, use some decorative craft paper to cover the outside in case you don’t want to see composting food and paper on your kitchen counter. Feel free to skip this step for a container that is opaque.
The last step is to take a bunch of ads or newspapers and stack them up. I put about twelve pages in a stack. Now put your container on top of them and trace around it. Cut out the shape you made and place it at the bottom of the container.
These pages act as a sponge for any liquid that might accumulate at the bottom and will prevent the compost materials from sticking to the bottom of the container.
Now fill your container with scraps! What kind of scraps? Let me suggest some:
- Kitchen food scraps (banana peels, apple cores, broccoli stems, tea bags, egg shells, coffee grounds)
- Paper without wax or plastic on it (newspaper, junk mail, used paper towels)
- Hair from hair brushes
- Dust bunnies
- Dryer lint
- Any fabrics that are natural materials (yes, you can compost cotton underwear and socks, just cut off the elastic bands first)
You’ll want to have a place outside to throw these scraps every two to three days so it won’t get smelly. I have a large five-gallon bucket where I deposit my scraps. When that is full, it goes to my friend’s giant compost pile. If you really want to please the gnomes, start a big compost pile in your backyard. They will certainly thank you!
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.