Introduction: Worm Bin Bag for Indoor Vermicomposting and Easy Separation of Worms From Compost

Picture of Worm Bin Bag for Indoor Vermicomposting and Easy Separation of Worms From Compost

Worm composting is an easy way to turn your food waste and shredded paper into rich fertilizer for your plants. You can also feel great about keeping your food waste out of the landfill, where it turns into methane, a stinky greenhouse gas. Worm composting, on the other hand, does not stink - don't believe me? Try it yourself!

As a long-time "worm composter" or vermicomposter, I have tried many different types of worm bin systems. I've made several of those simple boxes with holes drilled in them, wood ones, rubbermaid bins, etc. and while the worms seem happy in there, I am too lazy to separate the worms from the compost that results. I've also tried those stacking type, both the homemade type and the expensive worm farm type. I like those better, but I'm still not happy with lifting out those dirty, heavy trays to get to the good stuff in the bottom tray. It always gets my clothes and basement dirty. I read about a funnel shaped, plasticized bag called the "Worm Swag", which uses a "flow-through" system of composting where your leftover food goes in at the top, the worms hang out up there, eating the food and the finished compost can be harvested from the bottom. This inspired me to make my own worm bag integrated into a table I called the Digestive Table, which can be seenhere. People emailed me, wishing this was easier for them to build themselves, so I came up with this simplified version. I call it the worm bag.

This version of the worm bag is made of wood, so you'll need some tools, a saw, a drill, a carpenter's square and a palm sander. If you don't have access to these, or you just don't feel like getting dirty, you might be interested in the laundry hamper worm bag, which only requires sewing a bag and purchasing a laundry hamper frame (around $20). Mine is a nice sturdy chrome style from the Container Store, pictured below. The bag part of this Instructable is designed for the wood frame style, so you'll need to adjust your measurements if you go with the laundry hamper frame instead. I decided to focus this Instructable on the wood frame style, because it is a little cheaper to build and more customizable.

I spent around $40 on materials. This is what you will need and the approximate cost:

$7.50 for 1.5 yards of fabric - 100% polyester felt. Ecospun from Joanne Fabrics is what I've used here because I like that it is made of post-consumer recycled bottles. I've also used landscaping fabric.
$1.79 for a package of 2 cord stops Joanne Fabrics
$2.59 for a spool of thread - 100% polyester or nylon. Cotton will disintegrate, so don't use it for this project.
$4.24 for 1 length of pine, 8' x 2" x 1"
$6.48 for 2 lengths of pine, 6' x 2" x 1
$5.00 for a Rubbermaid wash tub - or another brand that has a 12.5" x 12.5" sized tub
$5.00 ? for a 1/4" thick piece of plywood that is 20" x 15" - not really sure how much this is, since I had some around.
$3.00 ? for 16 wood screws 1 1/4" long - again I'm guessing on price here
$3.00 for some wood glue
$3.00 ? for 2.5 yards of nylon cord - I actually just used some old hiking boot laces I had around.

The finished project measures 24" tall x 20" wide and 15" deep. It will fit nicely in your home, pantry, basement or even at your office. Impress your work friends with your recycling gadget that eats coffee grounds, teabags, unwanted lunch scraps and shredded paper, turning it all into office plant fertilizer!

Step 1: Layout Your Fabric

Picture of Layout Your Fabric

We are starting with the fabric bag sewing part, then moving onto the wood construction.

The polyester felt fabric comes 72" wide and you'll need to get 1 1/2 half yards of it. The EcoSpun fabric I chose at Joanne Fabrics was only $5 a yard and I saw a lot of great colors there. I picked a dark color because I did not want the coffee grounds and other foods to show stains. I'm not sure if they would though.

This fabric is not as thick as it needs to be to strong enough to hold all the worm goodness and keep it dark enough inside for them, so it is doubled up. In the pattern youll see the basic layout and where to fold the fabric over. After folding your fabric, you will have a rectangle that is 42" x 36". Get a piece of chalk so you can map out where to cut it.

Step 2: Chalk Mark the Measurements on the Fabric

Picture of Chalk Mark the Measurements on the Fabric

Now that your fabric is folded over, we will layout the pattern seen in the previous picture. Start by marking 35" over from the longest edge (the one that is 42"). Then mark 3" down, along the other edge (the one that is 36" because the fabric is folded over). Mark 24" down that same edge. Then place the ruler or tape measure as seen in this picture to mark over 12.5" and 24.5".

Step 3: More Chalk Marking...

Picture of More Chalk Marking...

Those last 2 marks you made at 12.5" and 24.5" over are the bottom part of the bag. These marks should also be marked at 1.5" up, going towards the folded edge. Then make diagonal chalk mark lines to connect the top marking to the bottom marking as seen in the picture. I used the tape measure as a straight edge in the picture here.

Step 4: Finally Cutting That Half of the Bag and Laying Out the Identical Next Half.

Picture of Finally Cutting That Half of the Bag and Laying Out the Identical Next Half.

Layout the second half of the bag along the edge opposite of the folded edge. This can be done exactly the same way as the last layout with chalk like I did here. If you are smarter, you'll instead cut out the first one so you can use it as a pattern to cut out the second half.

Step 5: Pinning the Top and Bottom Edges for Sewing

Picture of Pinning the Top and Bottom Edges for Sewing

Okay, so I don't have an overall picture with pins in it, but the notes show you where they should go, along the top and bottom edges, except for the folded edge, which is already connected.

The detail image shows how the pins go in along one edge.

Step 6: Sew Each of the Pinned Edges (3)

Picture of Sew Each of the Pinned Edges (3)

Sew along each of the edges you just put pins into. I made a seam around 1/2' to 3/4" from each edge. No need for perfectionism here.

Step 7: Fold Each Half Inside Out and Insert Nylon Cord in Top and Bottom Edges

Picture of Fold Each Half Inside Out and Insert Nylon Cord in Top and Bottom Edges

Each sewn half is like a tube now, that should be turned inside out so the seams are on the inside. They can be stacked on top of each other now and the nylon cords (or shoelaces) can be strung through the top and bottom of the bag. The cord needs to go through each half, right next to the sewn parts and loop through, connecting both halves. See the detail image. If you are using my old shoelace method will need to tie 2 together to span the length of the top edges.

Do the same for the bottom edge and slide the cord stops onto the ends to hold them together. Do it on the top cords too.

Step 8: Pin the Sides of Bag

Picture of Pin the Sides of Bag

Put pins in the sides to prepare for sewing. There are four layers of polyester felt here - a thick chunk that needs to be held into place for the machine to tackle.

Step 9: Sew the Sides of the Bag and Turn Rightside Out - Last Step for the Bag!

Picture of Sew the Sides of the Bag and Turn Rightside Out - Last Step for the Bag!

These need to be double stitched for strength. I first made 1/4" seams on both sides, then came back and sewed another row of stitches at 1/2". Don't sew all the way to the top and bottom edge though, you have to be careful to end each side right before hitting the nylon cord. If you stitch the cord it won't cinch the bag up properly.

Once the sides are double-stitched, turn the bag rightside out to hide those seams in the inside (the worms won't mind the seams, they can't see anything). The bag part of this project is done!

Let's prepare our wood frame now.

Step 10: Cut the Wood for the Frame

Picture of Cut the Wood for the Frame

All the wood for the frame is pine that is 2" wide by 1" thick. The lengths you'll need are:

4 pieces cut to 24" for the legs
4 pieces cut to 17.5" for the long sides
4 pieces cut to 14" for the short sides

At Lowes, where I purchased the wood, it came in 6 foot, 8 foot lengths (also longer, but those won't fit in my car). I bought 1 of the 8 foot lengths, which I cut into the 4 legs that are 24". I bought 2 of the 6 foot lengths which were cut into all the pieces for the sides of the frame.

I used a chop saw to make this go fast, but this could also be done with a circular saw or a even a jigsaw if you were good about clamping and keeping your cuts straight. However you choose, you must use your safety glasses and ear protection. Or, if you purchase the wood from a big box store such as Lowes or Home Depot you can have them cut the wood for you.

Step 11: Start Assembly of Wood Frame

Picture of Start Assembly of Wood Frame

Get your drill, your drill bit, philips head driver bit, 1 1/4" screws and wood glue ready.

The drillbit is for making pilot holes before putting in the screws. Trust me, you need the pilot holes. If you are cowboy-ing it and skipping the pilot holes, don't be mad at me when your wood splits.

The pilot hole drillbit should be about 1/8", or slightly thinner than your wood screws. You'll also need a philips head driver bit to screw in the screws with your drill. Special bits that make this all go faster are a magnetic quickchange driver that fits into the drill chuck and a quickchange countersink drillbit, which will slip into the magnetic driver and drill a pilot hole at the same time as drilling a countersink divit into the wood that will allow the screw head to go in flush. It pops out of the driver magnetically, so you can pop in your philip's head bit to do the screwing part, all without undoing the drill chuck. Totally worth it! Check it out in the detail pics.

Lay out 2 of the legs (24" long wood) and one of the long sides (17.5" long wood) as seen in the main pic. Wood glue needs to be connecting the pieces that are touching, so flip the side piece upside down to apply wood glue on its ends and flip it back over.

Step 12: Drill Pilot Holes and Put in Screws

Picture of Drill Pilot Holes and Put in Screws

After glueing, you'll need to strengthen these connections with screws. In this main pic, I have clamped my wood together and am measuring my countersink drill bit for the pilot hole. I don't want the bit to go all the way through, just about an inch and and a quarter, to match the length of my screws. After measuring, drill the pilot hole. If you don't have the countersink drillbit like me, you can use a plain countersinker bit, or even just use a large drill bit to make the divet for the screw head to be flush.

Now change to the philip's head screw driver bit and put your first screw in.

Then, repeat process - pilot hole drilling and screwing - on the other side of the same stick of wood. Now you should have a U-shaped frame, open on one end. Don't attach the other piece of wood  yet, read the next step first, before completing the rectangular frame! (Thanks to jwm.herbert, for this clarifying comment).

Step 13: Squaring It Up

Picture of Squaring It Up

Use a carpenter's square (really and "L") and see if you have a right angle on both of the wood legs. If not, you can still move the wood before the glue dries.

Don't have a carpenter's square? Find something else around your house that has a right angle. A large book will do. Or the corner of a table.

Step 14: Attaching the Other Side of the First Frame and Constructing an Identical Second Frame

Picture of Attaching the Other Side of the First Frame and Constructing an Identical Second Frame

Get another piece of your 17.5" wood. This is the bottom side of your frame. Rather than put it exactly at the ends of the legs, it made more sense to me to measure up 1 inch from the bottom of the legs. It seems like it will make it stronger, plus it keeps all that extra wood surface area off of the floor. If there is a bump in the floor it would be wobbly.

Smear glue on the end pieces, flip them over, stick them down, drill your pilot holes, screw in your screws and square it all up, just as you did for the other side.

Repeat this process to make an identical flat frame as is seen in the second pic.

Step 15: Attaching the Final Sides and Entering Three-Dimensional Land

Picture of Attaching the Final Sides and Entering Three-Dimensional Land

Set your 2 flat frames on their edge, with the leg parts facing each other. You'll want to get them around 14" apart, so you can lay the 14" sides on top. Smear glue on the parts that touch, drill your pilot holes so they are going into the legs, not the ends of the other side part. Put your screws in at each point.

Step 16: Attach the Final Side Pieces to Complete the Frame!

Picture of Attach the Final Side Pieces to Complete the Frame!

Flip the frame over and attach the final 2 side pieces as shown.

Repeat the glueing, pilot-holing and screwing to put in the last 4 screws in, just as you did on the previous step.

Set it upright and you are done with constructing the frame!

Step 17: Bag Meets Frame

Picture of Bag Meets Frame

Install your handmade worm bag onto your wood frame. I did this so the side seams of the bag are diagonal to the wood frame. They fold over the top of the wood frame and get tucked to the underside of the wood.

The nylon cord is not really sewn into place, so it can slip around in the inside layers of the bag. Make sure it is right up at the edge. Cinch up your nylon cord as tight as it will go with your cord stop, making sure all of your nylon cord is under that wood lip.

While you are at it, cinch up the cord at the bottom of the bag as tight as it will go.

[Please note that it would actually make the most sense to paint the frame before installing the bag, but that is not the way I did it... I'll paint it later on and have to separate the worm filled bag from the wood frame. It works, but maybe you'll be smarter than me and do it once your wood frame is constructed. Most important is painting the lid though, because that is the part that experiences the most moisture.]

Step 18: Make (or Find) the Worm Bag Lid

Picture of Make (or Find) the Worm Bag Lid

Look around for a piece of wood or plastic that is around 20" x 15". If you use plastic you won't have to paint it, but you might not find a plastic lid that fits nice and looks good, so let's build a wood one!

I found some 1/4" thick plywood around the studio. If you find some that is thicker, that will work well too and it will be less likely to warp if you want to sit on it, or put a plant on top. But the thin lid is nice because it will be lighter weight and easier to open.

Measure out a 20" x 15" rectangle and draw a line.

Get a jig saw with a wood blade installed in it, put on your safety goggles and ear protection and make the cuts. Be careful not to cut your table or saw horse. Or your fingers.

Step 19: Sand the Edges to Avoid Splinters and Make It Pretty

Picture of Sand the Edges to Avoid Splinters and Make It Pretty

I'm using a palm sander, with 80 grit sandpaper on it and going around the get rid of splinters and round off the corners. If you don't have a palm sander you can do this by hand with a piece of sandpaper. You might get bored before your corners are rounded off, but you could certainly sand any pokey wood splinters off by hand.

Step 20: Paint or Stain the Wood Parts, Then Put It All Together

Picture of Paint or Stain the Wood Parts, Then Put It All Together

I used some leftover deck stain. It is a semi-transparent oil paint that matches my deck. I think that any paint designed to come into contact with moisture would work. Exterior paints make most sense to me. I left mine unpainted for many months and the frame did not suffer at all, only the lid, which warped from the moisture.

After the paint dries, put the bag on, the lid and the Rubbermaid dishwashing tub underneath. Now you are ready to put your worms in their styling home.

Step 21: Ready for Your Worms (and Friends of Worms).

Picture of Ready for Your Worms (and Friends of Worms).

Put your red wiggler worms into the bag. I took part of one overfilling worm bag to put into this one - with worms, partially composted materials and all. I've always had pillbugs in my worm bins and bags, so you'll see a few of those hanging out. I asked a worm professional about them once and he told me that they are "helpers of the worms". They process some of the food and getting the microbial action going that is the actual food for the worms. So I'm happy to have them around, even if they gross some people out. When the worm bag is disturbed, they do tend to crawl all over looking a bit menacing to some folks, but they settle down and find hiding places in the compost, so you eventually don't even see them. They become the hidden helpers of the worms, so don't worry about it. Even if a few escape the bag once in awhile, they just die off. They can't live in our dry world.

Why don't you see worms at the top in the first pic? Because they hate the light (ultraviolet light kills them) so they quickly burrowed down into the food stuff to hide. I turned over the material and quickly took the second detail picture so you could see them. I have red wiggler worms or Eisenia Foetida, which are great for composting situations. Don't try digging up some common Nightcrawlers out of your yard for this type of composting, they will be unhappy because they like to burrow way down into the ground and are not happy feeding at the surface of the soil like red wigglers are.

Food for worms should be about 1 inch thick at the top of their bag. All types of vegetarian leftovers make great food - wilted lettuce, stale bread, dead houseplants, coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit and veggie peelings, apple cores, melon rinds, corn husks and cobs, rabbit and chicken poop and more. Don't feed them any poop from animals that eat meat, oily things, meaty things, citrus or super rotten stuff unless you want to endure the stink that will result.

To learn more about keeping worms, and to connect with like-minded worm people, I recommend visiting or joining up with the free and friendly community at

Step 22: Layer of Shredded Paper Is Important

Picture of Layer of Shredded Paper Is Important

After feeding the worms, I always sprinkle a layer of shredded paper on top. The worms also eat this stuff and turn it into compost, but more importantly, it keeps a balance in the system. I'm convinced that my diligent paper layer is why my worm bins and bags do not become anaerobic and stinky. I'm not sure if I really know what I'm talking about with that "anaerobic" talk, but I can tell you that this shredded paper layer method works great.

I also sprinkle water on top of the shredded paper periodically to keep things moist. Worms like water and air so I follow the practice that says you should keep the worm bedding as moist as a sponge that is wet, but not dripping. Another material I've used as worm bedding is coco coir, which holds the moisture just right. I'm told this material comes from the hull of a coconut. This is useful if you buy some worms by the pound and they don't come with their own bedding and compost. You can give them a bed of coir and then put food on top, then newspaper and they have a nice, moist world to squirm around in - one that does not compact down like newspaper does when it is put in too thick. Compacted newspaper does not let the air come in.

Step 23: Put the Lid on Top, Sit on It and Wait for Compost to Happen

Picture of Put the Lid on Top, Sit on It and Wait for Compost to Happen

This kind of works as a chair, at least for this picture. More often, I use it like a small table and set things on top of it, like plants, fish food and tools.

I feed this worm bag lots of plant clippings from the Farm Fountain pictured behind me. I also feed it rabbit poop, coffee grounds and lots of shredded paper.

Step 24: Find a Nice Place to Put It

Picture of Find a Nice Place to Put It

Here is a lime green colored worm bag, living in the office of Catherine Girves, who was very instrumental in the development of this project. She is the director of the University Area Enrichment Association in Columbus, Ohio and she organized a crew of volunteers to construct many of these worm bags to "seed" our local community with the wonders of worm composting. Thanks Catherine!

Step 25: Harvest Some Compost

Picture of Harvest Some Compost

Hooray! Here is where your work will really pay off (and the unseen work of your worms). After a few weeks, open up the bottom by sliding the cord stop out and loosening the cord. Lovely, rich compost will come out. If you want more, squeeze on the bottom part or pat/hit it lightly and more will come out. If you start seeing some uncomposted parts or more than a couple of worms coming out, you should cinch it back up and wait some more weeks. Just throw the uncomposted bits and worms back up in the top of the bin.

Use this finished vermicompost to sprinkle on your houseplants and around your garden. You'll never need to buy that stinky steer manure or chemically fertilizers again!


elmejor06 (author)2017-10-02

I have made one of these "worm hotels" It has been going for about 4 Weeks now. I started by putting in one brick of coco coir and newspaper as bedding for the worms. Then I put Biowaste from our kitchen on top and I feel like slowly the worms are eating it up. I have not been layering all of our biowaste on top since I think it might be too much for the worms as they are just starting so get settled in. They are sitting outside for now since there was mold on the biowaste and a lot of fruit flys living in the "hotel" and my flatmate thought it would be better to put everything outside. Is it ok for the worms to stay outside with the hotel even in winter? Winter is mild around here about -5 degrees minimum usually above 0°C

1-2BGardening (author)2010-02-13

Re: Sciaridae infestation... these are fungus gnats. They are bothersome but harmless to humans. I get them in my house plants sometimes. To get rid of them you have to let your soil, or in this case, worm environment, dry out a little more than usual until the larvae in the soil die off. It takes awhile, be patient. Although a drenching of malathion will kill the larvae quickly I don't like to use chemicals, and you couldn't do this with the worms anyway, so I just ride it out when I get them in my plants. In fact I have an outbreak of them now near my computer, very annoying, but at least it makes me take my hands off the keyboard now and then as I swat them.

I loooove this instructable, BTW!!

amyoungs (author)1-2BGardening2017-03-18

Finally found an excellent remedy to get rid of fungus gnats that won't hurt the worms. Gnatrol,

To get rid of fungus gnats, look for "mosquito dunks" or "mosquito bits" at a hardware or gardening store. If you use the dunks, break them up very small (wear gloves!!! - REALLY) and then sprinkle them on the soil. They contain a bacteria that will kill the fungus gnat larvae.
They are harmless to humans, but you still don't want to touch them for too long, so wear gloves!

ganeshthevar (author)2016-08-04

Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge. At step 22 bed of coir is mentioned. How thick or thin should this bed of coir be?

amyoungs (author)ganeshthevar2017-03-18

I just use a full coir brick* to get the system started. It is not necessary, as wet shredded newspaper or egg crates can be used as bedding instead. The coir does a better job of retaining the right level of moisture though. You can mix bedding materials too.

BritaVG (author)2016-12-12

This is an awesome Instructable!!!
I made one right away! I have it in a nook by my sink (I can't seem to attach a picture.) I hung a light over it because my 1.5 cm long (adult size, Philippine) native worms were climbing up and drying out. Since my worms are tiny and I have but 50 that I was able to collect from my yard so far, they have just a small amount of bedding in the bottom until they slowly populate the bin.
May I ask, Amy, how many years might the felt last before it has to be replaced? Are you still using yours? Thank you so very much for doing this Instructable!

amyoungs (author)BritaVG2017-03-18

I have been using my current one for about 7 years. They last a long time, but the first one I made I tried to put through the washer and it looked a bit ragged after that so I replaced it.

elmejor06 (author)2017-03-18

I love this instructable and want to make one. I have bought fabric already but it is quite thick and I would like to know if I still need to double it. How thick is your fabric? Mine is 330g/m² which is about 5mm thick.

amyoungs (author)elmejor062017-03-18

Yes, your fabric sounds like it is thick enough already, so you would not need to double it up. The fabric I used here is the cheap thinner type. Probably 2 or 3 mm.

KathleenS41 (author)2016-01-16

At step 7 I sewed a "tunnel" about 3/4" from the top and bottom for the cord to go through so it wouldn't slide up/down the bag. Also, I first bought cord stops with only one hole and quickly realized that both ends of the cord would not fit in the one hole so I had to buy two-hole cord stops. It might be helpful to specify two-hole cord stops in the materials list.

amyoungs (author)2015-07-02

Thank you Sohails2, I hope you make your own worm bin and post a photo here for us to see it! I also have more info on worm bins over on my blog:

inga.moy (author)2015-03-23

There seems to be a small calculation mistake, I think the second measurement for the bottom of the bag should be 22.5 not 25.5.

inga.moy made it! (author)2015-03-23

I'm so excited to get my worms! Lol, never thought I would be saying that!

avie93309 (author)2009-01-05

Love this instructable! Great instructions. If only I had printed out the full direction for the frame, my hubby and I would not have ended up arguing at OSH. I copied down 8" & 6" instead of feet. After the argument, I decided to just go with the laundry hamper idea. The fabric was on sale at Joanne's for $2.99/yd so I bought enough to make 2 chutes. I cut out a square at the bottom with a vertical saw to access the chute when harvesting the future compost. I replaced the laundry hamper cover and Voila! Thank you for this great idea!

I kid you not, I built an identical one to yours. same hamper and all. before I ever saw your design. except I used a laundry bag with the adjustment already on it and cut the bottom out and stretched it over the edge. I'll post a pic. I'll make a quick instructable about it I think as I took some photos in the process.

Neat! I'm really interested in all of the various ways to do in-home composting and I'm glad I'm not the only one. I just posted a new concept called the "Worm Cozy" over on my blog here: I'm also showcasing other people's creative worm projects on there.

nashville (author)avie933092010-01-02

What a great idea, did you cut these hampers in half?

CarolynW (author)avie933092009-02-28

Hi I didn't fully understand the laundry bag one, do you make a hole underneath the laundry bin? does this laundry bin come with a cover? Does the material have to be thick?

avie93309 (author)CarolynW2009-04-11

Sorry for late response. I didn't cut a hole on the bottom - only on the back side of the bin for easy access when harvesting, also for aesthetics. The cut out area holds my gloves for harvesting & checking the wormies. This bin came w/ a cover as do most of them. I made 2 of these - I use the other to place the harvest - let it sit there for another week and wait for the baby worms. I place the baby worms back to the main one so they can make me more worms. I make compost tea with the manure using DIY Deuley's Texas Tea Brewer - happy composting

amyoungs (author)avie933092009-01-08

I like your plastic hamper innovation. Much easier than having to do all the wood construction. Plus, a decision that reduces fights with spouses is always a good one, well done! -amy

inga.moy (author)2015-03-22

how many worms should I start out with for this size set up?

amyoungs (author)inga.moy2015-03-22

A pound will work well. You can always start out with fewer and they will naturally grow the population to fit the space and the amount of food you feed. One of the best "getting started" guides is here: Good luck!

josie.hill.714 (author)2015-03-03

Hi I was hoping to get some additional ideas of other types of fabric/materials that would work for making this. I look forward to every ones input, suggestions and ideas. Thanks jm

rajiv.khalkho (author)2015-01-12


RobertGoldring (author)2014-08-20

my dad's always complaining about worms, i'm going to send him this way.

anilshenoy6 (author)2014-07-31

A test model using your design.. thank you...

anilshenoy6 (author)anilshenoy62014-07-31

usually in the other worm bins I find the worms just stay at the bottom... hope it is different in this model

amyoungs (author)anilshenoy62014-07-31

Thanks for the pics of your lovely floral worm bin bag! I hope you don't mind I reposted here for others to see too. I look forward to seeing what kind of lid you might make for this one. If you keep it really dark on the top and put the food and paper waste at the top, the worms will congregate up there.

Kyleluvspets (author)2014-04-05

you could do a smaller sized one with a shirt.

amyoungs (author)Kyleluvspets2014-04-09

Yes, you could - just make sure it is a strong shirt since it can get heavy. Over time, worms will eat cotton and other natural fibers. When you make yours, please do post it here so we can see it!

KatherineSchreiber (author)2013-09-06


tradingdazey (author)2013-02-01

I LOVE IT!!! Any luck with it? I'm gonna make it but I'm gonna raise it higher So i'm not all hunched over on the ground while harvesting. Having the bottom at waist level sounds peachy... a little rock dust helps worms digest their food. so a bit of it to start doesn't hurt.

snoop911 (author)2012-10-27

This looks great! How many pounds of bedding/food-scraps can it hold? My uncle has one of these, with draw strings at the bottom of the bag, but it seems to always leak, and so keeps a bucket underneath at all times.

Also, for bedding, every couple months he adds a mixture of Coconut Coir, grass clippings, shredded newspapers/cardboard and some manure...

I know some bedding material is unsuitable for the red wiggler worms, like perlite (which apparently is glasslike).. but does anyone have any experience with vermiculite or peat moss? Is it worth the money?

The place I'm ordering a pound of worms also sells a moisture / ph meter for $8 that could be nice to keep track and make sure its ~80% damp 6.5PH. But is this overkill?

The only part that seems like it could be a chore is separating the worm castings from the worms, from the unprocessed food-scraps, from the bedding! Any suggestions?

amyoungs (author)snoop9112012-10-28

When you first put worms into their new home they will need bedding, but after they get established, you can just add waste and you won't need to buy anything like vermiculite. To start out with, I do find coir the best to start out with since it holds the correct amount of moisture, but wet newspaper will work too. They do eventually eat up the "bedding". So, yeah, if you add more, they will just eat it up, no problem.

By the time the worms have done their eating of the food and "bedding", it has settled to the bottom of the bag, which is why it is easy to separate it from the worms. They tend to stay towards the middle and top where the food is.

I probably add a pound of food waste a week + some shredded paper on top. I'm not sure though, how many pounds it all is total though. Anyone else have estimates?

huf123 (author)2012-02-26

I use my own homemade stackable worm bin. I am interested in trying this, but I am curious. Have you had any problems with the compost packing down too much? I wasn't sure if the funnel shape would cause the compost to compact, which in turn would lead to odors. Great Instructable. Thanks.

amyoungs (author)huf1232012-02-26

Yes, the compost does compact at the end of the funnel, but since it is finished compost by the time it gets down there, it does not smell. The compacting is not usually too much trouble, unless I let it dry out too much, which makes it like a rock stuck in there. The way I have fixed this problem is to add a lot of water to wet it throughout. I poured a gallon of water through the top every couple of days until it soaked the bottom part enough to loosen it up and come out through the bottom. Now, in the winter when I know the air is drier in my house, I just add a glass of water whenever I put food in the top.

Admirabilia (author)2012-02-10

I LOVE the continuous flow system and have set up several bags for friends... the problem that i have had however is that despite efforts to trap and deter mice they are a fact of life in our old apartment and they loved the worm bag as much as i do... they chewed a door into it and made it their new nest.... GROSS!

So, sadly my progress was for naught but i am going to post up a 'step can' tutorial for those who might have similar problems.

I am converting a steel stepcan into the new vermienvironment and its sturdy construction should keep out any little critters.

cross your fingers for me, but for those of you who also co-habitate with mice on occasion, this is fair warning. :(

amyoungs (author)Admirabilia2012-02-10

That is not something I've had trouble with myself, so I appreciate your experience here. Great to hear you have invented the solution to the problem already! The stepcan conversion sounds to me as if it will provide perfect security against mice. The only thing I'd be concerned with would be aeration of the steel can. Do they make these perforated? If not, I'd recommend drilling small holes into the side of the can to allow air flow. Please do post a picture when you make it, I'd love to see it and hear how it works!

whirlygeek (author)2011-08-31

So I have a fat ton of polyester fleece from my long ago "Oh, let's make Ren Faire Outfits" phase ... will that do alright, then?

amyoungs (author)whirlygeek2011-08-31

I love the thought of the worms hanging out in a stylish, fuzzy fleece bag! It will probably be harder to sew, but it should work. As long as there is no tasty natural fibers in there, the worms won't eat it. Please post a photo when you get it done, I want to see it!

Libahunt (author)2011-08-14

So great instructable! I followed most part of it.
I am happy wormkeeper now very much thanks to this instructable which gave me courage to take them into a tiny apartment.

I thought I would briefly share my modifications too. My wormbin has wheels because I have to move things around in my little kitchen when I use my laundry machine. And with wheels it's convenient to have a "floor" for the wormtea bowl.
The frame and bag are really contrast colored so I did not want the fabric covering the rim. Solution was to use wire in a fabric tunnel and attach the wire to the frame in cornes only. It's not too perfect actually, when the bag gets heavy wire might slip over the screws holding it - needs an improvement.

amyoungs (author)Libahunt2011-08-14

Nice bin - wheels are a great addition! I also like the fabric pattern you picked because it looks like flowers and spider webs at the same time. The rim of your bag looks sturdy. I guess if it starts pulling away with weight you could just put a few screws right through the bag fabric into the wood. Maybe use some grommets to keep it from tearing. Maybe it will hold just fine as it is, too.

Thanks so much for posting the pictures of your modifications for others to see here!


shabbysquire (author)2011-05-19

Great set-up, and I like the easy continuous flow design. This beats stacking systems as you have to 'dump' & 'sort'.

fraggle313 (author)2011-03-20

Hi, the worm bin bag looks so cool. I was just wondering if it can be used outdoors. I'm from Australia and was wanting to put under my verandah outdoors. Do you have any suggestions on other materials that i can use or if the felt will still work?
Thanks great job!

amyoungs (author)fraggle3132011-03-20

It should work outside if it does not freeze where you are. The worms also don't like the direct sun baking them. The felt should hold up outside because it is plastic - polyester that is made from recycled plastic bottles. I have not tried it outside myself though. For my design I was inspired by a product called the "Australian Worm Swag" which is a huge flow through vermicomposter made of plastic that hangs from a tree. You might check into that too, to see if it would work for you or if it gives you some ideas for making your own hanging version.

fraggle313 (author)amyoungs2011-03-20

Thanks for your advice. It definately doesn't freeze here about 12 degrees (53 farenheit) lowest for about a week during winter. Probably an issue other way 30+ degree (86 farenheit) and 90-95% humidity during summer months but that is about 5 months of the year. I won't be putting directly in sun but the humidity may be an issue. Is it best to just keep it moist?

Pizzapie500 (author)2011-02-14

LOL so I tried a mini version of this with a shirt, TOTAL FAIL! The worms ate right through the shirt, luckily I put it inside a rubbermaid box so it didn't get everywhere.

amyoungs (author)Pizzapie5002011-02-14

Yeah, they love to eat cotton, wool and rayon (wood based). I guess if you use a polyester or acrylic shirt it might work, though!

gserrano701 (author)2011-02-04

Fantastic idea, job and instructable, makes me wand to do vermicomposting at home.

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