Brooding On

DIY Composting Toilet

So, either you're convinced or curious.  Either way, welcome back to our discussion of our new composting toilet.  (If you're lost, you need to read yesterday's entry about why I built one and why you should, too). 
Most of what you need to build your own, you may already have lying around. 

So, go gather up these items:

milk or filing crate
5-gallon bucket
scrap wood for the legs
toilet seat
zip ties

Tools I used:

pocket knife
chop saw

I did have to buy the toilet seat (the cheapest plastic version I could find was $9 and change); everything else we had on hand.

1.  Place your 5-gallon bucket under your crate, and using the pocket knife, score the crate just outside where the bucket is to mark where you'll cut with the saw.  You want the bucket to just fit through the hole you'll create.
2.  Remove bucket and use jigsaw to cut along the line you made, creating a circular opening for the bucket.
3. Using the chop saw, cut the 4 legs to a length that just allows the bucket to peek above about a 1/2 inch.  I think I cut my legs 14.5" long.  (I spray-painted mine black to match the crate with paint I already had; while this does make for a nicer looking backyard 5-gallon-bucket pot, it's not a necessary step.  :)

4.  Attach the legs by threading zipties through the crate and tightening them around the legs.  Use scissors to snip off excess.  My zip ties happened to be black (how fortuitous!), so they are difficult to see, even in a photo.  Sorry.

5.  Attach your toilet seat.  My crate didn't have holes where I needed them, so I had to drill some.

6.  Set your finished toilet over the bucket and you're ready to go! 

I think we may add a toilet paper holder to the side, but I'll have to check the store for my options on that.  Since this crate lived a previous life in my high school English classoom, I removed a label from the front that read "Makeup Work."  I suggested we replace it with another one that says "Making Doo."  That idea was immediately shot down by very literal Girl 1 who was quick to point out that it doesn't work because we'll only use ours for #1.  Oh, well.

By the way, Little Boy is definitely the biggest fan of the potty thus far.  In fact, my plan to cut down on the flies let into the house when he runs in for a quick potty break is totally backfiring on me.  He's actually making extra trips outside just so that he can use the new toilet!  What is it with boys and al fresco urination?

I didn't take pictures during the process, so my explanations may be difficult to follow.  Please message me or comment with any questions.