DIY Decorative Garbage Can Enclosure

Written by jessica williams
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DIY Decorative Garbage Can Enclosure
Improve the appearance of trash day by keeping your cans in a DIY decorative enclosure. (dustbin image by Nino Pavisic from

Admittedly, having a trash pickup day where all you're required to do is roll your green can to the side of the road is a convenience. However, having your streets scattered with loose debris and bulky trash receptacles can be an eyesore. Several garden companies and home improvement stores sell dustbin enclosures---both for pest prevention and aesthetics. They also sell the supplies to build your own decorative dustbin enclosure, typically for less.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 x 4 inch boards
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Wooden lattice
  • Paint
  • Hinges
  • Screw
  • Screwdriver
  • L-brackets

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  1. 1

    Build a base for your garbage can enclosure. Since most curb-appropriate trash bins are smaller at the bottom, set your can upside down on the ground. Arrange 2x4s around it to determine how large the base of your enclosure needs to be for your entire can to fit inside. Cut your 2x4s to size and secure them at the four corners with hammer and nails. If you are storing two dustbins, the base will likely take the shape of a rectangle. One can should easily fit on a square base.

  2. 2

    Nail 2x4s across the top of the framed base to create a floor. Secure the boards to the frame, side by side, using a hammer and nails. Insert at least one nail on each end of each floor board. Be sure to leave at least 1/8 of an inch of space between each plank for drainage.

  3. 3

    Cut your lattice. Be sure you have enough lattice to create four walls and a top for your enclosure. Measure the trash receptacle before cutting the lattice to make sure the can will fit down into the enclosure. For example, if your dustbin stands 2 ½ feet tall, make sure the height of your lattice wall sections is at least 3 to 3 ½ feet. If your base measures 3 feet by 3 feet, the sheet of lattice you cut for the top should be no smaller.

  4. 4

    Paint the lattice a colour that complements your home's hues. Consider painting the wooden base, too, so the components will match.

  5. 5

    Secure the four lattice walls to the base. Set the base against a flat, vertical surface, such as the wall of a shed. Lean one of the lattice walls against the vertical surface, flush with one edge of the base. This should allow you to balance the base and wall while securing them with screws and L-brackets. Fasten all four walls to the base in this fashion. Use at least two L-brackets per wall, one on each corner.

  6. 6

    Attach the top section of lattice to the four walls with at least two hinges on one side. You will need to be able to lift the cans in and out of the enclosure regularly, so be sure you can hinge the top lattice portion back and forth with ease.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are concerned about rain getting onto the cans, you can use a sheet of corrugated plastic for the top, as opposed to open lattice.
  • If you are building an enclosure due to pests, such as raccoons or possums, consider adding a lock to the top. If the problem is grave, solid wooden walls may be more of a deterrent than lattice.
  • Weathering wood will eventually warp and experience damage; consider sealing the enclosure against the elements.
  • If you are unable to lift heavy objects in and out of the enclosure, hinge the front wall instead of the top. This way, the front will hinge open like a traditional gate allowing you to insert your dustbins with minimal lifting.

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