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July 23, 2009

Homemade Fountain

A really easy backyard DIY project is to make a fountain from your favorite pot. The one above is one my dad made as a present for my mom. We love its soothing sound next to their porch swing.

You'll need:
a large pot with a hole in the bottom
a location near a power source (or an extension cord)
a pump, from a hardware store or aquarium store
clear tubing or pvc, depending on the configuration and size of your parts
a bubbler or spout, which come in many different patterns
a can of sealant/clear silicone caulk
gravel or smooth river rock

The pot used in this project was sealed and glazed. If the one you choose is not watertight, you can apply a coat of acrylic masonry sealer or epoxy paint.

Rinse out the container and wash any rocks you may be using. Then, set up the pump. First attach a piece of clear vinyl tubing to the pump's outlet. Place the pump on the bottom of the container and place a few rocks around it to hold it in place. Run the pump's cord out through the drain hole in the bottom of the container, then use silicone caulk to completely seal around it, so that the container is watertight. Hook the pump up to the bubbler or spout using pvc or clear vinyl tubing. Use rocks to hold everything in place. If your pot is especially large or tall, you can fill some of the volume with a concrete block, then set up the pump on top of that. This will reduce the amount of water necessary to keep your fountain full.

Once fully assembled, add water and test. Fill the container with water to only slightly higher than the pump when you're testing it. Plug in the pump and check that the water moves smoothly through the tubing. Whenever the pump makes a humming sound, add more water. Once assured everything's working properly, you can fill higher to the level you'd like. Just make sure there's room for evaporation without endangering the operation of your pump--if it runs dry, it will burn out and require replacement.

Once assembled and working, visit a local nursery for water plants to embellish.

For more information, check out this article:
or do your own google search, and let me know where you find helpful advice.

An in-ground water feature has different considerations, but I wanted to share the fountain I built in my own backyard as well. I'll consider covering that in a separate post in the future, but here's a photo:

Have you ever made your own fountain, or built an in-ground water feature in your yard? Leave me a comment below, or email me pictures and I'll add them to this post!

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