How to Make a Fountain Out of a Planter


Water fountains add a refreshing visual and aural element for any garden, deck or indoor space. All indoor or outdoor water fountains have three simple elements in common: a water reservoir, a pump and a spigot. With these basics in mind, you can create a custom fountain from almost any kind of planter and other garden items using a little ingenuity and ordinary shop tools and craft skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Planter
  • Optional: water reservoir vessel
  • Garden fountain pump
  • Plastic tubing
  • Spigot
  • Roofing tar, optional
  • Select your planter. Since you must have a place for the water to gather and circulate through the pump, determine if the planter is deep enough to hold enough water and whether it is waterproof. Determine also whether you can easily hide any pump piping coming out of the water reservoir. Smaller planters will make this difficult. If the planter will not work as a reservoir, consider mounting the planter on a suitable waterproof vessel, like a plastic tub, and draining the water into this reservoir. You can hide the reservoir from view, even underground, to preserve the illusion.

  • Calculate the pump strength needed. Garden fountain pumps come in several sizes. The number of gallons of water pumped per minute is one size factor. Pumps that process many gallons per hour are usually large and rather noisy. Garden pumps fall into another classification determined by the maximum height the pump can lift the water from the water reservoir to the spigot. This is an important measurement. If your pump is too small, it will not be able to "reach" a tall spigot. Seek the smallest pump possible that will still pump water to the desired height and reduce annoying pump noises.

  • Design the spigot. The spigot is the location and means by which the water emerges from the top of the fountain. A spigot can be an obvious "faucet" that produces a visible stream of water. It can also be a less obvious element like an invisible drip or "weep" line.

  • Submerge the pump inside the water reservoir. Add enough water to the reservoir to cover the pump plus several extra inches. Run tubing from the pump outlet to the top of the fountain and connect it to the spigot. Plug in the pump and test the system.

  • Hide or camouflage the pump and the pump power cord. Cover or camouflage any tubing. Water should appear to emerge from the spigot by magic. It is possible to drill holes into concrete to help hide cords and tubing, but be careful not to split the concrete.

  • Tune the fountain. Water fountains should create a pleasant, relaxing noise of gently bubbling water. If your fountain is loud, tune it down by adjusting the pump speed lower or constricting the supply tubes or the spigot. Break up the fall of the water with objects like stones to reduce the noise of the water as it strikes the water in the reservoir.

Tips & Warnings

  • Waterproof the inside of planters with roofing tar.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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