Ideas for Homemade Water Fountains

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A small water fountain can be a delightful surprise in a corner of your garden.
A small water fountain can be a delightful surprise in a corner of your garden. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A homemade water fountain is a low-tech, low maintenance project you can take on yourself using virtually any watertight container as the fountain base. Plan the fountain as the focal point of a garden or entry or as a relaxing audible addition to a foyer or living room. Outdoors, a homemade fountain may be a welcome stop for thirsty butterflies and birds. For best results, use a pump designed for a fountain. A solar-powered pump allows you to install an outdoor fountain without an exterior outlet.

One-Pot Fountain

The world’s easiest homemade fountain requires a pot, some pretty rocks and a pump. A large ceramic pot can sit anywhere within reach of a power outlet for the pump cord, inside or outside your home. It should be a sealed pot with no drain hole in the bottom. Glazed ceramic will look good and last a long time without molding or leaking. Just place the pot where you want it, set the pump in the pot, run a flexible hose or pipe from the pump to just under the pot rim and top it with a bubbler fountain head. Fill the pot with decorative river stones and water and turn on the pump for an instant fountain that can be repositioned at will. If using outdoors, be sure the cord is rated for outdoor use, if using a plug-in pump.

Stacked Stone Fountain

Flat stones stack to make a zen-inspired water fountain along a garden path. Buy the stones pre-drilled or drill a hole in the center of each. Pile the stones on a copper pipe that delivers water from a hidden reservoir. A pump in the underground water basin recycles the water up through the stones, where it spills over the sides, runs down to a rock-covered screen below the fountain and falls into the water reservoir. The power cord for the pump may be hidden by landscaping or buried in a shallow trench inside PVC pipe, or use a solar-pump instead.

Strawberry Pot Fountain

A collection of terra cotta pots makes a sculpted fountain to grace a patio or front walk. Use a large, shallow, glazed catch basin, a medium pot with a drain hole, a strawberry pot with a bottom drain hole and a saucer that fits snugly in the rim of the strawberry pot. Drill a hole in the center of the saucer and glue it into the rim of the strawberry pot. Drill holes around the top edge of the medium pot and notch the rim for the power cord to slide though. Place a pump with a copper water tube in the basin, the medium pot over the tube and the pump, and the strawberry pot on the medium pot. Thread the copper tube through the saucer hole, trim it to 1/2 inch above the base of the saucer and glue it in place with silicone. Wear eye protection while drilling to avoid potential injury.

Mini-Waterfall Wall

A miniature waterfall wall is simple to assemble. Set a water receptacle, deep enough to hold a small pump, within reach of a wall outlet. Place the pump and flexible water hose into the receptacle. Cut a grate to wedge exactly into the top of the water receptacle. Mark and cut a slot in the grate for a tall piece of slate. Slip the slab of slate into the opening. Run the flexible hose up the back of the slate slab and secure it with silicone caulk so it will spill water over the front of the slate. If the slate needs support, position the pump on one side and a large rock on the other to keep it in place. Scatter some decorative pebbles on the grate so it can’t be seen.

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