How to Make a Clay Pot Fountain

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Turn a glazed clay pot into a decorative fountain by adding a fountain pump, tubing and polished river rocks. The pot must be glazed and watertight on the inside, otherwise the clay will absorb the water and the fountain will leak.

Building the Fountain

You can style the fountain in numerous ways once you know how to build a basic "bubbler" fountain. The pump pushes water gently up through a tube centered in the pot, cascading over river rocks or polished glass set atop a grate inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, watertight ceramic pot or a pot glazed on the inside
  • Submersible fountain pump with tubing
  • Water
  • Smaller plant pot with hole in bottom (optional)
  • Clean rocks or brick pieces 
  • Decorative stones

Step 1: Connect the tubing.

Connect the tubing included with the pump to the pump's outlet valve. The valve should be clearly marked.

Step 2: Set the pump in the pot.

Place the pump inside the pot with the free end of the outlet tube hanging out of it. The plug end of the electrical cord should be outside the pot as well.

Step 3: Test the pump.

Fill the pot with just enough water to completely cover the water intake port on the pump. Hang the free end of the plastic tubing into the sink and plug the pump in to ensure it works properly. Adjust the water flow as desired by turning the flow knob on the pump. Unplug the pump afterward.

Step 4: Fill excess space.

Set a smaller plant pot upside down over the pump inside the larger pot if the outer pot is too deep to fill completely with rocks. Use a clean plant pot sturdy enough to support some polished stones or glass floral gems. Guide the plastic tubing through the hole in the plant pot so it sits vertically in the center of the larger pot. (This step is optional.)

Step 5: Add rocks.

Place a few clean rocks or brick pieces atop the upturned pot or the pump to fill out the bottom of the outer pot. Add decorative rocks, such as polished river stones, or glass floral gems until all but the top inch or two of the pot is full. Keep the tubing centered upright in the pot as you add rocks.

Step 6: Trim the tubing.

Trim the tube protruding from the rocks so it sticks out above the pot about an inch. Use a craft knife to cut the tubing.

Step 7: Add more water.

Add another inch or two of water to the pump.

Step 8: Set up the fountain.

Set the fountain in the desired location, and plug it in. Add water as needed.

Warning

  • Do not let the fountain run dry or it will damage the pump.

Tip

    • Pumps are rated by how many gallons of water flow through them in an hour. Choose a pump of 100 gallons per hour or less for a small tabletop fountain.  
    • Use an outdoor-rated garden pond pump if you plan to keep the fountain outdoors. Plug it into an outdoor-rated extension cord. A solar-powered pump gives you another option that requires no electrical outlets.
    • Style your fountain any way you like by covering the exposed plastic tube with copper tubing, the neck of a blue bottle or faux bamboo. 

References

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