How to Make a Fountain Out of a Pot

Things You'll Need

  • Waterproof pot

  • Distilled or filtered water, if available

  • Small fountain pump

  • Electrical outlet near the desired fountain location

  • Shells or polished stones

  • Ceramic figure, if desired

Unlike powerful outdoor fountains, a pot fountain won't splash.

Making a fountain provides the satisfaction of designing a custom water feature for your home. Fountains provide a soothing background sound and a lively focal point for any room of the house. Though it may seem complicated, creating a fountain requires only basic supplies and an hour of your time. An indoor fountain circulates water that you add to the pot, so you don't need to do any plumbing. Make a fountain in any size or color to complement your décor.

Step 1

Clean the pot and the stones or shells with regular dish soap. Rinse them well. Only use items with a hard surface in a fountain, avoid sandstone or shells with loose bits on them as debris can damage the pump.

Step 2

Put an inch of water in the pot. Distilled or filtered water will help reduce mineral deposits in the fountain. It's fine to use tap water if that's all you have.

Step 3

Read all the directions for the fountain pump. If the pump has a power switch, set it at "On." Don't plug the water pump in yet. If the pump offers a flow setting, set it to the middle.

Step 4

Place the pump in the middle of the pot. Push down on it lightly to engage the suction cups, if it has them. For an asymmetrical fountain design, set the pump to one side.

Step 5

Add shells or rocks to the pot fountain to hide the pump. Keep the rocks or shells away from the pump vents. Place the most decorative shells or stones closest to the top where they will show. Keep the hole on the top of the water pump clear. Add a figurine to the fountain, if desired.

Step 6

Fill the pot to within an inch of its rim. If it's a deep pot, use a lower water level, so that the pump casing has 1/2 inch to 2 inches of water over the top of it.

Step 7

Place the pot fountain on a sturdy surface, such as a table, desk, dresser or strong shelf. Plug the fountain into a power outlet.


Add water at least once a week to keep the pump covered. Wash the pot, the pump and all the items from the fountain monthly. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to deter algae. Run the fountain as many hours a day as possible to prevent stagnation and sliminess. Flush the pump under running water if it makes any unusual sound. For a deep pot fountain, if you want a high water level, buy a tube to insert in the hole in the top of the pump casing.


Terracotta and unglazed clay pots can seep water. Enamel pots with chips may rust. Avoid using them for fountains, or place them on waterproof surfaces to avoid damaging furniture. Usually a pot fountain with a small pump won't splash onto surfaces. Test the fountain on a counter first, before placing it on wood or fabric that could be damaged by water.