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DIY Garden Fountain

Looking for a soothing addition to your outdoor retreat? Spring into action with this lovely fountain.

Garden Fountain

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Drill
  • 3/8" bit
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Trowel
  • File


  • 19-1/4" glazed ceramic pot
  • Water garden container fountain kit
  • 4 rubber stoppers
  • 3-ounce clear silicone adhesive sealant
  • 2 - 5-gallon plastic buckets
  • 6 bags of river rock

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Place the pot face down. Clean rough edges of the drainage holes with a file to receive the rubber plugs. Apply sealant to the sides of each plug, place the smaller end into the hole and push firmly, leaving about 1/4" extending from the hole. Apply sealant around the exposed area of the plug. Plug two additional holes in the same manner.

Step 2

Place the bucket face down. Using a drill and a 3/8" bit, make several holes in the bottom. With a utility knife, cut an additional opening along the rim of the bucket large enough to accept the power cord. Place the bucket face down inside the pot, then center the pump on top of the bucket. Thread the plug and cord through the opening in the side of the bucket. Measure the length of the cord required inside the pot for the pump once the plug and cord are threaded through the remaining hole.

Step 3

Remove the bucket and turn the pot on its side. Thread the plug and cord through the remaining hole in the pot bottom leaving the required length inside. Using a pencil, mark the cord at the desired length. Carefully place the pot face down again with the pump remaining inside and the plug and cord exposed.

Step 4

(Garden Fountain A.eps)

Drill a 3/8" hole (top to bottom) through the middle of the remaining rubber plug. Make a slit (top to bottom) in one side of the drilled plug with a utility knife. Slide the cord through the slit into the middle of the plug. The previously measured mark on the cord should be even with the surface on the bottom (small end) of the plug. Apply sealant into the slit and onto the sides of the plug and place it firmly into the remaining hole (A). Apply sealant to the exposed edges of the plug and cord opening. Wait 24 hours, then turn the pot right side up and apply sealant around the surface and edges of the rubber plugs on the inside of the pot. Allow the sealant to dry according to directions.

Step 5

Place the pot in the planting area. Use a trowel to dig a channel in the soil underneath the pot for the cord. You may want to set the pot on two rectangular paving stones for extra support. Make sure to leave a space between the pavers for the cord. Place the plastic bucket face down in the pot with the pump cord coming through the pre-cut hole in the rim, then place the pump on top (B).

Step 6

Drill several holes in the bottom and sides of a second plastic bucket. Fill the bucket with river rock and rinse with a hose to remove dust and debris. Now pour the clean gravel into the pot (C). Repeat until the surface of the gravel is approximately 2"–3" below the rim. Adjust the spout to the correct height and attach the desired nozzle.

Step 7

Using a garden hose, fill the pot with water to about 1" below the rim. Plug in the fountain and enjoy. (Note: For greater longevity, empty the fountain and store in a garage in winter.)

Step 8

Fountain in a blue ceramic pot

To use a different size and shape pot, such as this 15-inch-tall one (#485143), replace the 5-gallon bucket with a different container or stack of blocks that places the top of the fountain pump tube above the rim of the pot. (The pump measures 9-1/4 inches tall.) Then use the rubber plug method or epoxy to run the cord through the bottom and seal it from leaking.

Good to Know

By using ceramic pots of different sizes, you can create a grouping of plants around a fountain.