Water Fountain

Update: August 4, 2013
This little project completed on a whim has received a lot of unexpected attention. So far on Hometalk it has received well over 16,000 views!  I’m thrilled so many of you think my little water fountain is a great addition to your garden and that you found my tutorial to be very helpful.  This puts a huge smile on my face and I’d love to see photos of your creations!
~ Marie

I wanted to have a unique water fountain on our deck. There were many stunning ones that struck my fancy but being a Frugalista, I wasn’t willing to pay the price. Now I could have waited until mid August when they typically go on sale but that would require P A T I E N C E. What the heck is that!


So, we’ve had these three flower pots kicking around, like forever. Inspired by some of the DIY fountains I’ve seen on Pinterest and Hometalk, we decided to give this a whirl.

I cannot tell a lie, we had several frustrating botched attempts with this project. Rocks that were too small and kept plugging the pump. A spray nozzle that overflowed onto the deck. Painting a large bowl to catch the overflow but the paint peeled despite several coats of a protective finish. A chunk breaking off one of the pots while trying to make a hole in the bottom to accommodate the pump….shhhhhh…with a hammer. Oh well, like they say, live and learn. At least by following this tutorial you won’t make the same mistakes. You’re welcome!

In this picture we share the materials used.



NOTE:  We used a 100 GPH Pond Pump.  However, it’s important that you purchase one that can lift the water vertically to just above the height of the top flower pot.  I have been advised that it’s a good rule of thumb to purchase one rated at least 6″ higher than what you need.  If it pumps the water too high, discharge the flow reducer valve to adjust the flow to where you want it.

Notice the holes in the center of the terracotta lids? That’s what the drill is for and a ceramic drill bit. We successfully drilled holes this time and no pots were harmed in the making of this fountain!


Step 1: We sealed the hole that was made when we attempted using a large bowl for the base. Grrrrrr, hate when that happens! We epoxied a small porcelain tile to the bottom of the pot and let it cure for over 24 hours.


Step 2: We put the pump on a strong sturdy base in the center of the pot at a level where the top will be at the height you want. We used what we had on hand by cutting a strong plastic container to fit. 


Step 3: Notch out a groove in the plastic pipe to accommodate the pump’s electrical cord. 

Step 4: Set the plastic pipe over the plastic container so it rests on the bottom of the pot. This becomes your base for the next step. TIP: Make sure you cut the plastic tubing nice and straight!


Step 5:  Place the pump sprayer through the terracotta saucer and let it rest on top of the plastic pipe. NOTE: We discovered it’s better to place the terracotta saucer upside down to help conceal the lip.


Step 6:  Place the pump sprayer through the next size pot and let it rest on the terracotta saucer. Add the next plastic pipe.
NOTE: you need to pre-measure the plastic pipe to accommodate the pot heights before cutting them.


Step 7:  Place the pump spray through the next size terracotta saucer(again, unlike the picture, turning it upside down).  This now becomes the base for the top pot. 


Step 8:  Alas, the final pot and inserting the nozzle head onto the pump sprayer.


Step 9:  Add river rock onto each saucer until the terracotta is completely concealed. Make sure you use a combination of large and small rocks.  You want the large rocks to fill in the void between the saucer and the pot.  The small rocks will help to conceal the saucer.  Fill the bottom pot with water and plug it in.  Ta Da!

Plant Pot Water Fountain


And there you have it, an inexpensive DIY water fountain for a deck, patio, or apartment balcony!