11 Inventive DIY Fountain Ideas for Your Garden

A garden fountain brings beauty to an outdoor space and screens out the noise of the outside world. Give your yard a sense of calm (and perhaps, a resting place for thirsty birds) by building one of these DIY fountains. 
overhead view of round ceramic fountain near landscaped garden


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Elaborate fountains and the soothing sound of flowing water have long been features of celebrated gardens around the world. But even in more modest spaces, a charming fountain can be a delight for both the eyes and ears. With this collection of clever DIY fountain ideas, there’s no need to shell out for a pricey custom fountain or a prefab water feature from a home or garden center. Instead, armed with a little inspiration, you can create a beautiful fountain that will reflect your own personality.

1. Plant Pot Fountain

fountain made from plant pots in a garden
Photo: Interior Frugalista

For an almost instant homemade fountain, insert an inexpensive electric pump into a large ceramic or concrete planter, and then fill the pot with water and plug in the pump. Place your creation in a bed of low, flowering ground cover to highlight your landscaping, or install it on the deck or patio and relax to the soothing sound of tinkling water.

RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Planters

2. Bowling Ball Fountain

Fountain with ball shape on the pool of garden in the house during sunny day

If you’ve got a dusty bowling ball rattling away in the basement, you already have the crowning feature of this clever backyard fountain. To learn how to make your own bowling ball bubbler, follow the tutorial set by the Miami Valley Water Garden Society.

3. Deer-Deterrent Fountain

bamboo water fountain in garden
Photo: via Drsensei

This style of traditional bamboo fountain is commonly used in Japanese gardens to repel deer. Water streams into the bamboo receptacle, which tips when it’s full, spilling the contents and making a loud knocking sound when it hits against the rock base. The length of bamboo then tilts back into position to be filled again. Even if your backyard isn’t a local haunt for deer, you’ll enjoy the mesmerizing sound this fountain brings to your yard.

RELATED: 17 Deer-Resistant Plants, Flowers, and Shrubs

4. Watering Can Fountain

Water pours from a mounted watering can into a fountain in a backyard.

At first glance, this clever water feature looks like pure magic—but look closely! Though water appears to be pouring endlessly from the vintage watering can, the can is actually fed with water via clear tubing. To recreate this look, snake tubing up and out of the tub and back into the watering can. Once the water reaches the spout, it will spill down to the tub, only to be recirculated through the loop.

5. Wine Barrel Fountain

fountain with LED light made from wine barrel
Photo: via LightscapesLLC

A salvaged wine barrel can become your new favorite backyard focal point. This one was sterilized and deodorized with care before it was transformed, with the help of a store-bought container pump, into a delightful water feature. For extra interest, consider adding LED fountain lights and aquatic plants.

6. Rock Water Fountain

rock fountain in landscaping

Do you have kids or pets and don’t want to worry about anyone falling into your fountain? This design removes the potential dangers of a standing pool of water. Rachel at Joyful Derivatives explains how to build a DIY fountain that’s situated atop a basin that’s buried in the ground. Top it with some smooth stones and gravel, and you’re good to go!

RELATED: 10 Types of Landscaping Rocks Every Homeowner Should Know

7. Wine Bottle Fountain

water fountain in back yard made from two wine bottles
Photo: via WineBottleFountains

After you’ve polished off a few special vintages, consider repurposing the bottles into a backyard fountain. Etsy seller Wine Bottle Fountains used two wine bottles, metal tubing, and a large planter to create a water feature that evokes celebration and good cheer.

8. Bird Bath Fountain

bird bath fountain with stacked rocks
Photo: via DCNjustbecause

Etsy merchant DCNJustBecause fashioned this delightful fountain from rocks, PVC, and cement; as is his practice, some of the materials used were recycled or upcycled. We like how there’s plenty of spots for feathered friends to perch, linger, and sip a drink. Why not take a page from this artist’s book—see what kinds of materials you have lying around that might make a good basin, and perches for a bird fountain?

RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Bird Baths We Tested This Year 

9. Galvanized Tub Fountain

water fountain in galvanized tub with flowers inside

Create this adorable DIY fountain using just a galvanized tub, a solar-powered water pump, a few pond plants, and some rocks. Start by situating the tub in the desired spot in your garden and filling it halfway with water. Add a few pots of water or pond plants and situate the pump among the greenery. Cover the tops of the pots with rocks or gravel to create a pretty backdrop for the burbling water. Finally, connect the pump to the solar panel, making sure that you place the panel in a sunny spot.

RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Solar-Powered Water Pumps

10. Stacked Stone Fountain

fountain made from stacked stones

If you have leftover stepping stones from another project on your property, put them to good use by creating this DIY stone water fountain. Start by placing a submersible water pump in a basin underground. Fill the basin with enough water to cover the pump and then stack stepping stones on top of it, being mindful of aesthetics and practicality as you arrange them. Drill through the stones and thread copper pipe through them. When the pump is turned on, the water will circulate up through the pipe and stream down the stones for a beautiful effect.

RELATED: Small Backyard Ideas: 20 Spaces We Love

11. Mini Water Fountain

mini water fountain with stones

If you’ve got a small outdoor space, don’t fret! This fountain is for you. Grab an attractive ceramic bowl, a small water pump, and a few decorative rocks or stones. Then, place the nozzle of the pump in the center of the bowl, surround it with a few stones, and fill the bowl with water. The water will circulate, creating a charming mini water fountain that would be a lovely accessory on an outdoor table or a great addition to your indoor decor.