How To Make a Rain Barrel


A rain barrel fitted beneath your roof or downspout can collect hundreds of gallons of water every year. A 1,000-square-foot roof will provide around 600 gallons of water for every inch of rain. While not suitable for drinking, lawns and gardens can benefit from the collected water and help the homeowner save money by reducing the monthly water bill.

Step 1

Drill a hole, using the drill with the 7/8 bit, 2 to 3 inches above the bottom of the food-grade plastic barrel.

Step 2

Slice the 1-inch flat washer of the screw threads of the water faucet and then slide on the rubber gasket washer.

Step 3

Insert the faucet assembly into the hole and secure it in place using silicone.

Step 4

Make a square using 18-inch-long 1-by-2-inch lumber boards and secure the corners to each other using 2-inch brads.

Step 5

Cut the aluminum screen and the chicken wire into 24-inch squares.

Step 6

Stretch the chicken wire over the wooden square and secure it with a staple every 2 to 3 inches.

Step 7

Stretch the aluminum screen over the chicken wire and secure it in place.

Step 8

Place the rain barrel on cinder blocks beneath a downspout off your roof or other location where you can collect the water.

Step 9

Use the water faucet to drain water from the barrel to water lawns or the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • 55-gallon food-grade plastic barrel
  • Drill with 7/8-inch bit
  • 3/4-inch copper water faucet
  • 1-inch flat washer
  • 3/4-inch rubber gasket washer
  • Silicone and caulking gun
  • 4 1-by-2 inch lumber boards, 18 inches long
  • Brad nailer and 2-inch brads
  • Wire cutters
  • Aluminum screen
  • Chicken wire
  • Staple gun and staples
  • 4 cinder blocks


  • "The Encyclopedia of Country Living"; Carla Emery; 2008
  • "Storey's Basic Country Skills"; John and Martha Storey; 1999
  • Missouri State University: How to Make a Rain Barrel (PDF)
Keywords: homemade rain barrel, rain collection, rain collection containers

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.