How to Build a Container Water Fountain


Planting in containers is a popular means of gardening in small spaces such as balconies, decks and tiny yards. When space is at a premium, a small container can be turned into a water fountain to add visual interest as well as sound to your small garden. Containers can be made from plastic pots, wood, or waterproofed terracotta. One of the most popular containers for a do-it-yourself water fountain is the half-whiskey barrel.

Step 1

Measure the mouth of your whiskey barrel. Purchase a polyethylene liner that is twice as large as the mouth of the barrel.

Step 2

Place the liner in the barrel, and smooth out wrinkles. Attach the liner at the mouth of the barrel with heavy duty building staples. Trim the liner around the mouth of the barrel.

Step 3

Attach your fountain head to the edge of the barrel. Popular fountain heads include fountain pump mouths and spitting fish, reptile or bird shapes. Measure the length from the fountain head's intake and the bottom of the fountain.

Step 4

Place the water pump in the bottom of the tub. Cut a piece of tubing the length of your measurement from step 3.

Step 5

Attach the tubing to the pump's outflow valve and the fountain head's inflow valve. Pull the electrical cord out of the fountain.

Step 6

Fill the fountain with water. Smooth out any wrinkles in the liner as the fountain fills.

Step 7

Plug in the pump and adjust the flow of water using a switch located on the exterior of the pump.

Things You'll Need

  • Half-whiskey barrel
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Polyethylene liner
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Fountain pump
  • Plastic tubing
  • Fountain head
  • Garden hose


  • "Gardening in Containers";Larry Hodgson;1996
  • "Landscaping for Small Spaces";Phyllis Elving;1998
  • "Garden Pools and Fountains";Veronica Lorson Fowler and Jamie Beyer;1999

Who Can Help

  • Reader's Digest: Gurgling Fountain
Keywords: homemade water feature, whisky barrel fountain, homemade fountain

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."