Building a Garden Fountain

Wooden planters for a garden fountain. image by Valerie Everett/


Building a tiered garden fountain with three cedar bucket planters is a simple do-it-yourself project that will add ambiance to any landscape. Minimum building skills such as the ability to cut a board and insert a screw are all that you need to complete this project. You can find materials at your local garden supply store; any shape of wooden planter will work. Just make sure that the wood is suitable for outdoor use.

Step 1

Select three wooden planters, large, medium and small. The largest bucket-style planter will be the reservoir for your fountain with the tiers composed of medium- and small-sized planters. You will stack the tiers in a stair-stepped fashion on top of the reservoir, so purchase a wide cedar plank at least 8 inches wide and 2 inches thick for the support beams. You can find fountain pumps at your local garden supply, but also check with online retailers because their selection and pricing are often better.

Step 2

Cut a 3-inch-wide, 2-inch-deep notch on the rim of the smallest planter. Cut a 4-inch-wide, 2-inch-deep notch on the rim of the medium-sized planter.

Step 3

Attach two L brackets with bracket plates and washers to the base of the medium- and small-sized planters. Place the L brackets on the opposite side of the notch so that one section of the L is flush with the bottom of the planter.

Step 4

Cut pieces of the plastic pond liner to fit inside each of the wooden planters. In the medium and small planters, the plastic liner should be level with the bottom of the notch around the perimeter. You should also cover the ledge of the notch with liner because this is where the water will flow to create the garden fountain. In the largest planter, bring the liner all the way to the top inside edge. You can use waterproof adhesive such as Liquid Nails to attach the liner to the planter.

Step 5

Cut a section of cedar plank to fit across the large and the medium size planters. The board should fit along the side, not the center, with a 2-inch gap between the edge of the board and the edge of the planter. Attach the boards to the top rim of the planters with decking screws.

Step 6

Attach the medium planter to the board over the largest planter. Attach the small planter to the support over the medium planter.

Step 7

Insert the fountain pump in the largest planter. Run the electrical cord unobtrusively over the side, between the support board and the planter. Attach plastic tubing to the fountain pump and run the tubing from the pump to the smallest planter. Hide the tubing by running it between the support board and the largest planter, behind the medium-sized planter and over the top edge of the smallest planter.

Step 8

Fill all three planters with water before you turn on the pump.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 cedar bucket planters
  • Cedar plank
  • Saw
  • 4 L brackets
  • 4 bracket plates
  • 4 metal washers
  • Decking screws
  • Screw driver
  • Pond liner
  • Waterproof adhesive
  • Fountain pump
  • Plastic tubing


  • About Fountain Pumps

Who Can Help

  • How to Cut Wood
Keywords: garden planter fountain, do-it-yourself garden fountain, wooden garden fountain

About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Photo by: Valerie Everett/