How to Make a Rain Gauge Instrument


Knowing your weekly rainfall is valuable information for gardeners. Most vegetable gardens need at least one inch of water per week, so knowing your current rainfall amount will help you to determine how much you need to water your garden. A homemade rainfall gauge is an easy way to quickly see how much water your garden has received from recent showers.

Step 1

Clean the glass jar thoroughly and remove any labels or glue that it might have. Set the jar on a flat surface. Hold the ruler vertically, right next to the jar. Use the paint pen to mark the sides of the jar, from 1/2 inch through two inches, in half-inch increments. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Step 2

Bend the wire hanger around the jar, making sure that the hanger holds the jar securely and that the hanger hook is free. Needle nose pliers or other pliers with small jaws may be used to help to bend the wire.

Step 3

Hang the hanger and jar on a fence or post near your garden. Make sure that the opening of the jar is as level as possible, to ensure that the correct amount of rainwater falls into the opening.

Step 4

Once a week, check your rain guage level and water the garden accordingly. After checking your gauge, empty it and dry it out for the next week.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jar, such as a canning or sauce jar
  • Wire hanger
  • Paint pen or permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Needle nose pliers


  • Homemade rain guage
Keywords: measure rain, weekly rainfall, weather project

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for, and hundreds of articles for