How to Make a Water Fountain Using a Clay Pot


Making your own water fountain using a clay pot can be a fun weekend project that is usually inexpensive. Even small water fountains can make a big impact on the ambiance of your landscape, adding a pleasing background noise of tinkling water. Select a glazed, sealed clay pot that is wider than it is tall. Remember to choose a spot for your clay pot fountain that is close enough to an outdoor electrical outlet so you can plug in the pump. You can also use a solar-powered pump, but these are more expensive.

Step 1

Dig a depression about 2 to 6 inches deep into the ground where you want your clay pot fountain to be located. The depression will allow your clay pot to rest slightly on its side, at about a 45-degree angle.

Step 2

Dig a hole for the reservoir that is the same size as the 3- to 5-gallon bucket. Place the bucket into the hole, ensuring that the lip of the bucket is at ground level or slightly below.

Step 3

Set the submersible pump into the bottom of the reservoir bucket. Attach one end of the tubing to the pump and lay the rest of the tubing on the ground next to the reservoir.

Step 4

Cut a piece of chicken wire using wire cutters. Make the piece about 2- to 3-feet long and wide, so that the chicken wire covers the top of the reservoir bucket with some overlap on the ground.

Step 5

Thread the tubing through the chicken wire closest to where your clay pot will sit, and place the chicken wire over the reservoir. Set the clay pot in the depression that you made in the ground and angle the pot on its side at a 45-degree angle.

Step 6

Insert the tubing through the drainage hole in the bottom of the clay pot. Pull the tubing through the drainage hole into the inside of the pot until you've used up all the slack. Cut off the excess tubing, leaving less than 4 inches of tubing sticking up in the inside of the pot through the drainage hole.

Step 7

Stack decorative stones or river rocks over the chicken wire. Place enough rocks to conceal the chicken wire and reservoir completely.

Step 8

Seal any additional drainage holes using plumber's putty. Seal around the drainage hole through which the tubing is threaded using silicone caulk.

Step 9

Fill both the reservoir bucket and the clay pot with water. Plug in and turn on the submersible pump. If necessary, adjust the river rocks to ensure that all the running water goes into the reservoir bucket only.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bend down the outer edges of the chicken wire using pliers to avoid any accidental injuries from walking on the chicken wire.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • 3- to 5-gallon bucket
  • Submersible pump
  • Tubing, 8-feet long minimum, diameter matching pump
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Large clay pot
  • Decorative stones or river rocks
  • Plumber's putty
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Clear acrylic sealant
  • Aquatic plants (optional)


  • Garden Gate Magazine: Build a Fountain / Container Combination

Who Can Help

  • Marigold Lane: How to Make a Simple Outdoor Fountain
  • Super Home Ideas: How to Make an Outdoor Fountain with Clay Pots
Keywords: clay pot fountain, small water fountain, homemade water fountain

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.