How to Build a Barrel Fountain


A barrel fountain exudes rustic charm in your garden or backyard. Add natural bamboo stalks, slate columns, old fountain heads or a copper tubing sculpture to transform a plain barrel fountain into a focal point. You can build a barrel fountain from a half-barrel planter or a full-size barrel. Either option adds country ambiance to your property's landscape. Look for materials and supplies to build a barrel fountain at local landscaping supply or home improvement stores.

Step 1

Measure and cut the 2-inch-diameter bamboo stalks into four pieces of the following lengths: 30 inches, 26 inches, 22 inches, and 18 inches.

Step 2

Use the router to make a 1-inch-wide-by-2-inch-long notch along the top rim of each stalk. The notches will allow the water from the barrel fountain to flow from one bamboo stalk to the next. Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the 30-inch bamboo stalk, 6 inches from the end opposite the notch. Drill the hole on the side of the bamboo stalk that's opposite the notch.

Step 3

Cut three 30-inch-long sections of 20-gauge copper craft wire. Stand the two tallest bamboo stalks side by side, with the notch from the 30-inch stalk positioned directly above the 26-inch stalk. The notch on the 26-inch stalk should be facing a quarter turn away from the notch on the 30-inch stalk. Wrap one section of wire around the two stalks to join them securely together.

Step 4

Place the 22-inch bamboo stalk beside the 26-inch stalk. The notch on the 26-inch stalk should be directly above the opening of the 22-inch stalk. The notch on the 22-inch stalk should be facing a quarter turn away from the one on the 26-inch stalk and facing away from the 30-inch stalk. Connect the 22-inch stalk to the 26-inch stalk with a section of wire.

Step 5

Wire the remaining bamboo stalk to the 22-inch stalk so that the notch from the 22-inch stalk is directly above the opening. The notch on the remaining stalk should be a quarter turn away from the 22-inch stalk notch. When you've finished, the bamboo stalks should be shaped like a stair step.

Step 6

Line the inside of the barrel with plastic pond liner. Staple the liner around the inside rim of the barrel. For a half barrel, stack two concrete blocks in the center of the barrel. If you are making the water feature using a full-size barrel, stack four to five concrete blocks to elevate the bamboo stalks. Be careful not to tear the plastic liner.

Step 7

Attach the bamboo stalks to the top concrete block with waterproof construction adhesive. Let the adhesive dry.

Step 8

Feed a section of plastic tubing through the drilled hole in the 30-inch stalk. Feed the tubing up to the notch. Attach the other end of the plastic tubing to the water spout on the fountain pump. Place the pump inside the barrel.

Step 9

Fill the barrel with water. When you turn on the fountain pump, the water should cascade from the 30-inch stalk to the 26-inch stalk, then to the 22-inch stalk, then to the 18-inch stalk and finally back into the barrel.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • 4 bamboo stalks, 2 inch diameter
  • Router
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Wire cutters
  • 20-gauge copper wire
  • Barrel, half or full size
  • Plastic pond liner
  • Staple gun
  • Concrete blocks
  • Waterproof construction adhesive
  • Plastic tubing
  • Submersible fountain pump


  • Graystone Creations: Frequently Asked Questions about Fountain Pumps

Who Can Help

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Keywords: half-barrel fountain, bamboo fountain, water 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. As a content creator for Demand Studios and private clientele, Kat's work is featured on sites across the web. Kally holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.