How to Build Outside Water Features with Vases & Urns


Vases and urns are good choices for components of outside water features. Both vases and urns are already water tight, so either would work as a basin, or receptacle, for the fountain. You can build a simple water feature with either a vase or an urn by adding a submersible fountain pump inside. You can also combine the two and build a more decorative water feature for your garden or backyard. Select a vase that is slightly smaller than the urn for best results.

Step 1

Cut sections of marine plywood to fit over the slatted sections of the wooden crate. Attach the plywood to the crate with decking screws. If the urn is taller than the crate as it stands on its side, stack two or more crates end to end.

Step 2

Cover the outside of the two longest sides, the bottom and one of the short sides of the crate with polished river rock. Attach the river rock to the wood with waterproof construction adhesive. Let the adhesive dry. The crate will be standing on one of the shortest sides, so there is no need to cover it with river rock.

Step 3

Coat the inside of the crate as well as the side with exposed wood with waterproof paint to protect against moisture damage. Let the paint dry.

Step 4

Place the urn outside in the desired location of the water feature. Make a bed of slate stones on one side of the urn. The stones are the platform for the crate and offer an additional layer of protection from the ground moisture. Stand the crate, wood side down, on top of the slate. Position it so that the open side is directly beside the urn. Glue the crate to the slate with waterproof construction adhesive.

Step 5

Drill a 1/2-inch hole in one side of the vase, close to the top opening. Lay the vase on its side on top of the crate. Make sure that the drilled hole on the vase is turned toward the back of the water feature and situated closer to the top of the vase. The hole is for the plastic tubing that carries water from the pump and the goal is to place it out of sight as much as possible. The hole must be positioned above the water line along the center of the vase. Glue the vase to the river rocks on top of the crate. Let the adhesive dry.

Step 6

Place the submersible fountain pump inside the urn. Run the electrical cord from the pump up and over the side of the urn closest to the crate. Cut a section of plastic tubing to fit from the bottom of the urn to the hole in the vase. Attach the tubing to the spout on the pump. Insert the other end of the tubing through the hole in the vase. Apply silicone sealant to seal the hole around the tubing.

Step 7

Fill the urn with water. Fill the vase with water, up to the point where water begins to flow from the vase, into the urn. Turn on the pump to keep the water circulating.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden crate
  • Marine plywood
  • Saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Decking screws
  • Polished river rocks
  • Waterproof construction adhesive
  • Waterproof paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Vase
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch ceramic hole drill bit
  • Urn
  • Submersible fountain pump
  • Plastic tubing
  • Scissors
  • Silicone sealant
  • Slate stones


  • Graystone Creations: Frequently Asked Questions about Fountain Pumps

Who Can Help

  • Hometips: Outdoor Water Feature Considerations
Keywords: water feature, urn fountain, vase 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.