How to Build an Outdoor Water Fountain


Outdoor water fountains add design interest to your landscape. You can easily build an outdoor fountain with terra cotta planters and saucers. Decorate the terra cotta with acrylic paints, mosaic tiles, flat-backed cabochons or glass beads to add flair to the project. You can find everything you need to build these outdoor water fountains at discount stores, craft supply stores and garden shops.

Step 1

Paint the outside of two 14-inch terra cotta planters and one 18-inch terra cotta planter saucer with acrylic paint. Let the paint dry

Step 2

Tape a stencil to the outside of the planters and saucer with painter's tape. Fill in the cutout section of the stencil with acrylics. Stenciling works best if you use a dry brush technique: dip the stencil brush into the paint, then remove most of the paint from the brush. Swirl the stencil brush over the cutout. Remove the stencil and let the acrylics dry.

Step 3

Spray a coat of exterior polyurethane over the decorated planters. The polyurethane will help the paint hold up in outdoor conditions. Let the polyurethane dry completely.

Step 4

Glue the bottoms of the decorated planters to each other with waterproof construction adhesive. Make sure that the drainage holes on each planter are lined up with each other. Stand the planters where you plan to place the outdoor water fountain.

Step 5

Place the submersible fountain pump inside the top planter. Feed the electrical or solar cord through the drainage holes of the planters. Seal the opening around the cord with silicone. Allow the silicone sealant to dry.

Step 6

Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the center of the terra cotta saucer. Drill randomly placed holes over the surface of the saucer. The holes will allow the water from the fountain spray to drain back inside the planter/reservoir, so make at least six more holes in the saucer in addition to the center hole. Make sure you only drill the holes where the saucer fits over the planter.

Step 7

Attach the fountain head extension to the pump and extend it. Fill the top planter with water. Thread the fountain head extension through the center hole of the saucer.

Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic paints
  • Stencils
  • Stencil brush
  • Painter's tape
  • Exterior polyurethane spray
  • 2 14-inch diameter terra cotta planters
  • 1 18-inch diameter terra cotta planter saucer
  • Waterproof construction adhesive
  • Submersible fountain pump
  • Silicone sealant
  • Fountain head extension
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch ceramic hole bit


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Who Can Help

  • Graystone Creations: Frequently Asked Questions about Fountain Pumps
Keywords: planter fountain, terra cotta 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. 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.