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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stack decorative stones or river rocks over the chicken wire. Place enough rocks to conceal the chicken wire and reservoir completely.
Seal any additional drainage holes using plumber’s putty. Seal around the drainage hole through which the tubing is threaded using silicone caulk.
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.
Things You Will Need
- 3- to 5-gallon bucket
- Submersible pump
- Tubing, 8-feet long minimum, diameter matching pump
- Chicken wire
- Wire cutters
- Large clay pot
- Decorative stones or river rocks
- Plumber's putty
- Silicone caulk
- Caulking gun
- Clear acrylic sealant
- Aquatic plants (optional)
- If you want to use an unsealed clay pot for your fountain, simply spray the inside of the clay pot with a clear acrylic sealant made for clay pots. Apply two or three coats, allowing the coats to dry between applications and letting the pot dry for at least 24 hours before adding the water.
- You can place aquatic plants, such as water lettuce, canna or water hyacinth, in your clay pot fountain. Just be sure to add a dechlorinator tablet to the water before planting.
- Bend down the outer edges of the chicken wire using pliers to avoid any accidental injuries from walking on the chicken wire.