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DIY garden decoration: how to build a rustic water feature yourself from recycled wine barrels

  • DIY

Birds, butterflies and other wildlife will enjoy a rustic fountain from a wine barrel as much as you will if you build such a water feature yourself in your own garden. Indeed, fountains and gardens share a rich history, and adding an element of water to the outdoor space can beautify it. Enjoy the soothing sounds as you relax after a busy day. However, a wine barrel fountain is not just a pleasant way to relax. This is also a creative conversation piece that can add personality and style to your outdoor living area.

Use old barrels and build a water feature yourself

creative garden design with water fountain from recycled wine barrel water feature build yourself

Nothing creates a more beautiful and optimized garden area than the perfect balance of elements. Whether it’s the Eastern philosophy of feng shui or a more modern approach to design that lives closer to nature, water is an essential part of that delicate balance. To add a sense of cloistered tranquility to even the most humble backyard, you don’t have to pay for expensive designs from home and garden centers. So if you build a water feature yourself, it can give your garden an amazing new look. However, such a decorative element is not only about aesthetics. Its acoustics also help in creating a calming outdoor space.

build your own wine barrel water feature and position it in the right place as a diy garden decoration

Few small DIY projects are as beautiful and easy to make as a water feature made from rustic wine barrels. All you need here, of course, is a barrel you can find somewhere in your shed or at a flea market, some greenery, and of course a pump to get the job done. Beyond that, this can be a smart and easy start to a stylish garden makeover. First, it’s best to choose a location for your DIY garden fountain. The area needs to be sunny, have good drainage, and be close to a water and power source. Below are simple instructions that you can use as a basis for creative projects.

Instructions for DIY wine barrel water feature in the garden

reuse old objects like wine barrels as rustic decoration elements in the garden

After you find the perfect spot in the garden area, you can dig a shallow hole for the water feature and place the water reservoir in the ground. This way, you can check in advance how it will look like. You can also position your fountain or water feature on solid ground. However, for this you will need a base. You can either assemble this yourself or find it in the store.

  • Then, use a pencil to mark a straight line widthwise across the center of the barrel. Using a circular saw, cut the barrel in half, using this line as a guide. One half of the barrel will be needed for the well. Set the other half aside for a later project.
  • First, drill a hole about 3 inches in diameter on the side and 5 inches from the edge of the wine barrel. This will serve as an exit point for the cord of a pump. Then place the barrel on either the concrete blocks or pieces of wood and turn it so that the hole faces the nearest outlet.

cut a wine barrel in half, cover it with a tarpaulin and build your own water feature as a diy project


  • Place a 1.5 X 1.5 meter piece of PVC pond liner on top of the half barrel. Then push it down so that its center is in the middle of the barrel. Stretch out the liner to fit the inside of the barrel.

attach tarpaulin or netting to the edges of a barrel with a stapler and install as a base for fountains

  • Try to eliminate all the wrinkles. Using scissors, cut a small hole in the lining in line with the hole through the barrel. Staple the lining along the inside of the rim from the wine barrel, placing a staple every 8 cm. Cut off any pieces of the liner that protrude from the barrel.

After you build and set the water feature yourself

ivy vines on the edge of a diy wine barrel water feature or water fountain for backyard or outdoor use


After cutting, add just enough gravel to the barrel to cover the bottom. You can spread the rest of the gravel around the bottom of the barrel for a decorative touch. Place a pond pump with a bubbling fountain head in the center of the barrel so that it rests on the gravel. You should adjust the fountain head so that it comes up about 8 inches below the rim of the barrel. Feed the pump’s power cord through the hole in the side of the barrel and out. Cut a piece of PVC pipe about 3 inches in diameter to measure the same distance from the barrel to the power source.

build a rustic water feature yourself and make it look natural with the right plant varieties

Then, using a hand shovel, dig a shallow trench from the bottom of your barrel to the power source and run the power cable through the PVC pipe. Place the pipe in the trench and cover it with soil to hide it. Fill the fountain or water feature with enough water to just cover the top of the fountain head. Turn on the pump and adjust the flow rate of the pump to achieve the desired effect of bubbling.

Plant the converted barrel

creatively designed water fountain made of old barrel and colorful flowers grown over starfishes

Now it’s time to work with some soil and plants. You can buy a mixture of flowers and greenery and place them on the sides, but a little to the front. Then you can add, for example, 4 ivy vines, two in front and two in the back. Then fill in the remaining areas with new soil. If you want, you can add more greenery for a natural touch, as the barrel itself will look similar. It is also possible to let the greenery develop over time. Once you’ve done this, you can again cut off the remaining top sheet that sits on the fountain.

More tips and ideas

beautify backyard or garden area with water fountain made of recycled materials like barrels

The results of your creation can amaze you and your guests. Store-bought water features can also be updated with just a few new additions. This way, you can get a finished water feature without having to pay a lot of money for a brand new massive one. This is exactly what thinking outside the box is all about. Thus, you transform a rustic element into a matching garden decoration that is easy to add.

create charming and stylish diy garden decorations from sustainable materials like wine barrels

There’s also something so soothing about the sound of running water, while you can also plant new flowers each year to make your homemade water feature or fountain even more colorful. Over time, such an area can also be divided into a few smaller seating areas, which can help create a cozy feeling in the garden space. In addition, such a DIY project will help transform your outdoor space into a popular place to relax during the summer months. This will let you and your family feel the rush of summer, with children’s sports activities also increasing and neighborhood kids running around between yards.