Water features like an outdoor wooden fountain can transform your garden into a calming oasis. Fountains add to the appeal of the outdoor space, while these bubbling installations are also great for screening out ambient noise. This is ideal for city dwellers who want their property to be as peaceful as possible. With a splashing outdoor fountain, you’ll never suspect you’re in the middle of a bustling city when you’re lounging outside. Here are some inspiring examples for your next DIY backyard project.
Table of Contents
Find inspiration and make a fountain from wood or stone yourself
Fountains are one of the best ways to add a calming effect to your favorite backyard lounge area. Unfortunately, however, commercial or store-bought water fountains can be costly and difficult to install. DIY garden fountains are a practical and cost-effective solution. Popular on social media and online design boards, there are dozens of unique and creative water features.
To narrow down the list, you can focus on specific materials that would fit in your outdoor space. So put your DIY skills to work and build your own water fountain to add character, charm and serenity to your garden area. Here are some beautiful ideas and designs that could inspire you and guide you through such a DIY project.
Build your own fountain from bamboo
The technical and original name of this style of fountain is sōzu. Sōzu is a type of shishi-odoshi (a term that translates to “deer scare”), a device designed to scare away wild animals. These fountains work by filling a bamboo cane with water, and as it does so, it tilts around its central axis and pours out the water once it is full. It swings back down as the tube empties, hitting the stone base and making a satisfying “pop.” These bamboo water features are quick, easy and enjoyable to make.
DIY water feature with stacked rocks
This DIY water fountain uses a waterproof tub, copper pipes, and a few stacked rocks to create a trickling tower of stones. There are two ways to make this fountain. For both, you need the same materials: small flat stones, pebbles, a pump, copper pipes, a composite blanket, a basin, and gravel. As one of the more complex fountains, this one requires some know-how and setup, but the results are worth the effort. The general design looks like this:
- G rave the basin in the ground.
- Place the pump in the basin and attach the pipe to the pump so that it points straight up.
- Bury the pump with gravel.
- Place the pavement on top of the basin and run the pipe through it.
- Stack rocks around the pipe.
- You can also drill holes in the center of rocks to fit over the pipe.
- Cover gaps in the terraced water feature with wide rocks and cover exposed pipe with small pebbles.
Build fountain from wood with barrels yourself
You can create a miniature bubbling pond with this fun version of an old wine barrel. You can create a wonderful little fountain by neatly cutting a barrel in half and positioning a tiny pump and sprayer inside. In addition, if you have a decorative or sufficiently disinfected barrel, you can add some small aquatic plants to create an elegant touch of foliage.
Some DIY projects recommend fish, but wine barrels are treated with cleaners, sealers and other chemicals. Even when a wine barrel is cleaned, these chemicals can leach out of the wood into the water and even kill the animals. In some DIY projects, the other half of the barrel is cut away from the front part and placed on the base of the fountain. This placement creates an attractive two-tiered fountain, with water running from the top tier into the basin below.
Create water fountain from tree trunk
When an old tree falls or you cut it down, the trunk and other wood are often chipped into mulch or burned for fuel. However, an inspiring and creative idea would be to use the tree trunk as part of a garden accent like a fountain. However, before you build a log fountain like this, you need to seal the log to make it waterproof and prevent rot. When you finish building the log fountain, it will require relatively little maintenance and will catch everyone’s eye.
Sample instructions for building fountains from wood
- First, cut the tree trunk to the height you want your fountain to be. Sand the wood at each end to create a flat surface.
- Then drill a hole in the center of the log that is slightly larger than the diameter of the pipes.
- First, treat the cut ends of the log with a wood preservative to brush or spray on. This will prevent fungal growth over time.
- Apply a weatherproof sealant for tree trunks to both ends of the trunk section. Use multiple coats if needed to provide adequate coverage and water protection.
- Dig a hole where the well will be located. Make the hole 5 inches deeper than the height of the container. Then add 5 cm of gravel to the bottom to allow for drainage.
- Place the container in the hole and a fountain pump in the center, making sure the top of the container is level with the surrounding soil.
- Dig a trench for your pump’s power cord and run the cord through a PVC conduit before filling in the trench
- Connect a ball valve with a threaded pipe adapter to the water outlet of your pump. The valve will give you control over the amount of water flowing through the well at all times.
- Cover the pump and basin with a metal grid and cut holes in the center of the grid and where the pump’s power cord exits the basin. Also cut off a rectangular portion of the screen, but do not remove it completely so that you can access the pump and valve assembly if needed.
- Feed the well pipe through the hole in the strainer and connect it to the ball valve attached to your pump.
- Treat and waterproof two to four boards and place them on either side of the pipe. Slide the cut log section over the pipe so that part of the pipe sticks out the top and the log rests on the boards.
- Apply a silicone sealant around the pipe to prevent water from seeping in.