Step-by-step: build a soothing fountain

Use these easy-to-follow instructions and make your own burbling fountain


Rob D. Brodman

Steps 1 - 3

 1. Dig a hole in the soil deep enough to hold the plastic bucket. Using tin snips or a drill, create a ½-in. notch in the bucket rim. Put the bucket into the hole with its rim at ground level. Set the pump in the bucket.

2. Using tin snips, cut a square opening (about ½ in. across) in the center of the mesh square.

3. Attach the plastic tube to the pump, then thread it through the center opening in the steel mesh. Position the mesh square atop the bucket. Pull out the free end of the pump's power cord; position so it exits the bucket through the cut notch.

Insert plastic tubing

Rob D. Brodman

Step 4

Slide the plastic tubing's free end through the drain hole of the large pot.


Rob D. Brodman

Step 5

Center the large pot atop the steel mesh and slide it down the tubing until it sits firmly on the mesh.

Silicone caulking

Rob D. Brodman

Steps 6 - 8

6. Put a bead of silicone caulking around the inside of the outer container. Slip the shallow bowl into the outer container, fitting its drain hole over the plastic tubing; trim the top of the tube so that its end is flush with the bottom of the shallow bowl. Make sure the bowl's rim has good contact with the caulking. Allow the caulking to dry overnight.

7. Put landscaping rocks around the pot to hide the mesh.

8. Fill the plastic bucket under the fountain with water, and turn on the pump.

Fountain in a pot

Rob D. Brodman


This fountain is made from one deep (30-in.) pot and one shallow (6-in.) pot. Each pot has a single drain hole in its bottom.

  • One 5-gal. plastic bucket, slightly wider than large pot's base diameter
  • Tin snips
  • Electric drill with a masonry bit
  • Submersible fountain pump that lifts water at least 3 ft.
  • One 2-ft. square of very sturdy expanded steel mesh
  • 42 in. of plastic tubing that fits the pump outlet
  • Two glazed ceramic containers, one smaller in diameter so it nests into the other
  • Silicone caulking
  • Stones to cover the steel mesh

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