Make these up-cycled water fountains for the backyard!

Make these up-cycled water fountains for the backyard! From wine bottles, sinks, galvanized tubs and more, here's how to make a few...

Make these up-cycled water fountains for the backyard!

When I was down south last summer for the World’s Longest Yard Sale, I came upon this quirky wine bottle water fountain during our junk hunts.

I smiled, questioned the gent about where he got it from, in which he proudly replied, “I made it!”

Knowing how popular it’s become on social media after I showed it around, I wish I had sat him down to write full instructions!

But it sure is cool, huh?

Here’s a few other up-cycled water fountains that would look amazing in any backyard! Which style is your favorite?

Up-cycled water fountains for the backyard


Old kettle water fountain by Julee S on Hometalk, featured on

Kettle pouring into barrel


Kettle water fountain by Julee S on HomeTalk

… old kettles are! When I spotted this cool fountain idea, I knew I had to get it over with and make myself a water feature of some sort.

So why do I want to make a water fountain? 

Once upon a time 2 houses ago, we had a pond in our backyard. It was amazing. If you sat beside it, you felt like you were at the lake or something. It was stocked with fish, waterplants, the works. BUT… it was a whole lotta work.

But a fountain doesn’t appear to be nearly the work load. And if you desire to close it down for the winter, you can unplug and drain. I like that.

Now know, I’ve never made a water fountain before. But I figure with the right water fountain kit, guidance and junk combined, it shouldn’t be too hard, should it?

Here are a few other junky ones that totally inspired me…

Old kettle water fountain on Hometalk, featured on

Kettle pouring into a dish


Old kettle fountain by Namaws on HomeTalk

This is cool, the barrel has layered junk inside so you don’t really need anything too special. I have that old kettle!

Old sink water fountain by Old Fairfield Home and Garden, featured on

Vintage sink water fountain


Old sink water fountain by Old Fairfield Home and Garden

Isn’t this old sink fabulous?! More pictures on the site! I adore this so much.

Pouring clay pot water fountain, by Aquascape Inc., featured on

Old clay pot water fountain


Old pot fountain by Aquascape on HomeTalk

I do love this big old tipped pot.

Water fountain clipboard on Hometalk, featured on

I also have a HomeTalk Clipboard of water fountain inspiration HERE.

Now my brain’s on overdrive. Lemme see…

I envision an old clawfoot tub in the middle of a flower bed as a super easy pond… that drains! Ack! I like that.

An old sink that leaks? Cool…

Just… no toilets sprouting leaks. No thanks.

You can bet I shall be hunting for just the right thing!

Do you have a water feature in your yard? Is it a lot of upkeep?

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Categories: DIY, Junk Drawer, Outdoors
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61 thoughts on “Make these up-cycled water fountains for the backyard!

  1. I have total confidence that you can make a wonderful fountain. My husband and I have made a couple of them and we are busy planning one more. I think one of the most important things to consider is how the fountain sounds. Our first fountain had me running to the bathroom every time we turned it on. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  2. I have a lily pond in my yard. Because the plants need divided I pot the small ones up and then I dug holes in 3 different places. I put a large plastic container in the hole and filled it eith eater and planted different flowers around it. I also dug a hole and put in a large plastic container in it then I put a small pump in it and filled it with water. Over that I put a piece of metal grate and rocks. I had a fairly large rock with a hole in it so I put a piece of hose sticking out from the bottom and it looks like there is water coming out of the rock. I also have an authentic old windmill in my yard. We put an old pumpunder the wind mill and have a small stock tank in front of it. With a pump in the bottom of the stock tank it looks like water is always spilling into the tank from the pump. We love our water features and so do the birds.

  3. At our last home, my son helped me make the most beautiful pond. I miss it so much. I love the sound of water. And sitting there was so peaceful. We have a lot of things going against us at our new place but I am still brainstorming how and where I can put another one. With my last one I thought it was a lot of work until I realized that when it develops its own ecosystem you can pretty much leave it alone. All that’s needed then is to make sure it stays full and divide plants. It took about 2 years for that to happen but I think that was my fault. One summer should do it. Ponds also do so much better if they have a water fall. Which mine did. Good luck on your fountain. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  4. We have a small concrete fountain that looks like an old stump. I love it! The pump gets clogged pretty easily, especially when the cottonwood trees are blooming. Those trees are such a mess! Other than that, it’s no trouble. We just spray it with the hose every day to keep the water fresh. Good luck!

  5. Like you, my husband wanted to hear the sound of water when he sat outside on our porch. While we didn’t create one – I bought it for him – the sound is quite soothing. It’s three-tiers, just a basic fountain, but I added some rocks for interest. It isn’t alot of upkeep at all, however, I do (pretty consistently) have to add water to it. I really didn’t think of that when I bought it. It’s kind of like watering a plant – not difficult, but still another thing to do.

  6. I have a small pond without a fountain because the sound of running water is not soothing to me! Our pond always gets many frogs and I did have goldfish one year but ended up killing them all when I brought them inside for the winter 🙁 It is quite a bit of work because it gets leaves falling in it and sometimes dirt runoff from the rock garden beside it. A fountain is easy, Donna, to make out of anything! The key is the pump which sits in the water and then sends water up some tubing. Of course you need an electrical outlet hidden somewhere.

  7. Oh goodness, I just remembered I have a photo album, (you know, old school) from several Chelsey Garden Shows with some fantastic water garden ideas. I’m going to scan the photos into my Pinterest.

  8. We have a spot we want a fountain too! I have an old wooden pump that was my Grandpas and I want to have water coming through it. My hubby was hoping to get it all done last spring but it didn’t happen – may this year! I love fountains and think the work has got to be worth it 😉

  9. I don’t have a water feature because of the dogs, I don’t want them getting wet every day. But, I could make one inside the pool fence. They don’t go in there very much. I would like you to make one with junk that is not immediately recognizable. No wine bottles, no Sanford and Son stuff, just well designed Funky Junk. Then I’ll make one too!

  10. While I love a fountain on the patio, it drove my husband crazy ( to each his own). Always a person of humor, he called it the “Urination Station”. So it is no more. I gotta laugh

  11. I miss my Fountain, I had to leave it when we moved North. You do need to add water but, I always enjoyed watering my plants and starting my day with my “watering meditation” time. Love your feature fountains and think the bathtub would be fabulous!

  12. Hey Donna ~ I dug and installed a small water garden at the corner of my back porch a few years ago. If I can do it, anyone can! lol Digging down 24″ was the hardest part of it, but I completed the entire thing in two days. Rubber liner, rocks around the edges and on the shelves, pump and tubing, waterfall….and voila! Instant calm and serene oasis! 🙂 Have fun making one, girlie! Can hardly wait to see what you come up with!

    xoxo laurie

  13. These are really clever ideas, I’m really getting design inspirations here, especially the kettle fountain. It helps me get the look that I want without spending much on fountain supplies. 🙂

  14. Yes….keep it filled, so keep an eye on the water level. Consider an anti- algea product which can safely be added to the water without harm to birds or fish. It saves your pump and spares you the green gunk. And do check out solar powered pumps. I adored ours because it meant self monitoring…which was great for a forgetful gal like me!

  15. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!! My son is 4 years old and has been diagnosed with autism. Every time we would visit my grandpa at the nursing home, my son wanted to sit out by the pond & water fountain. He LOVED watching it! I have been thinking of making one this summer for our backyard, and I really have been inspired by this post! I’m eager to see what you create!!!

  16. I too love waterfalls. I saw one at a Homes and Garden show that I fell in love with. It had an old kettle at the top draining on vintage, rusty items on a chain into an old bucket. Always wanted to try it.

  17. Do you remember the name of the guy you got the inspiration fountain from?! My mom would LOVE that for her upcoming 50th!

  18. I’m from the phil, and I really like your ideas. My friends are planning to put up a junkanese garden someday.

  19. I’ve got some rocks .I’m ‘doing’ the garden. I’ve got a small space to fill.I’m gonna do a rockery with a water feature.

  20. I am in the process of making a fountain in a clawfoot bathtub. Getting ready to clean the outside, because it is rusted really bad. Trying to find some old used faucets that are still in good shape. Loved this page!

  21. I love your ideas for recycle, re-use and re-purposing old items and make them new again or at least serving a different purpose!!

  22. You are so talented!!! If we could truely pick our neighbors, I’d want you living next door.
    you present things to be understood. You’re friendly by sharing what you find, and giving us weekend crafters and diy’ers understandable and complete instruction. Thank you. You’ve certainly inspired me to dust off my craft and work tools and find a project and go for it.

  23. You have given me a new direction for my water feature that I hope to have in the near future. I have a large hand pump, but have yet to figure out how to break it down and take out that metal thing that blocks the clear plastic tubing. I’ve had it for about 3 years and have given up on the husband helping. This gives me a new direction. Thanks

  24. I too love junk and try to recreate things with it.
    I have two old hand pumps full size and am going to turn one into a fountain of some sort for sure.
    Love your ideas.

  25. I haven’t done much on my site for years but I’m gearing up to work it better. I am writing cookbooks soon and also getting back to my art training roots. I am building a garden fountain out of old spigots and stuff and this web site jumped out and grabbed me. I have always collected odd stuff and I love what you’ve done with yours.

    • Thanks! Yes, it’s a very responsive crowd! I’ve been lucky, and hope that FB doesn’t flip the switch some day. Until then, I’ll just keep sharing 🙂

  26. I would love instructions so I could make one of these awesome fountains for myself, care to share?
    Thank You!!

  27. wonderful, I’ve got about 4 large kettle and had no ideas of what to do with them, now I do thanks

  28. Just read your post (a little late I am). The kettle fountain is cute. I spied one made from an old table lamp in a planter that was simple but nice. I have my large planter and the motor, however I’m having a hard time finding the perfect cast-off lamp to use. Maybe next summer I’ll get to it!

  29. I just got for my birthday, an indoor fountain for my birthday – store bought. I was wondering if you could help me…the force of the water coming out (2 tier buckets with water spout at top) is so much, is sounds so loud and even splashes out. I have set the pump to 1/2 capacity, I have lessened the distance from the top bucket to fall into the bottom bucket. But doesn’t help and nothing I can do about the distance between the top bucket and the spout. Do you have any suggestions as to how to lessen the force of water shooting out the spout so I get a calm, mild trickle kind of sound and no water splash? Thanks.

  30. These fountains are so cute, I have never seen anything like them before. I love the first one, with the old wine bottles, that is so fun! I would love to put something like this in my yard, it would really spruce it up. Plus, no one else in my neighborhood has anything like it!

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