DIY backyard fountain from planters

Not fond of garden fountains? Recently, I had an idea to make my own DIY backyard fountain with stacked terracotta planters.

It was surprisingly easy to assemble! You can use any type of outdoor planter for this, it doesn't have to be terracotta.

Supplies needed for backyard fountain

  • 1 large terracotta dish
  • 1 small terracotta dish

Build the fountain

The idea was to stack the pots with the pump in the bottom pot. The rubber hose, which is sold separately, is then attached to the pump and you can run it up through the center of the pots.

The larger pots have a drain hole large enough for the pipes, but on the smaller pots and saucers you need to enlarge the hole. For the saucer I drilled a hole in the middle.

Before drilling or filing pots, soak the terracotta in water to make it easier and prevent cracking. When drilling, use a piece of wood under the saucer.

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For the smaller pots, I used a file to enlarge it.

The smallest pot must then be scored at the top to allow the pump thread to run through. You need this because that pot is placed upside down for stacking.

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After preparing the pots for the wiring, spray them with a waterproof sealer. I used Rustoleum concrete sealer.

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To be honest I didn't like the Rustoleum spray. It is sprayed on milky white and says it will dry clear, but it is not. I had to spray and wipe with paper towels to get rid of the white. It is also a bit runny which is another reason why I used the paper towels to help apply it. Almost as if I applied a stain.

Allow them to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Next, you need to add a waterproof silicone sealer to plug the hole in the bottom jar. I used GE brand advanced waterproof silicone. Let that dry before continuing and wait 24 hours before adding water.

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How to use the fountain pump

Now it is time to assemble the fountain. The pump comes with a black cap that must be removed before attaching your hose to it. It took me a while to figure that out as it wasn't specified in the directions! Save that cap for later.

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Place the pump in the largest pot with the wire across the back. I really wanted to be able to run the wire through the side of the pot and seal it with silicone, but because the plug is large I was afraid it wouldn't be able to hold the water for long periods of time.

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Then take your small pot with the notch and place it upside down over the pump. The notch fits snugly over your small exhaust thread. Route the rubber hose up through the drain hole of the planter.

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Then stack the small saucer on the first jar and pull the hose through it.

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On top of that, add your 10-in pot. I used a second smaller jar in this to keep the hose upright.

One thing I forgot to photograph is where the hose comes through the planter's hole, it's a good idea to put more silicone sealer around it to completely seal it. The disadvantage is that if the pump has to be cleaned in the future, it will be more difficult to disassemble. Make sure to adjust the pump to your desired flow settings before adding the sealer.

If you don't use the silicone sealer in these areas while stacking your jars, the water can drain from the top jars, so I recommend doing it.

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Finally cut the hose to the desired height. And remember that little cap we took off the pump? Now add that piece to the top of your hose and you're ready for the water.

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Isn't that cute? The sound of the fountain adds a bit of atmosphere to our backyard. It's especially fun at night when the string lights are on.

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