We made this:

Well okay, we didn’t throw that pot. I just mean that we made this pot into a fountain. It’s a little subtle and hard to tell from pictures, but the water bubbles up in the middle and runs down the sides. It makes quite a pleasant noise. I’ll show you how to make one too, if you want.

Materials:

  • Ceramic pot of your liking (base of pot must be smaller than the diameter of a 5-gallon bucket)
  • 5-gallon bucket (we used plastic but are now thinking a metal one would be better)
  • Aluminum L-brackets
  • Screen material cut about 4-5 inches bigger than a 5-gallon bucket, and with a hole in the middle
  • Submersible pump
  • The kind of hose that goes with a submersible pump (technical term). It’s sold right next to the submersible pumps.

Step one: find an ugly spot in your yard that needs some beautification, and where your pump could be plugged in.

Done.

Step two: Dig a hole for your 5-gallon bucket.

*Note: If we were to do it again, we would have done all of the following assembly steps before putting the bucket in the ground. So, do that.

Step three: Hacksaw your aluminum L-brackets so that they fit over the bucket. Also, cut some notches in the bucket that one side of the “L” will fit into. Also also, cut a notch in the back for the pump’s power cord to run through. (I’m sorry about ending all these sentences with prepositions.)

These L-brackets are super strong. They can support my weight, which is a hundred and hummanahummana pounds. However, the bucket becomes weak when it’s cut that way, which is why we recommend a metal one. You’ll want to caulk or somehow seal the gaps where the brackets meet the bucket. Otherwise, it will leak.

Step four: You need to make the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot so that it doesn’t drain but so that you can still fit a piece of hose up through it. We accomplished this by patching the hole with a piece of spare inner tube with a hole just big enough for the hose.

We consulted This to That, which told us to use hot glue. It’s kind of hard to see, but there’s a small hole cut in that inner tube. And don’t mind the caulk- Stan just wanted to patch some little cracks in the pot.

Here’s a little diagram. Click to enlarge.

I have two options: A and B. More on those below.

Step five: assemble your pieces. Run the power cord through the nifty notch you made, and the hose up through your aluminum supports. In the picture we have expanded metal (that mesh looking stuff) but since we realized that it directs water away from the bucket and it rusts like crazy, we decided that screen is better. Use screen. Run the hose up through the screen, then up through your pot.

Step six: Carefully put it in place. You don’t want to kink your hose by setting the pot on it wrong.

*Note: Choose option A if you just want the water to pool over the edges of the pot with no bubbling action at the top. Option A = cutting the hose only a couple inches from the bottom of the pot. (This is the simpler way.)  If you choose Option A, you can skip to step eight.

Step seven: since we wanted a little bubbling action at the top (Option B), we tried to devise ways to get the bendy hose to stand up straight (so the bubbling action was centered) higher up in the pot.

First we came up with this:

It worked okay, but it’s a little janky and as I said before, that expanded metal rusts like crazy. To improve upon the wire situation though, I came up with the idea to shove the hose into some PVC. Since it’s rigid, it stands up straight. But it still needs to be kept centered somehow, so we’re still using the expanded metal for that. Maybe it will stop rusting once it gets to a certain point…?

Step eight: Fill up both the bucket (a couple inches shy of full) and the pot with water.

Step nine: Cover the screen with stones, and decorate the ugly area surrounding with mulch, grasses, and plants of your choosing!

We need more pretty rocks for the base of the fountain. Our back patio is to the left, and our bedroom window is on the upper right, so we get to sleep with the sound of tinkling water, which is quite relaxing. And no one has even wet the bed yet.

I usually don’t attempt tutorials since there are so many great ones out there, but we actually came up with this system all by ourselves so we’re pretty proud! Hopefully it’s not too confusing. Feel free to email or comment with questions.

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