From Ponds to Waterfalls: Outdoor Water Features You Can DIY

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If you’re daydreaming about the burble of a stream over rocks or the spray of a waterfall right in your backyard, we’ve put together a selection of outdoor water feature ideas to help you make your dream come true!

While water features may sound expensive or out of reach, there are tons of great do-it-yourself options for everything from flower pot fountains to ponds and waterfalls. Take a look at these DIY water feature ideas that add tranquility and sophistication to your outdoor space.

  1. Bamboo Water Feature

This DIY idea recycles a used tiki torch to create an Asian-inspired water feature where water pours from the cut bamboo into a rock-filled bowl. The original creator at Saf Affect oiled the bamboo inside and drilled a hole in the closed end to insert the pump tubing. The bowl can be filled with found rocks or colourful glass pebbles and the bamboo tied together with twine for added dimension.

  1. Contemporary Garden Water Feature

This is the ideal water feature project with professional-looking results for anyone short on both time and cash. Components include a rectangular plastic storage container, a solar fountain pump, concrete pavers, and a selection of rocks and plants – all for a total of thirty dollars! Simply dig a hole to hold the storage container even with the surface of the ground, fill it with rocks and water, and surround your new pond with pavers and accent rocks. Finish it off with your solar pump and a water plant or two, and you have a classy, modern water feature.

  1. Disappearing Water Fountain

The finished product for this project is a spray fountain that appears to rise from a ring of river rocks and disappears below them without pooling up. The construction process involves burying a basin and covering it with mesh and a selection of large rocks. While the creator of this fountain estimates the total cost at under $200, you’ll also need both water and power supply to run the large pump.

  1. Mini Pond From an Old Tire

This DIY plan is a great way to reuse or recycle an old tire. Dig out space for the tire, then line the interior with a plastic sheet that also drapes over the rubber sides of the tire. Finally, fill the bottom and cover the sides with landscaping or river rocks. Optional: add a solar pump to get the ripple and movement of water in your pond.

  1. Pond and Stream 

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can carve an entire stream through your backyard and cap one end with a pond. You’ll need a pump and filter that you can buy as a kit, a few shovels, and helping hands. Dig out the path of the stream and pond and line them before filling the bottom with small stones. Use the dirt you dug up to raise the sides and line the edges with larger rocks. Give everything a good rinse before filling with water and enjoying your masterpiece.

  1. Pondless Water Feature

Using a submersible fountain pump, a small water basin, and a metal grate, you can create this pondless water feature similar to the disappearing water fountain above. The difference is this one is a more delicate spray and can be run with a solar pump for easy installation in the farther reaches of your garden.

  1. Recirculating Ceramic Pot Fountain

This small water feature is ideal for small patios or intimate sections of the garden where you’d like to add a statement piece. Choose a ceramic pot you love and place it atop a buried 5-gallon bucket. Run the pump tubing up through the bottom of your ceramic pot, and hide the bucket with small stones.

  1. Tiered Flower Pot Solar Fountain

Stacked flower pots and a birdbath fountain pump combine to create a classic fountain with this DIY plan. Use a bucket inside the larger of your flower pots to hold a saucer with the smaller pot above it. Fill and cover the saucer with small stones, then fill the smaller pot with water. Finish with your fountain pump, and wait for those birds to come and enjoy your new water feature with you!

  1. Water Wall

Basins and fountains are one thing, but this Water Wall feature makes an entirely different statement. For the build, start by constructing a base to hold your water trough, then sides to hold up the sheets of tempered glass that the water will course down. Your pump will sit in the base of the water wall, and the tubing will run up the side and across the top, where you drill holes to create the waterfall. 

There is a DIY water feature to fit every budget and every outdoor space. All that’s left is to pick your favourite and get started!

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