DIY Water Feature Ideas to Make Your Home More Relaxing

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Everyone loves the sound of trickling water. It’s why most of us enjoy vacationing near oceans, rivers, and lakes. The soft sound of running water calms even the most frayed nerves, and it can make a city dwelling feel natural and serene. One way to bring this soothing state to your own home is by using a water feature. While there are water features available for purchase, or even contractors who can build them for you, these options are typically costly. Below are five of the most creative DIY water features we have found, and we are sharing them with you.

What Are Some DIY Water Feature ideas?

The following five water features vary in style, size, and materials, but every one of them will do wonders for your yard, patio, or the inside of your home. No matter your theme or space, one of the following DIY water features will enhance your living area and your enjoyment. Read through the following ideas to choose one that is right for your home. In this article we provide you with a materials list, and detailed instructions on how to make each DIY water feature your very own. So read on and get ready to relax.

Tiered Pot Water Feature

Perhaps one of the simplest, yet most effective DIY water features is the tiered pot option. This design is exactly as it sounds. It includes a stack of two or three plant pots. To give height and depth, you fill each pot with your choice of rocks or pebbles. The style of pots depends on your personal preference. For a larger water feature, choose a larger base pot and two consecutively smaller ones. The three pots do not have to look the same. For a smaller water feature, start with a smaller base pot and only add one additional pot on top.

Mini Water Garden

This option is perfect for tighter spaces, and can spruce up your back yard or small patio. It is a pot filled with water and beautiful water lilies, water lettuce, and other plants of your choice. The pot style and size depend on your taste and space. For a more unique look, use different shaped pots or containers. This DIY water feature is simple and inexpensive enough to make your own.

Canoe Water Feature

If you have the space, a canoe water feature is unique and will become a conversation piece for your guests. The basic design is an actual canoe filled with water and plants of your choice. Because it is a large feature, this option is best suited outdoors in a larger yard. You can be creative with your canoe by painting it any color or even adding unique textures or designs. To add height to this feature, sit a potted plant or two on the seats of the canoe.

Wine Bottle Fountain

This DIY water feature is as fun as it sounds, and it gives you a chance to recycle your favorite wine bottle. The idea is to have a recycled wine bottle perpetually pouring water into a basin or even large wine glass. This water feature will liven up any outdoor patio or bar area, or can even be used indoors as a fun decoration. Since the main materials are recycled from what you already have lying around, this is a very inexpensive project that will have all of your guests talking.

Water Jug Feature

This fun DIY water feature adds character to any garden or flower bed, and it is simple to construct. It is basically two to three water jugs stacked helter-skelter like above each other, while each is pouring water into the one below it. This is a cute and fun project that will earn the admiration of any guest. The sound of the water pouring into the old watering cans will be music to your ears if you make this water feature your own.

What Do You Need to Make a DIY Water Feature?

While you can make most of these water features using materials you have around your home, there will be some supplies you will more than likely need to pick up. Below is a list of the materials needed for these beautiful fountains and simple instructions on how to construct each of them. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to make your space a peaceful haven.

Please note, all water features require a water pump. If there is no access to electricity near where you want your water feature to be placed, then consider a solar powered pump. Various choices are available on Amazon.

Tiered Pot Water Feature

To make this simple but effective water feature you will need to purchase or find the following materials:

  • Two to three pots of various sizes
  • One roll of 1/2″ rubber hose
  • A cheap and small water pump
  • A tube of silicone or epoxy puddy
  • Leftover pavers (one per pot)
  • Your choice of filler rocks
  • A drill (borrowed or one you already have)

First you will need to drill a hole in the bottom of the largest (bottom) pot for the pump’s power cord. You will also need to drill a hole into the bottom side of the second and third pots to feed the hose through. Once you have the hose in the desired spot and the needed length, cut the excess hose. The small pump should lie in the bottom pot and the power cord should be pulled through the hole you made.

Seal the outside of each hole with the epoxy or silicone you purchased and let that stand 24 hours. To save on rock filler, place a paver or large stone into the bottom of each pot. Fill the rest of the pots with the stones of your choice. Stack the pots on top of each other as desired and fill with water. Sit back and enjoy the serene sound of water cascading through the pots.

Mini Water Garden

Again, this DIY water feature is simple and inexpensive. Below are the materials and instructions for how to make your own:

  • Pot or container large enough to hold more plant life
  • Water lilies
  • Water lettuce
  • Other plants you desire
  • Potting soil
  • Small water pump (pond variety)
  • Small rocks

Start by planting the plants into the pot using the potting soil. Add rocks you purchased or collected to the top of the soil to keep it in place. Add the small water pump into the pot. This will keep your water feature from becoming a mosquito breeding ground. Fill the pot with water and plug in the water pump. Give your pot a home where it will get lots of sunshine. Enjoy!

Canoe Water Feature

This water feature will be more involved and costly, but the results are unique and eye catching. It helps if you have an old canoe lying around, but if not, you can probably purchase a used one for an affordable price. Patch any unwanted holes using an epoxy that can be purchased at any hardware store.

  • A canoe that is water tight
  • A hefty water pump (possibly a PondXpert Triple Action 3000)
  • Lots of potting soil
  • Lots of pebbles or rocks
  • Sand or gravel to cover the base of the canoe
  • Taller plants to plant inside the canoe
  • Potted plants to place on the canoe seats for added height
  • Koi fish if you prefer to make this a canoe aquarium

The most important decision to make with your canoe water feature is where it will live. Once completed this will be a very heavy and permanent addition to your outdoor space. Once that perfect spot is selected, dig down into the dirt in order to partially bury the canoe. This will give it the illusion of floating on water. Surround the bottom surface of the canoe with either sand or gravel to give it a more seemless look.

Once the canoe is securely in place plant your taller plants inside the canoe using the potting soil. It’s important to use taller plants that will stick out through the soil and gravel you will be adding. After the desired number of plants are planted, add a layer of gravel or small rocks over the soil to keep it intact. Once this is finished, install your water pump. Fill the canoe with water. For added height and effect, add your potted plants to the seats of the canoe. Let this settle for 24 hours before adding any fish.

Wine Bottle Fountain

This water feature is quirky and fun, and simple to make. While this water feature can be displayed outside, it’s important to place it where it is less likely to be broken, as it is glass. Inside your home is ideal for this water feature.

  • Small and inexpensive water pump
  • Roll of 1/2″ tubing for the pump
  • Decorative wine bottle of your choice
  • A stand for the bottle (one that will make it stay in the tipped position)
  • Martini or other large mouthed glass
  • Tube of clear silicone
  • Tub or basin, can be a small sealed wine barrel
  • Decorative items like corks, marbles, etc
  • Dremel tool with a diamond-tipped drill (borrow if you don’t have one)

The first thing you want to do is drill a hole in the bottom of your wine bottle with the diamond tip drill bit. Follow the Dremel instructions for drilling glass carefully. Wear protective gloves and eyewear while drilling in case the bottle breaks. Once the hole is in place, feed the end of the 1/2 tubing through it and into the bottle. Seal the hole up with the silicone and let it sit for 24 hours.

While this is curing, take your martini glass and use a hot glue gun, or another type of multi-surface glue to adhere it to the bottom of the basin. Make sure it is off center so that the wine bottle will pour into it once it is in place. Once that dries, adhere your wine stand, either a piece of wood or an inexpensive wine bottle holder to the bottom of the basin. Before gluing it down, make sure the bottle will pour into the martini glass.

After securing both items, set the pump into the basin. You can hide it with the corks, flowers, or other items you will use to decorate the basin. Fill the bottom of the basin with marbles or decorative rocks for added affect. Secure the tubing inside the wine bottle and glue the bottle onto the stand. Again, make sure you position it to pour its content into the martini glass. Fill the basin with water and any other decorative items you have. Get ready to enjoy a glass of wine while listening to the peaceful sound of the never-ending wine pouring.

Water Jug Water Feature

This small project will give you big dividends on presentation and peaceful water sounds. This idea is versatile and can be as tall or big as you’d like. Follow these easy instructions to make your own water jug fountain.

  • At least 2 galvanized watering cans, any size depending on space; ideally 3 or 4
  • One galvanized tub
  • A small water pump
  • A roll of 1/2 inch tubing
  • Hanging brackets, one for each watering can
  • A power drill

First you need to decide where you want to place your water feature. It is permanent because you will slightly bury the galvanized tub. Once you’ve found the perfect place, dig a shallow hole and place the tub inside. Even out the soil around the tub and possibly even cover the area with gravel or sand for a more artistic look.

Once it is in place, decide the height and location of each watering can. Make sure that the top one pours into the second one, and that the last can will pour into the galvanized tub below. Once you have the placement of each, secure the hanging brackets. Typically these are metal tubes that can be drove into the ground easily. After finishing drill a hole into each of the handles of your cans and hang them on the hanging brackets.

Drill a hole into the top can (near the spout) so you can feed the 1/2″ tubing into it. Once it is in place, secure it with silicone and let it sit for 24 hours. Attach the other end of the 1/2 tubing to your small pump, and place the pump inside the tub. Once all the cans are in place, fill the tub with water. You might need to experiment with the positioning of the cans to make sure each jug pours into the next. Once you have the perfect location, add a dab of the silicone to each of the cans to secure them to the hanging brackets.

How Much Does it Cost to Add a Water Feature?

Besides the water jug feature and the canoe feature, all the other DIY water features on our list can be purchased and made for under $50, and even less if you have some materials lying around. The canoe water feature could cost as much as $200 to $300, depending on how lucky you are in tracking down a used canoe. The water jug feature can be made for less than $100. You can find most materials on Amazon or at the big box retailers.


There’s nothing like the sound of trickling water to calm your nerves and fill your space with peace and tranquility. Once you’ve decided on the right one for you, get your materials and get to building. Make those warmer months more enjoyable with the sweet sounds of nature right in your own back yard.

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