Add natural beauty to your yard with a DIY garden fountain. The best part: you can do it with an old terra-cotta pot.
fountain in a pot

For this project, use any type of pot (we think terra-cotta is a classic look). If the container doesn't have a drainage hole in the bottom, drill one with a masonry bit or drape the pump's electrical cord over the rim. Disguise the cord by guiding a few stems of one of the surrounding plants along the rim. Set the freestanding fountain in a garden bed or border that has an electrical outlet nearby.

  • Working time 30 mins
  • Start to finish 1 hr
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

positioning the pump in the bottom of the pot
Step 1

Place Pump in Container

Set a submersible pump in the bottom of the container. Using a pot that is at least 24 inches in diameter makes a splash and requires less water refilling than a smaller pot. Pull the pump electrical cord through the drainage hole of the pot.

pulling cord through pot
Step 2

Close Drainage Hole

Pull out enough cord to be able to connect to the outlet—don't plug it in—and leave sufficient slack to raise the pump in the pot. Close the drainage hole with premixed, quick-drying cement. Let the cement dry thoroughly; follow directions on the package.

sealing the inside of the pot
Step 3

Seal Container

Seal the inside of the pot with a liquid water sealant that is labeled for use on wood. This applies whether the pot is terra-cotta, wood, or some other porous material. Let the sealant dry completely.

elevating pump inside pot
Step 4

Elevate Pump

Elevate the pump in the center of the container. Place it on bricks to bring it a few inches below where the water's surface will be. Fill the pot with water and connect the pump to the GFCI outlet. Be sure the water level does not dip below the pump.

Editor's Tip

To add a personal touch to this classic fountain, choose a colored glazed pot, or add in pretty stones or glass globes to the inside of the pot before filling with water.


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