How to Build a Terra-Cotta Fountain

Constructed with a strawberry jar, azalea pot, and terra-cotta bowl, this fountain is ideal for a deck or patio.

Imagine yourself relaxing to the soothing sound of bubbling water on a hot summer day. You won't have to use your imagination if you build your own terra-cotta fountain.

Terra-cotta strawberry planters are good for more than just planting pockets of herbs. Create a rustic garden fountain with just a few plumbing parts, a pump, and some terra-cotta. Because strawberry jars are handmade and somewhat unique, buy the strawberry jar first, then fit the other terra-cotta elements to it.

Supplies Required

  • Safety glasses
  • Electric drill
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch vinyl tubing (must be several inches longer than the strawberry jar and azalea pot, stacked)
  • 3/8 x 3/8-inch brass pipe adapter ($7, Amazon)(This is the i.d. barb to MIP adapter that goes through the hole in the terra-cotta saucer. The tubing attaches to the bottom of this part, leading to the pump.)
  • 3/8 x 1/8-inch brass pipe reducer ($6, Amazon) (screws onto the adapter in the top of the saucer)
  • 1/4 x 1/8-inch brass flare ($10, Amazon) (also known as tubing to male pipe half union)
  • Fountain pump (must fit inside plastic saucer and upside-down azalea pot)
  • Plastic saucer (must fit inside rim of upside-down azalea pot at base of fountain)
  • Terra-cotta azalea pot (Rim of upside-down pot must fit inside base of terra-cotta bowl. Rim also must fit over plastic saucer.)
  • Large tapered terra-cotta bowl (Base must be larger than rim of upside-down azalea pot and large enough to accommodate aquatic plant.) To prevent seepage through the walls of the bowl, choose a glazed bowl or seal the surface.
  • Terra-cotta saucer (must sit neatly in opening on top of strawberry jar)
  • Large strawberry jar (Ours was 22 inches tall.)
  • Silicone glue
  • Pebbles
  • Electrical cord
  • Aquatic plants

Step-by-Step Instructions

Once you have all the necessary parts, you'll just need to drill a few holes and glue the pieces together. Follow these steps to build a terra-cotta fountain in the span of a weekend.

Step 1: Drill Hole in Saucer

Start by putting on safety glasses. Drill a hole through the center of the terra-cotta saucer. It may be easier to drill through the terra-cotta if you soak the saucer overnight.

Step 2: Drill Holes in Azalea Pot

Using a masonry drill, bore four to six holes 1 inch from the rim of the azalea pot for aeration. Using a file, notch azalea pot for an electrical cord to fit through. Again, it may be easier to drill holes through the terra-cotta if you soak pot the night before.

Step 3: Plug Hole

Using silicone glue, secure plastic saucer into a large tapered bowl to plug hole.

Step 4: Install Pipe Fittings

Install brass pipe fittings (male input with barb, reducer, and flare—which adjusts the height of the water spray) with 3/8-inch vinyl tubing through the bottom of the terra-cotta saucer.

Step 5: Assemble Fountain

To assemble fountain: Place the pump in the base; attach vinyl tubing to pump; and thread vinyl tubing through the hole in the bottom of the azalea pot, lining up the notch with the cord. Snake vinyl tubing through the strawberry jar and set on top of upside-down azalea pot. Attach vinyl tubing to the end of the pipe fittings, and rest terra-cotta saucer on top of the strawberry jar.

terra-cotta fountain front porch among potted plants

Step 6: Add Stones and Plants

Place fountain near an electrical source. Add pebbles and aquatic plants as desired. Be sure to purchase plants that thrive with their roots in water. Add stones to secure the roots.

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