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DIY: A Terra-Cotta Fountain

It's safe to say that I'm a little obsessed with water features in gardens. Whether it's a koi pond or a granite fountain, I'm all for it. So, when I found this Martha Stewart post on making a backyard fountain out of economical materials, I knew that it would be a hit with Casa readers. You can even make it more eco chic by using gray water for the water in your fountain.

What You'll Need

  • Three terra-cotta pots that can stack top to bottom, as seen in the photo and diagram, for the inside body of your fountain
  • Two supporting pots
  • Foam sealant (even better, use a green foam sealant)
  • One-inch diameter plastic tubing, a little shorter than the height of your pots (you can trim it after you've built the fountain)
  • Water pump
  • A power cord that will connect to the pump
  • Flow-control valve
  • Terra-cotta feet for the bottom pot

To find out how to make it,


  • Collect three display pots and two support pots. They can be as big or small as you like, as long as the tops and bottoms correspond.
  • Plug the drainage hole of the largest pot with foam sealant. Place the pot on a level surface. Cut a length of 1-inch-diameter flexible plastic tubing that, when inserted into the pump, extends through both support pots and 6 inches above the base of the smallest display pot. Insert the tubing into the pump.
  • Now, fit the pump into the base pot, running the power cord over the rim, toward a grounded exterior outlet. Turn the larger support pot upside down over the pump, propping it on the terra-cotta feet to allow water to flow underneath. Loop the tubing through the drainage hole, and spray foam sealant around tubing to seal.
  • Position the second display pot, then loop the tubing through hole. Seal with foam.
  • Repeat these steps with the remaining support and display pots. Add a flow-control valve a few inches from the end of the tube. Add water until the pots are overflowing; plug the pump into the outlet, and adjust the pressure as needed.
  • Host a garden party so your friends and neighbors can ooh and ahh over your new fountain!
sultrysyl sultrysyl 8 years
Yes, I agree with seahorsy13. the diagram is confusing. i will keep studying it.
seahorsy13 seahorsy13 8 years
I like this idea but I am wondering why the diagram does not include the feet that need to be placed on the bottom support pot so the water can flow back to the pump. Seems like this would have to be taken into account when buying the pots, for proper sizing. Also, the diagram is missing the unsightly power cord that would have to be draped over the side of the bottom pot. It's still a really cool idea and I am hopefully going to give it a try. I just wish the diagram was more accurate.
peskipiksi peskipiksi 9 years
I love this, am going to try it.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
So going to have to do this. Just hope the dog doesn't think it is her new water fountain. :P
JessieSP JessieSP 9 years
I like it.
Home Home 9 years
sfbutterfly24, that's an awesome idea! :)
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
I think I might do this project with my step father for fathers day!!!
OChottie OChottie 9 years
Me too hanako ;) That is really cool. Casa, you rock my world!
hanako66 hanako66 9 years
Thanks Casa...I just emailed this to hubby...what a great project!
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