DIY garden decoration: How to build a rustic water feature yourself from recycled wine barrels

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Birds, butterflies and other wildlife will enjoy a rustic wine barrel fountain just as much as you will if you build one of these water features in your own backyard. Fountains and gardens share a rich history, and adding an element of water to the outdoor space can beautify it. Enjoy the soothing sounds while you unwind after a busy day. However, a wine barrel fountain is not just a pleasant way to relax. This is also a creative conversation piece that can add personality and style to your outdoor living space.

Use old barrels and build a water feature yourself

Nothing creates a more beautiful and streamlined garden area than the perfect balance of elements. Whether it is the Eastern philosophy of feng shui or a more modern approach to design that lives closer to nature, water is an integral part of this delicate balance. To add a sense of monastic tranquility to even the most humble backyard, you don’t have to pay for expensive designs from home and garden centers. So building a water feature yourself can give your garden an amazing new look. However, such a decorative element is not only about aesthetics. Its acoustics also help create a soothing outdoor space.

Build your own wine barrel water feature and position it in the right place as a DIY garden decoration

Few small DIY projects are as gorgeous and easy to make as a water feature made from rustic wine barrels. All you need here is of course a barrel that you can find somewhere in your shed or at the flea market, some greenery and of course a pump to get the job done. Additionally, it can be a smart and easy way to start a stylish garden makeover. It is best to first choose a location for your DIY garden fountain. The area must be sunny, have good drainage, and be close to a source of water and electricity. Below you will find a simple guide that can serve as a basis for creative projects.

Instructions for the DIY wine barrel water feature in the garden

reusing old objects like wine barrels as rustic decorative elements in the garden

After finding the perfect spot in the garden area, you can dig a shallow hole for the water feature and place the water reservoir in the ground. This way you can check in advance what the whole thing will look like. You can also position your fountain or water feature on solid ground. However, you will need a base for this. You can either assemble these yourself or find them in stores.

  • Then use a pencil to mark a straight line widthwise across the center of the barrel. Using a circular saw, cut the barrel in half using this line as a guide. Half of the barrel is needed for the fountain. Set the other half aside for a later project.
  • First, drill a hole about 3 cm in diameter on the side and 5 cm from the rim of the wine barrel. This serves as an exit point for a pump’s cable. Then place the barrel on either the cinder blocks or pieces of wood and rotate it so the hole faces the nearest electrical outlet.

equip a wine barrel cut in half with a tarpaulin and build a water feature yourself as a diy project


  • Place a 1.5 X 1.5 meter piece of PVC pond liner on the half barrel. Then press down so its center is in the middle of the barrel. Stretch out the liner to conform to the inside of the barrel.

staple tarpaulin or netting to the edges of a barrel and install as a base for fountains

  • Try to eliminate all wrinkles. Using scissors, cut a small hole in the liner in line with the hole through the barrel. Pin the liner along the inside rim of the wine barrel, placing a staple every 8cm. Cut off any pieces of liner that are protruding from the barrel.

After you build and adjust the water feature yourself

Ivy tendrils on the edge of a DIY wine barrel water feature or water fountain for backyard or outdoor use


After cutting, put just enough gravel in the barrel to cover the bottom. Scatter the rest of the gravel around the bottom of the barrel for a decorative touch. Place a pond pump with a bubbling fountain head in the center of the barrel so it’s resting on the gravel. You should adjust the fountain head so that it appears about 8 cm below the edge of the barrel. Feed the pump power cord through the hole in the side of the keg and out. Cut a piece of PVC pipe about 3cm in diameter to measure the same distance from the keg to the power source.

build a rustic water feature yourself and let it look natural with the right types of plants

Then, using a hand shovel, dig a shallow trench from the bottom of your barrel to the power source and run the power cable through the PVC pipe. Place the pipe in the trench and cover it with soil to hide it. Fill the fountain or water feature with enough water to just cover the top of the fountain head. Turn on the pump and adjust the flow rate of the pump to achieve the desired bubbling effect.

Plant the repurposed barrel

creatively designed water fountain made from old barrel and colorful flowers grown over starfish

Now it’s time to work with some soil and plants. You can buy a mix of flowers and greenery and place them on the sides but a little forward. Then you can add, for example, 4 ivy tendrils, two in front and two in the back. Then fill in the remaining areas with new soil. If you want you can add even more greenery for a natural touch as the barrel itself looks a similar way. It is also possible to let the green develop over time. Once you’ve done that, you can again cut off the remaining top sheet sitting by the fountain.

More tips and ideas

Beautify your backyard or garden area with a water fountain made from recycled materials such as barrels

The results of your creation can amaze you and your guests. Store-bought water features can also be updated with just a few new additions. So you can get a ready made water feature without having to pay big bucks for a brand new massive one. That’s what thinking outside the box is all about. Thus you transform a rustic element into a suitable and trendy garden decoration that is easy to add.

Create charming and stylish DIY garden decorations from sustainable materials such as wine barrels

There’s also something so soothing about the sound of running water, while you can also plant new flowers each year to add even more color to your homemade water feature or fountain. Over time, such an area can also be broken down into a number of smaller seating areas, which can help create a cozy feel in the garden space. In addition, such a DIY project will help turn your outdoor space into a popular place to relax during the summer months. This lets you and your family feel the rush of summer, while children’s sporting activities are also increasing and neighborhood children can run around between courtyards.

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