How To Turn Plant Pots Into A Water Fountain (2023)

This DIY Plant Pot Water Fountain idea is the perfect budget-friendly backyard water feature for a deck, patio, porch, or apartment balcony. If you have extra flower pots you're not using, then turn them into a relaxing water fountain and I'll show you how.

But if you don't have any suitable flower pots and need to buy some, if you wait until the end of the season you can find them on clearance. But if budget isn't an issue, look for a pair or trio of flower pots at varying heights.

DIY Plant Pot Water Fountain

Most pumps come with multiple spray heads so you'll have a few choices for the type of spray you want on yours. Pictured above is the water fountain with two plant pots and a single-tier spray head. Pictured below are three plant pots and a mushroom spray head.

I spent a few days scratching my head trying to figure out how to make this work. I'm not going to lie, there were a few botched attempts and some hiccups along the way.

But eventually, Mr. Frugalista and I figured it out and once we did, it fell into place seamlessly. I'm going to share the process in nine easy to follow steps.

These are the well-used flower pots I used to make our water fountain along with a few bags of river rock.

We also used these tools and supplies.

(Video) Turn any pot into a water feature! | DIY Landscape

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Water Fountain Supply List

Large Flower Pot Trio with a drainage hole in the bottom to accommodate the pump tubing.
2 Terracotta Saucers close to the same diameter as the bottom and middle pots.
PVC pipe large enough to stabilize a pot sitting on top.
Pond Pump (see tip below).
River rocks

Pond Pump Pro-Tip

We used a 100 GPH Pond Pump for our fountain. It is important that the pump can lift the water just above the height of the top flower pot. A good rule of thumb is to get one rated for about six inches higher than what you need. Even better is finding a pump with a flow reducer valve so you can adjust the water flow. But if yours doesn't have one, like ours doesn't, change the nozzle if the water pumps too high.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make the water fountain, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

How To Build A Plant Pot Water Fountain

Before we get into the detailed tutorial, I should mention that we are self-taught DIYers and not trained professionals. This step-by-step tutorial is based on our building knowledge only. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer like us, you'll find these steps helpful if you plan on making a version of our water fountain.

Step 1 - Seal Flower Pot Drainage Holes

I know I told you earlier to purchase flower pots WITH drainage holes but we're going to have to seal one of them. If your bottom flower pot has a drainage hole, it will need to be sealed in order for the water to recirculate.

To do this use a small tile to plug the hole, secured to the bottom of the pot with silicone. Also, run a bead of silicone all around the tile to ensure a tight seal. Let it cure for at least 24 hours before moving on to the next step.

Step 2 - Insert The Pump

  • Based on the type of pump you purchase and the size of the pots, you may have to raise the pump to get the required height. To do this set something sturdy in the center of the bottom pot and set the pump on it. Hopefully, you can avoid this step.
  • Attach the plastic extenders on the pump in order to raise it so the spray head is above the rim of the top flower pot.

(Video) How-To-Tuesday: Turning Tall Pots into Fountains

Step 3 - Plant Pot Risers

  • Cut the PVC pipe to a length that will allow the second pot to sit just below the rim of the bottom pot.
  • Repeat this step for the second and third pots.
  • Now that you have the desired height for each pot, remove the PVC pipe and notch out a groove for the bottom pot to accommodate the water pump's electrical cord (pictured below).

Step 4 - Base For Largest Flower Pot

Set the plastic pipe so it rests inside the largest pot. This becomes the base for the next flower pot. Notice how the base we used to raise the pump fits inside the PVC pipe?

Pro-Tip 1

Cut the PVC pipe perfectly straight so the stacked flower pots sit level.

Step 5 - Base For Middle Flower Pot

  • Drill a hole in the center of a terracotta saucer with a ceramic drill bit large enough to accommodate the pump extender.
  • Place the largest terracotta saucer through the pump extender and rest it on top of the PVC pipe in the bottom flower pot (pictured below).

Pro-Tip 2

Unlike how we did it in the photo below, it is better to place the terracotta saucer upside down to conceal the edge of the saucer.

Step 6 - Insert Middle Flower Pot

Repeat Step 5 for the next terracotta saucer and insert the PVC pipe into the middle pot.

Step 7 - Base For Top Flower Pot

Add the next size terracotta saucer but remember to place it upside down (unlike shown in the photo below).

(Video) DIY Pot Fountain (Tutorial)

Step 8 - Insert Top Flower Pot

  • Set the smallest flower pot on top of the terracotta base.
  • Ensure your spray head is just above the rim of the top flower pot.
  • You may need to add another pump extender to achieve the correct height.
  • Insert your choice of spray head onto the last pump extender.

Step 9 - River Rocks And Water

  • Place river rocks on each saucer until they are completely hidden.
  • If your saucers don't cover the entire pot (like the middle pot in the photo above), use larger river rocks to fill the void.
  • Fill the bottom pot with water and plug the water pump in.
  • It will take a few seconds for the pump to prime.
  • Don't be alarmed by the noise the pump makes during this process.
  • Now you're ready to enjoy your new budget-friendly backyard water feature!

Will The Water Run Dry?

The water will evaporate, especially on hot days. It is important that you check the water level in the bottom pot regularly and fill it as necessary

Spray Head Nozzle Styles

The type of spray nozzle you use will determine the way the water fountain is assembled.

Mushroom Spray Head

This is the spray head we used on the three-tier version of our water fountain. The water flows from the bottom pot up the stem and through the spray head. The spray looks like a mushroom cap and the water will not flow over the pots. This style can be dismantled for winter storage.

Single Tier Spray Head

This is the spray head we used on the two-tier version of our water fountain. Much like the mushroom style, the water flows from the bottom pot up the stem and through the spray head. The water doesn't flow over the pots with this style and it can be dismantled for winter storage.

Cascading Spray Head

If you want the look of standing water that cascades over the edges, you will need to silicone around the drainage hole in the middle and top flower pots where the tubing is passed through. By doing this the water will be held in each pot and trickle over the sides. Note with this style the fountain cannot be dismantled for winter storage.

Blossom Spray Head

For this style, you will need a large basin under the bottom flower pot to catch and hold the water so the spray can flow over the edges of the pots and land in the basin below. With this style, your bottom pot will have a hole in it so the water recirculates from the basin rather than the bottom pot. With this style, the basin must be deep enough to hold a sufficient water supply to keep the pump submerged in the bottom pot.

There you have it, a budget-friendly stacked flower pot water fountain for a deck, patio, porch, or apartment balcony.

(Video) Fountain Planter Pot 1

I also made a Solar Powered Flower Pot Fountain that you may like and it takes less than 15 minutes to build.

But if you're looking for an amazing go big or go home water feature, then check out my very popular DIY Outdoor Water Wall.

This large water feature is a focal point of a backyard oasis and it makes a fabulous deck privacy screen too. But you will need to know your way around power tools to build one.

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by this DIY backyard fountain idea.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this DIY Flower Pot Fountain, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your DIY Water Features or Outdoor Living Ideas board on Pinterest.

How To Turn Plant Pots Into A Water Fountain (15)

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.


How do you make a homemade water fountain? ›

For an almost instant homemade fountain, insert an inexpensive electric pump into a large ceramic or concrete planter, then fill it with water and plug it in.

How do you make a water planter feature? ›

Your pots off your deck. Or off your tile. Inside. But they also create a nice little space for the

How do you build a waterfall container? ›

Few big stones artificial floating flowers big tray or you can use any tub also a submersible motor

How do you make a cheap water fountain? ›

How to Build an Easy Water Fountain - YouTube

Can you make a fountain without a pump? ›

A continuous-flow water fountain moves water without a pump or mechanical parts. A gravity water fountain moves water through multiple chambers by using a combination of gravity and pressure science to tumble water into the air in a dancing, fluid flow.


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