How to Make an Outdoor Fountain from a Pot

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Things You'll Need

  • Pots of varying sizes

  • Acrylic Sealer

  • Submersible Pump

  • Stones/water plants

  • Silicone Caulk

  • Chicken Wire


Consider creating a theme for your fountain from the beginning and choosing each step to fit in with your theme. Keep your second pot straight for a spillover effect and tilt it for a waterfall sound.

Outdoor Fountain from a Pot

Making an outdoor fountain from a pot is a relatively simple process that can help convert your backyard garden, patio or deck into a Summer retreat.


Building an outdoor fountain from a pot is a process which follows specific steps/rules, but leaves a large amount of room for creativity.

Use this guide to bring the sound of running water into your backyard area with a beautiful homemade fountain.

Step 1


CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION - In order to make a safe and functional outdoor fountain from a pot, you will need to choose a spot which is close to an electrical outlet. It is not recommended that you use an extension cord for safety reasons.


*To minimize electrocution hazards, it is best to use a GFCI outlet or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.

For best results choose a location for your fountain which is accessible and which you will frequent often or can observe from a favorite sitting spot.

Popular places to set up your outdoor pot fountain include nearby home gardens, decks and patios.

Step 2

Terra Cotta Pots

CHOOSE YOUR POTS - The most commonly pots used for a fountain include Terra Cotta Pots, but any pot will do. In fact some of the most unique and beautiful outdoor fountains are created from one of a kind pots picked up at thrift stores or garage sales.


You will most likely need 2 or more pots, depending upon how you plan to design your fountain. One should be much larger than the other pot. It is suggested that your large pot hold 8-10 gallons of water, but this will vary depending upon your design.

  • Make sure to use acrylic sealer to waterproof your pot.
  • If your pot has a drainage hole, fill it with silicone caulk and give sufficient time to dry.

Step 3

Submersible Pump

CHOOSE YOUR PUMP AND TUBING - You will need to find a submersible pump which fits the size of your container. Make sure to check that it is the correct size for your pot at the retail store before purchasing it. If you have trouble finding smaller submersible pumps, call pet stores or stores that sell fish in your area. They should have a pump the size you need.


Submersible pumps are sized based on how many Gallons of water they Pump per hour. Most likely a pump which pumps 60-150gph should be just fine for your fountain.

Choose a submersible pump which has a "max head" that is less than the height of your water. This will insure good water flow in your outdoor fountain from a pot.

You will want to make sure that your submersible pump is created for outdoor use.

Tubing will be chosen based on the size of the outflow vent on your pump. Plastic tubing which is flexible will work best.


Step 4


INSERT PUMP AND TUBING INTO POT - Now, it is time to put the pieces together. Put your submersible pump into the bottom of the large pot. Use the chicken wire to make a small cage surrounding the pump. This will protect it from damage. You will need to attach the tubing to the submersible pump (make sure to leave a lot of extra tubing). Lift up the tubing and power cord and drape over the edge of the pot to prepare for the next step in making your outdoor fountain from a pot.


Step 5

Add Stones

ADD STONES AND SECOND/THIRD POTS - Now it is the time to add those beautiful stones. Stones can range from the size of a dime to a small orange. Choose stones based on your personal style and the design of the fountain. Stones can be found at hardware stores and pet stores selling aquarium material.


Fill the stones to the level of your choice. Feel free to experiment with this as you will be adding your second pot on top of these stones.

*Be careful not to damage the pump or power cord.

Place your second pot on the stones and thread the tubing through the drainage hole so that 1-2 inches remains in the pot. Fill around the tubing with silicone caulk. Add stones around the tubing to conceal it.

Step 6

Fill with Water.

FILL WITH WATER AND PLUG IN - After allowing appropriate time for the silicone caulk to dry, it will be time to fill your outdoor fountain with water and plug it in. Fill the water just until it rises above the stones. Look at how the water flows, will you need to make adjustments?


Step 7


LANDSCAPE AND ENJOY - Now is the time to add water plants and surrounding landscape to make your outdoor fountain fit in to your backyard setting. Whether you have created a stylish fountain for a deck or an earthy fountain which almost blends in to a garden, enjoy your fountain and feel pride in your homemade outdoor fountain from a pot.