Build a Rock Fountain in Six Steps

water bubbling out of rock water fountain
What You'll Need
2x3-foot plastic container, eight inches deep
Spray paint
Work gloves
Metal hog panel
Chicken wire
170GPH water pump
5/8-inch tube
Small and medium field stones
Hammer drill
3/4-inch masonry bits

A well-tended private garden can create plenty of serenity on its own, but a rock fountain addition can give the space some polish. Building your own is a relatively simple project that will give you free reign over the design for a more personalized touch. The following steps will show you how to make a bubbling rock fountain that is relatively small, inexpensive to construct, and simple to build.

Step 1 - Find the Right Location

You will want an area that will show off your new fountain, but you will still need an electrical outlet nearby. If the area you want to use does not have an outlet in the vicinity, see about calling an electrician to install a new one with a ground fault interrupter.

Step 2 - Prepare the Location

person with red boots digging with a shovel

It is time to get dirty as you prepare the area for the build. Take the container you’ve purchased and turn it upside down on the spot where you want the fountain. Trace the outline with the spray paint. Then, remove the container and use a shovel to dig out the area to the depth of the container. Use a level as you reach your depth to ensure that the plastic will sit evenly before you slide it into the hole. Replace the dirt around the seated plastic container, but be careful to not get any inside it.

Step 3 - Create Grid

The grid is what keeps water flowing properly and the rocks level. Before you start this process, put on a pair of heavy-duty work gloves if you haven’t already.

Make sure both your hog panel and chicken wire are cut to the dimensions of the container, with a few inches to spare just in case. Next, place the chicken wire over the hog panel lengthwise. Bend the wire around the short end of the hog panel until the panel does not have much give in either direction.

Step 4 - Place the Water Pump

The pump is what makes a fountain a fountain or else it is just stagnant water that attracts algae and insects. However, before you can place your pump, you need to attach a plastic tube to it. Follow the instructions for your specific brand of pond pump regarding how to do this. Then, put the pump in the container so that the tube is facing up. Move the pump as close to the center as possible to make sure it can circulate the fountain water without trouble.

Put the assembled grid on top of the container, making sure that the plastic tube is protruding from the center of the hog panel.

Step 5 - Drill the Fountain Rock

drill and accessories

Your large rock is going to become the actual fountain. This is a job that can be dangerous so observe all safety precautions such as wearing protective goggles as you drill. If you are not comfortable with this step, you can have someone at a home store do it for you instead.

Prepare the hammer drill by putting it in the rotary position, and brace with your chest. This will prevent it from slipping away from you and aid with supplying even pressure when drilling. With the drill against your chest, turn it on and put even downward pressure on the drill until it exits the bottom.

Step 6 - Finish Up

Move the large rock you just drilled into position on top of the plastic tube protruding from the grate. The tube should only enter the rock about an inch. If more than that is inside the rock, trim it down.

Place about half of your small and medium stones on top, flat sides down and evenly dispersed in a single layer. Then, fill the container with water, plug in the pump and finish placing the rest of the rocks.

When your fountain is finished to your liking, you can hide unsightly things such as plugs and sockets by adding garden accents like bushes, rocks, and garden gnomes.