Repurposed Water Features

A backyard pond.
  • 4-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 0-500
What You'll Need
Wood/masonry screws
Power drill
Old pot, tub, drawer, or sink
Plastic liner
Water sealant
Paint brush
Submersible water pump
Foam sealant
1-inch plastic tubing

Water features add elegance to any garden. They’re a fun way to make your garden much more interesting; after all, they aren’t called features for nothing. But you'll pay a high price to have a professional landscaper install one in your outdoor area.

Repurpose materials to create your own affordable DIY water feature instead. They add a personal touch to your landscaping, and they don’t cost nearly as much as what the landscaper wants to charge. Repurposing old stuff allows you to let your own funky, unique style shine in an affordable and inventive way.

Create a DIY Pond

You don’t have to dig a hole to create a small garden pond. Repurpose an old drawer to turn it into a brand-new garden feature.

Step 1 - Prep the Drawer

Get an old drawer that's just waiting to be repurposed. Don’t worry about how water-tight it is; you’re going to take care of that soon. Clean the drawer and tighten it up with screws to make it more solid. If needed, add extra pieces of wood to the inside corners of the drawer and attach them with wood screws.

Step 2 - Waterproof It

Paint the entire interior of the drawer with a water sealant using a standard paintbrush. Cover the inside with plastic liner. This can be found at any home improvement store. Secure the liner around the edges with wood screws, and paint over the edges with the sealant. Use a power drill to place the screws, and save yourself some time.

Step 3 - Create a Pond

Add some heavy rocks to the bottom to keep the liner in place. Remember to use toxin-free materials if you plan to place fish in the drawer. Fill it up with water, and you’ve got yourself a pond. Add floating plants and decorative rocks as desired.

Step 4 - Complete the Look

You can hide what the drawer used to be by decorating the outside of your re-purposed pond with mosaic tiles or paint to make it look perfect. Or, celebrate your inventive recycling by keeping it as true to original as possible. You might be surprised by how good the drawer looks once it's turned into a pond, even without paint.

DIY Tip: A small pond can be made with an old drawer, a large washtub, even a sink you’re no longer using. Almost any container can become a pond if you let it.

Add a Fountain

Want moving water in your garden? It’s not at all difficult to create a water fountain using a water pump, which you can find at a home improvement or pool store. Use an old garden pot to create a stunning, cheap DIY water feature.

Step 1 - Prep Your Water Pump

Cut 1-inch plastic tubing to a size that’s 6 inches taller than the pot itself. Insert this tube into a submersible water pump.

Step 2 - Install the Pump

Place pump and tubing down inside your pot. Pull the attached power cord through the drain hole in the bottom of the pot. Apply foam sealant to fill the drain hole and seal up the cord. Test the area to make sure it's watertight before proceeding.

Step 3 - Place the Fountain

Choose a spot for your water feature, and don’t forget that you’ve got to plug in the pump. You can set it in the middle of your drawer pond, or just behind it, to create a bigger water feature.

Step 4 - Finish the Look

Hide the cord with plants and fill the pot with water. The pump will shoot water upward, creating a pretty fountain effect. Allow the water to run over the sides of the pot and you’ve got an interesting water feature in your garden.

DIY Tip: A water pump can be put into just about anything, so you can place a fountain anywhere in your garden. Get creative. Use an old watering can with the pump and spray water out of the spout.

Add DIY water features to the garden by repurposing your old stuff, and put it to good use. Give those old items new use in the garden to add interest and elegance to your outdoor areas.