Tuesday, May 27, 2014

beefing up the water fountain part 2

the new and improved new water fountain

 I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. We spent some great time outdoors, playing in the water, going for walks, walking to a park, did some shopping, and finished our water fountain. If you remember we purchased one that is two tiers, not that tall but oh so pretty. I wanted to make it taller so I did some tweaking of it.

This is how it looked right after we purchased it, sitting on a table to add some height

We have a lot of huge wine barrels. No, this is not me coming out with a major drinking problem. I am almost certain these were purchased at a garden store. They were here when we bought our home. I use most of them as planters, but this one I never found a spot for. I had this idea of setting the fountain somehow in the barrel, with it raised and then adding another tier to the fountain. It worked just the way I thought but there was some hiccups along the way. 

The barrel, waiting to be classed up as a water fountain


Items you will need is-
* 1 large barrel
* a fountain of your choosing
* a large piece of plywood
* 1 2x4
* some screws
* plants or greenery for the inside of the barrel
* dirt
* planter netting

We used a scroll saw and a miter saw. Neither are necessary but this is what we used so my tutorial will have these in the steps.

the miter saw

So the goal here is to set the water fountain in the barrel, but not all the way. Make some kind of support that will raise the water fountain up and into the barrel with some height. My husband was the man on this project. I explained what I wanted and he ran with it. He came up with the idea of using the ply wood, cutting it to sit inside the barrel to the level I wanted. Then use the 2x4's and make two small supports under the plywood inside the barrel.

The first step is to measure and cut the plywood so that the circle can sit inside the barrel. We achieved this by setting the plywood on the barrel and tracing around the barrel on the plywood.

Sitting the plywood on top

Tracing away

The circle traced and ready to be cut. We cut this slightly smaller then the circle was traced since it is going to be set in the barrel. As the barrel goes down it becomes smaller. There was some trimming needed to be done after the fact.

The cutting of the board was done with a scroll saw. Bracing the board on a table and running the scroll saw along the circle we traced. 

The first cut was done and it was a little big.

My husband fixed this by slowly, little by little taking the scroll saw and trimming away piece by piece until we were able to edge it into the barrel. Things were moving, it was early afternoon, we had started after lunch. This is going to be quick, awesome and painless. And then......

.......this happened

Our old barrel gave out. There were many attempts of trying to fix it, hold it, glue it. We had the plywood cut perfect and were wedging it into the barrel. We wedged too much. Now this is not all our fault. The bottom pieces of the barrel had come apart, before we even started the project, and it weakened it enough to give out. Onto our local home improvement store it was to buy a barrel. Booo.... I hate spending money when it was not planned. We had to buy a $35 barrel, when less then an hour ago we had one. A little hiccup, but still. Once we got back it was on. The barrel was freakishly the same size. We got lucky there. Next is making the 2x4's into the support for the plywood. 

the circle wedged into the new barrel, no supports are under it yet

We measured once the plywood was in the barrel how the length from the floor to where the plywood circle was. Then cut 4 pieces to match that. And 2 smaller ones to bridge the two 2x4's together. 

this is showing how the supports would look

Next step is screwing them in together. This is basically a straight and narrow approach. Hold up the support and screw them in. We had to use longer screws then normal because they were going through the whole 2x4 and they would not be able to make it through to the other end and screw into the bridging 2x4. The longer the better for this job.

This is the support, before it was all screwed in we made sure by putting the longer 2x4 pieces into the barrel and then setting the plywood circle on top to make sure the length of the cuts was correct.

This is a example of how it will look inside of the barrel

Once that was done it was as simple as setting the supports inside the barrel and then placing the plywood circle on top. We did not even connect the circle to the supports, it was wedged in enough. And with the fountain on top it was more then enough to hold it in place. And that baby does not move. So it was done, now it was time to beautify it.

the fully supported newer height water fountain, time to add some flowers

There was a few conversations about how to handle putting flowers in and if we have to remove the fountain from the barrel the dirt and flowers would fall over. There was no real easy solution. But we did have some flower bed weed netting. You set this on top of your dirt in a flower bed and then cover it with dirt of mulch and it prevents weeds from moving in and bringing down the whole flower bed neighborhood. We cut two pieces of this netting. Both pieces were cut as the whole size of the barrel.

The reason why I used two pieces instead of one was to fold the two pieces over and allow the netting to sit around the fountain. So the fountain was placed in between the two pieces of netting. Once both were cut I stapled the netting to the inside of the barrel, cutting away the excess off so you could not see it on the sides.

placing the netting, where the hand is it became folded over to have a pocket of sorts to place the dirt and the flowers. With the netting sitting up against the fountain making a small flower bed surrounding the fountain.

Now it is time to get dirty. We purchased a mix of florals and greenery, two of them. Placing them towards the sides but a little to the front. Then 4 ivy vines placing two in the front and two in the back. Then filling in the remaining areas with new soil. I wanted to have an appearance of the greenery being natural, since the barrel looks very natural. It appears that the greenery just sprung up over time. Once that was done, we again cut the remaining netting that was sitting up against the fountain.

notice the netting up against the fountain. I am hoping it will help us keep the dirt and flowers in place if we ever have to remove the fountain to clean it. There will be some touch ups of course but not full on devastation.

And that folks is all she wrote. And me being the she who wrote. It turned out great. I love the overall look of it. And even with the new purchase of the barrel we came in around $98. Still cheaper for the size of fountain we now have then buying it brand new at the store. One this size was about $200 on up. We will eventually make one from scratch with a pond under it. But that is for another day. And this day, this summer, we have a cute fountain to improve the ambiance of our patio. And when I say ambiance I mean tell my kids 10,000 times to not put anything in the fountain. It has gotten old for them but the first few days was brutal. This was a moth to a flame, the flame being the fountain and my kids being the sandy handed moths.

so pretty, the fountain is all "beefed up"


the natural greenery.. planted and placed strategically, just like nature


 I love this seating area now, it is so relaxing


It was a fun way to tweak and improve the new fountain. I am much happier with it having some height. This was such a simple update. I know we lucked out with the fountain having a barrel look to begin with but most of the fountains we saw had rocks or barrels as the base. So to stack rocks or a barrel to the base to add height was a natural and easy progression. I hope this gives you all a few ideas, if you want a fountain but cant afford the big, huge, expensive ones. Get a smaller one and figure out a way to "beef" it up. Enjoy the relaxing sound of trickling water. I have it on a lot. Even from where I sit at my desk in the study I can hear it. It is a wonderful thing to hear. I hope you all enjoy this week. It is already Tuesday, four days this week. Bring it on!


  1. What a charming fountain! I am a huge water fountain gal and this one is one of my favorites that I have seen out there.


  2. Wow, thank you so much Linda. I love fountains too, this one was a little on the small side and now that I added to it I am much happier with it.

    Emily- Our house now a home

  3. Love how you added to your fountain to make it look even larger! great post-aimee

  4. thank you so much, it was a fairly quick and easy process to add to the fountain with great results. So happy you stopped in!

    Emily- Our house now a home

  5. We worked on our water fountain this past weekend. Great timing on getting yours ready to enjoy! Love it! Thanks for linking up to the DIY'ers!

  6. Thank you Ashley, it was top priority to get it done so we can enjoy it.

    Emily- Our house now a home

  7. Thanks for the step by step how to pictures, this looks like a great project to take on. I thought that big wine barell was going to fall apart never to be put back together again but you've managed to give it a new lease of life :) Great job

  8. I am happy you enjoyed the tutorial. We had a few hiccups with the barrel but we managed to find our way to the end with a newer, larger fountain. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  9. Wow, love your fountain! What a nice place to sit and enjoy the calming sound of trickling water...
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

    1. thank you so much, it is a great place to rest and relax!

  10. Marilyn from Merry Mondays stopping by to thank you for joining and hope to see you next week!

  11. thank you so much for stopping by, I loved the link party!


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