DIY Drum Water Feature

4 Materials
1 Day

I love the sound of running water. It's so calming and since we had an empty spot just outside our kitchen window, we decided to turn one of our empty drums into this water feature.
Not only does it fill that empty space up beautifully but it adds some much needed curb appeal too.
It was a pretty easy DIY too and I thought I'd share how we made ours, just in case you'd like to make something similar  For this project, you'll need a large, clean empty drum with a lid. Here's the one we used.
You'll also need:
  • A small prep bowl / stainless steel basin
  • Submersible water pump
  • Spray paint and primer
  • Angle Grinder and Metal-cutting discs
  • Drill and metal drill bit
  • “Faux” hand water pump or any other decorative pump

Place the basin or prep bowl face down on top, center of the drum and mark where to cut.
You'll need to take the lip of the prep bowl into account and adjust the cut line accordingly.
Fill the drum with water and use the angle grinder to cut along the marked line and watch the sparks fly  Please wear the right safety gear, when using any tools.
Use a metal file to file the sharp bits away and check that the prep bowl fits snugly.
Remove the basin and sand and paint the drum in a color of your choice.
Once the paint dries, the drum is ready to be turned into a water feature. I would have loved to use a solar-powered water pump for ours, but we couldn’t find one, so we used an electric one instead.Since the water needs to travel quite a distance up inside the drum we added a piece of flexible tubing to the pump’s outlet to guide the water.
Place the pump inside the drum and thread the other end of the tubing up through the hand water pump. If you don't have a hand water pump, you can make one from PVC pipes.
Plug your water feature in and you're good to go
We stencilled our house number on the front of the drum.
So not only do we have a beautiful water feature, we've also upped our curb appeal with a one-of-a-kind, DIY feature that doubles up as a house number.Would you turn a drum into a water feature? And If you'd like more detailed instructions, please use this link  Drum Water Feature Tutorial
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Michelle Leslie

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Shuganne
    on Dec 31, 2019

    What a beautiful project! I hope birds can come by for the occasional drink? I think putting the larger rocks in would prevent it from being used as a bit bath. (Sorry, but birds are not the cleanest creatures outside; few are.)

    My questions are: how frequently do you need to top off the water level? Evaporation must take its toll. Do you have to worry about freezing weather? I'd imagine the pump would crack if the water froze. But, most importantly, did you make the serenading frog from your blog, and could you share that project with us, too? He's just adorable!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Robyn Garner
      on Jan 8, 2020

      Unless you have continuously below freezing temps, you can safely keep the water barrel going. If it gets below freezing and stays that way for months, I would remove the water below the level of the pump and take the pump inside over the winter.

  • DB
    on Jan 2, 2020

    Did you have to put a drain in the prep bowl? Ive never seen one like that

    • Annette Thornton
      on Jan 10, 2020

      I love your project! And the birds will love this too! We live in Georgia -10 minutes from Florida --- and our summers can be down right brutal. Oh yes, the birds will love it! 😉🐦 Thank you for sharing!

  • LadyTee
    on Jan 9, 2020

    Nice idea can it be done with a plastic drum

    • Michelle Leslie
      on Jan 10, 2020

      Most definitely LadyTee as long as the lid (top bit) is strong enough to hold the basin. It will probably be easier to make too.

Join the conversation

4 of 32 comments
  • Sweet Laura
    on Jan 4, 2020

    loving this project!! Great idea and design

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jan 8, 2020

    I really love the simplicity and added house numbers. I'd do this if I were able to cut metal.

    • Robyn Garner
      on Jan 10, 2020

      LOL! Now I have to find a drum (that never contained anything hazardous to clean out), AND that doesn't have a sealed lid. Much hunting to do but great suggestion.

      I like tools and would like to grind if given a chance with the equipment. So for now, I'll just lust after yours. 😊 💖

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