7 Ideas for DIY Upcycled Water Features for Your Garden

Don't toss that old pitcher or bucket before you try these ideas.

Published March 17, 2023

Before you toss that broken vintage plate or old barrel, take a sec to consider the possibilities. There are so many fun DIY upcycled water features you can create for your garden or patio, and just about anything has the potential to become a relaxing fountain or cute bird bath.

Stack Vintage Enamelware

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Vintage enameled pitchers, washtubs, bowls, and other vessels have a ton of water feature possibility. A lot of the time, the enamel on these pieces is worn, and they can't be used for serving food or beverages. Instead, transform them into a fountain by gluing several together and adding a faucet and fountain piping from the hardware store.

Turn an Old Bucket Into a Floating Fountain

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Pick up a floating fountain kit from Etsy or a hardware store and transform an old metal pail or bucket into a centerpiece for your patio. It can be beat up and rusty, but it needs to hold water. You'll also want some cool rocks or stones for visual interest. This makes an awesome tabletop display.

Make a Wooden Barrel Fountain

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Turn half of an old barrel into a rustic fountain for your garden. You'll need a simple fountain kit, available at any home store. Add water plants to make your own little mini pond.

Drill Stones for a Cairn Fountain

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If you have the tools for drilling stone or can drop off some favorites at a local rock shop for drilling, you can create a simple stacked stone fountain that will charm everyone who sees it. Use epoxy or waterproof adhesive to stack the drilled stones, aligning the holes so you can run tubing for the fountain. Use anything as the base, from an old pie plate to a hollowed-out rock.

Create a Vintage Teacup Bird Bath

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A bird bath can make a lovely water feature, especially if you have a small-scale garden. Make a teacup bird bath by using epoxy to glue a teacup, saucer, and other china pieces together. This is a great way to use antique cups that are chipped or cracked, since the birds won't mind if they aren't in perfect condition.

Stack Old Watering Cans for a Rain Chain

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Turn a bunch of miniature watering cans into a rain chain for your garden. All you have to do is drill the bottoms and hang them together with chain. You can then hang the chain from your eaves or from a branch. The water will collect in the first watering can and continue down to the next.

Quick Tip

You can actually make a rain chain out of lots of upcycled things - basically anything you can drill. This is a great way to use old teacups, vintage pitchers, and even old tin cans.

Make a Washtub Waterfall

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You know those great old metal washtubs at antique stores and flea markets? You can turn those into freestanding waterfalls. Just stack them together in a tiered design (use anything you like to support them, from metal posts to rocks). Run tubing and make a simple self-contained waterfall.

Upcycle a Centerpiece for Your Backyard


Anything that holds water or looks pretty has potential when it comes to DIY upcycled water features. Give your cast-offs another look before you toss them or donate them; they just might be the new centerpiece for your backyard.

7 Ideas for DIY Upcycled Water Features for Your Garden