Country living, DIY, & a Dash of Fun!

DIY Water Fountain & planter from an old Wheelbarrow!

Wheelbarrow waterfountain

Cost of Supplies:  $50

Build Time:  2 hours



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***Update***  This is what my fountain looks like when the flowers have spread out.  BEAUTIFUL!!!


Nothing beats that soothing sound of trickling water as you sit on the patio sipping lemon aid….ahhhhhh 😉  Well I know that for some of you it’s still miserably cold outside, and it might just be a little too nippy to be sitting out relaxing on the porch…BOOO!But here in sunny Arizona the weather is warming up beautifully, so I thought I’d bring a little warm spring sunshine to you! 😉

I’ve been wanting to do a fountain project for some time now and all sorts of ideas have been running through my head on what I wanted to make.

One day, I was out feeding the horses and I noticed a rusty dilapidated wheelbarrow laying on it’s side with the wheel gone flat.  I remembered I had retired it LONGGGGGGG ago because the wheel wouldn’t turn anymore…..BAM!!!  There was my fountain!!!

The next thing I new I was running around like the Tasmanian devil getting all my supplies together!

Check it out in action!
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  • Scissors-to cut the vinyl pvc tubing
  • Hand drill with bits (will need a bit large enough to drill a hole for the vinyl pvc tubing to fit through)


  • One wheelbarrow (old or new)


  • Potting soil


  • Shepherd’s hook that stands erect when pushed into the ground-the top should be taller than the wheelbarrow

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  1. Black water basin-I used a 14″L x 14 “W x 13″H black planter  (with no holes in the bottom so it holds water) This size fits nicely into a full sized wheelbarrow and the black color hides the pump when it sits at the bottom.  A shorter water basin may be needed for a smaller wheelbarrow.  When placed into the wheelbarrow, the sides of the water basin should be relatively flush with the sides of the wheelbarrow
  2. Water/heat proof aluminum foil duct tape (this will hold and hide the vinyl pvc tubing as you run it up the shepherds hook)
  3. Metal watering can-I ended up cutting the spray spout or (rose) off the end of mine but if you are unsure if you want yours cut off or not, you can get one here where the rose actually unscrews
  4. 4ft Vinyl pvc tubing- (this is what carries the water from the pump up the shepherds hook to the top of the fountain)-the pump you buy should tell you what size diameter tubing it will fit to
  5. Fountain pump-get one that pumps the distance from the pump to the highest point that you run your vinyl pvc tubing.  HERE is the one that I used
  6. Spray paint-choose the color you want your shepherds hook to be (I painted mine a rustic rust color)

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Set up the wheelbarrow, shepherds’ hook, and watering can where you would like them to be.  Put the black water basin inside the wheelbarrow and measure the distance the water will flow by running water into the watering can with a hose to see how far the water will shoot out of the spout.  It should land into the water basin, so adjust as needed.


My spray spout or ‘rose’ kept sprinkling water inside AND outside my water basin which is why I decided to cut it off with a hack saw.  Now it pours one straight stream into the basin.  Every water can is a little different so you will have to experiment with yours what works best.


Also:  All pumps have a height limit…in other words, if you buy a pump that pumps 4 feet, make sure the vinyl tubing does not go any higher than that limit from where the pump is located, or else your pump will not be strong enough to work.

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Put the pump in the water basin


Attach the vinyl tubing to the pump

Tip:  To keep your pump from clogging, slip it into the end of some old pantyhose and tie it off.  This will filter out any debris that would otherwise clog your pump.


Fill the wheelbarrow with potting soil and level out the water basin


Run vinyl pvc tubing up on the outer side of the shepherds hook, wrapping and securing it with aluminum duct tape as you go.  Make sure you squeeze and press the foil duct tape all the way up with your hands so that it gives it a tight ‘crinkled’ look.

This type of duct tape is weather and water proof and will hold the tubing snug against the shepherds hook nicely 😉

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Keep going till you hit the end, right before the hook

Although I waited until later, now would be a good time to spray paint your shepherds hook the color that you like.  It will need a few coats.  I eventually painted mine a weathered rust color and it turned out nicely…so don’t let the unpainted foil-look scare you! 😉


Hang the water pail on the shepherds hook and mark where you will be drilling two holes into the water pail for the tube to pass through

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Now just plant some pretty plants and flowers, fill the water basin with water, and turn on the pump!  This is what the fountain looked like before I cut off the end of the water can.  It sprayed out cute, but a lot of the water was landing on the OUTSIDE of the water basin and was being wasted.  You will have to experiment with your own fountain to see what works for you! 😉


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It’s hat’s off to the Lost Dutchman Days Celebration!!!


Fudge Brownie, Andes Mint Trifle for St. Patrick’s Day


  1. Karen Clarkson

    Wow Tee…this is really cute! I will have to try to make one! Thanks!

  2. christa

    Ahhh….FINALLY EXACT INSTRUCTIONS with the watering can! THANK YOU! Seriously…I’ve been searching for days and though I found many with watering cans NONE of them gave Clear directions! I’m so excited! I CAN do this! It looks adorable and I would have probably cut the end off my watering can too just bc I think the sound will be much prettier! LOVE it! Thanks again….and YES I’m subscribing! 🙂

    • Tee

      Aww…I’m so glad you found my site Christa! I too couldn’t find anything about making a wheelbarrow into a fountain/planter either so I just rolled up my sleeves and figured it out myself! LOL 😉 Enjoy your fountain, I know I love mine! 😉

  3. Al St Aubin

    Just when I was getting ready to load that old wheel barrel and take it to the dump.

  4. Cute things just make me so happy! I find this wheelbarrow fountain, absolutely adorable! Thank you so much for showing how to create this masterpiece. I will probably have this in my side yard. My side yard is fairy themed. I want to look into getting more cute fountain for my side yard, and for inside my home as well.

    • Tee

      Hi Lilia!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my wheelbarrow fountain post! I love fairy themes (I’m wanting to make a fairy house out of an old stump I have in my yard) This fountain should look adorable in your fairy yard! You’ll have to send a pic when you’re finished putting it together!

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