Relax: Build a Soothing Outdoor Fountain

The healing benefits of moving water have been well documented throughout history. Outdoor water fountains not only add class and personality to your landscape but also offer a simple injection of peace and tranquility that has numerous health benefits. After a long day, there is something very soothing about sitting back and listening to the trickle of water.

Fountains attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and research has proven that watching and being in nature is a wonderful remedy for stress and anxiety.

Although you can purchase any number of commercial fountains, why not make your own simple fountain? Just the benefit of being busy with your hands can improve your mental state of mind. You don’t need to have any special skills to construct this fountain.


  • Large plastic basin, like a plastic tote
  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Pond pump with fountain head
  • Metal screening
  • Scrap lumber
  • Large decorative stones
  • Small decorative pebbles


  1. Select an area for your soothing fountain. The location should be near water and electric sources for easy care.
  2. Select a basin to use for your underground water storage. Measure the basin and dig a hole that is 3 inches deeper and 3 inches wider than the basin.
  3. Fill the bottom of the hole with 3 inches of gravel, then set the basin on top.
  4. Place a pond pump, with a fountain head that is slightly taller than the rim of the basin, inside the basin. Run the cord for the pump over the top of the basin, but do not plug it in yet.
  5. Cut a piece of metal screening to fit over top of the basin. Make a hole in the center large enough to fit the fountain head through.
  6. Place the screening on top of the basin and thread the fountain through the hole.
  7. Place a few pieces of scrap lumber across the screening. These will support the stones that will disguise the basin.
  8. Place several large decorative stones on top of the lumber. Arrange the stones so the water flows down them and back into the basin. The stones should also be stacked around the fountain head to create a natural look.
  9. Fill the basin with water. Plug the pump in and be sure that the fountain operates properly. Pour decorative gravel around the base of the larger stones and over the top of the electrical cord to hide it.


  • Landscape around your fountain and add outdoor lighting so that you can enjoy it after the sun sets.
  • Be sure to drain your fountain and store it in a dry location if you live in a northerly climate.
  • Keep an eye on the water level at all times, add water if necessary.
  • Place your fountain near a seating area or create a seating area so that you can sit and enjoy the gurgling water.


-The Alternative Daily

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