How To Make A Clay Pot Fountain

A few weekends ago my husband and I made this super easy clay pot fountain. We love water features, and  love the sound of running water in our compact backyard. We also live near a busy street and the sound of water helps to soften the noise. (Watch fountain running; video at the end of this post)

It’s always a nice thing when you can make something out of unused materials that are sitting in your garage

For this project we used old Italian clay pots that we had sitting around in the garage,  just waiting to be put to good use.

It was 5 or 6 years ago that we made our first fountain, and it’s still running.  I first decided I wanted to try and make one after reading an article in a Martha Stewart Magazine

I thought the fountain was beautiful, and I had to try and make one. I also, just happened to have, lots of Italian clay pots sitting around that needed a new purpose.

My way of making the fountain is slightly different from Martha’s. The first time I tried to make the clay pot fountain, I followed the directions in the magazine exactly, and used foam sealant per instructions. Unfortunately, I did not have good luck with it. The sealant took way to long to dry, was messy,  and it didn’t seal the hole. I may have done something wrong, I’m not sure.  I didn’t let myself get discouraged by this, I still wanted to make the beautiful fountain I saw in the MS magazine. So, off to the hardware store I went to find a new way to seal the holes in the pots. I was determined, and I wanted to complete my DIY fountain project in one day.

At the hardware store my husband and I found a solution to seal the holes. The solution was Waterproofing Tape. No standing around twiddling our thumbs waiting for foam sealant to dry.

Here is my way of  making a Pyramidal Pots Fountain

Supplies Needed

• You will need 3-4  sturdy clay pots for the pyramid.
We used pots sized from bottom up.
20′, 16″, 12″, & 8″. They need to have a hole in the bottom. And the hole has to be large enough to insert the tubing. I prefer Italian Clay Pots, because they are very sturdy. Note: We live in Southern California so we don’t have to worry about freezing temps.

• 2-4 smaller pots 8-10″ in diameter- To use inside larger pots.
• 4 bricks
• Fountain pump
• 1- roll Waterproofing Repair Tape
• Small Rocks
• Level and Scissors

Let’s Start Building The Fountain

> The first thing you want to do is gather all your supplies so they are handy.

> Pick a spot for your fountain and make sure it’s level. Remember, you will need to have an electrical outlet close, so you can plug in the pump.

> Start with the largest pot, the one that is going to go on the bottom. Make sure   it is clean and dry. This will help you make a good seal with the waterproofing tape.

> Cut a piece of waterproofing tape, peel off backing, and cover the hole in the pot.

> Cut several pieces of tape and crisscross to make a good seal.

> Move the base pot to the location you have chosen. You will build the fountain in place. It’s not advised to move the fountain after it is built.

> Use two bricks on the bottom of the big pot. Cut a piece of pump tubing. Important: make sure tubing is long enough to reach the top of your fountain when it’s finished   (approximately 4 feet). You can cut any excess later, but it won’t be good if the tubing is too short to reach the top.

> Place pump with tubing on top of bricks. Make sure the electrical cord is toward the back of the fountain so it won’t show when you are finished.

> Feed the tubing through a small pot and sit the pot over pump on top of bricks.

> Feed tubing through the next base pot, mine was 16″
> Use some waterproof tape to make a seal around tubing
> Place 2 more bricks and another small pot

> Continue building your fountain in this manner until you get to the top pot. See image below

> Check to make sure the pots are level. Adjust as necessary. Note: If you need to move the fountain use caution to not break the seals or pull out the tubing

> Fill the Pots with water and turn on the pump. Use caution or you might get wet.

> When you see everything is running OK carefully add rocks to the top 2 or 3 pots. Use the rocks to direct the flow of water.

That’s it! You are now done with your Clay Pots Pyramid fountain. It took my husband and I about one-hour to make our fountain.  I hope you make a fountain of your own. I would love to see pictures.

Sit Back, Take a Deep Breath, and Relax for the next 30-sec. as you watch and listen to the running water. WordPress took away the option of adding videos on a free site so you can no longer view it here. Click on the link below to see it on Youtube if you would like to see it running.

View video on Youtube

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have a question or don’t understand the directions, just leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.





Here is a picture of the pump we use in our fountain. I’ve been asked what kind of pump we used and I didn’t really have an answer until I took the fountain apart for repair. The pump has been going strong for many years without any problems. I hope this helps.


65 responses to “How To Make A Clay Pot Fountain

  1. Pingback: “How To Make A Clay Pot Fountain” by Tamara Maellaro, Member of the Kidz Rock! Inc. Board of Directors « Kidz Rock! Inc.

  2. Making your own water fountains can be a great challenge for you but it is also great because it might show off your creativity and self-determination. Following the steps above on how to make water fountains by using clay pot fountains is great guide for your plan. Moreover, if you don’t wan to make water fountains by yourself, you can avail some great deals on Orange County water fountain.

  3. Hi Harvey, Thanks for your comment. I love making things myself, just like this fountain and I also think hiring a pro is important for larger jobs. We hired a pro to build our pond. From your website it looks like you do great work.

  4. What size pump did you use?

    • Hello Brian, Very good question. I used a pump that pumped 100-155/GPM and had a lift of 49 inches. I don’t remember the brand. As far as tubing size, each pump is different so check the box. Thanks for stopping by.

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    Hi, just wanted to say, I liked this blog post. It was helpful.

    Keep on posting!

  8. Do you not ever have to clean the pump?

    • Hi Judie,

      We have 2 of these fountains running right now. They have been running for 6 years or so. We leave them running most of the time. Turn off for vacations and that kind of thing. We have never had a problem with the pumps. We do clean debris out of the bottom pot using a wet vac on rare occasion if we notice the fountain running slow.

      The only way to get to the pump, is to take the fountain apart. We took 1 of our fountains apart once when we tried to move it and pulled the tubing out of the pump. We took the fountain apart, checked, cleaned the pump and pots, then rebuilt the fountain.

      I hope this helps,

  9. Some good points listed here that most may not think about. Thanks for the info.

  10. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for inexperienced blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  11. This is awesome! About how much did it cost you to make?

    • Hello N Harmon,

      It has been a long time since I made these. If I remember correctly it cost around $75 or less. We had the pots and bricks already so we did not have to buy them. All the pots together would probably cost around $100-150 new. The pots I used were Italian clay that I was no longer using for planting flowers.

      Thank you for your question,

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  13. Did you seal the inside of the pots??

    • Hi Krista, I did not seal the inside of the pots. I only used the waterproof tape to seal the holes. The fountains are still running. In fact, I’m enjoying the sound of them as I write this.

  14. So does the plug for the pump just hang off the back? No hole drilled for it? Thanks

  15. Reblogged this on camillefrate and commented:
    OHHH i want to try making this for my porch

  16. Did you use a cement brick as a base then place your pots on top of that, or is the largest bottom pot on the ground?

  17. Also, what kind and size of bricks did you use?

  18. Your instructions make the meat sense fire me and answered Q I had after a few attempts at simple one pot fountains.

  19. So aren’t you actually using 5pots? The three up standing and the two turned downwards? Thanks

    • Hi Jo, For the fountain in my pictures I used 7 pots total. 4 large and 3 small. It all depends on how large you want your fountain, and in my case what I had in my garage.

  20. Hi, thanks for your easy to follow instructions. I’ve been wanting to make something like this, but was not sure how or what I needed. I’m going to give it a try this weekend.

    • Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for your comment. I hope your fountain works well for you. We are still enjoying ours. They are still working perfectly with very little maintenance. -Tamara

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  22. Hi Kathy,
    I made one of these beautiful fountains and I want to love it but I’m having issues. There are NO leaks (as I’ve filled ALL 3 and allowed them to sit for some time) but ALL my water keeps pumping OUT of the bottom pot and on the ground! Do you or your husband have any idea what’s wrong? I’m getting so discouraged.
    Thank you sooo much for the lovely tutorial. Your fountain is fantastic!

    • I’m so sorry…..I meant for this message to got to Tamara! Sorry….I can’t find a edit button.

    • Hi Christa,
      I’m so sorry you are having troubles. I’m trying to think what the problem would be. It’s hard to say without seeing the fountain. I guess my first question would be…Is the water making it up to the top pot? Did you bring the tubing all the way to the top (small pot). There may be a leak at the bottom pot so the water is just filling up the bottom pot and spilling out. That would also mean the top pots won’t fill up. Does it sound like that might be possible. I’m not sure if you can add pictures to your comment. Hope this helps. -Tamara

  23. Tamara….Hey thank you so much for answering! I don’t think any of pots are leaking bc I filled ALL 3 of them up and let them set for maybe 3 to 4 hours and they all held water level. My tubing goes all the way up and it works great for a day or so and then my bottom pot goes dry or nearly dry. Crazy! The top 2 pots hold the water level but not the bottom one. I’m going to redo it again tomorrow…I tipped it over earlier and drained it all. ugh! I’ll try and get pics but don’t think that will be of much help. Thank you again!!! Awesome that you took the time to answer. 🙂 Be Blessed!

    • Christa,
      It’s my pleasure to answer. Now I’m thinking the seal on the bottom hole must be leaking. That is if you have a drain hole in your bottom pot. The good news is when we had to redo one of our fountains it went much faster because we knew what we were doing. Good luck and keep me posted. 🙂

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  25. I was making my water fountain this afternoon and having a concern about sealing the pot holes. I bought a silicone sealant but the hole was large, I thought the water would still sip through it and may leak even after I seal it. Tomorrow I will buy the waterproofing tape. Your water fountain looks great! Thank you so much for sharing this video (especially your tip on the waterproofing tape)!

  26. I love this post and the great instructions you provide, and would like to make this. I do live in a place where it freezes in the winter, however. What would you suggest I do to winterize the fountain? Or would I have to try to move it into the garage?

    • Hello,

      I think you would have to move into the garage. Being I live in sunny CA I don’t have to worry. I would say take apart and store the pots, then rebuild after threat of freezing.

      I hope this helps,

  27. Is there an easy way to actually drain this fountain for winter storage? I live in the north and would need to winterize it. Possibly would have to take it apart each fall to store so that the pots would not break – correct?

    • Hello Linda,

      I don’t think there is a really easy way to drain the pots. As you probably read I live in CA so I never have to empty. I leave them running 24/7. They are not hard to take apart, so that would be an option. I have 2 of these fountains in my backyard. I have taken both apart to rebuild several times. It was very easy to do. It was also a good time to scrub and clean the pots.

      Good luck,

      Tamara Maellaro

  28. Pingback: How To Make A Clay Pot Fountain – Pot Gardening Info

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  31. An easy way to drain without taking it apart is to use a simple siphon. A length of tubing twice the depth of the biggest pot would work. Submerge the tubing to fill it, cover one end with your finger so it doesn’t drain out, then hang that end outside of the pot so that the end is sitting below the water level. It should suction out the water. There are also battery-powered siphons for the same purpose that work very well.

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  41. Virginia Weeks

    Beautiful water fountain! Question: How do you keep the water clean?

    • Hello Virginia, I don’t really worry about it. One way I keep it nice is I never turn the fountain off. I add water to it about once a week. It gets some algae growth, but it doesn’t bother me. It just looks like aging/patina on a clay pot. I hope this helps.

  42. I live in Long Island where it freezes in winter… it okay to use plastic pots for this beautiful fountain?

    • I don’t have any experience with freezing weather so I don’t have a good answer. Maybe someone will read your comment and have a solution for you.

  43. What are the details about the pump?

    • Hello Evelyn, I’m so sorry I’m just answering this question now. I just took my fountain apart to clean and repair it so I took a picture of the pump we used. This pump has been working for many years without any problems. The Pump is by Beckett CORP M130AUL. I will try and upload a picture of it.

  44. This is very helpful. In new ideas and construction information. Keep up for us who can’t think of the best ideas and some so simple

  45. Phyllis Hodges

    This is beautiful, I love fountains can other type of pots be used other than clay pots?

    • Hello Phyllis, Yes you can use other types of pots. A glazed pot would work beautifully. The pot just needs a hole in the bottom that will fit the tubing.

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