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Pond, Fountain and Waterfall Projects You Can DIY

An attractive, low-maintenance water feature makes any yard more inviting. In this collection of DIY ponds, fountains and waterfalls, there's something for everyone. Check out these beautiful projects, along with the complete how-to instructions, and select the one that's going in your yard.

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Peaceful Pond and DeckFamily Handyman

Peaceful Pond and Deck

Are you in need of a little serenity now? A reflecting pond is just the place to rest your gaze after a trying day. This pond and deck is unique, not only in appearance, but also in building technique. Most ponds are free-form, informal shapes that have either soft or hard plastic liners dug into the ground. But for this homemade pond, we used simple wood walls to frame it and form the base for the surrounding deck. A single-piece rubber liner keeps the water in. And the garden berm that surrounds one end is practical as well as a nice landscaping feature. We simply mounded the soil dug from the pond hole so we wouldn't have to haul it away. This homemade pond isn't exactly a weekend project. In fact, even if you're in great shape, you should expect to spend the better part of a long day just digging the hole and laying in the gravel footings. The good news is that the construction is simple and doesn't require a bunch of expensive tools. Review the plans, techniques and complete how-to instructions for this project here.

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One-Day Mini Pond and Fountain

One-Day Mini Pond and Fountain

Build this compact, charming, inexpensive little pond and fountain in one day using simple off-the-shelf materials. This homemade water fountain spruce up your yard and provide a pleasant place for you to sit and for neighborhood birds to get a drink and splash around a bit. Get complete step-by-step plans here.

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Pond in a BoxFamily Handyman

Pond in a Box

Build this simple, above ground pond with a trellis and fountain in a weekend. The advantages of an above ground patio waterfall are:
  • With this design, there's practically none of the worst part of pond building — gut-busting digging. And that also means there's no huge pile of dirt to get rid of.
  • Talk about instant gratification! Build the walls and trellis in the morning and assemble the pond in the afternoon. Add the trim the next day and go buy goldfish!
  • Traditional in-ground ponds can be a drowning hazard for toddlers and pets. With this above-ground design, the risk is reduced.
Get the how-to instructions for this homemade pond here.

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Low-Maintenance Backyard PondFamily Handyman

Low-Maintenance Backyard Pond

A backyard pond with running water, floating plants and darting fish can make a bland space breathtaking. Keeping a patio waterfall attractive and trouble free takes work, but with a little extra care at the planning and building stages, you can create a pond that's almost maintenance-free. Here's how!

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Patio PondFamily Handyman

Patio Pond

This freestanding pond-in-a-box features a place for water plants and planters for in-ground plants. Construction for this homemade pond is easy and a brush-on rubber lining keeps the container water-tight. Check out the how-to instructions here.

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Pond with WaterfallFamily Handyman

Pond with Waterfall

Add the magic of moving water to your backyard, with a waterfall and pond. Preformed shells, rubber liners and off-the-shelf pumps and filters put the project's costs and skill requirements within easy reach of any do-it-yourselfer to build a homemade water fountain. You'll put in your share of sweat equity busting sod and hauling stone for a patio waterfall. But when you're done, you'll have a landscape feature to enjoy for years. Find everything you'll need to know to build this project here.

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Private Pond and WaterfallFamily Handyman

Private Pond and Waterfall

A backyard pond doesn't have to be big to have a big impact. This pond is less than 6 ft. long and just over 4 ft. across. But with its striking stone surround and sparkling waterfall, it can become the centerpiece of any landscape. Build this small pond in as little as one weekend! This design is versatile, too. You can make the pond twice as large as this one or half the size. You can locate it on flat terrain or tuck the stone waterfall wall into a slope. And unlike most ponds, this one won't leave you with a small mountain of soil to deal with—you can simply use the excavated soil to form a berm behind the waterfall wall. We show you how to build it from start to finish, here.

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Water Garden PondFamily Handyman

Water Garden Pond

Build this natural looking pond and waterfall, then stock it with plants and fish. Learn the basic techniques for creating a relaxing water feature in your own backyard, here.

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Bamboo WaterfallFamily Handyman

Bamboo Waterfall

You don't have to settle for some kitschy plastic-resin waterfall is you're looking for a unique water feature. Here's a simple and elegant way to add a soothing waterfall to your backyard. And you don't have to be particularly handy or have a shop full of tools . Learn how to build the bamboo sluice (in a single day) and how to build a small pond to catch the water, complete with a pump and water plants, here.

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Custom Stone FountainFamily Handyman

Custom Stone Fountain

This fountain is designed for simple installation and easy maintenance. There are no hard-to-use materials involved, no special skills or tools needed. And any mistakes you might make are easy to correct. The fountain shown is about 4 ft. in diameter. You could make yours half as big or twice as big using the same materials and methods. To change the look of the fountain, you can use a different type of stone, arranged any way you like. Find the step-by-step instructions, here.

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Concrete Garden FountainFamily Handyman

Concrete Garden Fountain

Modeled after an old millstone, this little fountain is the perfect size for a patio or small backyard. Constructed from concrete and common building material, you can construct it in a weekend. Here's how!

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Natural-Looking Artesian FountainFamily Handyman

Natural-Looking Artesian Fountain

If you're looking for an eye-catching feature for your patio, deck or even front entry, this natural-looking fountain will do the trick. Designed around a special stone with a 1-in. hole drilled through it, water from the pump gurgles up through the hole and overflows the stone. To reduce maintenance, we eliminated the collection pond. A gravel-filled reservoir below collects the overflow for recirculation. Since no sunlight can reach the water in the reservoir and support algae growth, the water stays pristine. Check out the complete how-to instructions, here.

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Stone-Lined Garden Pond with FountainFamily Handyman

Stone-Lined Garden Pond with Fountain

Create a stone-lined garden pond, then carve a waterfall out of a block of stone using basic power and hand tools. The technique is simple, even for beginners. Want to know how it's done? Find out, here.

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Cast Concrete FountainFamily Handyman

Cast Concrete Fountain

Enjoy the splash and sparkle of water indoors or out—with minimal maintenance and expense. Learn how to build this fountain out of concrete. You'll save several hundred dollars building this fountain yourself instead of buying it. So make a trip to your local home center to pick up the supplies, then follow these how-to steps to cast the fountain.