There are lots of ways to convert your barrel into a usable rain barrel, but these instructions will show you the simplest way to do it. This method only requires drilling two holes (one if you use a utility knife), and it doesn't require cutting a huge hole in your barrel.
Step 1: Parts List
Food Grade Barrel
1" ID (Inner Diameter) Hose
3/4" Drill Bit (optional, Utility Knife can be used instead)
1" Drill Bit
Nylon 3/4" MIP to 1" Barb Adapter
3/4" Hose Bib
Rain Water Diverter (can be bought or made. It is important that the diverter handles overflow when the barrel fills up)
Barrel - $20.00
Hose - $5.76
Adapter - $2.71
Hose Bib - $4.94
Total - $33.41
The diverter can easily cost as much as the rest of the system if it is bought online.
Step 2: Let the Water In
Notice how one (or both) of the two plugs for the barrel have threads in the middle of it. As it turns out, these threads can be used to connect our water source to the barrel. All that is necessary is to drill out the bottom of the threaded hole using a 3/4" drill bit. It is also possible to use a utility knife to cut out the bottom of this hole (be careful not to damage the threads!).
Now, screw the adapter into the plug. Be sure to put the plug back in the barrel and tighten it before you screw the adapter into the plug. The plug is much easier to tighten into the barrel when the adapter is not installed. This is a good time to make sure the other plug is tightened as well.
Step 3: Letting the Water Out
1. Mark the position where the hose bib should go. Be sure to mount it high enough that the barrel can sit on flat ground without resting on the bib.
2. Drill a 1" hole to mount the hose bib.
3. Screw the hose bib into the barrel
The rain barrel is now ready to be used! How simple was that?
Step 4: Find a Suitable Mounting Spot for the Rain Barrel
Install the rainwater diverter and make the connection from the diverter to the rain barrel.
Enjoy watering your garden/yard with your new Rain Barrel!