Introduction: Beautiful + Easy Repurposed Fountain

About: I'm an artist and designer of interiors, furnishings, and graphics who is in love with her Mother Earth and the many joys of life. Check out my website to see more of my work, and have a lovely day!

This fountain was designed and made from repurposed parts collected from various other projects for a client in Maryland. The goal was for an aesthetically pleasing, lightly trickling fountain feature for the front courtyard of the home. I was also responsible for the landscape design and implementation, but I won't go into that here. This Instructable is for the Repurposed Fountain Feature only.

The Main Materials you will need:

  • The bottom bowl of a busted fountain I found at a scrap yard
  • Some chunks of slate that were leftover from the landscape design
  • A garden sculpture
  • ~ 3 ft of 1/4" clear tubing from the hardware store
  • A small fountain pump (found at the Home Depot)
  • C-hooks for attaching tubing to sculpture
  • A drill
  • Marine epoxy
  • Supplemental supplies for refinishing the basin (on Next Page)

Step 1: Step 1: Refinish the Basin - Gather Materials

The concept for the fountain came from my client's love of traditional blue glaze ceramics. Because we were on such a tight budget, acquiring an actual blue glaze pot was not feasible, so I decided to make my own. I very luckily happened upon a broken Renaissance-style three-tiered fountain at the local garden shop and was able to buy only the largest basin for a very reasonable price. Then I set to work turning this tattered concrete bowl into a beautiful work of pottery using:

  • Marine epoxy for filling cracks
  • Rustoleum spray Filler Primer in gray
  • Martha Stewart Crackle medium
  • Exterior high-gloss enamel in the Santorini blue color I selected + a large, good quality paintbrush
  • Rustoleum Triple Thick spray Glaze (2 cans)

Step 2: Step 2: Refinishing the Basin - Prime + Paint

Because I was using a somewhat busted basin for the fountain, I initially had to put some TLC into its refinishing:

  1. First and foremost, use the marine epoxy to fill any holes or cracks where water might have the potential to seep through the concrete. This is extremely important as water is heavy and powerful and if there were any cracks, the water would get in there and over time erode the concrete away causing the cracks to get bigger and eventually the basin will crumble.
  2. After letting the epoxy dry thoroughly according to the directions on the pack, give the entire basin a few good coats of an all-purpose gray filler primer and let it dry. The filler primer helps to smooth out the texture of the concrete basin, making it look more like ceramic, while providing an even base coat to paint over.
  3. Next, apply the crackle medium with your hand (being sure to wear gloves!) and rub it all over the surface of the basin in random thickness. The more medium goes on, the bigger the cracks will be, and the thinner the layer of medium, the smaller cracks. I wanted there to be as much variety as possible so I just dug my hand in the medium and smoothed it on haphazardly.
  4. After the medium is dry and the surface crackled to your liking, it is time for that gorgeous blue paint. Using the large paintbrush, apply a thick, even coat of the exterior enamel to the bottom of the basin first and let it dry thoroughly before recoating. Once the inside is to your liking, it is time to flip it and do the inside of the basin using the same method.

Step 3: Step 3: Attach the Tube

Once the basin is done, it is time to make the fountain work.

  1. Using a drill with a bit that matches the size of the threaded part of the C-hooks, drill evenly-spaced holes along the hairline on the back of the sculpture where the hooks will go to hold the tube secure.
  2. Thread the tube through the C-hooks leaving ~12-15" at one end for where the tube will attach to the pump under the sculpture, inside the basin.
  3. Working quickly, apply a dab of the marine epoxy inside one of the holes and shove the threaded part of the C-hook in the hole. Hold firmly for a minute until the hook sticks and does not try to come out. Repeat with all the holes until your tube is secured along the back of the sculpture and the excess is tucked over her shoulder toward the front of the fountain.

Step 4: Step 4: Assemble the Fountain

Now it's time to assemble the pieces and see your work of art come to life!

  1. Place the basin where you wish the fountain to go in your yard. Make sure you are close enough to a power source to plug the pump in.
  2. Thread the power cord of your pump through the center tube and out through the bottom of the basin and seal with the fountain plug.
  3. Place the pump inside the pedestal of the basin.
  4. Grab a buddy and have them hold the sculpture for you while you attach the clear tube to the pump nozzle and place the slate stones over the top of the pedestal.
  5. Place and orient your sculpture to your liking.
  6. Fill the basin with water, plug in the power cord, and watch the water start to flow out over your creation.
  7. As a final adjustment, you may want to trim the excess tube that is peeking over the shoulder of the sculpture to limit visibility or direct the water flow.
  8. Enjoy your new fountain art!

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