Introduction: How to Make a Three Tiered Garden Fountain
Create the effect of an expensive fountain for your garden at a fraction of the cost by making one from parts found in thrift shops.
You will also need spray paint, epoxy putty and, if you don't already have them, a pond liner, pump and tubing.
Here's how to do it.
Step 1: Finding the Parts
Decide about how tall you want your fountain to be. Then look in thrift shops, yard sales and/or flea markets for the following items.
1 A base. This will be the tallest part of the fountain.
2 A basin, for the lower level. It will be and largest diameter basin.
(In the picture, it's the top of the table)
3 A spacer for between the lower and middle basins. This will be shorter than the base.
4 The middle basin, smaller in diameter than the lower basin.
5 Another spacer, shorter than the middle one.
6 Another basin, smaller in diameter than the middle one.
7 A decorative top for the water to flow out of.
You may want to get some extras for experimenting with when stacking the parts to see how they will look.
The items in the photo are ones I found.
The two items with question marks were not used.
Ideally, the basins would be like very shallow bowls, but these flatter ones work surprisingly well.
Of course, what you find will be different.
Maybe even better!
Step 2: Checking the "Look"
Now stack the pieces to see how they look together.
Try alternative parts, if you have some, to select the best looking group.
Think only about the shapes and sizes. The differences in materials and colors will be overcome by spray paint!
Step 3: Drilling Holes for the Tubing
Next drill holes in the centers of the parts for the water tubing to go through.
I drilled the holes slightly smaller than the tubing, expanding them with a regular bit until the tubing had a snug fit. The holes could be drilled slightly larger than the tubing and the gaps filled with a paintable sealant.
Step 4: Insert Water Tubing and Fasten Parts Together
This step required some improvising.
Although I drilled through the bottom of the table (as pictured for step 3), we decided to stand the table in the pond. If the tubing had gone out the bottom, it would have been too low for the pump.
Also the center spacer turned out to be made of rather hard metal and I decided not to drill through it. You can see the tubing passing along the left side, but it's barely noticeable when finished.
Also, because I couldn't put screws or bolts through the legs to attach to the basins, I used metal fasteners tightened over the legs and epoxy putty pressed into the gaps. (Picture 4a)
The top spacer seemed a little short, so I added another piece I found at home, held in place with epoxy putty. Again, these are barely, if at all, noticeable when finished. (Picture 4b)
Step 5: Painting the Fountain
To give a good finish and protect the parts, I chose to paint with a spray can paint made to cover any type of surface with a brown "Hammered" finish.
It took nearly two cans for two coats, several hours apart.
Of course, even with the leading brand of paint, the wood parts will not hold up indefinitely exposed to water, and you may want to use only metal or heavy plastic parts.
Step 6: Place in Pond, Attach Pump, Adjust Water Flow, Enjoy
Place in Pond, Attach Pump, Adjust Water Flow, Enjoy
Title pretty much says it all.
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