Introduction: DIY Mini Fountain
My instructable 'DIY Tabletop Fountain' is a small replica of the bigger versions that you may have come across in your day to day life. It also shares some characteristics of a waterfall, so we can say that it is a Waterfall = Falltain (hahahaha..). It also has a special moving instructables robot decor and some lights which makes it look even more beautiful.
This instructable may seem long but it is super easy to follow. All the steps are divided into 4 parts:
- PART 1: Step 1 to Step 7 (Making the base and upper platform)
- PART 2: Step 8 to Step 12 (Making Instructables robot decoration)
- PART 3: Step 13 to Step 21 (Making the small decorations)
- PART 4: Step 22 to Step 23 (Assembling the fountain)
( Materials for each part is provided in the first step of each part. So, what are you waiting for? Gather them and make it with your friends and family.
Step 1: PART 1: BASE AND UPPER PLATFORM
There will be two major platforms of our fountain, first one is the base and the other one is the water pouring part. So from Step 1 - Step 6, I will show you how to make these two things. So here are the things that you will require while making it.
- Plastic plate
- Old Newspaper
- White sheet
- Brown/Cello tape
- Tissue paper
- Green colour
- Yellow ochre/ brownish yellow
- Blue colour
Step 2: Preparing the Structure
For this, take the circular plastic plate, measure its radius. For example if it's radius is 4", add 1" to it and now it is 5", and now this will be the radius for the circle which we are going to cut from the cardboard. Now, cut a circle of radius 5" from the cardboard. The general idea is to keep the radius of the cardboard 1" bigger than that of the plate.
Now, paint the cardboard with blue colour. Fix the plate over the cardboard and stick it using a tape. The main structure for our base is now ready!
Step 3: Making the Boundary
Now, take a page out of an old newspaper. Roll it along its length so as to make a cylindrical pipe like structure. Repeat the same process and make another one. As you can see some area is left on the cardboard after placing the plate. Cover this remaining boundary with these newspaper rolls using a tape. I hope now you have got the answer why we have kept the cardboard slightly bigger than the plate.
Step 4: Pro Tip: the Sticky Science
The brown tape is more adhesive than the cello tape. So use the brown tape in the areas which will be covered and decorated further.
Step 5: Covering With Tissue Paper
Now, take about 4-5 pieces of tissue paper and tear them into pieces. Keep it aside. Now, we are going to make a mixture to paste our tissue paper on the boundary of the circle.
Take 1/4 cup of glue and 1/4 cup of water or we can say that the ratio of glue to water is 1:1. Cover the area of newspaper rolls by using tissue paper and glue paste which we have made. Leave it overnight to dry.
Step 6: Colouring the Boundary
Now mix three parts yellow ochre/brownish yellow with 2 parts green colour. The ratio is 3:2. I have used poster colours because they are opaque and dry quickly. You can also use water colour or acrylic colours. It is up to the availability.
Cover the whole tissue paper part with this colour. When you are done leave it for around 10-15 minutes, so that the colour dries.
After it has dried, the surface seems a bit rough because of the tissue paper which gives it a good texture. So do not try to do anything to make the surface even.
Step 7: Making the Upper Platform
So, as we have completed making our base, it's time to make second platform of our fountain.This will basically pour water in the base (or we can say artificial water).
So, take the bowl and cover it with a sheet of white paper using glue. Now, mix three parts yellow ochre/ brownish yellow with two parts green colour. This is the same colour we have used for the base. Cover the whole bowl with this colour. Don,t cover the inner surface with this colour. Leave it for 5-10 minutes to dry.
Step 8: PART 2: INSTRUCTABLES ROBOT DECORATION
Instructables robot is quite cute and most of all it reflects my DIY identity. So decorating my fountain with this robot is the best idea. And I have used my imagination to make it look even more beautiful.
I will make this robot as a self rotating decor. For this I will use an old clock machine. As the seconds hand of the clock ticks every second, likewise the robot will also move with every second. Step 8 - Step 12 will show you how to do it. So here are the materials that you will require while making it.
- Sipping straw
- Robot print
- Clock machine and seconds hand
- Battery for clock machine
Step 9: Taking Out Clock Machine
First of all find an old wall clock and take out the machine and the seconds hand.
To take out the machine turn your clock back and I think you just have to screw out the nuts and bolts and then you will get your machine. But before this you have to take the glass out of the clock and once you have opened it take the dial (central button like structure) out. With that your seconds hand will also come out as it is attached to the dial. And ya... the most important thing that you have to keep in mind is that take these things out of the clock after taking the proper permission from your mom or you will end up getting a scold as the same thing happened with me.
Step 10: Fixing the Machine
Now we will fix this machine in our project. For this, cut a circular piece of cardboard so that it could act as a lid for our water pouring bowl. Make a hole at the center of it.
As you can see, the central part at the surface of the machine is having circular pin type structure. Fix the machine at the bottom of the lid so that the circular pin protrudes out from the hole of the cardboard. Fix this cardboard lid on the bowl using tape. Now, the only part of the clock machine which is visible is the circular pin in which the dial will be fitted.
NOTE: Try to change the old battery with the new one before fitting it in the bowl because after fixing it in its place it will be difficult to change it.
Step 11: Making Robot Decoration
Now we will make the straw system on which the robot will move. So for this, cut a straw of length which is equal to the diameter of the water pouring bowl. Cut another two straws each of whose length is equal to half the size of the bigger straw.
Now take the bigger straw and make a hole at its center. Make another hole beside the previous one. Place the two smaller straws at the bottom of the two holes and attach the smaller ones to the bigger one using a tape. You can also use a hot glue gun. Both the things work well.
Tip: In place of the bigger straw you can also use a thin wood stick, so it can hold the weight easily but do not use wood stick in place of the smaller straws because then we will not be able to fit the stick on the seconds hand.
So, when you have attached the three straws together, it's time to place the instructables robot on the straws. But before that please print the 2 images of robot. Cut out the robots from the prints. Now, cover the upper half parts of both the cuttings with cardboard. Remember, do not cover the lower part or you will face difficulty in the next step. To fix the robot on the straw, apply glue on one leg of both the robots and fix the two robots on both the ends of the bigger straw. As you can see in the image, fix the robots at 90° angle.
Now, colour the backside of both the robots with yellow colour so that it looks beautiful when it rotates.
Step 12: Attaching the Robot Structure
Now, we will attach the robot decoration that we have made with the water pouring container.
For this, firstly take the water pouring container and attach the seconds hand of the clock with small circular pin that is coming out of the lid. Fold it on both the sides as shown in the picture. Cut the excessive part of the bigger end so that both the sides look alike. And bend the hand vertically.
Now, take your robot and straw setup and fit the two small straws over the bent hand of the clock. And now it is done! Your robot decoration is ready to move and rock in your project. I personally believe that this decor is the best part of the project. What do you think ?
Step 13: PART 3: DECORATION
Now all the parts of our project is almost complete. But don't you think that we are missing the most fun part ? If you are thinking it is decoration, then you are correct.
From Step 13 - Step 21 you will find out how to make some of the very cute and tiny decorations.
Stone and mushroom:
- Tissue paper
- Ceramic powder/ cornflour
- Black colour
- Brown colour
- Yellow ochre/ brownish yellow
- White colour
- Red colour
- White paper
- Green colour
- Yellow ochre/ brownish yellow
Flowers and leaves:
- Red paper
- Green paper
- Metal wire
- Green tape
- Thick foam
- Brown colour
- Double sided transparent tape
Lighting the fountain:
- 5 bulbs
- 2 meter electrical wire
Step 14: Making the Stones
For making the stones, first we have to make the paper clay which we will mould into the shape of stones.
For making the clay, tear 4-5 sheets of tissue paper. Soak the paper in water for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the pieces out of the water and squeeze the water out of it. It will turn into a lump of paper. On a plain surface, such as over a table, kneed it with hands. You can also wear gloves to prevent the clay from sticking to your hands. After this, add 3 teaspoons glue, 2 teaspoons ceramic powder/ cornflour, 1 teaspoon lotion. To add lotion to clay may not sound good but the main idea behind this is to prevent the clay from drying very quickly. Now mix this all and kneed properly with your hands. Put it aside for about half an hour and let it settle.
Now take some clay and shape them into stones as shown in the image above. Make sure you keep them of different sizes.
To colour the stones, make a mixture of three parts white colour and one part black colour. After mixing, it will look like grey colour. Colour some stones with it. Use brown colour and brownish yellow colour to paint some other stones. We have used different colours because in nature, we will not find all the things of same shape and colour.
Step 15: Making Mushrooms
Take some clay from which we have made the stones. We will make the mushrooms in two parts- the head and the stem.
To make the head of the mushroom, mould some clay in the shape of a bowl and to make the stem, mould the clay into a thick and short stick. Now place the stick inside the bowl like head and fix it using glue.
Paint the head of the mushroom with red colour and the stem with brown colour. I have made 2 mushrooms and I think they are enough to decorate our fountain.
Step 16: Making the Flowers
Flowers are the most colourful gift of nature and it is must to incorporate these in our fountain.
To make the petals of the flowers, draw the petals on the coloured sheet and cut it out. Here I have sheets of red and orange colour. You can use your favourite colours.
To make the stem, cut metal wire into small pieces and cover it with green tape. Now fix the petals over the stem using glue. I have made 5 flowers and suggest you to make in between 4-7.
Step 17: Making the Leaves
For making the leaves, draw about 15 leaves on green coloured paper and cut them out. Now, to make the stems use the same method as we have used in making the flower stem. Paste 3 leaves on each stem. And now we have got 5 leaf stems. Do not make more than that because we will also make grass.
Step 18: Making the Grass
To make grass, shred some paper into long and thin pieces. I have done this with 5 sheets as I think they are enough to cover the whole surface.
Make the same colour as we have made to cover the container and the boundary of the base. But this time add a little bit extra water to make it thin. Dip these shredded paper in the green colour. Leave it for around 2-3 minutes. Next, take these out and spread them over an old newspaper or an old cloth. Leave it for 1 hour to dry. And after that collect it in a container.
Step 19: Making Rocky Mountains
We will make 2 mountain type structures to decorate our water pouring conainer.
For this, take 2 pieces of thick foam and cut them into shape of semi circle. To make it look like rock, use a scissor to make different texture. Do not leave any smooth surface.
Next, paint these rocks with brown colour and leave it for 2 hours to dry. ( foam takes more time to dry )
Step 20: Making Artificial Water
Here, in our project we will use both the natural water and artificial water. As our base is made of plastic, it can easily hold water. So we will fill normal water in it. But we will do it at the end or else we will face difficulty while completing the rest of the project.
For making artificial water, take the transparent double sided tape and cut one piece of length of about 10 cm and cut another piece of length 7 cm. Lay these over a surface in such a way that the non-sticky side is in contact with the surface and the sticky side is exposed above. On this side spread some PVA glue. Let it dry for 24 hours. It may also take more time than that. It all depends on the weather.
Step 21: Making Lighting Setup
This is a bit tricky part if you have never done this before but I have tried to explain this in the best way possible.
Take an LED bulb and a pair of electrical wires. Connect the negative (black) wire with the negative pin of the bulb and the positive (red) wire with the positive pin. Do the same with other 4 bulbs. Now, connect all the 5 positive(red) wires together and then connect all the 5 negative (black) wires together. In a way we can say that we are just left with one pair of wire.
Now, take the battery and connect the positive (red) with the positive terminal of the battery and the negative (black) wire with the negative terminal of the battery. (Both the positive (+) and the negative (-) sign are marked over the battery.) I have used a 9 watt battery because it is difficult for a smaller battery to light 5 bulbs.
Next, connect the negative (black) wire of the battery with one pin of the switch and connect the lump of 5 negative (black) wires with another pin of switch. Connect the positive (red) wire of the battery with the lump of 5 positive (red) wires. Secure all the connections with a tape.
(In the image shown above, in some places, I have not used the combination of red and black wire, so please take the help of description to understand it well.)
Now, our circuit is complete. Switch ON to check whether the circuit is working or not. If yes, then well done. But if no, then you can tell me in the comments, so that I can try my best to solve your problem.
Step 22: PART 4: ASSEMBLY
Now, we have made all the parts of our project. The only work that is left is to assemble all the parts of the project. The next step will show you how to do it. Here are the things that we have made for our project:
- Upper platform/ water pouring container
- Moving robot deocration
- Flowers and leaves
- Rocky mountains
- Artificial water
- Lighting setup
To keep the water pouring container we will need one more material and that is pizza saver. What is it? While eating a pizza you all have noticed a small table like structure at the center and that is what we call as pizza saver. It prevents the pizza from sticking at the lif of the box. So next time when you eat a pizza, save this. It will help you in your DIYs.
Step 23: Assembling All the Parts
Take the base and place the pizza saver in it and attach it to the edge of the base by using tape. On the pizza saver, put some double sided tape and then place the water pouring conatiner and the robot decoration which is fixed on it on the pizza saver.
Now, it's turn for our lighting setup to be placed on the base. Fix the 5 bulbs on different places on the base using a tape and if some extra wire is left fix it at the bottom of the base using tape. Fix the battery and the switch behind the water pouring container so it is not visible at the front but at the same time we can easily switch ON/OFF the bulbs.
Next, take the grass and using glue fix it over the boundary of the base. Also cover the outer surface of water poring container using grass.
Tip: You can use the grass to cover any flaw on the surface. Such as you can use it to cover the tape we have used to fix the bulbs.
Now, glue the stones at different places on the base and also fix 1-2 of them on the surface of the water pouring container. Glue the mushrooms on the base.
Next, glue the leaves and flowers on different places on the base. Make sure not to keep them too close to one another because it will not look good.
Place the foam mountains on the sides of the lid of the water pouring container. And paint the middle part of the lid with blue colour.
Lastly, we will place the artificial water which we have made. First, peel off the protective cover of the second side of the double sided tape and fix the smaller tape in the middle apart of the lid of water pouring container. Place the larger one by fixing its one end on the middle of the base and the other end on the water pouring container. It must look like the container is pouring water in the base. You can refer to the images to get a better understanding. Also, fill the base with normal water.
OMG! Our project is now complete. I have uploaded the picture as well as the video of the finished project. So have a look on them.
Step 24: Further Ideas
This was my project. It was purely made of me and my sister's imagination, creativity and hard work.
We all share very different ideas and have different views about different things. Most of the things that I have made are made of different things that I have found in my house.
I recommend you to open your imagination, as the world is limitless. With your imagination, you can turn a thing into something that was never thought of.
Here are some of the ideas that I have not used but you can definitely give it a try:
- My fountain is two layered- having a base and an upper platform. You can also add a third layer.
- I have used white light bulbs to light up my fountain. You can use multicoloured bulbs which emit light of different colours.
- For decoration, I have used handmade things. You can use natural leaves, flowers, grass and even pebbles.
and as I always say, use your imagination and make new and intresting things...
Step 25: Words of Gratitude
I would like to thank instructables community for being so supportive. You all always encourage me to share my ideas. And a sincere word of thanks to INSTRUCTBLES and AUTODESK for organizing this BIG and SMALL CONTEST and providing me a platform to share my ideas with all.
Participated in the
Big and Small Contest