Have you ever had an idea to create something and it came out even better than you hoped?

This simple water fountain I created for my balcony garden is the best thing ever!  I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to have it bubbling and gurgling all day and evening.

In the process of creating a garden for my balcony, I decided that it would be fun to have a water feature.  I had no idea we would enjoy it as much as we do.


How to make a simple water fountain for your patio or balcony


Here’s How I Constructed a Simple Container Fountain


With a few ideas in mind, I decided to go online and do a little research on DIY portable fountains. That’s when I discovered that our local hardware store carried an all-in-one water fountain kit for containers.

Once you get an idea to make something, isn’t it just torture to have to drive all over town to find the parts you need, when all you want to do is to get going on your project?!  That’s me, so I was thrilled to see my hardware store had a SmartPond Container Fountain Kit in stock.  One left. Seriously, I couldn’t wait to get to the store the next day.   I totally loved the idea of purchasing a kit so that I didn’t have to figure out how to make the various parts work together, especially as I have no idea how water fountains actually work.


Turn your balcony into an oasis for summer with a simple water fountain


I have to tell you, putting the fountain together was incredibly fun.

Our store had a water feature section in the garden center and there I found the one container fountain kit I needed.  Hooray!!

With our kit in hand, we decided to see what we could find for our container.  I had several ideas in mind, but when we came across this dark turquoise pot, Tim said he really liked it.


Create a summer oasis with a container garden and a simple water fountain


He went to find a shopping cart and left me happily standing in the aisle still looking at the various containers.   As I looked up, I noticed some ceramic fish.  They caught my eye because they were cute and had a pretty light aqua color.  PLUS… I soon discovered they were on sale for $2 and change.  Although the shelf tag listed the ceramic fish as a tea light holder (“Cover” might have been more accurate as it wasn’t capable of holding anything as it had no bottom or top.), I immediately saw it as the perfect whimsical addition to my water feature.  How fabulous would it be to have water spurting out the top of the fish?!  And the color was perfect!

My water fountain idea was beginning to come together.

Now I just needed to figure out how to support the ceramic fish over the fountain.  We walked all over the store and the garden center until I had the idea to stack two black plastic pots (small over large) to hold the fish, cutting out the centers to allow for the neck of the fountain to come through the pots.  I was so excited.  The inside of the pot was black and so everything inside the pot and under the water would be black, too.  How much better could it be?


Create a Portable Water Fountain ~ Tips & Tutorial


Using a container fountain kit is a quick and easy way to enjoy a simple water feature in less than 2 hours

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on my link and buy something, I may earn a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.


Supply List

  • Large Water-Tight  Container/Pot (Mine was a 16 inch, allen + roth — dimensions 15.75  x 15.75  x  11 in.)
  • SmartPond Container Fountain Kit (This is very similar to the one I used.)
  • Power Drill and flat boring Drill Bit (We used a 1 1/4″ bit according to the instructions… but 1 1/2″ would have been a better choice.)
  • E6000 Adhesive
  • Black flower pots in 2 sizes (test to make sure they are large enough to go over the pump and stack)
  • Ceramic Fish (Or something similar for the fountainhead to shoot out of.)
  • Water and a nearby grounded Power Source



I was so excited to start the project that I went to work on making my water feature almost as soon as I got home.

For the most part, everything came together easily. I didn’t exactly time things, but I think I was enjoying the sounds of dancing water in about 2 hours, and that included taking photos of the process.


Fountain Filter and Pump


The kit came with thorough instructions and I followed them exactly.  Except I cut a hole in the bottom of the pot, not on the side as suggested by the instructions.


Drilling a hole in the bottom of the fountain container for the electrical


There was one hitch to this set-up and that was having to go back to the store to get a special drill bit to cut the hole for the plug and stopper.  Our container was made with a stopper that I originally planned to pull to install the wiring, but it was centered in the bottom of the pot (and a bit small) so it didn’t work for our set-up. Because I wanted the fountain to be centered in the pot, I needed to offset the hole, especially as the wiring and stopper were bulky and the fountain extension from the pump was not centered either.  Truly a small inconvenience.

A simpler way to solve the problem would have been to simply drape the cord to the fountain pump over the side of the container.  If you don’t have a power drill or don’t want to use one… that would be an easy way to set up a fountain.


Attach feet to the bottom of the container fountain


The kit came with feet that could be glued to the bottom of the pot (I used clear E600 adhesive to attach the feet.) which raised the pot just enough to allow for feeding the cord out from the bottom of the container and the stopper that stuck out a bit.


Supportive housing for suspending the fish over the fountain nozzle

Fountain housing to hold up the ceramic fish and allow for water flow


After cutting the sides and tops of the black plastic flower pots that I chose to go over the fountain housing to hold up the ceramic fish and allow for water flow, the power cord, and the fountain extension tube with water spray nozzle, I assembled everything. Then I had Tim push the stopper holding the electrical cord into the hole I drilled into the bottom of the pot. I tried, but the stopper is quite stiff and I wanted to be sure it would be secure, so he gave it the necessary muscle.


Push the stopper holding the electrical cord into the hole


It was then time to fill the container about 2/3 with water before plugging in the fountain.  Do not turn it on without sufficient water covering the pump.

The kit comes with 3 styles of fountain heads. I chose the water spray nozzle insert thinking that a pretty cascading fountain of water would be fabulous coming out of the fish.  It would have been if my container had been much larger in diameter.  It was beautiful, but it over sprayed the sides.  I tried the other fountain heads, but they were not quite what I wanted for the fish.  After taking a second look at the spray head, I decided to give the center a little twist, and by doing so, the fine spray stopped, and instead, I got more of a spurting effect.  It was perfect!  The water still shoots and dances a bit over the top of the fish, but it doesn’t splash outside the container.


Give the center a little twist, and by doing so, the fine spray stopped and instead I got more of a spurting effect


I couldn’t have been much happier.  Except that it seemed that my fountain was leaking.  I positioned a small plate under the fountain to catch the water.  It wasn’t something I wanted to do in the long run, but I wasn’t eager to dump about 5 gallons of water and go through the process of having to seal the stopper to the container.  My procrastination paid off! On the third day… the fountain ceased to leak any more water.  And it’s been dry ever since.  For nearly a month, we have been enjoying water music in our garden.

Last week we made another addition to our lovely balcony garden fountain…


Now, it’s even MORE fun!  We love how the fish get excited and gather up when they hear us open the slider and our little neighbor LOVES to come up and feed them.


Goldfish are a wonderful addition to our simple balcony garden water fountain feature


One thing that I don’t like about living on the top floor of our apartment building is not having a connection to the land.  As a gardener… that’s a big deal.  Being able to create a garden with a water feature on our small balcony has truly made all the difference.  I love having the slider open on the nice summer days and evenings and being able to listen to the soothing sounds of our water fountain in the midst of all the pretty plants and flowers.  It really is a little oasis… high up in the treetops.

Pinterest Click to Save - AnExtraordinaryDay.nentWouldn’t you love to hear the peaceful sounds of trickling water on your patio? You'll love this SIMPLE + EASY Container Fountain Idea + Tutorial to Make Your Own Container Water Fountain


This is my first water fountain.  We have talked and dreamed of having ponds in our various gardens, but we didn’t have or want fences around our yards, so without some engineering, ponds stayed in our dreams.  Isn’t it just like God to bring a dream to reality when we’re living in the in-between?


My View of My Balcony Garden Featuring a Whimsical + Simple Water Fountain


This is my view of the container water fountain from my breakfast table.  It’s such a lovely way to start my day… beautiful plants… gurgling water… and feeding happy goldfish.


Watch a Video of the Fountain


Do you have or have you ever created a water feature or water fountain for your yard, garden, or patio?

If not… you’ve got to create one, too! It’s such a reward for a wee bit of effort and a fun creative endeavor too.


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P.S. This is not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to share my joy of having a water fountain and how I made it happen, so you can make one, too.


  1. Judy says

    Hi Diane, I simply Love your water fountain! It looks so charming and I can almost hear the water as it passes through the pretty fish. What a great idea, you came up with! I have had a copper water fountain in our garden room for many years. It has a copper bird sitting on top of a little bucket that tips into the fountain base. What has been so enjoyable for us … is that even on a snow covered wintry day in beautiful Minnesota… the lovely sound of trickling water makes my heart sing! You are so talented and it is always a pleasure to see/read your blog! Love, Judy

    • Thank you for your kind words about my projects and my blog, Judy! You just made my day!!
      It’s amazing how listening to moving water is so soothing. I love that you have a fountain in your garden room all year long. What a wonderfully peaceful spot for you to enjoy.
      Hope your weekend is filled with beautiful moments. xo

  2. Gwen says

    What is the saying? Where there is a will there is a way?!! Now this would not be so fun without that darling fish!!! Totally love the color and the plants surrounding it! Plus the fish ?. We have a large fountain with a flat back. I do believe the pump is out but we have not fixed it because of water restrictions. Now that we are so restricted, the city has decided to also raise our rates nearly 70% by next year. To get rid of some toxin done by a company still in business–done in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Outcry!!!
    So to see your sweet fountain does bring me joy. Thank you for letting me know a small fountain kit is also an option!

    • Ha! I guess my strong will is showing, huh, Gwen? LOL
      I’m so happy that my fountain… and sweet whimsical fish… have brought you joy too! I took a video and until this moment totally forgot about it. I’ll have to find it and put it on the blog too. 😉
      70% increase!! That is so wrong and I’m so sorry.
      The kit is just $20 and could easily be rigged for other situations. Wouldn’t it be fun for you to enjoy a water feature again?!

  3. Ann says

    I love how you created your own, unique water fountain. The goldfish are a great addition!

  4. Lisa says

    Your fountain is delightful. I love the sound of water bubbling is so soothing and the little fish is charming!

    • Thank you so much, Lisa! I have to tell you that I knew I always wanted a water feature, but I had no idea that I would enjoy it so much.
      All the best for an extraordinary start to your week!

  5. I love that you have created this little garden space with this lovely little fountain. You provided a perfect tutorial, your step by step directions are very clear. I would love to have a little fountain like this with the goldfish, but that is a challenge with the heat here in Florida. Thank you so much for sharing your fountain at Celebrate Your Story!

    • Thank you so much, Chloe! I do love this space! The goldfish might not work with your heat… but the fountain surely would be refreshing to listen to and watch. (Yes… I do that too!) Thanks so much for popping by with your kind thoughts. xo

  6. Hey, thanks for sharing your Water Fountain project at Inspire Me Monday. I wanted to let you know that you are one of my featured picks this week. Come check it out at http://www.farmhouse40.com/inspire-me-monday-140. See you there.

  7. Tiiki says

    HI Diane! LOVE this post. Thanks for sharing. Out of curiosity, how many gold fish do you have in there? Trying to gauge how many we should get. Thanks!

    • Awww… thanks, Tiiki! Truly it was a fun project… I hope you love your “pond” as much as we love ours!
      We started with more, but I think everything settled out with three fish.
      I went a little plant crazy this year and added more furniture, so the water fountain took a break. Miss it already!

  8. Juli Haupt says

    Love your fountain!!! How did you get the hole in the bottom of the fish to get the fountain rod through?

    • The fish was a candle cover so the hole was already there. I do hope you can find one too, Julie!
      All the best for an extraordinary summer!

  9. Kayla says

    Yours looks great! Such a cute idea with the fish!

    Thanks for the tip about twisting the spout – that helped me get mine to stop squirting water out of my container!

    • Thank you so much Kayla! It was a such a fun and satisfying project and I’m thrilled that the tip worked for you, too! Happy Summer!

  10. Katelin says

    I love your fountain it’s just beautiful! How do you take care of the fish in the container? Do you use a filter of some sort? Just wondering how you keep the water clean. I’ve been wanting a pond with fish but my husband doesn’t want the extra work of taking care of a pond. This looks like a great compromise! 😊

    • Thank you so much, Katelin! With the fountain pump, the water is continually moving which I think might be a good thing for the fish. We feed them a little goldfish food and that’s it for the work other than fishing out a few blossoms and leaves after a storm. However, the container is not in the sunshine, but shade except one hour early morning. That may help keep it clean. Maybe if it was in the sun it would grow scum. I really don’t know. Give it a try, it’s a fun project, and you’ll never know if it will work in your situation unless you give it a try. Let me know how it goes!

  11. Laure-Anne Pennelli says

    Thank you so much for posting this. The fountain is so beautiful and you have inspired me to try it out. I have been wanting a water feature for a long time and was not sure where to start. Your instructions are very clear and I appreciate you taking the time to post them. I can’t wait to go shopping for my kit today!

  12. jane rosen says

    My friend let me use her gorgeous cement fountain for years until she finally moved to a home she could use it herself (teary eyed eomji). I moved as well to a large 6th floor patio and I bought a fountain kit and had a beautiful iron ribbed pot and tried to set it up as a fountain but didn”t quite plan it well enough, and I wanted to use the pot for plants so I don’t have a fountain right now….but after seeing yours, I’m determined to set one up on my patio, I have Finches and hummingbirds that feed at my tree everyday, I want them to have a bath too and I want to hear and see the gurgle of water. I miss it very much.

    • Oh, Jane! I do hope you’re able to have a working water fountain. Even a tiny one is so relaxing and enjoyable.
      Enjoy your pretty patio with your birds and have the most extraordinary day!

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