8 DIY Water Feature Ideas For Your Backyard

diy water feature ideas

Are you looking to add water to your backyard? In the U.S. alone there are about 10.6 million swimming pools.

Dreaming of DIY water feature ideas you can do yourself and you won’t have to hire someone else for? In this article, dive into different water ideas that will take your yard from yesterday to 2020. Read on to explore these top ideas you won’t want to miss to have the yard of your dreams.

1. Building a Garden Pond

For water feature ideas, consider creating a garden pond for your backyard. Ensure that the ground is well-drained and the pond will be level.

Avoid septic fields, sewer lines, cables, etc. Have an outdoor faucet for adding water to your pond. Try to avoid placing it near a large tree that can damage your pond during a storm.

Before you build a pond, ensure that it complies with local building codes or homeowners association guidelines. To avoid the hassle of creating water you can’t use, consider building a pool in your yard. Pools are one of the biggest backyard trends in 2020.

Make sure that you maintain your pond. You’ll need to follow the manufacturer instructions for the filter and pump. Ensure that all chemicals used are safe for animals and plants.

For pond care you’ll need:

  • A pond tint
  • Pond cleaner
  • Chlorine remover
  • Sludge remover

2. Garden Waterfalls

While you can design garden waterfalls yourself, consider hiring a designer for the look. You can even have a multi-level waterfall in your backyard. Also, there are more unique outdoor water fountain ideas such as wall-mounted water walls and birdbaths that you can incorporate into your multi-level waterfall.

With this option or a pond, you can have ducks enjoy the water. This is a great option for a relaxing environment after a long day at work.

3. Natural Water

If you enjoy natural water gardens, consider creating natural water for your zen garden. It can be your place to sit back and relax, releasing any worries, or meditating.

If you’re tight on cash, you can choose a small garden with water, and add to it later. This is a great option when you enjoy nature and the peacefulness of the water.

4. Bubble Fountains

Bubble fountains can be created by taking multiple textured pots and placing one set into the other. You’ll need a pump, gravel, and tubing for this option. Enjoy the bubbling and falling of this fountain.

5. Window Pane With Falling Water

For this water feature, take a windowpane and a perforated tube. You can even place lights at the bottom to illuminate the water falling.

6. Making a Stacked Water Garden

You’ll need a pump, pipe, water, and a sculpture. The sculpture can be made of a material that will allow continuous water.

You can use pottery, metals, pavers, or stones for the sculpture. You’ll have a basin or tub at the hole in the ground for a reservoir. Next, you’ll have a screen that’ll block any large debris from flowing through.

You can then submerge the pump. It’ll be below the water line placed in the basin. You’ll need an exterior outlet for the pump.

You’ll first need to dig a hole that’s about 2 inches deeper than the basin. It’ll also be wide enough to fit the basin as well. Place the soil in your wheelbarrow or on a tarp.

After you’re done digging, lay the basin and conduit down. Next, measure the distance from the pit and the outlet. Cut the section of PVC conduit for this length.

Tape one side of the pump’s plug and place a string through the conduit. Ensure the plug is taped well to the conduit.

7. Wall-Mounted Waterfall

On a wall, you can place a waterfall. Have the water pour into a container.

8. A Japanese Garden

If you’re looking for something more unique and beautiful, opt for a Japanese garden. You can research and decide what features and designs you’d like for your garden.

You can create a beautiful garden in your yard, and then have a pond with Japanese themes. Place rocks around the pond for an added accent, and plant cherry blossoms or bonsai plants.

Before beginning your Japanese garden, move any plants or other items that won’t fit the garden’s style. You can choose stone statues, rocks, and lanterns for this design.

Some popular Japanese garden accents are moss around a stone path, bamboo, or spaces for seclusion. Consider placing a bridge over the water for a secluded spot that can only be accessed by the bridge.

If you’re limited on space you can always add more plants around to make it feel more secluded. Mix up the different accents so that you can have a nice contrast in your garden.

Bird Retreats

In your Japanese Garden, you can choose to have a bird retreat. This can be a large birdhouse placed in your more secluded area. You can use bamboo for fencing around it.

Adding Rocks

Japanese gardens love having rocks for accents. You can use rocks as ground cover in your garden. Place different plants and shrubs around the rocks to have a contrasting look.


Bridges that are used in Japanese gardens are often painted red. This is a great way to form a contrast with the rocks and plants all around.


Consider a pavilion for your Japanese garden if land permits. Place the pavilion over the water or next to it. You can have plants all around it to make it even more welcoming.

Koi Ponds

Another idea to add to your Japanese garden is a koi pond. The pond doesn’t have to be large if you’re short on space. You can place different accents such as lanterns along with shrubs.

Exploring Different DIY Water Feature Ideas

Now that you’ve explored different DIY water feature ideas, you should be well on your way to deciding the perfect accent to your backyard. Are you looking for more backyard inspiration? Check out our other articles today for everything from creating a backyard oasis, to the best ways to design your backyard.


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