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9 DIY Bamboo Fountains and Water Feature Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

bamboo fountain

If you want to spruce up a backyard, garden, or even a living room or office, a DIY bamboo water fountain is a fun and fulfilling solution. The rich character of bamboo paired with the calming sound of flowing water brings peace and simple beauty to enrich outdoor and indoor spaces.

Bamboo’s distinct form is perfect for channeling water. Using it to construct eye-catching water features is often convenient and straightforward. With bamboo stalks, a few simple tools, and a water pump, you can create incredible pieces in no time! Check out these nine DIY bamboo fountains and water features you can make today.

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The Top 9 DIY Bamboo Fountains and Water Feature Plans

1. Simple Bamboo Pourer

diy zen bamboo water feature
Image Credit: The Owner Builder Network
Materials: Bamboo stalk, Large bowl, Twine, Water pump, River rocks
Tools: Drill, Handsaw
Difficulty: Easy
Get started on your DIY bamboo water feature with this ever-so-simple water fountain. The water pump channels water through a single bamboo piece resting atop a bamboo platform. It’s elegant and uncomplicated, with enough simplicity to let you decorate it your way.

You don’t need any power tools to set up this fountain. A simple hacksaw, some twine, and a steady hand are all you need to finish this light accent piece. Scale it up for a feature among your landscaping or scale it down for a nifty tabletop accessory.

2. Backyard Bamboo Water Run

diy bamboo water feature
Image Credit: Family Handy Man
Materials: Split bamboo sections, 1” bamboo supports, #8 copper wire, Screws, Water pump
Tools: Drill, Splitting maul, Jigsaw, Utility knife, 4’ box level
Difficulty: Intermediate
Going all out on a zen vibe in your backyard? If you have at least a slight slope on your property and some time on your hands, you can make this massive backyard bamboo sluice system a central landscaping feature. Like an oversized marble run, you can have fun constructing and extending this water feature in countless ways.

Creating this system is an intermediate-advanced project, and most of the difficulty depends on the slope of the hill and your catch basin. If you plan to dig and line a new pond for your reservoir, the whole setup can become a weekend ordeal. But on a gentle slope, a simple water feature going to a pre-made basin will only take an afternoon to build.

3. Medium-Sized Shishi Odoshi

diy japanese water fountain
Image Credit: Make Zine
Materials: 1-2” thick bamboo stalks, Basin or sealed planter, Clear vinyl tubing, PVC pipe, Zinc-plated steel rod, Rope, Water pump
Tools: Drill, Hand saw, Hammer, Ruler, Level
Difficulty: Intermediate
If you’re a huge fan of the Kill Bill films, you’ve likely seen a shishi odoshi, a classic Japanese water fountain style. Also called a “deer scarer”, these fountains feature a vessel that fills with water, tilts to dump the water out, and then tilts back to receive more water. It does this over and over again until you turn the fountain off. The idea is that the knocking sound of the vessel tipping back into place will scare deer and other critters away.

Like any shishi odoshi, this medium-sized backyard deer scarer is challenging due to the need for precision if you want it to work. The tipping vessel needs to be balanced for the water to pull it down and the weight on the back end to tip it back when it’s empty.

4. Fence-Mounted Bamboo Water Feature

diy fountains
Image Credit: Fish Stix
Materials: 3” wide bamboo sections, 1” wide bamboo sections, Wire hangers, Water pump, Bolts, Caulk
Tools: Drill, Handsaw
Difficulty: Easy
For a neat bamboo water feature that doesn’t take up space, consider a fence-mounted cascading bamboo run. The bamboo slices mount to a chain link or privacy fence with bolts and 1” bamboo supports.

You can cut your bamboo chutes into different lengths and easily rearrange them to refresh the flow. If you plan on going high up the fence, it’s crucial to ensure you get a water pump powerful enough to push the water that high.

5. 3-Tiered Tabletop Fountain

Materials: 2” bamboo pieces, Small plastic container, Water pump, Clear plastic board
Tools: Glue gun, Drill
Difficulty: Easy
Create a miniature tabletop zen display with this 3-tiered bamboo water fountain. Everything from the backing to the basin is lined with bamboo in this project, creating an eye-catching statement piece for your room. The fountain sits on a plexiglass board to provide plenty of room for you to add Japanese plants, figures, and crafts that complete the look.

6. Split Bamboo Water Fountain

Materials: 2” wide bamboo pieces, Small basin, Wire mesh, River rocks, Clear adhesive, Large basin, Nails, Water pump
Tools: Hammer, Hand saw, Glue gun
Difficulty: Easy
There’s a ton of potential in this small tabletop bamboo water fountain featuring a dual cascade and wire mesh backdrop. The construction looks more complex than it is, and you only need a small hacksaw and clear adhesive to complete it.

There is a unique, exciting visual in this design’s split path, and there’s plenty of room to adjust it if you want a different run. The wire mesh also provides more space for accompaniments such as flowers, creeping vines, or 3-D figures to add to the intrigue. Rather than use a glue gun, you could also try tying the chutes to the mesh, making it easier to change the design if you get bored of the layout.

7. Large Deer Scarer

diy bamboo fountains
Image Credit: Make Zine
Materials: 1”–3” wide bamboo chutes, Large basin, Vinyl tubing, PVC pipe, Rope, Zinc-plated steel rod, Water pump
Tools: Drill, Hammer, Box level, Hand saw
Difficulty: Advanced
As a scarecrow is to the fields, so too is this grand shishi odoshi fountain to your garden. Extending several feet off the ground, a deer scarer of this magnitude serves as a fair warning to critters both near and far. At the same time, it makes an impressive centerpiece for a tranquil, restorative space.

The construction process for this deer scarer is more advanced than the mid-sized version. Because it sticks into the ground, you have to ensure its sturdiness in the elements. Otherwise, it’s an uncomplicated build that takes concepts from other fountains on this list and simply scales them up.

8. Small 3-Level Water Fountain

Materials: 2”–3” bamboo pieces, 1” bamboo pieces, Water pump
Tools: Drill, Handsaw, Glue gun
Difficulty: Intermediate
Small and stylish, this multi-stage bamboo fountain looks professionally made. Instead of using chutes to catch water, this design incorporates small bamboo buckets with spouts to cascade water from one to the next. With hidden glue lines and intriguing possibilities for decoration, the build is both clean and quirky, and a perfect conversation piece for a room.

9. Small Shishi Odoshi

Materials: 1”–2” bamboo pieces, Small basin, Water pump
Tools: Drill, Glue gun
Difficulty: Easy
Now that you have your large and mid-sized deer scarers for the backyard, it’s time to make a small shishi odoshi for outdoor or indoor use.

Unlike the other designs on this list, this deer scarer uses an innovative bamboo slat floor to hide the water reservoir. When the vessel tips water into the collector, the liquid disappears beneath the surface. It’s a clever feature that adds cleanliness and class to a no-frills, easy-to-build design.

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How Do Bamboo Water Fountains Work?

Hollow bamboo chutes are the perfect material to facilitate the construction of a backyard fountain. Clear plastic tubing running from the water pump can hide in the chutes, and creating a workable trough is as simple as splitting a piece of bamboo in half.

A bamboo fountain’s operation is simple, and it all hinges on the water pump. You put a pump in the bottom of a basin, fill the basin with water, connect it to the top of the fountain with tubing, and turn on the pump. The pump sucks water in and forces it up through the tube, continuously circulating water until you turn it off.

How to Pick the Right Water Pump

It’s crucial to pick the proper pump to work with your fountain. If you choose a low-powered pump, the water won’t reach the top.

Measure the height from the water pump to the top of the fountain where the water comes out. You’ll need a pump that can pump at least that high. To get the best performance, use a pump that is rated for at least 1.5x the height of the fountain. For example, if you have a 20-inch high fountain, buy a unit with a maximum lift of 30 inches or more.

Look at the gallon per hour flow rate of your pump as well. In general, you should choose a pump that circulates all of the water in the basin once per hour. If you have a 10-gallon basin, for instance, use a pump rated at 10 GPH.

Related Read: 17 Backyard Trends – Design Ideas for a Modern Home

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They look incredible and add so much to the atmosphere of a room or garden that you may overestimate the difficulty of building a bamboo fountain. But thanks to the natural character of bamboo and the simplicity of modern pump systems, these projects are some of the easiest ways to create beautiful, innovative water features. Look for a suitable space to integrate a zen vibe around your home, and have fun crafting a functional work of art the whole family can enjoy!

You might also be interested in: 10 Landscaping Trends – Design Ideas for a Modern Home

Featured Image Credit: aak1177rr, Pixabay


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