Share the love...Share on Facebook511Pin on Pinterest46,140Share on StumbleUpon16Tweet about this on Twitter57Share on Google+38Share on YummlyEmail this to someone

I am so happy to finally share my DIY Waterfall & Pond! See how I created my backyard water feature for a fraction of the price of hiring a landscaper. I saved thousands of dollars and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!


Diy garden waterfall and pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

This is a project I have wanted to do for several years and this past summer, I decided it was going to get done. Most of my delay over the years in completing this project was the cost. As I suspected, when I got a few estimates, they ranged from $4,000 to $5,000. Of course, this stopped me in my tracks…to say the least I was highly disappointed. My husband was pushing me towards a pre-fab fountain…not my vision!

You can see, in the before photo, the small area that needed attention was surrounded by a walkway and patio. Each summer I would plant annuals and place a bench there to make it look nice, but never did any permanent landscaping to the bed…because I had a vision!

How to build a beautiful back yard pond and water feature cheaply!  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM #Pond #Fountain #Garden

I was determined to not give up on “my vision” of a water feature, so I began to do a little research online to see how to build my own. I felt a little unsure about being able to complete this project on my own until I found a book in my basement…yes, I already owned it…who knew! Paging through the book I found a perfect example of how to build this simple pond with a waterfall. It included all the step by step photos and supplies that I would need. The book is from Sunset – Garden Pools, Fountains & Waterfalls. It made me feel more confident to have a visual source to help get through the project.

I bought all my pond supplies at Lowe’s. Unsure about what I needed I bought extras of many things, so that when I was in the construction process, I wouldn’t have to run out and buy something different. I returned all unopened items.

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

Since my space was small, I bought the 50 gallon plastic form. Now I know a professional would not have used a plastic form, but would have created a custom plastic lined pond. I was afraid of that leaking over time and went for the form. Along with the pond I wanted to create a small waterfall with a stone wall. The brick wall, on this side of the house, bakes in the afternoon sun. I have tried to plant tall flowering annuals there and they just can’t take the afternoon sun. So, I decided to create a small stone wall to add a little elevation and add a few plants and grasses there that can take the heat. Using the wall, I incorporated the waterfall.

Getting started…

We marked the shape of the pond and a rough area for the wall with spray paint. Then began to dig.

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

Once the hole was dug, we tested it to make sure it was fitting properly. We did this several times. Once we were happy with the fit, we placed sand in the bottom to help level it and to fill any of the gaps between the soil and the form. We also made sure the pond was completely level.

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

Getting the stone was interesting. The landscape supplier had beautiful pallets of stone but was much more stone than I needed. They were willing to let us climb their remnant stone pile and pick what we wanted. So on a 95 degree day, my daughter and I loaded up the mini van and for $26 this is how much stone we picked out! Did I mention it was 95 degrees…we were dying. Once we got it home, we had to unload it and haul it all to the back of the house. It was a bit unbearable! After placing the stone, I realized I needed at least double the amount I brought home. Instead of climbing for more stone, I found a watergarden shop that sold small pallets. Once again, I filled my mini van with the stone and brought it home!

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

Truth is, I built the mini wall three times with much frustration. I had to place the pump and tubing first before I could build the wall as the tubing had to come up behind the wall. The problem I ran into was that when the water spouted out and down the stone it also drained behind the wall. I didn’t want to be pumping the water for the waterfall and having it draining into the soil behind…this drove me a little crazy! By moving the tubing around and using other small stones to divert the flow of the water away from the wall, I got it down to a minimum. As a precaution, I placed a piece of pond plastic from the edge of the tub and brought it up the back of the stone, so the water could not drain. Then I backfilled with soil.

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM

The final step was to visit a few garden centers for the right type of plants. As I said, this area gets full sun during the day. I went with a few types of grasses…some flowering and a butterfly bush. I was so pleased with the end result and proud of myself for completing my own backyard pond! See below for my cost breakdown. The iron wall decor is from Kirkland’s.

How to Build a Beautiful Pond  |  OHMY-CREATIVE.COM
Stone $117.00

Pond Supplies $190.00

Plants $134.50

Total $441.50

Now that’s a savings!

UPDATE: Several people have asked about the electrical source.

There is an outlet behind the pot in the left of this photo. I plugged in the pump there and hid the cords with the potted flowers. Last summer (2014) I had an electrician add an outlet near the window in the corner. He accessed the power from the unfinished part of our basement below. Now I can plug the pump in without seeing the wires as the landscaping covers up the outlet. I also add a few sidewalk lights for when it gets dark.


How to create a small vegetable garden using a garden spiral -

I think my next project will be to make one of these outdoor chandeliers!

Visit Oh My! Creative’s profile on Pinterest.

creative 1

Linking to these wonderful parties!

Share the love...Share on Facebook511Pin on Pinterest46,140Share on StumbleUpon16Tweet about this on Twitter57Share on Google+38Share on YummlyEmail this to someone
Susan B

Susan B

Hi, I’m Susan! Thanks for stopping by Oh My! Creative. I like to have fun, make fun things…you know, create stuff! I love DIY, decorating and design and like any girl…shopping and lunch!
Susan B
Susan B

Latest posts by Susan B (see all)


      • Ernestine Apodaca says

        Wow! This looks great! I bought me a pond the same size at Lowe’s but I was wondering what size of pump did you get for this and what else did you need for the inside pond?

        • Susan B says

          First, I used a book to help guide me, but found I was still unsure about what I needed. I bought the pump that matched the gallon size of the pond. If it gives you an option on tubing size buy the larger…more water flow. I bought a lot of extra things not knowing what I needed. A light kit (I put this in), filter (did not us because I don’t have fish) etc. It was trial and error for me. Some of these things sell out quickly so I would buy a bunch of things you think you might want and return what you don’t need. Glance at a few of the books in the store as well to see their recommendations. I had an electrical outlet right next to my area…you will need electricity! Good luck – it was a great feeling to complete this myself!

    • Nora says

      Its perfect. I have searched and searched for ideas. I hope you don’t mind if I copy. I wish I could send a picture of the area where I plan my water feature. I have Lavender mums growing in front that I have to move. I’m not sure where to put them.

  1. says

    Oh I am so jealous I love you water pond and I want one so bad! Pinning!!
    Just dropping in from Live Laugh Rowe to meet you and follow you:)

    I would also love to invite you to join Let’s Get Social Sunday and link up your blog and all your social sites at one great place to meet some lovely new friends and gain more followers!! (150 bloggers every week:)

    Hope to see you there and have a totally awesome day!!

  2. Dona says

    Absolutely beautiful! Beyond impressive. Wanna come build me one? Kidding…with your tips, I really think I could do it! Wonderful work…be proud of yourself!

  3. says

    That is awesome! What a great savings! I hope that once we have our own place (not renting) that we will be able to have a water feature too. There is something so soothing about them. Great job!

  4. says

    Great job – don’t you love it? We built one several years ago and are thinking about expanding it into a double fall. It is our favorite place in the yard. Hope you can stop by the enchanted oven to say hi.

    • Susan @ Oh My! Creative says

      Thank you so much! I love my pond and completing it makes me want to create a small pot type fountain next!

  5. says

    Great job! It looks wonderful!!
    We have a couple ponds and there is nothing like the sound of water on a warm summer’s eve. And the grandkids have so much fun feeding the fish!
    Debbie :)

  6. says

    Hey Susan:

    I love love love this project. I want to feature it in an article I am working on. I sent you an email yesterday. Can you shoot me a response?
    Thanks so much!


  7. Frances says

    This looks so nice! Peaceful..and done yourself how rewarding. My husband and I did something similar several years ago..and we love it! Great job

    • Susan B says

      Thanks, Frances, for stopping by my blog in June! I love my pond too…it is a nice addition to our patio area!

  8. Kayce McCarty says

    My husband and I are getting ready to move and I mentioned that I would love a small water feature at the new house. Well, after seeing what you have done, thinking this old DIYer just might tackle this on her own! Maybe even put my herb garden around it! Thanks for this most wonderful post – really has me excited (and quite envious since yours is so beautiful!). :)

    • Susan B says

      Great Kayce! I am so thrilled my backyard pond inspired you to create your own. I found the book very helpful in constructing it as well as have a clear vision of what I wanted ahead of time. I also bought a lot of extra supplies so I had options as I was assembling the pump etc. Good Luck!

  9. Jean F says

    I see there is no mention of electricity or the pump. Lack of electricity on the outside wall of my home is the only thing keeping me from doing a similar project. Yours is beautiful!

    • Susan B says

      You are right Jackie! I bought standard pump appropriate for a 50 gallon pond…nothing special. I was fortunate to have an electrical outlet a foot away from my pond. I camouflage it with a planter, but I am thinking of having it hardwired by an electrician so I don’t have to plug it in anymore.

    • Susan B says

      Thank you, Joy! Yes, building a pond can be pricy. I love the satisfaction of building it myself! While it isn’t perfect, I am very proud of the finished look!

  10. michael w. says

    ty for showing how to do a water fall pond. my front yard has three water fountains that are light up at nite i hide my elc cord by putting it in pcv pipe and put 6in under ground now im wanting to do a waterfall pond next to my front window would love to send pic of it when done . yours is so cool looking.thanks again for this

  11. says

    Ditto all the above compliments, I cannot ignore my urge to make a pond. Really hate the thought of excavating (digging). Why must the water container be sunk and why must it be level? Thanks in advance.

    • says

      you can build above ground but you will have to def. use alot of rocks . and liner over form w/more rocks on top. pay a cple. young teenagers to dig for you. it will be easier.
      you need it level so the water doesnt spill out if one end is lower. understand? do it right or you def. will have problems.

      hope this helped

  12. Joan says

    You gave awesome look to your backyard. I am really inspired. Building a small pond and taking its care is a good hobby. To prevent pond leakage, Pond pro liner is the best solution. Find out Why Pond’s Pro is best.

    • Susan B says

      There is an outlet behind the pot in the left of the photos. I plugged in the pump there and hid the cords with the potted flowers. Last summer I had an electrician add an outlet to the right side of this photo near the window. He accessed the power from the unfinished part of our basement below. Now I can plug the pump in without seeing the wires as the landscaping covers up the outlet. I also add a few sidewalk lights for when it gets dark. Hope this helps!

  13. Jean Einhaus says

    What did you do to the pump to get the water just going to the waterfall? I have a pond about that size with a fountain but I want more water to the waterfall but am not sure how to do it. You don’t have a fountain so did you have to plug some part of the pump to direct all the water to the waterfall? Thanks for your help, Jean

  14. says

    Hi susan, having hard time commenting; pond is absolutely beautiful; you did a great job. i rcommend putting liner over form as i had to. my form had a leak(holes somewhere) the pump that came w/mine was not strong enough. i had to get larger one to have a nice circulation. would like to ask about your sign. did you do that? if so how did you do lettering. trying to learn how to transfer from sites. if i can, i will send you pict. of my pond. we built a pergola over it to shade fish which i got this yr.

    keep up good work, like you, being a woman , i am proud of my pond too.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *