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Fountain Planter Bed

Create a dramatic water feature. Try more half-day projects with host Steve Watson from Don't Sweat It!

Get a free* materials list for this project:
Text planter to 44881 (HGTV1)


six 1x4x8 pressure-treated wood
1 roll galvanized chicken wire
2 bags of quick-set thinset
6 pieces of slate
four 24 lb. bags pea gravel
four 24 lb. bags play sand
medium rocks
1 3/4" pressure-treated plywood
1 small plastic pond liner
1 small pond pump kit
tubing and fittings
six 2x6 pieces of rigid foam insulation


electric miter saw
wire cutters
disposable paintbrushes
staple gun


? Indoor ponds and sand can be dangerous for small children. Make sure any water is out of reach of children. If children can get to the water, fill the pond with stone or gravel. This way, there will be enough water to keep the pump running, but children can't fall in.


1. Cut plywood to create a platform by framing the underside of the plywood with 1x4 or plywood legs. The top of the platform should end up about three inches below lip of existing planter.
2. Cut hole in center to fit pond liner to the desired shape. Be sure to leave at least three inches around the perimeter to give the frame enough strength to contain the water.

3. Stack six layers of the rigid foam insulation under the plywood and begin to cut out the shape of the pond from the middle towards the outside (figure A). Glue the foam together and sand the inside to make it even. Again, be sure to leave at least three inches of foam on the perimeter or you may have a blowout under the weight of the water.

4. To build the rock sculpture, create a box with 1x4s and cover with plywood. Using the jigsaw, cut notches in the top of the rock (figure B) to allow the water to flow under the statue. Leave the bottom of the box open for the pump.

Cover the box with chicken wire (figure C), stapling and zip-tying into shape.

Cover with thinset (figure D), using a sponge to smooth out rough spots. Sculpt the thinset around the box and let dry. Apply a second coat if necessary. Drill hole in top for tube and install pump.

5. Install the plywood base in the planter (figure E). Drill hole to basement for pump power. All pump kits are a little different, so follow the kit's instructions.

6. Drop in the pond liner (figure F) and staple into place, making sure the bottom is supported.
7. Set the rock/pump assembly into pond liner and fill with water.
8. Surround the pond with pea gravel, adding sand to the ends. Turn on the pump.

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