The Interior Frugalista: June 2016


DIY Patio Water Wall

This is the most popular post on my blog and today I've dusted it off from archives because I have some updates to share with you. If you've already read this post then you can catch the updates near the bottom. If you missed this post, then please read on.

When we built our Outdoor Living Space Expansion, we designed it with the intention of incorporating a water feature. Mr. Frugalista and I went back and forth argued for weeks before we came up with a design that we were both happy with.

The original plan was to use a sheet of metal (preferably copper) for the water to run down.  While looking for that perfect sheet of copper, Mr. Frugalista found two wide reed tempered glass panels at a local salvage yard for only $15.00 each. The game plan for our DIY Patio Water Wall quickly changed.

DIY Patio Water Wall

We used the majority of the materials pictured below to build our water wall.

DIY Water Wall Materials List

How To Build An Outdoor Water Wall


Note:  The size of the water wall is determined by the size of the glass panels that you use.

Unit: 60" high x 52" wide
Base: 12" deep x 18" wide x 52" long

Tool List

  • Table saw
  • Compound Mitre Saw
  • Power Drill
  • Staple Gun
  • Tape Measure
  • Brad Nail Gun
  • Level

Materials List

This post contains affiliate links so you can find the products or similar products that I used.  What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

Pond Pump *affiliate link
  • Check the rating on the pump to ensure that it will carry the water to the desired height. Example; if your wall is 5' high, the pump needs to be rated for a minimum of 60" of water lift.
  • The pump needs to fit between the wall of the water trough and the glass.
  • It is ideal to purchase a pump where the motor and value portion come apart.  This will make it easier to remove the motor to bring inside during the winter in colder climates.
  • Ours was purchased at Home Depot and is made by Angelo Decor, Model No. TPD-300H.

Pond Liner *affiliate link
Small sheet approximately 5' x 5'

Tempered Glass 
Size to suit (the glass should be tempered for safety)

Flexible Plastic Tubing *affiliate link or Copper Tubing 
  • Approximately 10 feet (could use copper tubing if you're handy with soldering)
  • Related connectors: 4 elbows and approximately 12 clamps

  • 2" x 2" x 8' (approximately 12 pieces)
  • 1/4" or 3/8" plywood to build water trough (approximately 4' x 4' sheet)
  • 1" x 6" x 8' pressure treated lumber (2 pieces)
  • 1" x 6" x 8' cedar fence boards (approximately 14 pieces)
  • 1 pkg of tongue and groove cedar closet liner *affiliate link
  • 2 pieces of scrap lumber (to hold the glass inside the water trough)

Other Materials
  • 3-4 bags of river rock  *affiliate link
  • wood screws (3-inch for base frame, 1 1/2-inch for all else)
  • construction glue 
  • staples

...and so it began.

Step 1: Base Construction

Build the base frame with 2" x 2" lumber.
DIY Patio Wall Base Instructions

Step 2: Water Trough Construction

Build a plywood box to fit inside the frame.  This will house the pond pump, the glass on the bottom, and the water.
DIY Water Wall trough instructions

Step 3: Base Assembly 

Insert the box into the frame of the base. You can see it is raised from the base and supported by 2" x 2" lumber. Why? Because it will contain less water than having built it from the bottom.
Inserting the water trough into the base of the DIY Water Wall

Step 4: Glass Support Installation

Attach wood slats to the bottom of the trough to keep the glass panels centered.  Note: you can see the pond pump fits nicely between the glass and the side wall (this is not the step where you install the pump).
Installing slats to hold tempered glass into the base of the DIY Water Wall

Step 5: Lining The Water Trough

Line the water trough with pond liner and attached with staples.  At this point add water and test to ensure there are no water leaks.
Lining the water trough with pond liner on the DIY Water Wall

Step 6: Adding The Uprights

Attach 1" x 6" x 60" pressure treated deck boards in the outer center of each side onto the base.  These are your uprights.  A couple pieces of scrap deck boards were added on each side of the upright to make the ends flush when installing the exterior finish.
Adding uprights to the base of the DIY Water Wall

Step 7: Wrapping The Base

Nail cedar tongue and groove closet liner to the exterior of the base.
Finishing the exterior of the base of the DIY Water Wall with cedar

Step 8: Trim The Base

Trim the base with ripped cedar fence boards and 1" x 1" wood slats.
Installing the glass on the DIY Water Wall

Step 9: Conceal The Pump

On the back of the base on the side where the pump will be installed, cut a short piece of trim that will be screwed in from the top.  This will allow for the cord to be concealed underneath.
Concealing the electrical cord of the DIY Water Wall

Step 10: Tempered Glass Installation

Installing the glass is a two person job.
  • Mark the center of the uprights at the top.
  • Secure one 2" x 2" on the back side of your mark.
  • Place the glass in the groove of the base and rest the top of the glass on the 2" x 2" you just installed.
  • Secure the front 2" x 2" to hold the glass in place.
Attaching flexible tubing for the water flow on the DIY Water Wall

Step 11: Water Tube Installation

  • Place the pond pump on the bottom of the water trough
  • Attach the flexible plastic tubing with couplings and clamps inside the center of the upright.
  • Attach an elbow at the top.
  • Using a 3/16" drill bit make holes in the top piece spaced about 1" apart.  The size of the holes determines the strength of the water flow.
  • Ensure you make your holes on one side of the tubing.
  • Start with small holes and submerge the pump in a pail of water to test the flow.  Increase the size of the holes in increments until you have the flow you desire.
  • Fill the end of the tube with silicone to seal it off.
  • Use screws and large washers to hold the tubing in place into the top 2" x 2".
  • It's important that the tubing is pressed with the holes tightly against the glass so the water will trickle down the glass.

Step 12: Concealing Water Tubes

Once satisfied with the water flow, conceal the tubing by boxing in around the uprights with cedar fence boards.
Triming up the top of the DIY Water Wall with cedar

Step 13: Finishing Touches

  • Last but not least apply a couple coats of stain. We used Behr semi-transparent in Sagebrush Green to match our existing planters.
  • You do not have to fill the entire base with river rock. Add some concrete paving stones to the bottom to help fill the void and add your river rock on top.
Staining the DIY Water Wall

Here's a close up of the water trickling down the glass. We choose a very soft trickle (smaller holes) and it makes such a relaxing sound as the water hits the rocks below.

Close up picture of the water trickling down the glass of the DIY Water Wall

The sound of the trickling water is so enjoyable and very relaxing.

DIY Outdoor Water Wall Tutorial

If you build a Water Wall, I would love it if you emailed a picture (see my Contact Me page). It may just get added to this post.

Update: June 28, 2016

We decided while we loved our water wall on our stone patio, from our deck we could barely hear the trickle of the water.  We have since moved our Water Wall onto our deck and created a conversation area around it.

DIY Water Wall Feature

Not only can we hear the soft trickle of the running water better but at night the Water Wall is backlit with spotlights.

We added a trio of Solar Spotlights *affiliate link - in the photo below the one on the far right is hidden by the ferns. Holes were drilled into the trim to hold the base of each light and the wires are concealed under the trim. The solar panel is in our flower garden where it gets loads of sunshine throughout the day.

DIY Water Wall backlit with solar spotlights

This is the Water Wall illuminated at dusk...

DIY Water Wall illuminated at dusk with solar spotlights

...and here it is after dark.

DIY Water Wall backlit after dark with solar spotlights

Since publishing this post I am thrilled to have received emails from readers who shared photos of their DIY Water Walls inspired by ours.

The inspiration for ours came from one that I saw online but unfortunately, after numerous attempts, I could not locate a link to a website to share the love.  Here are some of the Water Walls inspired by ours.

DIY Water Wall Inspiration

Below is a video sent by a reader of his impressive version of our Water Wall...


More DIY Water Feature Inspiration:

If building a large water feature is not an option, we also turned a trio of plant pots into a Plant Pot Water Fountain.

We also built a solar-powered option that can be made in less than 15 minutes here in our post, Solar Powered Plant Pot Fountain.

Now let's talk a little bit about safety...

Other DIY Outdoor Living Inspiration

Before building our water wall we removed some spruce trees to create an extension of our Outdoor Living Space using large patio paving stones and a couple varieties of moss.

When we later moved the water wall onto our deck to create a conversation area, we also built an Adirondack Fire Bowl Table.

On the opposite side of our yard, we built a decorative garden screen to conceal our firewood pile and we made with repurposed Old Louvered Bi-Fold Doors.

Our Water Wall Has Been Featured Here:


If you would like to receive a convenient Materials Shopping List which includes a QR Code to access photos of the Water Wall while shopping, SIGN UP BELOW.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

Or skip the shopping list and receive weekly updates on what's new at The Interior Frugalista by signing up down below.

Read More

Chalkboard Menu with Oyster Shell Patina Using Chalk Paint

It's Frugal Decor Tuesday and this week I'm sharing how I repurposed a metal picture frame from Goodwill and turned it into a Chalkboard Menu With An Oyster Shell Patina.  I challenged myself to create the look using what I already had in the workshop.  The magic was in the wax!

Chalkboard Menu with Oyster Shell Patina

Chalkboard Menu With Oyster Shell Patina

This is what the frame looked like before.  I contemplated leaving it alone and just switching out the inexpensive mass produced art for a chalkboard.  To me, the scroll detail on the top was screaming Menu board.

Metal Framed Art from Goodwill Before Makeover

I planned on selling this frame and frankly, white sells.  Instead of spray painting the frame white and sanding it for a distressed look, I wanted something different.

I had seen a few furniture and home d├ęcor pieces on Pinterest with an oyster shell patina and really loved the finish but I didn't have the special paint products on hand to achieve the look.  That's when I decided to try and replicate it with thick layers of chalk paint.

Oyster Shell patina with layers of chalk paint

First, I removed the Eugene Tava Circa 1947 print from the frame.  Starting with the color Hurricane by Country Chic Paint, a medium gray color, I brushed random thick strokes in every direction.  I repeated the process with the second coat.

Next, I dry brushed the color Simplicity White also from Country Chic Paint, in random strokes over the gray.  

Oyster Shell patina using chalk paint and pearl wax

It is the exact same paint colors I used to create a Driftwood Look On A Rattan Mirror.

Driftwood patina on oval rattan mirror

But the magic happened when I applied the wax!

Pearl Wax and layers of chalk paint for Oyster Shell Patina

I applied Pearl Wax by Country Chic Paint (it may sound like it but this isn't a sponsored post) using a lint free rag.  The paint colors instantly took on an Oyster Shell Patina and I was thrilled with the results.

Tip 1:

Did you know chalk paint in any color can be used to make a chalkboard?  A less expensive alternative to buying chalkboard paint!  

For my chalkboard, I used the color Liquorice by Country Chic Paint applied onto a piece of hardboard.  Normally I roll the paint with a foam roller when making chalkboards but this time, I applied multiple thin coats with a brush.  I let each coat dry for about an hour and lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper between coats.  If my memory serves me correctly, I applied 4 coats of paint to get complete coverage.

Black chalk paint to create Chalkboard Menu

Tip 2:
You must always season a new chalkboard before using it for the first time.  To do this you simply rub the side of a stick of chalk horizontally over the entire surface.  With a clean dry cloth, chalk brush, or paper towel wipe away the excess chalk.

Oyster Shell Patina Chalkboard Menu Before and After
Like I said earlier in this post, white sells and this sold very quickly at the outdoor market in May.

Which patina do you prefer?
The oxidized copper from before
or the new DIY oyster shell.

Before I say goodbye, sadly today is the final day of the Between The Lines series.

The tables are turned on our wonderful host, Katherine because today it's her turn to be interviewed by the participants.  You can catch her answers to our burning questions here at Katherine's Corner.

In case you missed it, you can catch up by pressing the links below:

Be sure to come back on Thursday when I'll be sharing an update on the most popular post on my blog.  I'm so excited because I'll also be sharing photos submitted by readers of their own versions of our Outdoor Water Wall.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous Link Parties

Read More

DIY Sunday Showcase Party (06-25-16)

So happy to see the arrival of Summer, my absolute favorite season!  This summer is going to be an extra special one because my daughter is getting married in August.  So while I'm knee deep in making DIY decor for the wedding, my sights are also on heading to the west coast for some beach time after the wedding.

This week at The Interior Frugalista I shared another thrift store jewelry box makeover except this one was a Men's Accessory Storage Box.  On Thursday was the Coastal edition of Themed Furniture Makeover Day where I shared my Florida in the 50's inspired Vintage Patio Wrought Iron Mesh Nesting Tables.

Now that I've got you caught up on the happenings this past week here at The Interior Frugalista, let's get down to the business of partying. Welcome to the DIY Sunday Showcase Party! Bloggers this is a great link up to showcase your work because not only will it appear on this blog but on the blogs of our five co-hosts. That's six opportunities to have your work featured!

♥♥♥ Our Features From The Last Party ♥♥♥

Join us and share your favorite DIY Projects, Crafts, or Recipes.
DIY Sunday Showcase Party button
The party goes Live every Saturday at 5:00 pm CST and runs through the following Wednesday.


Jennifer at Pink When
Erin at My Crafty Spot
Wendi at H20 Bungalow
Alli at An Alli Event
Marie (moi) at The Interior Frugalista
If you are not one of the six featured here today you may have been featured at our DIY SUNDAY SHOWCASE TALENT BOARD on Pinterest so be sure to hop over there as well!

♥♥♥ A Closer Look At Our Features ♥♥♥

My Pick:

Jen's Pick:
With flavors of lime, coconut, peanut and cilantro, this Coconut Lime Turkey Kabobs Recipe is a summer favorite. Throw it on the grill or BBQ and have a quick and easy dinner ready in minutes. Sure to be a family favorite.

Katie's Pick:
From dark and cramped to light and bright with plenty of storage. How we did a total DIY kitchen remodel for under $3000.
DIY KITCHEN REMODEL by Chatfield Court

Erin's Pick:
4th of July Marshmallow Pinwheels - a simple & festive sweet treat-on-a-stick that kids will love!

Wendi's Pick:
Succulent Turtle Topiary

Alli's Pick:
DIY coastal burlap footstool with crab graphic. Easy tutorial to cushion something in burlap and add a graphic. Linked to Themed Furniture Makeover Day and many more black furniture makeovers #paintedfurniture

If you've been featured here today copy our Feature Button!
DIY Sunday Showcase Party feature button


  1. Follow your party hosts.
  2. Post a maximum of 3 of your newest DIY's.
  3. Linking to the party allows the hosts to possibly PIN your project to our DIY Showcase Pinterest Board, use your project in a round-up post (with direct links to your post), as well as Feature your project in the next DIY Sunday Showcase!
  4. Please Do Not Pin from the party, instead go to the original blog post.
  5. In order to be featured you need to grab the button or link and copy it onto your post or on your link party page!
NEWDIYBUTTON So let's get this DIY Sunday Showcase Party started!

Read More