DIY Outdoor Water Wall

Here in Northern Alberta, the winters are long and the summers short. In the Spring, once the last threat of frost is over, we pretty much live in our backyard. Every Summer we always have one or two projects lined up to improve our outdoor living space.

One of the projects that kept getting pushed back was adding a large water feature in our backyard. Everything we looked at was always way over our budget. Finally, we decided if we're ever going to have a water feature, we would have to build it ourselves.

Mr. Frugalista and I went back and forth argued for weeks before coming up with an idea we were both happy with. Pen and paper in hand, we drew out plans for our DIY Patio Water Wall with a maximum budget of $300.
DIY Outdoor Water Wall for under $300
The original plan was to use a sheet of metal (preferably copper) for the water to trickle down. In the meantime, Mr. Frugalista found two wide reed tempered glass panels at a local salvage yard for only $15.00 each and the game plan for our water wall quickly changed.

Pictured below are most of the materials we used to build our water wall, minus the two plastic rectangular flower planters on the right. I've included a Materials and Tools List at the bottom of this post.
Materials For DIY Outdoor Water Wall
Before moving our water wall onto the deck, it originally sat on our stone patio adjacent to the gazebo. While it looked lovely flanked by matching cedar planters, the soft trickle of the water could only be faintly heard from our deck.
How to build a DIY Patio Water Wall

DIY Outdoor Water Wall for under $300


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

Water Wall: 60" high x 52" wide
Base Only: 12" deep x 18" wide x 52" long

Video Tutorial

Written Tutorial

Step 1: Base Construction

Build the frame for the base with 2" x 2" lumber as pictured below.
Building base for DIY Outdoor Wall

Step 2: Water Trough Construction

Build a plywood box to fit inside the frame. This will house the pond pump, secure the glass to the base, and hold the water.

Option B would be to line the inside of the frame with plywood rather than building a separate box.
Building water trough for DIY Outdoor Water Wall

Step 3: Base Assembly 

Insert the box into the frame of the base. You can see it is raised from the bottom and supported by 2" x 2" lumber. Why? So the trough is shallower than the base to hold less water.
Water Trough Inserted Into Base Of DIY Outdoor Water Wall

Step 4: Glass Support Installation

Attach wood slats to the bottom of the trough to secure the tempered glass panels in the base.

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).
Slats for tempered glass on DIY Outdoor Water

Step 5: Lining The Water Trough

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

Step 6: Adding The Uprights

Attach 1" x 6" x 60" pressure treated deck boards on the outer center of each side of the base for the uprights of the water wall. Add two pieces of scrap deck board on each side of the upright to make the ends flush when installing cedar tongue & groove to finish the outside.
Attaching uprights to the base of DIY Outdoor Water Wall

Step 7: Wrapping The Base

Using a pneumatic nail gun, install cedar tongue and groove closet liner around 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 tempered glass on DIY Outdoor 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 from the top. This will allow for the cord to be concealed underneath.
Concealing the electrical cord of the DIY Outdoor Water Wall

Step 10: Tempered Glass Installation

NOTE: Installing the tempered 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.
Attach flexible tubing for water flow on DIY Outdoor 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.
  • Important: Drill the holes on the side of the tubing that rests taut against the glass to ensure the water trickles down the glass.
  • 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".

Step 12: Concealing Water Tubes

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

Step 13: Finishing Touches

  • Last but not least apply two coats of stain. We used Behr semi-transparent in Sagebrush Green to match our cedar flower planters.
  • Add paving stones to the bottom of the trough, being careful not to rip the pond liner. Or you could use lightweight pool noodles. 
  • Fill the rest of the cavity with river rock. The previous step simply helps decrease the amount of river rock you'll need.
  • Fill the trough with water.
  • Plug in the water wall and the pump will prime for a few seconds before the water starts trickling down the glass.
Sagebrush Green stained DIY Outdoor Water Wall
We choose a very soft trickle (smaller holes) and it makes such a relaxing sound as the water hits the rocks below (pictured below).
Water trickling down DIY Outdoor Water Wall glass
At night the patio water wall is backlit with a trio of spotlights (pictured below). 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 after dark.
DIY Water Wall backlit after dark with solar spotlights
As promised, I've included both a Tool and Materials List below. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. 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.

Tool List

Materials List

Pond Pump 
  • 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 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 below freezing climates like ours.
  • Ours was purchased at Home Depot and is made by Angelo Decor, Model No. TPD-300H.

Pond Liner - small sheet approximately 5' x 5'

Tempered Glass
The size of the water wall is determined by the glass you use. Important: Must be Tempered Glass for safety.

Flexible Plastic Tubing 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 
  • 2 pieces of scrap lumber (to hold the glass inside the water trough)

Other Materials

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...

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

If you enjoyed our DIY Outdoor Patio Water Wall please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
DIY Outdoor Water Wall For Under $300
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 made a solar-powered option that can be made in less than 15 minutes here in our Solar Powered Plant Pot Fountain post.

For those cool Summer evenings, we built an Adirondack Fire Bowl Table in the center of our conversation area adjacent to the water wall on the deck.

Water Wall has been featured at:

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

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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 décor 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

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Vintage Patio Wrought Iron Mesh Nesting Tables

It's one of my favorite days of the month, Themed Furniture Makeover Day and the theme this month is Coastal.  Being a landlocked Canadian Prairie girl with dreams of one day living on the coast, you can bet I was more than excited about our theme this month!

When Mr. Frugalista brought home this trio of Mid Century Modern metal mesh furniture that had seen it's better days, my thoughts immediately went to colorful coastal furniture from the 50's.  After some elbow grease and a few cans of paint, I bring you my Vintage Patio Wrought Iron Mesh Nesting Tables with a coastal vibe!

MCM Metal Mesh Outdoor Nesting Tables

Vintage Wrought Iron Patio Nesting Tables

I so enjoyed that tall glass of lemonade after taking this picture.  Very refreshing during one of the few warm sunny days we've seen in June.

This is what the tables looked like before...

MCM Metal Mesh Nesting Tables Before Makeover

They definitely saw their better days but after a few coats of spray paint, they are ready for the beach!

White Aqua and Coral spray painted vintage nesting tables

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I used. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I will receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you. I only share products I like, used, ordered, or that are on my wish list. See my disclosure policy.

I used Rust-oleum Painter's Touch 2x Ultra Cover Paint & Primer spray paint on all three tables. Table number one is White Gloss, table number two is Coral Gloss, and table number three is Aqua Satin.

Gold Gilding Wax detail on Coastal Vintage Wrought Iron Nesting Tables

The feet and the darling circles on the legs were just begging for a little somethin'-somethin'.  Using Delicate Surface Paint Block Frog Tape, considering the tables were painted just hours prior, I masked around the legs in preparation for Gold Gilding Wax.

I simply rubbed the gilding wax over the paint with a clean lint free rag and buffed it out after letting it dry for around 30 minutes.

Gold gilding wax over coastal spray painted metal nesting tables

The following day after everything was dry, I protected the tables with Rust-oleum Painter's Touch 2x Ultra Cover in a Clear Matte finish, applying two coats.

Coastal look to MCM Wrought Iron Nesting Table Makeover

I really love the coastal vibe these tables now have and I'm thrilled with how the metal mesh tops look in these colors.  I've used the pretty White and Aqua spray paint color last summer when I repurposed a candleholder into a DIY Bistro Table and on wrought iron chairs I paired with the table to make a Bistro Table Set.

MCM Metal Mesh Nesting Tables for Patio, Balcony or Deck

Even when nestled together the colors still pop.

Coastal white coral and aqua metal nesting table makeover

Oh how I miss those lilacs and wish they, and these nesting tables, were sitting on a beach front patio that I called home on the Canadian West Coast.  A girl can dream, can't she!

I'd settle for a small deck on a mobile or an apartment balcony if it meant having a coastal home.

If you like my Vintage Patio Nesting Table Makeover please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Vintage Patio Wrought Iron Mesh Nesting Tables Before and After

I can't wait to see what my talented friends in the DIY Furniture Girls group created for their Coastal furniture pieces.

Please pin directly from their blog post rather than the links below.

You'll find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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Masculine Vintage Jewelry or Accessory Chest Makeover

Welcome to another edition of Frugal Decor Tuesday.  I hope everyone had a great Father's Day this weekend.  In the spirit of Father's Day, I thought I would share another jewelry box makeover except this one has a masculine edge.

This Men's Vintage Jewelry or Accessory Chest is large and perfect for things like watches, loose change, cuff links, and other accessories. Despite it being rather masculine, I contemplated keeping it for myself.

Mens accessory storage box makeover

Masculine Vintage Jewelry or Accessory Chest Makeover

Why? Because my Zodiac sign is a Leo and what fiery lioness could resist a jewelry box with a sleeping Lion on the top?

Masculine Bombay Company jewelry box with cast metal sleeping lion

Here is what it looked like when I got it...

Mens jewelry box with cast metal sleeping lion before makeover

It still had the Bombay Company tag on the bottom.

Bombay Company mens jewelry box before makeover

After a good scrub with warm soapy water, a lot of Q-tips, and baby wipes on the interior, I removed the shiny finish with a 120 grit sanding block.

Blue chalk painted Masculine accessory storage box with silver gilding wax

The chalk paint color is called Summer Blueberries.  You may remember the Oval Pedestal Coffee Table Makeover that I shared recently using this color.  In that makeover, I protected the table with White Wax and loved the look.  I tried something different with this trinket box and used Silver Gilding Wax, applied with a lint free rag.  I also applied it on the brass lion and drawer pull.

Masculine cast metal lion jewelry box with silver gilding wax

It instantly gave the box a fresh, clean look and I was swooning over the metallic highlights.  Here is the box again before...

Thrift store Mens Jewelry Box Before Makeover

If you like the makeover I gave this Masculine Vintage Jewelry Box please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Mens Accessory Storage Box Before and After

If you missed my other masculine jewelry and trinket chest makeovers you can catch them here at Vintage Men's Valet Roll Top Jewelry Box, Gray Pebble Beach Jewelry Box, and Dark Gray Harlequin Chest.

Before I close this post, it is Week 9 of the Between The Lines series and I don't want you to miss a thing.

Press the links below to visit today's featured bloggers.

Be sure to come back on Thursday for the June edition of Themed Furniture Makeover Day.  The theme this month is Coastal and I have a fun throwback makeover to share with you all.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous parties.

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