Making Homemade Waterfalls

Homemade waterfalls are wonderful additions to any backyard pond!

They are fun to make and a great way to add a little color and personal touch to your pond, but is quite easy to do.

Pond and waterfall kits make it easy, allowing you to turn a simple garden into an elaborate display.

These days garden waterfall pumps and pre-formed flexible liners for ponds make it easy to create your own water gardens or water features.

Planing Your Homemade Waterfalls

Homemade Waterfall

Step one of any do it yourself project is knowing exactly what type of project you want to build.

For home made waterfalls, this means how complex and detailed you want yours to be. You can use features like a barrel, machinery, sculptures, rocks – whatever you think will look best.

Also try to consider materials available on site or the most readily available materials in your neighbourhood. This helps to give the feature a sense of belonging in the landscape, and at the same time provides a more sustainable use of resources.

When building homemade waterfalls, the location of the falling water is very important. It’s always better to see a water feature from as many vantage points as possible. A perfect view from your kitchen or living room window would be great. Just be sure to to build your backyard waterfall somewhere it will be enjoyed the most.

Be sure to consider a one third, one third, one third principle. This means that when planing your homemade waterfall, plan to include equal parts of water, rock and vegetation. This will create good overall balance to any backyard waterfall.

Materials excavated can also be useful. Ultimately, every water feature should be unique to the property it sits. It will all work well as long as you know that the water can be effectively piped through or behind any objects.

What You’ll Need To Make Your Own Waterfalls

To make your own backyard waterfall you need a pump, some tubing and the correct materials to build a water reservoir. All of these things are available online from aquatic stores or garden centers.

For Most Waterfalls, Equipment Should Include:

  • Pond and waterfall kits make this project easy. There are also many different waterfall pumps to choose from, and choosing the right one with sufficient capacity for your home made waterfall is essential to achieving the effect you’re looking for.
  • Rock or Objects for the Falls. The material for your water course may be a pre-formed pond liner, a flexible liner, concrete, faux stone or clay. Pre-formed waterfalls are the easiest to install, but the other materials allow more design flexibility.

Preparing Your Home Made Waterfalls

How your homemade waterfalls begin must be considered first. We recommend using a pour over Spillway system at the top, as it polishes the water as it continues to run through and across the top of the spillway. You can make your own weir or spillway kits are available on Amazon.

Ultimately what ever you decide, a water tight receptacle must be constructed to catch the water. This could be as simple as laying a pond liner over a ditch and sloping channel, or as extreme as building yourself a river filled with rocks and stones.

Pump Size And Water Volume

The volume of water pouring down your waterfall spillway is very important. A big flowing falls looks fantastic, but if you use too much water it can get noisy and take far too much power to run.

Use our Waterfall Pump and Weir Guide to predetermine how wide to make your waterfall, and what size of pump you need.

How to make a weir/spillway for less than $20

Building Your Waterfall

  1. First, dig an area in the ground that will act as the receptacle. You can choose to line this hole like a pond, or you can find a tough tub that will not crack and is big enough for a few inches of water above the pump you’ll be placing inside of it. The tub used should be big enough to hold plenty of water.
  2. Put a submersible waterfall and filter pump into the receptacle and connect the plug end to an outlet. Make sure your pump has a GFI switch for safety here. You can find good value waterfall pumps on Amazon
  3. Attach flexible tubing to the other end of the pump where the water will be removed from the receptacle.
  4. Now, attach the pipe so it is as barely noticeable as possible behind or inside the object or rocks that the homemade waterfall will be cascading over. If it is inside something, it is easy. If it is behind it, you will want to carefully hide the piping within rocks or behind something of the same color so it doesn’t stick out and ruin the illusion of your waterfall.

Other Options for Draining

If you don’t want a receptacle, you can place a grating of sorts over the hole you dug and lined, then have the waterfall drain directly into the ground like a natural waterfall.

Use a small chicken wire mesh so that you can place gravel or something similar over it to make it look more natural.

Nice turns and meanders also help with the overall feel of a pond or waterfall, and the placement of stone or gravel give a great final effect.


As water is involved in this project, it is of paramount importance to reduce the risk of electric shocks.

Waterfall pumps must be correctly wired in, all of the external cables must be protected by tubing, and please make sure your pump has a GFI switch for safety.

You should get a competent electrician to install any high voltage electrical equipment. The shock risk can also be reduced by using low voltage or solar powered pumps.

Finalize Things

Once you have completed all of these tasks, secure the tubing to the rocks or object that the waterfall is coming through, ensure everything is set up effectively in place and keep your grating or receptacle locked in place.

A good way to finalize things is to make sure they are all easily moved for maintenance or bad weather if you need to bring the materials inside.

And there you have it – your very own plans for homemade waterfalls. The key is the Waterfall Pump, the tubing and a place for the water to land. Beyond that, make sure to swap out the water on occasion to keep it clean, check your pump to make sure it doesn’t get clogged and beware of any animals that might be nearby that could get into the assembly.

So, do you have vacant area in your backyard or next to the patio? Maybe, there’s a homemade waterfall destined to be built there. Please come back here to share it with us!

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