This homemade rain barrel to recycle water for use in your garden and lawn is an easy do-it-yourself project that costs less than $50.

Here’s how to go about making a rain barrel to help you conserve water in your yard.

Rain Barrel Materials

  • Large plastic garbage can with solid bottom
  • Drain strainer (available in lawn & garden department for outside drains)
  • Brass water spigot
  • Brass nut to fit the threads on the spigot
  • 2 Flat neoprene rubber washers (available in plumbing department)

Making the Rain Barrel

Drill a hole in the side of the garbage can near the bottom to fit the threaded end of the water spigot.

Put one of the rubber washers on the spigot.

Push the threaded end of the spigot through the hole in the can from the outside.

Slip the other rubber washer on the spigot threads from inside the can.

Screw the brass nut on the spigot from inside the can and tighten.

Cut a hole in the can lid with a jigsaw to fit the drain strainer.
Insert the drain strainer in the hole in the lid.
Place lid on can and drill 1/4” diameter holes through the lid and top flange of can on each side of the can and lid.
Attach the lid to the can through the holes using cable ties to hold the lid on securely and prevent children or animals from falling in the rain barrel.

Remove the existing gutter downspout from the gutter, and set the rain barrel on concrete blocks next to the house under the downspout opening.

Modify the downspout so that it fits in the top of the barrel.

Attach a hose to the faucet and use it for watering the plants in your yard.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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