How to Make a Rain Barrel for Your Yard

This homemade rain barrel to recycle rainwater for use in your lawn and garden 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 drain strainer in hole in 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.