Living diy rain barrel

Published on June 9th, 2014 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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The DIY Rain Barrel: 4 More Plans

diy rain barrel

Just over four years ago, former writer ziggy published a quick post on a plan for building a diy rain barrel. This post still gets some traction, but this is a topic I’ve kept an eye on, and realized there are many, many more plans out there… and one of them might work better for your needs.

Ultimately, all rain barrels are pretty much the same: a container with connection points for a downspout (to take in the water) and hoses (to use the water/release overflow). From there, you could just use your imagination. Or, you could try out one of these plans that I found…

4 Plans for a DIY Rain Barrel

1. The Mother Earth News Plan: Because why would you call it anything else – that’s automatic DIY credibility. Excerpted from DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner (that’s an affiliate link), this plan provides lots of details, but also gives you leeway for different types of containers.

2. The Wine Barrel Rain Collector: Want something a little classier than plastic? If you can find a wooden wine cask, here’s a plan from Instructables for turning it into a rain barrel. (via Treehugger)

3. The Double Barrel System: Probably the most complex system on this list, this plan from The Family Handyman uses two trashcans, a wooden stand, and a bit more complex plumbing than the plans above.

4. The World’s Simplest and Cheapest DIY Rain Barrel: Fine with a very no-frills system? Then here’s the plan for you (in the video below)! I’d want to add just a bit more plumbing for using the water, but even that wouldn’t add much to the cost or difficulty.

Again, pretty much everything here is just a matter of variations on pretty simple concepts. If you don’t see what you want here, check out Pinterest or Instructables… lots of other choices available.

Already got a homemade rain barrel? Share your plan with us…

Image credit: santellij via photopin cc



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



  • Thomas Landis

    Love the idea of rain barrels but hate how ugly they usually look! Here is what I did in my back yard to create a rain barrel and fountain. The moving water prevents algae and mosquitoes, total of 250 gal of water storage, and makes a nice soothing sound when relaxing in the hammock!

    • http://sustainablog.org/ Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

      Nice, Thomas! Thanks for sharing… yeah, an awful lot of barrels, whether DIY or store-bought, aren’t particularly attractive…

  • Verdant Nation

    All of the rain barrel suggestions depend on the home having gutters. Are there any alternatives for those of us without gutters?

    • http://sustainablog.org/ Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

      I’ll have to look into that – all of the options of which I’m aware are tied to gutters/downspouts…

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