Eat DIY Rain Barrel 4 Ways

Published on June 13th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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Weekend Project: DIY Rain Barrel

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Weekend Project: DIY Rain Barrel

Need a weekend project for your garden? Check out these four different ways that you can build a DIY rain barrel to conserve water and nourish your plants.

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at our sister site Sustainablog is a rain barrel enthusiast. He’s rounded up DIY rain barrel plans ranging from bare bones to more complex, so there’s something to suit pretty much any garden here.

Before you set up your rain barrel, though, you may want to see if it’s legal to collect rainwater in your city. In towns like Cape Coral, Florida it’s illegal to harvest rainwater. Crazy, I know! We don’t want to be responsible for you getting slapped with a fine, so if your town has a ban on rain barrels, you have to decide whether it’s worth the risk.

Of course, in most places it’s perfectly legal to build a rain barrel, so get yourself a container, and pick your favorite DIY rain barrel plans!

The DIY Rain Barrel: 4 More Plans

by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Sustainblog

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: Rain Barrel photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • Tina

    Can you cite your source for it being illegal to harvest rainwater in Cape Coral, FL? I followed the links to the articles you are citing, but they indicate that it is illegal to live off the grid, not illegal to utilize rain harvesting. I’m having difficulty verifying this information. Thanks for the clarification!

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