21 DIY Pond Ideas To Upgrade Your Backyard!

by craftmin | December 19, 2017

Tired of the same look your backyard has had since moved in? Re-invent and upgrade it with this easy DIY pond tutorial!

Maybe you think that a DIY pond is too ambitious for you? Fear not, technically speaking, beginner’s pond building is actually much easier than it sounds. All you need is the right set of tools and a few materials. With those at hand, you are ready to make a hole in your ground, fill it with water and, voila! You can now enjoy a pond of your own!

What actually makes the process of building your own DIY pond difficult is the effort you need to exert for its success. Imagine the amount of heavy labor, all that digging, burrowing, carrying and cutting which building a pond needs. If you are not lifting heavy shovels of dirt, you are carrying hollows blocks around. On top of that, there is all the sod that must be moved and deposited somewhere else, and there even might be roots in the ground which you need to pick with an ax. So don’t be fooled into thinking that it is a simple process!

Opting for dry season to build your DIY pond is advisable for those who want to achieve a beautiful backyard, as is working when you are at your most energetic state. Building your own pond can be physically exhausting.

I have mentioned that building a pond is simple DIY, but that doesn’t mean it will be built within an instant. In fact, a DIY pond needs a long time to complete, so remember that patience is a virtue!

Normally, building a pond will not burn a hole in your pocket, as the most costly material is the liner of the pond. You can buy this from an pond supply yard.

 

Shall we start building your DIY pond?

Let’s begin with step number 1: Lay out the boundary of your Pond

diy pond step 1

 

The most common way of marking pond boundaries is by using old garden hose, which are preferred to rope because it lays down in wide curves in a more natural way than ropes.

Use an old hose, so you can start digging on the ground next to the hose. If you don’t have a hose which can be discarded, just pour flour all over the hose and remove it from the ground. The shape will be marked by the shadows of the flour.

 

 

Next, step number 2: Start digging the border of your pond

2nd step diy pond

 

Dig out the border of your pond, creating cuts in the grass and dirt similar to width of a shovel. Use a spade to create more narrow cuts in the grass, sliding the spade under the segmented sod to get rid of it.

Now that the border has been established and is distinct, remove the hose.

 

 

Followed by step number 3: Dig out the center of your  DIY pond

3rd step diy pond

 

The back-breaking hard work will now start!

Dig out the area which will become the center of your DIY pond. Take out all of the dirt within your border, but be sure that when you dig the depth is not deeper than the border itself.

Afterwards, dig down until the lowest base of your pond to help you establish a base-line for the depth of your pond. No part of the bottom of the pond can be lower than your base-line!

 

And then step number 4: Line up the pond wall with a retaining wall block

4th step diy pond

 

You will need to line the walls with a retaining wall block, which will be especially needed if the quality of your soil is sandy or very loose. Wondering why this block wall is quite expensive? Well a retaining block will be responsible for retaining the shape of your DIY pond.

If your soil is not loose and is quite firm, you might not need a retaining wall block.

 

 

moving with step number 5: Create a series of pond levels

5th step diy pond

 

As you lay down your pond levels, create stair-like graduated levels making sure that each subsequant levels doesn’t go up more than 8-10 inches. The success of your DIY pond lies with this process, and if you accidentally lay walls that are too high, you will leave yourself with more workload when you have to “rock” the walls you are building.

To save yourself from too much work, keep your step levels low.

continue with step number 6: Shoot your pond level with a laser level

6th step diy pond

 

When building a DIY pond, it can be tedious to maintain the walls of the pond level, so to it is advisable to use a laser to maintain the height of the pond.

Keep in mind the following: if your walls are 3 inches all the way around, except for one spot where it dips down to 2’8 inches, then you will not be able to fill your pond above 2’8 inches.

proceed with step number 7: Don’t forget to lay ground hardware in case you have burrowing pests

7th step diy pond

 

Ground hogs and moles pestering your backyard? Expect them to find the location of your DIY pond and, eventually, burrow upwards destroying your precious hard work!

To avoid this worse case scenario, lay out a roll of ground hardware cloth, preferably 1/4 inches thick, across the bottom of the pond. Afterwards, spread 2 to 3 inches of dirt on top of the ground hardware.

 

 

go on with step number 8: Use rope for a rough estimate of liner size

step 8 diy pond

 

Pond liners cost money, so to avoid buying too much or less than you need, measure the size of your pond thinking about your budget.

One recommended way to check if you are going beyond your means is to cut a length of rope equivalent to the length of your liner’s longest edge. Lay this rope through the hole, going down on one side then across the bottom of the pond, and up the other side. Aside from that, the rope should extend about 2 inches over the pond edge.

 

followed by step number 9: Install the under layment of your DIY pond

step 9 diy pond

 

Prior to the installation of the pond’s liner, lay down an underlayment to protect your liner from destructive roots, rocks and other unwanted objects. You could also an old carpet instead of an underlayment bought from a supply store.

 

 

 

then with step number 10: Install the liner of the pond

10th step diy pond

 

You might need someone’s help with this part! Roll out the liner across the bottom of the pond then unfold it so that the liner drapes all over the side of the pond. You will need a lot of patience to carefully press the liner down to the bottom of the pond.

Please remember that the bottom of the pool may have a few pleats, but all of the sides of the ponds should be pleated.

 

 

almost there with step number 11: Lay rocks over your pond’s wall

11th step diy pond

Start forming a wall and stacking rocks on the bottom and walls of your DIY pond.

Begin with the bigger- and medium-sized rocks, stack one another until the liner of the pond has disappeared from view. Now I bet you are thankful you kept your graduated levels just the right height! Saved you a lot of work, right?

Once the walls have been covered, use smaller stones or even colorful pebbles to completely conceal bottom of the pond.

 

 

close enough! step number 12: Just add water!

FILL WATER DIY POND

 

Using your garden hose, fill your DIY pond with water! It may take a few hours to reach the maximum water level of your pond.

If you notice a strange green and cloudy hue on your days-old pond, don’t worry because this is just algae bloom. Just wait for a couple of weeks and the water is sure to clear up again on its own!

And, voila! Your DIY pond has been set up and ready to take everyone’s breath away!

finished diy pond

Source: Lee Wallender

 

Here is a list of other DIY pond projects you should check out for your ultimate backyard upgrade!

 

[1] CREATE AN ABOVE-GROUND KOI DIY POND!

koi diy pond

Create a pond for your backyard that is sure to take everyone’s breath away- construct an above-the-ground Koi pond made of timber! Set the timbers on top of concrete footing and let the plants live and survive through an underwater pump. The easy but enchanting Koi pond is sure to give life to your backyard.

//Above-the-ground Koi pond

 

[2] BUILD A WATER GARDEN AND A KOI DIY POND!

water garden diy pond

If you have a spacious backyard, surely you can accommodate this beauty – build a full water garden with Koi pond! This beautiful masterpiece has a raised pond bed and features a 15-inch granite rock wall to accentuate its beauty. Give your water garden a touch of life by filling it with greens and flowers around the pond.

//Water garden and Koi pond

 

[3] FILL YOUR BACKYARD WITH LIFE WITH THIS WILDLIFE DIY POND!

3 wildlife diy pond

Your backyard will never look dull and lifeless again, once you have built this do-it-yourself pond project! Fill your homemade pond with vibrant water lilies, lush tall grasses, beautiful alpines and other plants. To make your wildlife pond even more realistic, line it with rocks and pebbles!

//Wildlife pond

 

[4] BUILD A STREAMING AND FLOWING DIY POND!

4 sloping steam diy pond

This do-it-yourself pond idea works best for those with a spacious backyard, especially with the walkway. When building this ambitious but totally worth it pond, use boulders of different sizes, flowers of different colors and plants of different variety. Combining these features together will make your streaming pond even more realistic while exuding elegance.

//Flowing pond

[5] CREATE A SIMPLE SERENE DIY POND!

5 garden diy pond

This homemade pond project requires just a reasonable space of your backyard. With a practical but lovely rectangular shape, this pond project featuring a ground-level and easy-to-maintain boardwalk is sure to give your backyard a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Building this homemade pond will also give you an opportunity to have a momentary escape from reality.

//Rectangular pond

[6] BUILD A SIMPLE AND INEXPENSIVE DIY POND!

6 easy diy pond

Building a homemade pond for your backyard need not be complicated or expensive. A cheap and easy way to create a pond for yourself is to excavate your backyard deeply and lay cushioning materials at the bottom. Then fill your excavated piece of land with water. Hide the liners with rocks and plants of your choice to make it pleasing to the eyes!

//Easy and inexpensive homemade pond

 

[7] BUILD A DIY POND WITH A WORKING FOUNTAIN!

8 landscape diy pond

A do-it-yourself pond does not have to be simple and ordinary – create an extraordinary pond for your backyard by installing a working fountain! First, unleash your creativity when designing and landscaping your pond then fill it with a variety of stone pallets and plants to give it life. Use a plastic pool to determine the shape of your reservoir, then finish your homemade pond with a mini working fountain!

//Homemade pond with mini fountain

 

[8] RE-INVENT A TRACTOR TIRE – TURN IT INTO A DIY POND!

9 tire diy pond

Create a simple and effortless homemade pond by re-using an old tractor tire! After using this old tire as a base structure for your homemade pond, surround and fill it with a variety of stones, pebbles and plants! The finished product will make it hard to believe that the pond is made out of an old tractor tire!

//Old tractor tire pond

 

[9] CREATE A DIY FISH POND OUT OF OLD TIRES! 

10 old tires diy pond

Your creativity and resourcefulness is all you need to creating a fish pond for your yard. Transform old tires by cutting off their sidewalls and stacking them on top of one another. Afterwards, put a lot of sand in the bottom of the old tires, add a polythene lining, and then fill with water. Don’t forget to surround your homemade pond with plants to give it more life.

//Fish pond from old tires

 

[10] BUILD A BREATHTAKING CONCRETE DIY POND WITH WATERFALLS!

waterfalls diy pond

This do-it-yourself homemade pond sure looks ambitious, but it’s actually possible! Build this DIY pond for your backyard complete with a working waterfall, and you are sure to feel as if you are taking a vacation in a resort instead of just resting in your yard!

//Concrete pond with waterfalls

 

[11] BUILD A DREAMY GARDEN DIY POND!

11 natural diy pond

There is beauty in authenticity – to keep your homemade pond as realistic looking as possible, decorate it with a variety of luscious green plants and fish. A n environment bursting with life will make your homemade pond look more natural than it is.

//Dreamy natural garden

 

[12] BUILD A SIMPLE BUT CHARMING DIY POND!

12 liner diy pond

Regardless of the design of your homemade pond, make sure you figure out its size and depth before you install a liner. After figuring this out, fill your homemade pond with water and other pond decorations such as water lilies and pebbles. The simplicity of the design also adds charm and an atmosphere of tranquility to your yard!

//Simple homemade pond with liners

[13] CREATE A DIY POND OUT OF OLD TUBS!

13 bath tub diy pond

Have you been wanting a homemade pond but have never had the courage because you don’t want the hassle of building one? If so, then this pond project is for you! Simply re-purpose an old bathtub into a beautiful and charming garden pond. With a good pump and filter, an electric outlet, plugs and bricks, your homemade pond is all set! To make it even more charming, fill it with pebbles and water lilies!

//Homemade pond out of tub

[14] CREATE A SIMPLE RUSTIC DIY POND!

14 rustic diy pond

Build a simple and rustic homemade pond in your backyard using border rocks! Arrange and line the border rocks to form a square-shaped pond. Afterwards, install a pond pump, a liner, a quality filter, pebbles, flowers and if you can, throw in some fish as well.

//Simple rustic homemade pond

[15] CREATE A NATURAL DIY POND USING BENTONITE CLAY!

15 all natural diy pond

A pool liner is not a requirement for building an all-natural pond, use Bentonite clay instead and create a home for a small school of fish. Nourishing a protected and secured school of fish in shallow waters, like your homemade pond, not only adds majestic beauty to your pond but also gives nourishment to surrounding flowers.

//All natural homemade pond

 

[16] BUILD A DIY POND UNDER 30 BUCKS!

16 30 dollars diy pond

Believe it or not, all you need is 30 bucks to build a decent homemade pond for your yard! Aside from being economical, this do-it-yourself pond project is also environmental friendly – featuring a solar pump to save on electricity!

//$30 homemade pond

 

[17] CREATE A MAGICAL DIY POND OUT OF POTS!

17 pond in a pot diy pond

Tight on space and money? Don’t worry! This do-it-yourself pond project is tailored to you! Simply prepare a large pot, but instead of filling it with soil and seeds, fill it with water and water lilies. If you want, you can even fill it with small fish to have a miniature pond inside a giant pot!

//Homemade pond from pot

 

[18] SURROUND YOUR DIY POND WITH A VARIETY OF ROCKS!

18 backyard fish diy pond

To achieve an authentic-looking homemade pond, simply surround your pond with a variety of rocks, stones and pebbles. The more variety of colors and sizes, the more authentic your pond will look.

//Natural homemade pond surrounded with various rocks

[19] BUILD A DIY POND ON YOUR FRONT YARD! 

19 front yard diy pond

Who said ponds belong in the backyard? Once they see your front yard, this gorgeous do-it-yourself pond is sure to take your visitor’s breath away! With splendid rock formations and tropical plants surrounding your pond, anyone who sets eyes on your yard will be in awe!

//Front yard pond

 

[20] BUILD A DIY POND WITH A CASCADING WATERFALL!

 

20 water falls diy pond

Save your pond from conventional fountains and waterfalls – instead, go for a magical and mesmerizing cascading waterfalls! The trick is to get creative in laying out the stepping stones that will define the cascading motion of your falls. Once you have achieved this, your garden pond with functioning waterfall is sure to make you feel like you are in a magical place!

//Homemade pond with waterfalls

 

With the DIY pond tutorial and list of other pond projects, you are all set and prepared to set up your own pond!

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