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River Rock DIY Water Feature (How To Make A Mini DIY Waterfall)

You don’t need to spend a lot of time and money to create the sound of running water in your garden. This river rock DIY water feature is easy to set up, easy to maintain and won’t break the bank!

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as the sound of water running through your garden.

But installing a full-size waterfall and pond is a lot of work, and can be quite expensive.

So I decided to make a scaled-down version that still has the running water sound, but can be put together in less than a day.

It also doesn’t require much maintenance, which is always a bonus!

Alligator garden art beside the DIY waterfall water feature

In my mini waterfall, the water runs from the clay pot at the back through the rocks and into the little basin at the front.

Keep reading to find out how to make a river rock DIY water feature.


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  • plastic tub – this will be the basin that catches the water at the bottom of the waterfall
  • shovel
  • clay garden pot
  • pond liner
  • pump with tubing
  • river rocks – Some of the larger ones are lava rock* so they are light weight and easy to lift.
  • gravel
  • caulk

How To Make The DIY River Rock Water Feature

DIY waterfall garden water feature

1. Dig a hole in the ground for the plastic tub. This is what catches the water at the base of the waterfall.

2. Use a clay pot for the water dispenser. You may need to build up the soil a bit to create a hill for the water to run down.

4. Place the pump in the laundry tub.

5. Run the tubing up the hill and into the drainage hole in the bottom of the clay pot.

6. Seal the hole with some outdoor caulk.

7. Place a pond liner under the clay pot, down the slope and tuck it over the rim of the tub.

Small water feature pond in the garden

8. Add gravel and rocks to make the creek bed and sides.

Next year I plan to add a water plant for interest in the little pond.

It’s the perfect spot for an alligator to hang out (this garden art came from the gift shop in the Florida Everglades).

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Have comments or questions about our river rock DIY water feature? Tell us in the section below.

This post was originally published on August 26, 2020 but was updated with new content on November 20, 2021.

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    1. Thank you Shiv for your suggestion. I, too, am a fan of Laura at Proven Winners and her video information. If you go to Proven Winners’ web site you can download good garden and planting idea books /www.provenwinners.com/container-gardening/ideabooks. They also have a form on the website to subscribe to their monthly email that I find interesting and informative.