Making your own rain barrel can save you quite a bit of money. In most areas of North America, you’ll be able to collect more than a thousand gallons of water a year to use for houseplants and watering the lawn. In this post, we’ll show you how to make your own rain barrel so that you can start saving water and money during this rainy season!


It’s easier than you might expect to create your own rain barrel. And with these instructions and the materials below, in just a few hours you’ll have your very own rain barrel. First you must gather the following materials:


  • 1 large plastic garbage can – do not use metal because it will rust
  • 1 tube of water-tight sealant or a roll of Teflon tape for plumbing
  • 2 rubber washers
  • 2 metal washers
  • 1 hose clamp
  • 1 spigot
  • a drill
  • landscaping fabric


First you need to drill a hole near the bottom of your barrel. This is where you will insert the spigot. Use a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the size of the spigot so that it will fit snugly into the plastic. You’ll be using the spigot to fill your watering can for whatever you wish to use this rainwater for. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure that the hole isn’t too close to the bottom of the container.

Next, place a metal washer into the threaded end of the spigot. Then you will put a snug washer over the threads to help hold the washer in place to prevent leakage.

Once this is completed, you’ll want to apply a bead of waterproof sealant over your rubber washer and insert the spigot into the hole. Wait for the sealant to dry, then run a rubber washer, followed by a metal washer onto the threads of the spigot inside the barrel. Secure the spigot in place inside your barrel with he house clamp. This is important because it will keep your spigot from coming loose in your barrel. You can also run the watertight tape to seal the spigot hole if you chose to purchase that instead of the sealant.



Now, carefully cut a hole in the lid of the rain barrel. This hole should sit under your home’s downspout so the water runs right into the barrel. Cut the hole so that it is large enough to accommodate water flowing from the downspout. You’ll also want to drill a hole or two near the very top of your rain barrel. This hole will allow water to overflow.

Cut a piece of the landscaping fabric to sit over the top, the put the lid over the top to secure it. This mesh-y material will keep mosquitos, leaves and other pests from contaminating your water.

Place Your Barrel!

Position it directly underneath your rain gutter downspout in a spot that’s most convenient for you to use it. Then just wait for it to rain so you can enjoy the water, money and savings.