3 Ways Under $10 To Make A Rain Barrel

make-a-rain-barrelWhy harvest rain water? The world is 2/3 water, is it not?

True, it is, but Sam Davidson at CoolPeopleCare.org cites a fact from RainBarrelGuide.com that less than 3/10 of one percent of that water is suitable for domestic use.

Don’t you think we could find better uses for the commodity of fresh water (which we take for granted in this country) than to water our plants or wash our cars?

Recently, I posted a 2-part article here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green that shared 3 Alternatives to Drinking Bottled Water [part 1, part 2]. Part 2 introduced the idea of harvesting rain water for such purposes as landscape care and more.

If you could have a rain barrel for less than $10 dollars (or even free), would you do it?


You may be thinking that it would be pointless and take forever for, oh, let’s say an 80-gallon barrel to fill with water to use.

But did you know that one inch of rain on 1,000 square feet of roof can produce 600 gallons of rainwater?

I sure didn’t! This obviously means that any rain barrel is going to need an overflow hose.

Let’s discover some cheap ways to obtain your very own rain barrel.

These are all DIY projects, but are of a very basic nature. Virtually anyone should be able to complete them with ease.


  • Meredith at The Fun Times to Guide to Brentwood, TN commented on the second part to 3 Alternatives to Drinking Bottled Water with some quite handy information on this topic. She says that Metro Nashville Water Services was giving away free rain barrel kits early this year! There is apparently a waiting list for the kit now, but check with them to see if some are still available. In the meantime, they do provide a handy guide to making your own rain barrel. Many municipal governments offer free rain barrel kits of some sort, so check with your local governing body to see if they offer something of the sort.


  • Check with your local bottling company. Many of them sell their barrels for under $10. You may even luck out and find one for free! Then all that is left is to buy the inexpensive hardware from your local Home/Hardware store, and you’re good to go!


  • One commenter on the above referenced article at CoolPeopleCare.org says, “Nashville Drum and Barrel has 55 gallon plastic drums (food grade) for $8 apiece.” Nashville Barrel and Drum is in Fairview, TN. That drive would be worth it for an $8 barrel, considering the skyrocketing prices of pre-fab rain barrels at hardware stores and the Internet.



Fun Rain Barrel Making Tip

Get everyone involved by having a rain barrel painting contest!

Gather your children, family, friends, neighbors, and the like to make (unless you want to construct them all yourself) and paint your new rain barrels with low or no VOC paint.

Here are some examples of nicely decorated barrels, and even more tips for using a rain barrel at your home.

No one wants to have an ugly white, green, or blue plastic drum disrupting their nicely landscaped lawn. Make this an opportunity to enhance your home’s unique look and show your loved ones how fun it can be to Live Green!



Yo. I'm Jeffrey. I think every little step is an awesome one when it comes to living green... but eco-snobbery sucks.

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  • Bill

    FYI – a one inch rain falling on a 1000 s.f. area (roof, driveway etc.) does not produce 6000 gallons of runoff water, as stated in the above article. It would produce 600 gallons, which is still a lot of water, and well worth saving from going into the storm sewer as runoff. (Possibly just a typo in above article).

    • http://www.EcoSnobberySucks.com Jeffrey Davis

      Good catch bill, i’ve edited that number to reflect the correct measurement.

  • Denise

    I’m interested !! Please tell me how.

  • Joshua

    Maxi Container Inc. 6000 Caniff, Detroit, MI 48212 give them a call @ 800-727-MAXI (6294) carry all types of containers and barrels

  • http://www.RainBarrel.ca Larry

    RainBarrel.ca at (905) 545-5577 sells complete rain barrels but you can also purchase screw top barrels for $15. Shipping would be extra.

  • http://www.filecabinetkey.net/black-file-cabinets-for-the-home Black File Cabinets For Home

    Bros! keep going like this, more good info again.

  • ccs

    Any idea where to buy rain barrels in the Pittsburgh, Pa. area?