3 Cheap DIY Rain Barrels That Actually Look Nice!

Do you wish you had a rain barrel to harvest rain water from your roof, but don’t want to spend $100’s or settle for an ugly blue plastic container?

Good! I think you CAN have a pretty, aesthetically pleasing rain barrel for CHEAP!

Check out how easy it can be…



Why does something as simple as harvesting run off rain water from your roof have to be so pricey?

Answer: Because it’s trendy.

There are ridculously priced rain barrels out there that everyone has seen, like this planter/rain barrel for $235!

Then, of course, there is the CISTA rainwater harvesting system that looks AMAZING, but who knows what the price tag on that bad boy will be? (My guess is $300+.)

So how can you build your own rain barrel that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg and that you will actually want people to see?

Let us help!


Top 3 Affordable and Attractive DIY Rain Barrel Ideas


1) Use An Ugly 55 Gallon Barrel – Then Grow Flowering Vines On It

Michael d’Estries at Groovy Green points you to one of my absolute favorite (and cheapest) DIY rain barrel ideas from designer Michelle Kaufmann.

Michelle shares the idea of just spending about $10 to get any cheap 55 gallon barrel.

(Here’s how to find one for cheap or free.)

Then she suggests growing beautiful vines up around it on cheap wire mesh and placing potted flowers or plants on top to completely hide it!

Check out her awesome how-to video for this cheap and attractive rain barrel:


*Bonus:* Michelle Kaufmann also show you how to ditch your downspout and make your own rain chain to carry your rain water to your new rain barrel! Here’s the video:



2) Ugly Barrel + Paint + Potted Plants = One Dang Pretty Rain Barrel

Another cheap and easy way to make an attractive rain barrel is to find a cheap or free 55 gallon barrel and paint it to match your landscaping, home, or give it a terra cotta look.

If you can’t or don’t want to grow vining plants around it, as in Michelle Kaufmann’s idea above, you could simply place some potted plants or flowers on the top.

If you choose creeping plants, they’ll look nice falling over the side of the barrel, as you can see on another post at Groovy Green.


3) Reuse An Old Barrel

Lots of home and garden stores, nurseries, wineries, and the like will sell you used oak barrels that make beauitful and great rain barrels.

I happen to live in the heart of whiskey country (within 1.5 hours of both the Jack Daniel’s distillery and the Maker’s Mark distillery), so a barrel from one of those locations would work too.

You can see an example of this type of rain barrel in the picture above from Kent Rasmussen’s Lincoln Green Scene Ning profile.


What do you think about these 3 ideas?

Do you think you could make one of them work for your home?

Have you found another way to make a rain barrel that you’ll actually want to incorporate into your landscape, not hide behind a fence?




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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