Super Cheap and Easy DIY Wooden Rain Barrel Idea

by Jeffrey

rain barrels, water

wooden-rain-barrel.jpgThe spring rain showers have already started here in middle Tennessee, so the time to get that attractive, cheap, and easy-to-build rain barrel started is now!

Earlier this week we brought you ideas for 3 cheap DIY rain barrels that actually look nice.

Well let’s add one more to the list, shall we?

If, like me, you love the natural look and energy of wood, but a wine or whisky barrel either aren’t available or aren’t affordable for you, then this project is right up your alley!

This picture is actually of a really expensive 110 gallon rain barrel that you can buy from

However, if you don’t feel like spending $149 (it’s on sale, down from $299, by the way), why not build your own rain barrel for a fraction of that?

Here’s how…


Easy DIY Wooden Rain Barrel

In my last post, a couple of the ideas I shared were covered in a great video from designer Michelle Kaufmann.

If you download her Green Rainwater Guide (.pdf), you can see another idea for making your own wood slat rain barrel for CHEAP!

In the guide she says,

“The wood wrapped barrel is super easy and a great way to reuse old pieces of wood you have around the yard:

  • Find, reuse, or buy wood pieces between 2 and 3 inches wide and about an inch thick. They don’t have to be the same length as long as they are all long enough to reach the top of your barrel; an uneven edge can look really beautiful. Get enough to go all the way around your barrel. Leave gaps for fixtures (these you can fill in with shorter lengths of wood later on).
  • You’ll also want to buy a length of thin steel cable long enough to wrap around a barrel 5 or 6 times. Place the lengths of wood around the barrel and carefully (probably with a little help from someone) loop the cable around and through the wood pieces to secure them and also to make an interesting weave pattern around the barrel.
  • Attach the ends of the cable using a small steel crimp or clamp. Add planters on top of the barrel to create a flowery top.”

Of course you can always use the directions we’ve already laid out here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green on how to procure a suitable 55 gallon barrel for under $10.

I do a fair amount of wood working so I always have scrap wood laying around. If you’re not the avid wood worker, you can always make a quick dumpster diving trip to a construction site and find ALL the wood you could ever need.

BONUS:  You never know what treasures you’ll find in construction dumpsters. They throw out perfectly nice things like pedestal sinks, fixtures, etc all the time… many of which are still in their boxes!

If Michelle Kaufmann’s design doesn’t bode well for you, check out this wood slat barrel I found on the TreeHugger forums.

What do you think? Does this design appeal to you? Does it seem ridiculously easy? If so, that’s because it is!

What a great weekend project in which the whole family can get involved.