Urn Fountains Tips

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What is an indoor urn fountain I can make?

The Indoor Urn Fountain

If an indoor urn fountain is something you'd like to have in your home, we have a project idea for you. This easy to create indoor urn fountain is something you can create in just a few hours.

What you'll need:

  • Metal leaf water feature
  • Aquatic potting mix
  • Pantyhose
  • Decorative urn
  • Pebbles
  • Filter Carbon

What you'll need to do:
  • Place the metal leaf water feature into the urn, along with the submersible pump.
  • Place a protective cover over the pump, allowing openings for the power and water intake.
  • Partially fill up the area with pebbles.
  • Make a container by placing aquatic potting mix in the pantyhose and add Ogon for your plant life.
  • You can make a separate bag with Cyperus isocladus.
  • Arrange the plant life and fill the container to the edge with additional pebbles.
  • Use a tablespoon of the filter carbon to keep the water from becoming stale. Repeat this process as necessary to maintain the water quality.
  • Plug in your pump, add water and your indoor urn fountain is ready to use.

How do I make my own urn fountain?

Create Your Own Urn Fountain

One fountain project that's relatively easy to make is the urn fountain. The urn is the perfect water container and you just need to have a hole in place to run power. Read on to find out how to create your own urn fountain.

First, have your electrical wiring set up and ready to go for your urn fountain. Unless you're a competent pro with wiring, consider having a licensed electrician install the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for you. The GFCI will prevent a pump malfunction and the possibility of electrocution.

  • If you're placing the urn fountain on your lawn, remove the grass to the soil.
  • Lay down and compact a layer of gravel for a level and sturdy base.
  • Place down one to two layers of flagstones to create a base.
  • Place the urn down, ensuring you have a level surface.
  • Place the pump in the urn and pull the power cord through the hole in the base of the urn and seal it with a rubber fountain plug, available at most fountain specialty shops.
  • Conceal the pump with gravel, using extra rocks to position the spout.
  • If need be, add clear tubing to bring the water stream higher. You can use a special fountain head to create varied water effects.
  • Add distilled water, plug in the urn fountain and you should see a stream of water appear just above the line of the gravel.


Choosing the Right Pump to Make Your Own Urn Fountain

All fountain pumps are not alike. To operate properly an urn water fountain needs a submersible fountain pump that is the correct type, size and capacity for the project. There are several key specifications to look for:

  • Type of fountain pump: A WA type pump may be used indoors only. A WT type fountain pump may be used indoors or outdoors.
  • An adjustable pump is helpful for controlling the pressure of the water flow.
  • Pump capacity (GPH) refers to how many gallons of water the pump will circulates per hour. Choose a pump with an adequate GPH rating. Determine how many gallons of water the urn fountain holds. Basic guidelines call for a pump that will move about half of the total volume of a fountain per hour. For example, an adjustable MN 404 mini-jet water fountain pump will circulate 21 to 106 GPH to a max head (height) of 30 inches.
  • Length of the electric cord: Pumps come with different lengths of electric cord. Make sure the cord is long enough to reach the outlet. Avoid extension cords if possible. If an extension cord is used, be sure to purchase one that is rated for outdoor use and is made to plug into a GFI outlet. To prevent having to constantly plug and unplug the fountain from the outlet, look for a cord with an SW in the name. It features a convenient on and off switch.

When in doubt ask. Shop with a knowledgeable online fountain parts specialist that can answer questions and make sound recommendations.


Build a Garden Urn Fountain

Although there are many beautiful ready-made urn water fountains, sometimes you already have the “perfect” urn for the “perfect” location or an urn that holds special meaning. Turn your special urn into a water fountain and make it the centerpiece of an indoor or outdoor setting.

There are two primary types of urn fountains that are relatively simple do-it-yourself projects. Large planter-type urns with a wide top create a mini-pond with a bubbling fountain in the center. Make your own by simply placing a fountain pump in the bottom on the urn. Run the electric cord through the hole in the bottom of the urn planter and seal the opening with silicone caulking or a rubber fountain plug sold by fountain parts suppliers. Add gravel or decorative smooth stones to conceal the pump and a decorative fountain head for a variety of jet or spray patterns. Fill the urn with distilled water or treated tap water and plug the pump into a GFI power outlet.

Tapered urns with a narrow top opening create a fountain that fills the urn with water overflowing down the sides of the urn into a decorative basin. Construction is similar to a planter-style urn fountain except the pump rests in the bottom basin concealed by gravel or small rocks and the electric cord for the pump runs over the edge of the basin or through a hole drilled in the back side of the basin and sealed with silicone caulk. Again, seal the hole around the cord with silicone caulk or thread the cord through a fountain plug. If the urn does not have a hole in the bottom, drill a small hole for the plastic tubing to run from the fountain pump up to the top of the urn. Add small pebbles or gravel to the urn to hold the tubing in place. Fill with water and plug the pump into a GFI outlet. Water should bubble up though the tubing gently and cascade down the sides of the urn to the basin to re-circulate. If the water squirts too high adjust the flow of the pump or push the tubing lower from the top of the urn.

Note: Make sure the urn you choose for a water fountain is water-proof. Make porous urns waterproof by painting them with rubberized sealant or installing a flexible liner.

What’s a project I can build with an urn fountain?

Urn Fountains Go Grecian

Urn fountains are the ideal element to create the Grecian fountain. Using an urn is one way to create this classic look without spending a lot on your budget. Urn fountains have high appeal as focal points for any outdoor area. The urn itself would cost you about $400. You can get this project done for under $1,000. It'll likely cost you $2,000 if you hire a professional. Here's how you create the look yourself, courtesy of HGTV.com.

  • You can start by finding an area for your Grecian urn fountain. If you already have an area for a rectangular planting bed, you have a head start.
  • Mark the center of the area where your fountain will be with landscape paint.
  • For your fountain basin, you can use a preformed plastic tub, which should run about $100 at a garden center.
  • Dig a 20-inch deep hole to accommodate your tub.
  • Pour sand in the hole to help you level out the area and place the tub in the hole.
  • Fill the base of the tub with one inch of quick-setting concrete and trowel it smooth.
  • Create a base for your urn with cinderblock. Notch a hole in the cinderblock to allow a 3/4-inch PVC pipe to extend through it. Have the short end extend outside of the cinderblock.
  • Place the PVC pipe in the center of the cinderblock and fill the cinderblock's center with concrete to keep the PVC pipe in place.
  • Stack cinderblocks on top of the first one to reach the appropriate height. Follow with an arrangement of cinderblocks encircling the central piece of cinderblock.
  • Fill the remaining cinderblock pieces with concrete and allow them to cure for a few hours.
  • Take your urn and drill a hole in the center of the bottom with a one-inch drill bit. Avoid applying too much pressure, which will crack your urn.
  • Slide the urn over the pipe so that it rests on the cinderblock pedestal.
  • Fill the tub with additional cinderblocks as support for your pool.
  • Attach a 500-gallon per hour submersible pump to the other end of the PVC pipe.
  • Drill a hole through the side of the tub beneath the rim to pull the electrical cord of the pump through.


Cleaning and Maintaining Urn Water Fountains

A little TLC (tender loving care) keeps an urn water fountain operating at peak capacity with sparkling water.

  • If possible use distilled water that is free of chemicals and minerals that cause foaming and scale build-up. If tap water is used, you must remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Also, adding the correct quantity of Small Fountain Protector helps prevent sludge, cloudy water and mineral deposits from forming and keeps the fountain pump free from organic buildup.
  • Keep an eye on water level. Never allow the pump to operate dry. Low water levels also cause excessive pump noise and reduce operating efficiency.
  • For periodic cleanings, empty the water from the urn. Use a Fountain AcScents Cleaning Kit with a non-abrasive scrub pad and Lime Off to wipe away algae, scale and slime. Soak the pump in mild soapy water and use a brush to get to hard to reach corners. Rinse thoroughly. Replace the pump, refill the urn fountain and resume operation.
  • Winterize urn fountains in frigid climates. When winter temperatures plummet below freezing, freezing water may crack the pump housing, cause seals to fail and crack the urn fountain. Dismantle the urn fountain and store it inside or operate it inside. If not unable to move the fountain, drain the water, stuff old towels or other absorbent material in the basin and urn and secure a water-proof cover over the fountain. Clean and store the pump indoors. Many experts recommend storing the pump in a container of distilled water (not plugged in) to prevent the seals from drying out. When the danger of freezing ends, celebrate the arrival of spring with restored fountain waters and fresh landscaping.


Installing an Outdoor Urn Water Fountain

Installing an outdoor urn fountain in most garden and patio settings is not difficult. Primary considerations in installing an outdoor urn fountain include: location, power supply and landscaping around the base of the urn or urns.

  • Avoid placing an urn fountain directly on the soft ground. In both drought conditions and heavy rainfall, the soil may become unstable. A solid foundation of concrete or a gravel bed topped by flagstone or brick pavers prevents the urn fountain from tilting to one side and enables water to flow evenly down each side of the urn.
  • Like all outdoor fountains (with the exception of solar fountains) there must be an electrical outlet with a ground fault interrupter (GFI) nearby. If an outdoor electrical outlet exists in the right location, fill it with water, plug it in, pour a glass of wine or cup of coffee and enjoy this new enhancement to outdoor living. If there is no outdoor outlet or an existing outlet is poorly located, installation becomes more complicated. City or county electrical codes may affect how the outside power source is installed. Lack of electrical do-it-yourself experience may require hiring a licensed electrician to run necessary wiring and install the outlet.
  • Unless the urn fountain is installed on a pedestal in the center of a garden pond, landscaping around the base of the fountain connects it to the setting and enhances appeal as a garden focal point. Choose planters that complement the style of the urn fountain and do not hide decorative elements of the fountain. Attractive plants for the base of urn fountains include varieties of fern, ivy and low-growing bloomers like impatiens, chrysanthemums, geraniums and petunias.


Types of Indoor Urn Fountains

Indoor urn fountains are appropriate for formal, informal and rustic decorating schemes. They come in a wide variety of styles complementing Mediterranean , Asian, Native American, traditional or contemporary decorating themes. Sample this taste of three diverse urn tabletop fountains and urn wall fountains:

A good table top fountain enhances an indoor setting. Sitting serenely on a tabletop or pedestal, this fountain evokes the harmony and good fortune of Feng Shui. Water flows down an exposed rock-like inner basin to a bottom pool in the outer shell and LED lighting adds additional drama. A durable cast resin construction adds versatility of alternative outdoor patio use.

  • Nayer Kazemi Tabletop Fountains in two different sizes feature a sleek black ceramic urn with an elegant block base. The water flows out of the top of the urn over a series of graduated tiers and shimmers down the sleek sides of the urn to a bottom pool.
  • The Tonala Jar Wall Fountain is a popular indoor or outdoor urn-style wall fountain. The stunning pale green patina of weathered stone belies the light weight (20 lbs) of this wall fountain featuring a trio of famous Tonala-style jars. Like spilling urn fountains, water cascades from the top of the largest jar into a pool in the middle-sized jar, then into a small jar pool and ends in the bottom basin for re-circulation.

    Types of Outdoor Urn Fountains

    Outdoor urn water fountains are typically made of cast stone, terracotta, fiberglass, granite or marble. Outdoor urn fountains may be freestanding, placed on a pedestal in the center of a garden pond or perched atop a decorative column or garden table. Urns are also incorporated into outdoor wall fountains. A trio of outdoor urn water fountains are particularly attractive in graduated sizes surrounded by low pots of greenery or blooming plants.

    A made to order Italian-style garden fountain is an example of a striking freestanding urn fountain that holds its own as a garden focal point. Hand-pottered from glazed terracotta clay, this striking urn fountain comes in a rich palette of colors like forest green, cobalt blue, shimmering turquoise and dramatic black. Standing on its own pedestal base, water circulates from ceramic basin to a decorative urn at the top and cascades back into the basin. A circular flower planter circles beneath the basin showcases a profusion of blooms or lush greenery. An added benefit: the fountain's durable, non-porous glaze is easy to clean and maintain.


    Urn Water Fountains-Past and Present

    For over 4,000 years urns have played practical and decorative roles. Urns are featured in many famous sculptures and painting by the great masters. Ancient Babylonians, Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses are often depicted holding urns. Famous fountains around the world feature urns. For instance, Abundance holds an overflowing urn in the central feature of Rome's Trevi Fountain. And urns earned a place in literary history in classic poetry like “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by John Keats.

    Available in a wide array of styles and sizes, urn fountains are used in outdoor and indoor settings. Today's urn fountains are frequently the focal point of outdoor gardens and interior spaces. Urns fountains are versatile. Symbolizing abundance and timeless beauty, urn fountains grace entrances welcoming visitors with elegance and the soothing sounds of overflowing water. Originally used to serve water and wine, urn water fountains echo the past and add contemporary interest to a dining area. They bring life to the wasted space of interior corners and are a natural choice for the limited space of an apartment or condominium balcony. Beautiful from all sides, urns are often the centerpiece of an outdoor garden setting.

    What are urn fountains?

    All About Urn Fountains

    If you've ever been to a garden center or visited the landscaped garden grounds of a public outdoor area, you've probably seen urn fountains in your lifetime. Urn fountains are vase-shaped water features commonly used throughout garden design, as well as in indoor fountains. They may be stone fountains with a vase attached to a pedestal or they may be actual urns converted into a fountain with water coming out of the opening of the urn. It's also a common site to see a statue figure, often of a girl, carrying an urn angled on its side so that water pours out of it.

    Urn fountains may take on sleek, clean lines of a Japanese influence. Urn fountains may take its cue from the ornate antique design of historical Europe, as well. An Egyptian style urn fountain might have a relief pattern depicting an event or scene.

    What plant life would be appropriate for an urn fountain?

    Plant Life For Your Urn Fountain

    An urn fountain makes a decorative piece on its own, but it can be an even more enticing piece when you dress it up with plant life. We have some suggestions for embellishing your existing urn fountain with some plant life.

    If you have an urn fountain on the ground, you can plant Flore Pleno and Malibu around the surrounding container. Dig an area for them, plant them in containers,and then place strong wire mesh reinforcing over the container. Next, add a layer of weed suppressing mesh on top which has holes cut out of it for the plant life to grow and slits for water to filter down through. On top, disguise the mesh with pebbles and rocks.

    For an urn fountain placed over a pool environment, you can add Rose Queen and Kermesina, both varieties of Irises. These plants can go into aquatic potting mix within a container, set just below the water. For color, add Marsh Marigold in its own container with aquatic potting mix.

    What’s an easy urn fountain project to make?

    An Urn Fountain You Can Create

    It's a simple, yet pleasing design. An urn lying on its side continually pours out water over a bed of multi colored rocks within a container. And it's a project you can make yourself. Read on to find out how to create this charming urn fountain.

    What you'll need:

    • Terra cotta urn
    • Ceramic Container
    • Liner
    • Submersible pump
    • Pebbles in varying sizes and colors

    What you'll need to do:
    • Waterproof the ceramic container with liner.
    • Place the pump into the bottom of the ceramic container and cover with pebbles.
    • Run the pump tubing through a hole at the base of the urn.
    • Set the urn on its side at an angle so that water will spill over the top. You can use the pebbles to help position your urn in place.
    • Plug your pump in, fill with water and your terracotta urn fountain is ready to operate.

    What’s an interesting fountain I can create with urns?

    Three Urn Fountains By Design

    One urn fountain can be a pleasing embellishment, but three urn fountains provide a great visual arrangement for any outdoor area. This project starts with a large container that you'll place into the ground. Set up a submersible pump so that it will be completely under water. Have a heavy gauge sheet of fine reinforcing on hand to place on top of the tank. Take note of where you'll be placing the three urns – you'll want to position the outlet pipes to connect to holes in the base of the urns.

    If your urns don't already have a hole at the base, you can use a drill bit to create one in each piece. Thread the pipes through the holes at the base of each urn. Once you're certain of their placement, secure the pipe attachment with epoxy glue. Camouflage the sheet mesh with pebbles, plug in your pump, fill with water and you're ready to run your urn fountains.

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    Sheri Ann Richerson