This DIY pond is our most creative milk crate upcycle. Not withstanding the fact that it also happens to be our only milk craft upcycle to date, if you want to recreate the look of our backyard pond, now is the perfect time of year to get started.
You could be enjoying the tranquil sound of water in your own backyard oasis in no time if you already have a pre-exiting water feature. If you don’t then check out our backyard pond DIY for a tutorial on how to install a pond first.
Before we get into the tutorial, don’t forget to get your craft mojo on at Birdz of a Feather and subscribe to our newsletter:
Materials and Budget
- Pond Liner and Sand: $490
- Laguna PowerJet Fountain/Waterfall Pump (pick the one that’s suitable for the size of the liner): $105
- Milk Crate: $15.99
- Cable Ties: $11.99
Total Budget (without electrical hookup & custom filter system): $623 / $704 with tax
Our Previous Backyard Pond with Bowl
At first, our previous pond was wonderful.
As much as we enjoy watching the water spill over the bowl, it’s definitely hard on the back to install.
DIY Pond Using a Milk Crate
So because of the physical effort it takes to install the bowl each spring, Hubs came up with an alternate look! One spring, we found a milk crate and swapped the bowl out for a much lighter water fountain that we can easily drop in place into the pond. It’s not nearly as showy a focal point as the pond shown above, but it is just as lovely once we add additional pond plants and bring out the rest of the decor. This is a great alternative if you also don’t want to go to the effort and expense of building the box/filter system from scratch for the bowl build pond.
So now, when Hubs doesn’t want to lug out the heavy bowl, we revert to this much simpler version of our backyard water feature using the upcycled milk crate. The milk crate fountain runs with a much cheaper pump too so is easier on the pocketbook for anyone starting fresh.
To keep the milk crate from floating to the surface, Hubs weighs it down with two stainless steel pipes. He attaches them onto the bottom of opposite ends with black plastic cable ties:
He also uses the plastic ties to secure the pump to the top of the milk crate. How perfect that the ties can wrap around the natural holes in the crate? It’s like this milk crate pond is meant to be!
Since the fountain head needs to rise above the water, the size of the milk crate is brilliant in this version of our backyard pond because our pond is 2 feet deep. You’ll need to work out how high your crate needs to be depending on the depth of the liner you install.
Here you can see the how the pump attaches with the cable ties from the underside of the crate:
All ready to go!
Plug the Pump In!
All that’s left to do is to plug it in.
And then adjust the water to your desired height.
Just make sure it’s not so high that it’s shooting out of the pond or you’ll eventually run dry!
Our pond gets direct sunlight so to prevent algae from forming, Hubs adds a special blue pond tint to the water. We use a brand called Aquascape, but there’s a large variety out there. Just made sure the one you choose is totally non-toxic and safe for plants and animals. If you have fish in your pond, it can supposedly help hide them from predators.
The tint stains easily because of the high concentration so Hubs has to be careful he doesn’t get any drips on the surrounding light coloured travertine patio stone! He also wears gloves when he applies it so it doesn’t stain his hands.
The blue tint does look pretty in the pond though and it won’t harm the plants if you choose to add some!
Once your pond is up and running, read our post on pond maintenance at the end and/or start of each season.
Don’t forget to pin!
If you’re interested in installing a pond in your own garden, but want to start out with a smaller project first, like we did, check out our post on how to create a small water feature.
We also show you some creative planter ideas to finish off a backyard space.
UPDATE: For more seasonal inspiration here’s a good representation of some of our other garden projects:
- Build a rock garden
- Build a dry creek bed
- Landscape a backyard into an oasis; and
- Make a soda bottle vertical garden
- Build trellises and privacy screens
- Train clematis on a trellis
Pin DIY Pond
Stay calm and relax on this summer! If these projects have inspired you, please pin!
Once winter arrives again, you may want to bring the outdoors in, so check out our indoor water feature.
At Birdz of a Feather, we’re feathering the nest… one upcycle at a time. Follow our blog here if you’re interested in seeing other DIY and upcycle projects, in and around the home. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.