You Can Make an Upcycled Rain Barrel

rainwater barrels and raised garden beds

If you have a fair number of plants in your yard that need to be watered, using a rain barrel to collect rainwater can be a great way to save both water and money. A rain barrel system allows you to collect water from a roof or gutter and store the water until you need it for watering. Assembling a rain barrel yourself isn’t too difficult, either, and it’s possible to use an upcycled barrel to make the project even more eco-friendly.

Chrissy Hennessey of the blog Better Than Never put together a tutorial with her husband, Nathan, for how to construct a rain barrel at home using only a few materials. They upcycled a barrel that was previously used for shipping pickles in their project, so they suggest looking around to see if any companies in your area are willing to give or sell you their old food barrels.

Note: Be sure your barrel never contained anything toxic, as that could make your rainwater unsafe for use in your garden.

DIY rain barrel parts

You can obtain the necessary parts at a home improvement store. Photo: Chrissy Hennesey/Better Than Never

According to The New Me, rain barrel systems involve three components; collection, storage and output. Once you’ve found a good location for collection (next to a roof or gutter) and obtained a barrel for storage, all you have left to get are the necessary parts for your output. This will involve a faucet, a plumbing fitting and a few other components available at a home improvement store, Hennessey explains.

screen on top of rain barrel

A screen can help keep mosquitoes out of your barrel. Photo: Chrissy Hennesey/Better Than Never

The tutorial also indicates it is a good idea to get some mesh to put over the top of the barrel to keep the mosquitoes out, since mosquitoes breed in standing water.

For a complete set of instructions with helpful photos for making your own rain barrel system, head over to the tutorial on Better Than Never.

Feature image courtesy of Chrissy Hennesey/Better Than Never

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