How to Build a Rain Barrel


Knowing how to build a rain barrel is a serious consideration for frugal gardeners. When summer is here, we don’t like the rising water bills that come with the heat.  Cut those costs a little by using rain to water your garden – even when it is hot and dry outside!

Want to build a rain barrel?  Here’s how!

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I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!


1 – 55 gallon drum
Saber Saw
1 spigot w/ ½” hose bibb
1” Hole saw
Rubber gaskets
½” to ¾” threaded bushing

Directions for Building a Rain Barrel 

Using the saber saw, cut the top out of the barrel. Thoroughly wash the barrel out, especially if it was used to store any type of chemical.

Turn the barrel upside down. Using the hole saw, drill a hole approximately 1” to 2” from the bottom of the barrel. Spread silicone on one side of a gasket. Fit the gasket (silicone side to face interior barrel) on the bushing. Place in the drilled hole.

Spread silicone on second gasket and place on the bushing on the outside of the barrel (silicone side to barrel).

Attach spigot and turn/tighten until the knob is centered at the top. Allow to completely dry.

To set up your rain barrel, place it on cinder blocks in a place where the rain runs off the roof – for instance, under a modified rain spout, and as close to your garden as possible. Cover the barrel with the screen (either holding it in place with medium sized rocks or bending it to fit around the barrel then tying it securely). Make sure the spigot is closed. Allow to fill with rain water.

To water your plants, either attach a water hose that will reach your garden, or place a watering can underneath the spigot and fill.


Standing water is a magnet for mosquito larva. You may want to place a Mosquito Dunk (a small chemical ring sold in most hardware shops) in the barrel. This will help in preventing mosquitos from laying eggs in your water. The chemicals should not hurt your garden – UNLESS you are trying to go fully organic.

Want to learn more about using a Rain Barrel?  Check out my post HERE!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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