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How to Build a Rain Barrel

mediaYard & LandscapingAug 22, 2017

You can purchase a rain barrel at a hardware store, but if you prefer to make one yourself, follow these simple steps to make one at home using a heavy duty plastic trash can. It only takes a few minutes, and the cost savings are substantial.

Total construction time averages 10 to 15 minutes, and the cost is approximately $45 depending on the size of the trash can purchased.

Parts you’ll need:

  • 1 – Heavy duty trash can
  • 1 – ½” Hose bib, 1 – 6” Chimney pipe trim collar
  • 2 – ½” Faucet tailpipe nuts
  • 2 – #15 O-rings, 1 – ½” Threaded nipple
  • 1 – ½” Threaded PVC extender
  • 4 – Small screws
  • 1 – piece 7”x 7” nylon screen


  • Drill w/ screw tip
  • ¾” paddle drill bit
  • Tin Snips or Jig Saw


  • Drill ¾” hole approximately 3” to 4” from bottom of barrel.
  • Drill ¾” hole near top of barrel.
  • Screw ½” threaded nipple into hose bib and insert into bottom hole.
  • Slide O-ring over threaded nipple from inside of barrel and screw on faucet tailpipe nut until secure.
  • Insert ½” threaded PVC extender into upper hole.
  • Slide O-ring onto threaded end from inside and secure with faucet tailpipe nut.
  • Cut 5” hole in trash can lid using tin snips or jigsaw.
  • Trim nylon screening to fit chimney pipe trim collar.
  • Place screen, then trim cover over hole in lid and attach with screws.
  • It is recommended to sit rain barrel on two concrete blocks to provide for a level surface.

Congratulations for installing a rain barrel! You have done a great thing to conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff. You rock!


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