DIY: A Texas Sized Rain Barrel

13 Jul

Okay, so maybe it’s not “Texas Sized”, but 55 gallons is a lot of rain water to work with! Once filled, of course.

That’s 55 gallons of water I don’t have to pay for monthly to water my plants and lawn with.

One could say, it’s 55 gallons of free water!

Free, for a price. 🙂

It will eventually pay for itself.. by summers end hopefully!


This week we’ve been getting a bunch of rain. Watching it fall is normally exciting, relaxing, refreshing, relieving… just because we don’t get it much! This week, I felt wasteful just watching it. And much less relaxed.

Maybe I’m becoming cheap, but it was almost like watching free money fall from the sky and right into the gutter.

So, I threw a few buckets down(and a cooler) to catch any money… uh, rain, I could. I had about 6-7 gallons of water in less than an hour, just of run off from the roof. Imagine what I could get from collecting from the gutters!

So I went straight to craigslist. And totally lucked out! Someone’s always got something I need. Not necessarily a good thing.

I found an ad for someone who makes rain barrels and sells them for $40 for a 55 gallon. My husband did a little research and couldn’t find anything less than $65 for JUST the barrel.

So we picked one up yesterday, and headed straight to Home Depot where we sorted out how we wanted to attach it to our downspout.

At first we thought we’d just cut off the downspout at the right height so it would just pour straight into the top of the barrel… but considered what we’d have to do to fix/replace it when we decide to move.

This little contraption we stumbled upon by accident. It’s really pretty awesome.

They call it a Catch-A-Raindrop, and it’s designed to catch the majority of the water on the sides of the downspout and redirect it out through a hose attachment, while letting debris fall through the middle and out the bottom. If you’ve ever see water flow through a pipe straight down, you know it flows down the sides, so this is really genius!

Of course we were skeptical, but wanted to try it anyways.

We grabbed the cheapest hose we could find, and moved on to find a base to raise up the rain barrel.

We checked out the paver stones and settled on this terra cotta stone to blend well with the brick on our house.

And they were on sale! Normally $1.91 each, we got 10 for $1.61.

Then we grabbed a bag of sand for the base, and headed out to get started.

So because it was such a quick process, I missed getting a photo of Pete leveling out the ground with a shovel and speading the sand.

So Pete used a hack saw and cut the downspout, and put the Catch-A-Raindrop on, piece of cake!

Then we had to test it to make sure it acutally worked!

Pete sprayed the roof with water, and I honestly was surprised it actually worked! And when we ever move, we can take our barrel with us, cap off the hose attachment end, and the downspout will continue to work like it did before!

Had to drill out a hole in one of the lids to put the hose into.

Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

And the last step was really only for asthetics. I saw and idea on pinterest to make your rain barrel look a bit more “pretty”.  All it involved was decorative marble stones and a flower pot.

Ooooooh. No big deal. I left the flower pot off, for now. May add something around the base. But the only ones who will really see it is us! And our neighbors, if they stand on the side of their house.


Here’s my inspiration photo from Lovelace Files

A rain barrel doesnt have to be ugly! via Lovelace Files


The view from the front.

The view from the patio.

So glad to have this for the next time it rains. Hope it’s soon!

Total cost breakdown:
$40 – Barrel with spout
$6.85 – Catch-A-Raindrop
$16.10 – Pavers @ $1.61 for 10
$7.97 – Hose
$3 – Sand
$3 – Marble stones
$76.92 Total Cost

Totally worth it!



We only had to wait 3 days for some rain, and man am I glad we got the rain barrel when we did!

Our barrel is over flowing with 55 gallons of awesome rain water, and it only took about 40 minutes.

And that’s how it’s done, son.

Or daughter.

I’ve never been so proud!


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