Homemade Rain Barrel DIY Project


Learn how to make your own homemade rain barrel out of a garbage can and a few simple materials. Become more self-sufficient with this off-grid water storage rain barrel and always have an emergency water supply on hand just in case. #rainbarrel #diyrainbarrel #offgridwaterLearn how to make your own homemade rain barrel out of a garbage can and a few simple materials and always have a source of off-grid water on hand!

* * *

We have the good fortune to live on Vancouver Island. On the west coast of Canada. Where it rains. A lot.

In fact, we actually live in a temperate rainforest. It might not necessarily look like it because so much of the land has been developed in various ways, but luckily there’s still a lot of forested area around us, and in the fall, winter and spring, it tends to get pretty wet.

People here complain about that because, well, people like to complain about everything, not least of all the rain. But come summer, everybody raves about how lush and green everything is. 

Naturally, as a gardener, the spring rains are more than welcome, and around here we tend to take it for granted because we get so much of it that by summer we’re used to having a surplus of water in our rivers, reservoirs and deep in the ground warding off the worst effects of summer drought. The only problem is, that rain isn’t so predictable anymore. 

The climate is changing and every year we’re experiencing drier weather, longer droughts, more wildfires and a longer wildfire season. This also means campfire bans, air quality advisories and water restrictions, all of which we’re getting pretty used to around here.

But this year is off to an especially dry start already. In fact, this has been our driest spring ever, which means there’s even less water in our reservoirs. And on top of that, we’re dealing with a broken city water pipe that needs being repaired this week. And Murphy’s Law would have it that we just got put on city water a few months ago (we used to be part of a rural well system but the city limits are beginning to expand).

All of these things combined have led to us being put on Stage 4 water restrictions for the first time ever. For some perspective, Stage 4 is the most extreme level of water restrictions where we live. We’re already pretty used to being put on Stage 1, 2 and 3 restrictions in the summer, which includes no washing of cars, limited to no watering of lawns and even hand watering of vegetables and shrubs between certain hours only.

But Stage 4 means no watering at all. Bad news for gardeners, homesteaders and even commercial farmers (even farmers are not permitted to water their crops under Stage 4 water restrictions. The only exception is to use water for livestock drinking purposes).

We’re still allowed to use running water for drinking, cooking and sanitary purposes (within reason), but no watering of vegetable gardens or anything like that. 

Luckily the restrictions are only set to last for 10 days and it’s supposed to be a fairly rainy week. But we still wanted to be prepared and figured this was a good push to get some rain barrels set up, just in case. We figured that even if it didn’t rain before the restrictions went into place, if we at least filled up a barrel with water from the hose, we’d have enough water to draw from during the restrictions. 

Related: 10 Emergency Water Solutions for When the SHTF

Learn how to make your own homemade rain barrel out of a garbage can and a few simple materials. Become more self-sufficient with this off-grid water storage rain barrel and always have an emergency water supply on hand just in case. #rainbarrel #diyrainbarrel #offgridwater

Rain Barrels: Pre-Fab Vs. Homemade

We’ve been meaning to set up some rain barrels up for a while. Even though we’re not off-grid and, clearly, very much reliant on city water at the moment, we know it’s always a good idea to have emergency water on hand. 

Now, you can buy rain barrels around here or online but they’re not cheap. Most of them cost around $85 – $100 or more per barrel. But really all you need is some sort of vessel to hold water. Which is how we came up with the idea of using garbage cans since we already had a couple extras we weren’t using.

If you don’t have plastic garbage bins on hand you can purchase one for less than you could buy a rain barrel for at your local hardware store, but if you have to purchase all of the parts, you should add up the cost and see if it makes more sense to just buy a water barrel or to make your own. In our case, we always have random parts and bits and pieces and scrap materials laying around so we were able to make this rain barrel for zero dollars out-of-pocket.

I am, of course, very lucky (and grateful!) to have such a handy, handsome husband who can build and craft just about anything, and can pretty much figure out how to do it all in his head. But even so, this project is a pretty simple one to tackle even if you don’t consider yourself very handy. 

Related: How to Build a 3-Bin Composter for Under $5

My hubby, Ryan, was able to make this rain barrel in an afternoon and it’s working great! But again, you should weigh out the cost to you and the time it will take versus the cost of just purchasing a rain barrel. Some things are better and cheaper when they’re homemade, but it always depends on your situation and experience. (ie. I do NOT sew. I’ve tried, but the time it takes me to do a sub-par job is just not worth it for what I can purchase clothes, etc. for at the store).

As for how to use the rainwater you collect, be aware that the water is not potable, meaning it’s not safe to drink. If you’re looking for an off-grid or emergency drinking water system, there are filtration options such as this family water purifier. Also, be sure to check out this post on 10 Emergency Water Solutions for When the SHTF if you’re looking for more water preparedness ideas. But as for this DIY rain barrel, it’s best to use the water for things like watering your garden or for emergency sanitation purposes (ie. washing dishes, clothes, bathing, etc.)

Alright, now that I’ve got any “disclaimers” out of the way, here’s how we Ryan made our DIY garbage can rain barrel…

How to make your own homemade rain barrel

Homemade rain barrel diagram

Step 1: Choose your location

For a rain barrel to work properly, it should be set up near the corner of your house where your drain pipe runs down from your gutters.

You’ll need to route your drain pipe into your rain barrel to filter the water into it from your gutter catchment system, so choose a corner of your house where there’s a drain pipe to set your rain barrel up.

Step 2: Make a stand for your rain barrel to sit on

While you could technically just put your rain barrel right on the ground, keeping it a couple feet up off the ground gives you the ability to add a spigot (tap) and have enough room to fit a watering can or bucket beneath it and allow the water to pour into it, so I recommend making or using a stand underneath your rain barrel. 

Ryan built a two-foot tall stand out of scrap wood to prop our rain barrel up on because that’s what we had on hand, but you could use cinderblocks or bricks or really anything that is strong enough to hold the weight of your barrel when it’s full of water (at least 250 to 300 pounds on average for a standard size garbage can), and level so that the barrel sits flat and doesn’t tip or wobble.

Step 3: Route your drain pipe into the bin

Once you’ve set your stand up and put the garbage can on top of it, you’ll need to cut a hole in the lid and route the drain pipe from your gutter into the bin.

Drain pipe in homemade water barrel

Ryan used a couple elbows to divert our drain pipe to where we wanted it to be, but you could also use a flexible drain pipe that you can bend and shape to where you want it to go.

Trace around the drain pipe on top of the lid and then cut the hole out with a utility knife. Do a test run to make sure the drain pipe fits in the hole, but keep the lid off until after step 5 as you’ll be adding a debris screen before the lid goes on.

Step 4: Add spigots

You’ll want a tap on your rain barrel for ease of use, as well as a tap to allow any excess water to flow out instead of having your barrel overflow from the top. Again, we had a couple spigots on hand for these purposes, but you can buy them at any hardware store or get them online here

Cut a hole in the bottom of the barrel where the spigot will go. A ¾ inch hole should do for most standard spigots. Pop the spigot in the hole and then seal around the edge with silicone, pipe dough or rubber washers.

Rain barrel spigot

Drill another hole on the side of the barrel near the top and attach another spigot or a pipe for the overflow drain. (If using a spigot for the overflow, you’ll want to leave the tap open).

Attach a hose and route the hose to the original drain (or wherever you want any overflow water to go). This will help direct overflow water to where you want it to go and prevent water from spilling over the sides of the garbage can once it’s full.

Step 5: Add a debris screen

You’ll also want to add a screen to your rain barrel to prevent any leaves and debris from your gutter from entering your rain barrel, as well as to keep bugs out. This is especially important for bugs like mosquitoes that lay their eggs and hatch their larvae in still water. Even though you probably won’t be filtering and drinking this water, you certainly don’t want to be attracting a bunch of mosquitoes into your space!

Ryan cut the mesh out of an old window screen we had laying around. Of course, if you don’t live in a scarp yard like us, you can buy some window screen material and use that. 

Rain barrel with screen

Rest the screen on top of the open barrel and then secure the lid on top and cut any excess screen material from around the edge, leaving a couple inches all the way around so that the screen is slightly larger in diameter than the barrel.

Fasten the lid onto the barrel and rout the drain pipe through the lid into the hole that you cut.

Step 6: Secure the barrel

This is an optional step, but it helps to make sure your rain barrel stays in place and doesn’t tip over or blow over if it’s not full enough.

Ryan fastened our barrel to the side of our house with plumbing banding to prevent it from tipping and spilling, however you could also run plumbing banding through the handles of the bin and fasten it right to the stand. 

And that’s it! You’ve got yourself a rain barrel!

Homemade rain barrel

Having rain barrels on your property is a HUGE step toward self-sufficiency on any homestead and is pretty much a non-negotiable if you’re planning on going off-grid, but really everybody should have some sort of emergency water source for watering and sanitation purposes. 

Because we (humans) use A LOT of water, and we often only think about storing water for drinking and maybe cooking with. But all it takes is a day without running water to reveal how much water we really do use in a day for everything from watering gardens to doing dishes and laundry to bathing, washing up and flushing toilets.

So even if you have no intentions of having to use water from a rain barrel, it never hurts to have one anyway. You just never know when you might need that water source, and you’ll definitely be glad to have it when you do.

Wishing you health, wealth and plenty of rain this spring!

I'm a modern homesteader on a mission to help you create, grow and live a good life... from scratch!

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe

* This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Elderberry syrup has gained popularity in recent years as a natural but powerful herbal remedy, particularly for treating colds and flu. After all,...

read more

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

* This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it: I’m a total sucker for pumpkin spice. Call me #basic, but it’s the truth. In fact, I’m all about everything fall:...

read more

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time for my FAVOURITE THINGS!!! 🎉🎁🎄(aka. The modern homesteader’s Christmas wish list;)

I’ve rounded up all of my fave kitchen tools, books and home and body products that I use all the time and could not live without (ok, I could live without them, but I wouldn’t want to!) and I’m sharing them all with you in this week’s YouTube video!

Grab a mug of something warm (or a glass of something chilled) and come on in for a tour of all the goods!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to YouTube.com/thehouseandhomestead for all the latest videos:)
...

I’ve wanted to learn how to forage for wild mushrooms for years but have always either missed the season, been too busy or just couldn’t find anyone to take me out and show me the ropes. (Mushroom hunters are known for being a little tight-lipped about sharing their spots;)

Well, today I finally got out with a guide and found my very first Chanterelle all by myself!!

This sort of thing might seem like no big deal to most people, but for those of us with an insatiable appetite for learning new skills, it’s a milestone moment.

There’s still an endless list of skills I want to learn and projects I want to tackle. The thing I love most about the homesteading lifestyle is that there is literally always something new to learn!

I don’t expect to ever learn all the things I want to learn, but I know that even when I’m in the latter season of my life, I’ll still have an insatiable appetite to keep learning until it’s my time to leave this Earth.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you live or how much land or experience you have. If you consider yourself a lifelong learner (who’s not afraid to get your hands dirty), then you have what it takes to be a homesteader too;)

Super pumped for tonight’s dinner of wild mushroom risotto and a celebratory glass of Chardonnay :)

What skill(s) do you want to learn next?
.
.
.
#wildmushrooms #mushrooms #chanterelles #foraging #wildfood #wildfoodlove
...

It’s November, and that means we’re about to head into cold and flu season (hello, some of us are already there 🙋🏻‍♀️)

Add in a global pandemic, and we could be in for a rough ride these next few months 🦠

I spent some time the other day whipping up a few homemade herbal remedies that we’ll be relying on all winter long to help boost our immunity and keep our whole family as healthy as possible. I thought you might like to join me in my kitchen as I show you how easy it is to make your own herbal medicine at home, and talk more about how we stay healthy the all-natural way (and how you can too!

More specifically, I’ll be showing you how to make your own elderberry syrup, rose hip syrup and fire cider with simple ingredients and directions that anyone can recreate. (Seriously, no special skills are required to become your own live-in natural medicine pharmacist;)

Head on over and click the link in my profile or go to https://youtu.be/Rli1LqxHbg8 to check out the full video and start stocking your natural home medicine cabinet before it’s too late!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead
...

I remember the distinct taste of the cherry-flavoured medicine I used to take when I got sick as a kid. I also remember the weird chemical aftertaste it left in my mouth (because the “natural” cherry flavour is really just added to cough syrups to mask the taste of the synthetic drugs they contain.)

Contrast that with the smooth, natural flavour of homemade elderberry syrup, made with organic elderberries, fresh ginger, lemon, cinnamon, cloves and raw honey, and the difference is like night and day! I would even put this stuff on my pancakes (and technically I could). That’s definitely a no-no for the cherry-flavoured pharmaceuticals.

But not only does homemade elderberry syrup taste better than the OTC (over-the-counter) stuff, it WORKS just as well to relieve cold and flu symptoms too! Actually, it might even work better!!

This is because, if used regularly, elderberry syrup can help you to stay healthy by building up your immunity and warding off illness in the first place, and if you do get sick, the antiviral, anti microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties in this elderberry syrup recipe will help you feel better and support faster healing rather than just relieving symptoms.

Oh, and by making your own elderberry syrup at home instead of buying it by the bottle at your local health food store, you’ll also save yourself a buttload of money. (And that also helps to relieve a little suffering;)

To learn how to make your own all-natural elderberry syrup at home, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-elderberry-syrup-recipe/ to get the full recipe!

P.S. It’s stupidly easy to make too, so no special skills are required to make your own batch;)
...

Just a reminder, there are only a few hours left to get your free Wellness Sampler Set from @planttherapy essential oils, which includes my very favourite Germ Fighter blend plus two more must-have oils to keep on hand this cold and flu season.

All you have to do is purchase the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle by midnight tonight and you’ll not only get almost 95% off the entire bundle, you’ll also get this set of three 10ml. essential oils (a $22.95 value) completely free! (Just pay shipping).

Head over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to learn more and get your bundle and your FREE Wellness Sampler Set now!

(Seriously, do it. You’ll be glad you did;)
...

If there was ever a year to be more diligent about taking care of ourselves and our families during the winter months, this would probably be that year.

That's why my focus right now (and every year around this time) is on stocking my home medicine cabinet with germ-fighting essential oils and herbal remedies of all kinds. And it’s why I’ve been encouraging you to do the same!

But in order to use herbs and essential oils safely and effectively, you need to know HOW to use them safely and effectively.

As with anything, you can find a lot of free info online, but how much of that information can you really trust? Wouldn't it be even better to have your own little library of reliable natural remedies right at your fingertips - especially one that's been created and curated by trusted aromatherapists and herbalists?

Well look no further, because the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle is back due to popular demand for the 5th year in a row!

Here's a quick breakdown of what's included in this year's bundle:

—> 17 eBooks with recipes for simple herbal remedies for cold and flu season, herbal teas for winter health, making your own spa products, DIY herbal gifts for men, essential oil DIYs for the home and much more.

—> 12 eCourses on how to make your own herbal preparations, use echinacea to ward off colds and flu during the winter months, create your own healthy, herbal sweets, increase your energy the all-natural way and more!

—> 6 printables and workbooks to help you plan your own herb garden, organize your essential oils, deepen your herbal knowledge and, you guessed it, more, more, more!

Best of all, you can get all 35 resources (valued at over $650) for just $37! But only for the next five days. After that this bundle goes back into the vault until next year.

If you wanna get your hands on this amazing library of resources, head on over to my profile and click the link in my bio to check it out.

Plus, if you order your bundle by tomorrow night, you’ll also get a free set of three essential oils from @planttherapy (the only brand of essential oils I use in our home).

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to get yours or learn more!
...

Lest we forget.

Democracy is fragile. We must never become complacent or take it for granted.

Remembering all those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom today.
...

🌿 It’s no big news that we’re headed into what could be a particularly bad cold and flu season this year.

Between COVID cases going up along with our stress levels about everything that 2020 has brought with it, we would all be wise to practice a little more self care right now, which includes getting our stress levels under control, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, getting adequate sleep and boosting our immunity and overall health naturally.

To help with this, we turn to herbs and essential oils in addition to practicing a healthy, natural lifestyle. And you’ll often find me on here encouraging you to do the same.

Natural medicine, when used correctly, helps to support all of the organs and functions of our body so that we are less susceptible to sickness and disease should it get in our bodies. While it can be used for acute conditions, it’s best when used preventatively, so if you haven’t yet, now is the time to start whipping up some homemade herbal remedies to start using before we get too deep into the season, and to have on hand if and when illness strikes.

My affiliate partners @ultimate_bundles put together an eBook with 54 herbal (and oily) recipes that you can easily make at home to help boost immunity, treat illness, promote sleep and relaxation, improve complexion and keep dangerous synthetic chemicals out of your home and body.

It’s totally free to grab it right now but it’s only available for free until tonight at midnight.

👉 Grab your copy by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead.

And if you’re also looking for some new essential oils to add to your home apothecary, remember to use coupon code HOME15 on your next @planttherapy order to get 15% off your entire order (only until the end of November).

Take care of yourselves and stay well everybody! ❤️
.
.
.
#herbalmedicine #selfcare #naturalmedicine #herbs #aromatherapy #allnatural
...

Only a few hours left to get your hands on all the freebies on offer at the Handmade Holiday Gift Mall, including my full video tutorial on how to make your own scented soy wax candles (always a hit at Christmas time:)

Plus, for a limited time only, use code HOME15 at planttherapy.com to get 15% off your order of essential oils to use in your homemade candles!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to get your hands on all the goodies now!
...

My heart is so full right now. I’m sitting here crying happy tears as I watch history unfold. Such a breath of fresh air after the past four years.

I’m feeling hopeful for the future of our planet, our people and democracy all around the world for the first time in a long time.

Feeling so proud to call America my neighbour tonight. There’s still a very long road ahead to heal the deep divides and wounds of the past, but I’m confident we have what it takes to turn this ship around and ensure a long and prosperous future together. All of us.

Now let’s all get to work and get those borders open again soon!

Congratulations USA!!! 🇨🇦❤️🇺🇸
...

As we come closer to wrapping up the year that was 2020, I've started to reflect on the lessons I've learned. I distilled it down to 6 humbling life lessons that 2020 has taught me or reinforced in my life about gardening, homesteading and life, and I'm sharing them with you today in hopes that they might help you put this year in perspective too:

—> Lesson #1: We cannot control everything (and that's okay)
—> Lesson #2: Always diversify (crops, income streams, skills, etc.)
—> Lesson #3: Be grateful for the good (we cannot have the good without the bad)
—> Lesson #4: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst (stay positive but be realistic)
—> Lesson #5: Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow (seek to find the lessons)
—> Lesson #6: There's always next year (one ending is just another beginning)

Join me for a heart-to-heart in the garden as I take one major disappointment (tossing a box of homegrown tomatoes in the compost) and make the best of it by using it as a catalyst to reflect on the year and the growing season and find the lessons and meaning behind it all.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to watch the full video or go to https://youtu.be/XnnbsAqrd5A and let me know what hardships or disappointments YOU'VE overcome and what lessons you've learned this year in the comments.

Remember, we’re all in this together 🖤
.
.
.
#2020 #lifelessons #nosuchthingasfailure
...

When I first made up my mind to pursue homesteading and started growing my own food, I had no idea where this path would lead me. All I knew was I was unhappy where I was in the city and in life, and I had to make a radical change for my own physical and mental well-being. Homesteading, gardening and this lifestyle of greater self-sufficiency and sustainability called to me; It lit a fire and a passion in me and gave me purpose and meaning, and the more I explored it, the more convinced I became that this was the path I was meant to be on.

Less than a decade later and not only am I still on this path with more enthusiasm in my heart and fire in my belly than ever before, but it’s also led me to connect with so many other amazing homesteaders, gardeners and people who are just as passionate about this lifestyle as I am.

This morning my humble little Instagram account was featured on @humanswhogrowfood which features amazing people growing food all over this beautiful planet. To be able to think of myself as a peer among these greats is beyond my wildest dreams when I first started out as a city girl with zero gardening or homesteading experience. It’s a testament to how far I’ve come, but also to the whole world of beautiful souls out there working to put more homegrown food on tables all across the globe.

Today, with everything going on in the world, I’m feeling reflective, honoured and humbled to be a part of such an amazing community of people. Thank you to each and every one of you! The world may be messed up, but we’re alright.

Also, go follow @humanswhogrowfood if you’re in need of a little faith in humanity right now. So many amazing people out there growing food and doing wonderful things! 💚
.
.
.
#humanswhogrowfood #peoplewhogrowfood #homesteadersofinstagram #growfoodnotlawns #homegrown #gardenersofinstagram
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs