This Viral Hack Turns Your Backyard Into a Calming Oasis — and Costs Less Than $50 to do

Who knew building a custom water feature could be this easy? My new favorite backyard DIY manages to do the impossible ... and quite affordably, at that!

soil, planters, solar powered fountain on a colorful background
(Image credit: Walmart, Amazon)

When we think of 'water features' — in our pools, our landscaping, our showers, our shopping malls — we're usually thinking of dollar signs simultaneously. In other words, these things don't come cheap. Fountains in front of mansions, waterfalls in pools, ponds in backyards ... whatever it is, you will have to invest.

That's why I was immediately so taken by the below TikTok hack, wherein a content creator who goes by the name Magnolia Mercantile managed to craft a bespoke planter/fountain combination for her back porch. And after investigating, I found that the creation cost a true fraction of what something like that would run otherwise. It's small, of course, and a bit more rudimentary than a full-blown fount, but it's quite charming — something only DIYs tend to be. With a few pieces from Amazon and Walmart — two of the best home decor brands for design lovers on a budget — this creator managed to do the impossible.


♬ original sound - The Magnolia Mercantile

After first buying a large planter and filling it with potting mix, the creator layers a shallower and narrower planter on top of the soil. In the space between the two planters, she uses colorful flowers to disguise the gap before filling the smaller planter with water and tossing a floating, solar-powered fountain on top. So simple and so genius!

I think this could really elevate a patio just in time for summer, or make for a perfect poolside water feature. Everyone will be wondering how you did it — and it's up to you whether or not you want to tell them! I won't judge if you want to keep this backyard idea close to your chest.

DIY Supplies

All this talk of gardening got you excited for more? Good news! I've listed a few of my current favorite planters and plant pots below for you to shop, plus a few handy gadgets the Livingetc team has spotted over the last few weeks. Enjoy!

3 Chic Planters

3 Colorful Plant Pots

3 Genius Gardening Tools

Brigid Kennedy
Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.