Tranquility Base

Bamboo Table Fountain Decoration

So I recently moved into a much bigger office at work with enough space for something decorative; theres no window but it is a corner office. I’ve always wanted a small table fountain, and looked at a few on the web. Most of them are either (1) really fake looking because the decorative elements are made from resin (rocks, vessel, plants) or (2) they‘re adorned with tacky miniature waterwheels and thatched cottages that look like a David Winter collectible.

I wanted mine to be made from natural materials and after a bit of googling I found a company called Bamboo Accents that makes table fountain kits. They make several sizes and styles of spouts. You get a hand crafted bamboo spout, a tiny submersible pump about the size of a brownie and some tubing. All you need to add is a container and Voila! The soothing sound of running water will fill your space and good Feng Shui will radiate through your abode. Or in my case it drowns out the field service guys in the offices across the hall when they’re on the phone.

The bowl is a cobalt blue serving piece from Target and the rocks were collected on a family vacation to Iceland. We stopped at an ancient lava flow near an extinct volcano and the beach was made of several tons of the most beautiful black stones that had been polished smooth by pounding waves over thousands of years. I took home about 15 lbs of rocks! My landscaper would have charged me a fortune for them.

ancient lava flow extinct volcano

Here is the materials list and instructions if you would like to make a table fountain like this one:

1 Bamboo Accents fountain spout kit ($32.00 for the 12 inch version from There are a couple different styles of spouts to choose from. Amazon also sells them.

1 Container. It should be straight sided, at least 4 inches deep and watertight. For the 12 inch spout the diameter of the container can be from 10 to 18 inches wide. The kit comes with about a foot of tubing so you can use a pretty deep pot. The one I found at Target was about $15. A vessel with a tapered bowl really won’t work because the pump needs to sit directly under the spout. I suggest buying the pump first and then go looking for a container. Really you can use anything, even metal, as long as its watertight and deep enough.

Stones, tiles, glass or slabs of slate to disguise the pump

Assembly: cut the tubing long enough so that one end attaches to the pump (it sticks to the bottom of the container with tiny suction feet) and other end attaches to the bottom of the spout. Add water, turn on the pump and adjust the flow rate to whatever you find pleasing (there is a small switch on the side of the pump for this.) Place your decorative elements in the water to hide the pump and you’re done!

The spout is attached to a shelf that can also hold another decorative element like an Air Plant, Lucky Bamboo, an orchid, minature papyrus, a candle, some rocks or a small figurine. I have Lucky Bamboo because it doesn’t need much light; it can also live in the water as long as it’s inside a container to keep the roots from growing into the pump. The pump is hooked up to a timer that turns it off after I leave for the day.

Every month or so I’ll empty the water, clean out the bowl and fill it with fresh water. It’s really a nice thing to have on my desk at work and even the engineers have commented on how soothing it sounds.