How to Make a Homemade Sprinkler with PVC Pipe

Recently Jen showed me something on Pinterest that really got my attention.  You see, its been very hot and dry for Indiana this past month, and  we were looking for new ways to allow the boys to play outside in the water.  I personally thought this idea for a homemade sprinkler made out of PVC pipe was brilliant! 

This is a seriously EASY project that anyone can do in about 30 minutes once you get all the supplies.  Don’t let the “plumbing” scare you ladies, you can handle it and impress your friends!

First, we headed for our local home improvement store for supplies. 

 taking kids to lowes  

The boys and I feeling manly in the plumbing isle.

To replicate our “car wash” sprinkler system, follow the instructions below.

Supplies Needed for a PVC Sprinkler:

  1. (5) 5 foot sections of 1/2 inch PVC (You could also purchase the longer ones and cut them down saving some money, but they had these pre-cut to 5’ for less than $2)
  2. (3) 1/2 inch PVC pipe caps
  3. (2) 1/2 inch PVC elbows
  4. (2) 1/2 inch PVC Tees
  5. (1) 1/2 inch Male Adaptor
  6. (1) Threaded Female Hose Connection (I had to use Brass, didn’t have this in PVC)
  7. PVC Solvent (This is the glue for the joints.)

Tools Needed for a PVC Sprinkler:

  1. Hack Saw
  2. Power Drill
  3. 3/16” Drill bit (could be slightly larger or smaller, your preference)
  4. Helping hands of your children

building projects for boys

father and son building projects

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Cut two of your 5 foot PVC pipes in half, leaving you with (4) 30 inch pipes.
  2. Dry assemble the pieces to make sure everything fits.
  3. Pull one joint apart at a time, apply solvent to the end of the pipe and the inside of the joint, press into slip fitting.  (make sure you push it all the way in, you have just a few seconds with PVC cement)  TIP: If you want to be able to store your new “car wash”, do not cement the vertical pipes into the Tee-joints.  Then, you can take the feet off or turn them sideways to store flat against your garage wall.
  4. Once assembled and cemented together, drill holes along top and sides as desired.  (You can drill as many as you like, but I would start with 3 along the bottom side of the top pipe, and 3 on each vertical pipe.  If you drill too many holes, there will not be enough water pressure to spray far enough to do the trick.  This will depend on your house water pressure.  Smaller drill bits like 1/16” will help also if you have low water pressure.)
  5. Allow cement to dry for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Hook up the hose and get wet!

summer fun in the sprinkler getting wet in the sprinkler

We were able to straddle the sidewalk with our new sprinkler and allow the boys to ride their bikes through.  They had such a blast while we laughed at their funny expressions as they burst through the spray.

drinking water from sprinkler

Brooks even decided to drink from the new contraption, which happens to be ok since this is the same pipe they use in your home for water supply. 

homemade car wash sprinkler

I love simple projects like this because it allows me to work with the boys and give them some sense of accomplishment in the process.  Feel free to get creative and fit the pipes into another shape or form.  The possibilities are endless!


This post is being linked up at Young House Love’s Pinterest Challenge, Get Your Craft On at Today’s Creative Blog, Home Stories A to Z Tutorials and Tips, The Shabby Creek Cottage, and Tatertots and Jello’s Weekend Wrap Up

34 thoughts on "How to Make a Homemade Sprinkler with PVC Pipe"

  1. megryansmom says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the tutorial, we’re going to try this at our house.

  2. Suzy says:

    Verrrrrry cool!! (literally, hehe) Will have to bookmark this one for Ted to revisit next summer. 🙂

    Keep up with me, Ted, and our Fab Four at

  3. micheLLe says:

    this is great! i think we’ll try it out. i have a feeling my dog will love just as much as my kiddo =)

  4. Staci Brown says:

    Oh Jen, this is too cute!! They are having a ball! Miss you in the chat room!

  5. You guys are about the 4th people I’ve seen make one of these in the last week! I showed my hubby a friends’ ‘car wash’ and told him we need to make one. My kids would LOVE it! I bet your boys are having tons of fun!

  6. Lana says:

    I am so showing this to my husband. Maybe we could even run the gator through it! 😉

  7. Courtney says:

    This looks like so much fun! I was going to comment on Isaac’s face in that one picture and then you mentioned their expressions. haha By the way, it’s been extremely hot here in PA too!

  8. Michelle says:

    That is cool – I love it! hmmm how to make an over the trampoline one???

  9. oh amanda says:

    How fun are you guys?!!

    I have 2 BOOKS about cool things to make with PVC. My fave is a mini golf course! We made it at church for VBS once. It was awesome!


    1. QuatroMama says:

      You WOULD have a book for PVC crafts! How fun are YOU guys?

  10. Megan says:

    This is such a great idea! I am finding it really hot outside and was looking for a project that we could make together and enjoy as a family. Thanks so much for this idea!

  11. Nikki Kelly says:

    I love this! I would like to make one for adults. We get hot too! Great Job!

  12. Jennifer says:

    That is great! I’m in Ohio and, yes, it has been incredibly hot! My girls would love a PVC car wash! Great job!

    I found your site today through Tatertots and Jello. 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    What a fun idea!!

  14. Tamara M. says:

    Super cute idea and love the pictures. Your boys are adorable. I like this because I can put it on the sidewalk/driveway and the water will go straight to the drain vs. it on my lawn making a muddy mess.

  15. Sommer says:

    Omigosh this is totally AWESOME! How clever really! I bet the kids were playing out there for hours! I hope you will come share this at my VIP party today.

  16. Q says:

    What a brilliant set up! Your kids are very lucky and way to get them involved. Great job!

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  18. Love this !! Such a great idea…and looks like so much fun. Definitely a great project to do with the kiddos. Thanks !!

  19. Meg says:

    I wanted to let you know that I made one of these PVC ‘car wahes’ for my kids and we loved it. Since then, I put a few holes in the legs and can turn it on its sides (with one set of legs removed) for a double triangle interesting sprinkler. Now that we suddenly have cooler weather, I tied streamers from it and my boys love it. I’ve enjoyed playing with the thing! Thanks so much for posting.

    Oh, and another idea for you all: I made a very slightly inclined ramp for my boys. that they love. I took one 4×8 outdoor plywood ($15) and had them cut it into two 4×3 sections (for the angles) and one 4×2 section for the top flat part of the ramp. I bought a 2×4 ($2) and had them cut it in half. I just set the two by fours about 2 feet apart and put the 4×2 section on top covering half of each 2×4. Then I put the 4×3 sections on each side of the 4×2 section angled.

    My BOYS also LOVE THIS ramp I came up with and it has lasted all summer since the boards are outdoor boards. It is not much of a ramp (goes like 1.5 inches off the ground) but enough for them to get the feeling it is a BIG ramp. The 4ft width is great for bikes and big wheels. The long ramped sections are great for making sure they don’t really pick up speed going down. Since there is no nailing, it all puts away pretty easily. The ‘car wash’ has enjoyed its time on our ramp. I can email you a pic if my explanation doesn’t make sense but I think your boys would really love this too. My 4 and 2yr olds do!

  20. That was a great ideas in making sprinkler in just 30 minutes, whoa.very cool, I love your boys and they look very very cute. That was a great bonding with your kids and that’s pretty cool for me!

  21. Great idea. Love the sprinkler system idea for the kids.

  22. Sarah says:

    I’ve seen this on pinterest and a couple different blogs this week so I googled it and found your site. I had to bookmark since I have now been reading more about your family for 20 minutes! So glad I found the site…now I am off to the store to buy the materials with the kiddos…should be fun and interesting!!

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