Rainwater harvesting relieves our aging sewer systems from the stress of heavy storms while lessening the impact of our garden on our water bills. Whether your interest in rain barrels is because of frugality, or they are environmental, making your own rain barrel is easy.
Here are four examples and instructions for making your own rain barrel.
Instructables user, Donnie Dillon, hacked a trashcan he had in the garage into a rain barrel. The project took less than 2 hours and after he was done, he could harvest rain water to water his plants and chickens, wash his car and fill up his squirt guns. For walkthrough instructions see his Rubberneck Rain Barrel Instructable.
This blue barrel is the most common item converted into a rain barrel. Instructables user, stylnpzzalvr, spent some time creating barrels like these and selling them at farmers markets. His directions for a homemade rain barrel show you how to create one and offers tips on how to find barrels on the cheap.
While functional, blue plastic is not very attractive, and if your rain barrels face the street (or annoying neighbors) something that looks more natural may suit your needs. Wine and whiskey barrels can also be converted into rainfall catchment systems. Chouf, at Instructables, went with the wooden rain barrel for his because he did not want the blue to interfere with the aesthetics of his future deck.
If a 55 gallon drum is too small for your needs, perhaps these 330 gallon drums will be more to your liking. Over the past two years, I have been seeing them used in homes and urban agriculture projects. In the comments of his video Coastguard1010 explains how he fitted the spout of this drum to fit his water hose.