Homemade Wishing Well Instructions

by Darby Stevenson
Recreate the classic experience at home with your own wishing well.

Recreate the classic experience at home with your own wishing well.

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Wishing wells have been in constant use in Roman and Celtic cultures for thousands of years and they continue to be used in popular American culture. Wishing wells are not necessarily wells at all, but can be any area of free flowing water or fountain where coins are tossed in the hopes of good luck or wishes being fulfilled. Wishing wells in the ancient world were often attributed with specific healing properties and dedicated to various gods or goddesses. One of the most famous wells in Celtic Britain was devoted to the goddess Coventina.

Items you will need

  • Bird bath
  • Rigid plastic pond
  • Shovel
  • Garden statue
  • Garden fountain
Step 1

Install a bird bath wishing well. This may be the simplest wishing well, and can be purchased from a lawn and garden store. Fill the bird bath with water when it evaporates, empty it of coins when it becomes too full.

Step 2

Purchase a rigid plastic pond for a wishing well. Dig out an area in the garden to place the pond. Plant some plants around the well for decoration.

Step 3

Add your own deities, angels or representations of other spirits to the well. Historically many wishing wells were connected to a deity, and in the Christian tradition the water from a specific location often had an aura of luck or holiness ascribed to it due to the presence of a saint or the Virgin Mary. Statues of the Virgin, Coventina or another Celtic god or goddess, the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian mythology or Quan Yin may be appropriate for a wishing well. A three-legged Chinese money frog may also be appropriate symbolism as it integrates both coins and aquatic elements.

Step 4

Add a fountain to the well. Wishing wells, both historically and in the modern period, often incorporate running water. Find a fountain that you like, place the intake tube under the water and the rest of the fountain above the water. This can only be used if you have access to electricity near your wishing well.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images