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How to Build a Mexican Fountain

Amanda Dickerson

Mexican water fountains are traditionally the center pieces of gardens or courtyards using a southwestern motif. The design uses the fountain as a prominent focal point that adds festive color to gardens large and small. The fountain can be of whatever size suits the space available, including wall or tabletop varieties. What distinguishes the Mexican fountain are the decorative elements that reflect a combination of Native American and Colonial Spanish styles.

How to Build a Mexican Fountain

Notice the blue and white tiles, the terra cotta construction and sun motif
  1. Choose your design. The traditional Mexican fountain is a wall fountain with a simple design that is sometimes also called a Spanish Mission fountain. The Mexican fountain reflects the mixture of the cultures of the Native Americans and Spanish colonists. Begin with a basic, working fountain constructed with pottery. The design should be simple with a large basin at the bottom, a spout in the upper portion of the wall and a smaller basin in between to catch the water before it trickles into the basin below.

  2. Next add color. The traditional colors include the Spanish colonial blue and white. You could, instead, choose the more desert feel of red and turquoise. You can paint the fountain with waterproof paint or attach small colored tiles with mortar. Mexican gardens are often dressed in bright, vivid colors in stripped patterns. The colors you use should reflect the vibrant feel of a festival in Mexico.

  3. Decorate generously. The decoration of the fountain is key to capturing the Mexican culture and style. Add details such as suns, Aztec designs or religious statues and pictures. The Virgin Mary is one of the most popular icons to be used in the design of a Mexican water fountain.

  4. Finish off the project by adding tropical plants or cacti around the fountain. Add other Mexican art around your fountain and garden to give your living space a more authentic Mexican feel.