Looking for a new project to elevate your plot? In line with alfresco kitchens, DIY outdoor showers are having a surge in popularity as more of us start to use our backyards as extensions of our homes.
Outdoor showers are useful for all sorts of jobs, whether that's rinsing off before jumping in the pool, washing muddy pets or shoes, or cooling down on a hot day. Sure, you could hire a professional to install a luxurious design for you. But if you're handy with the toolkit, why not try making one yourself?
'They don't have to be expensive, lavish, or a great big stainless steel thing,' says Karl Harrison, Trex decking (opens in new tab) expert. 'DIY works equally as well.
'The basic materials that you'll need are a water supply, hose and a shower rose. Even if it is an old hose, wrapped around a tree or fixed to the trellis with a shower head on it, you're away.'
11 DIY outdoor showers to recreate in your yard
You might want to add one of these features to a more elaborate outdoor bathroom scheme, or perhaps you just need a quick and practical fix for your yard. Either way, you'll find plenty of inspiration below.
1. Add a shower to a surfboard for a playful feature
Boost the personality of your plot by attaching a shower head and hose to a surfboard. Perfect for oceanside schemes and for those who love the great outdoors, this look is full of fun. And if you want, you could always add your own personal touch with a lick of waterproof paint.
Ensure it's sturdily installed so that it stands up to inclement weather. And, as with all DIY outdoor showers, remember to factor in drainage at the base.
Why not complete the look by surrounding the design with a selection of the best coastal plants?
2. Build a shower screen from sticks
Most showers will call for garden screening ideas to boost the privacy levels. There are lots of options to go for – plant a hedge, repurpose pallets, even build a wall – but this look has caught our attention for a touch of rustic garden charm.
Created using sticks and sturdy wire, the structure offers a laid-back, naturalistic feel. A simple metal shower head and pipework attached to a taller wooden pole complete the setup, while an upcycled shelving system is handy for bottles of shampoo (eco-friendly, of course).
3. Opt for a simple but stylish design with wood
As long as you have something to attach your shower to, the possibilities for design are almost endless. A simple plank of wood, set into the ground, can be all it takes for the job.
Be sure to give it a good sanding to avoid any splinters, and then give it a protective coat of stain to help it withstand the water exposure. You can always choose a tinted variety for a bit of extra pizzazz. Pick the shower fittings in sparkling chrome for a modern touch, or go for something a little more antique-looking for timeless appeal.
4. Try a rustic bucket shower
A bucket design is a fantastic solution for DIY outdoor showers that are a little more remote, or where additional plumbing is too tricky to install.
The idea is simple – fill a bucket with warm water, suspend it up high with a pulley system, and enjoy washing out in the fresh air. Keep it super simple by drilling holes in the bottom to create a 'shower head' effect, or go one step further and attach a valve so you can turn it off while you lather up, saving on water.
Don't expect to take long, luxurious showers with this method, but for quick rinses, it's ideal. You could also install one above your outdoor bathtub ideas to elevate the experience.
5. Build a nautical-inspired structure with timber and rope
This shower setup is full of character and is ideal if you're looking to create more of a focal point with your DIY project.
Thick rope and weathered wood give the structure a subtly nautical vibe, while trailing foliage nearby softens the view, bringing a splash of jungle-like greenery to the scene.
Garden sleepers are perfect for this sort of build – just be sure they're not coated in Creosote if using reclaimed ones.
6. Give a shower screen a luxe look with a lick of paint
There are a wide array of shower fixtures on the market which are simple to assemble yourself. And once they're in place, however pared-back or eye-catching they are, considering the immediate surroundings will make all the difference to the overall zone.
Whether you're screening your space with a trellised panel, a divider made from pallets, or are building something bespoke from timber, a lick of exterior wood paint will instantly take it from drab to fab.
This pale hue shown above really pulls together the scheme, creating a defined zone at the end of a decked porch (which, by the way, is a convenient position for easy access and drainage).
7. String up a shower bag
This setup is similar to the bucket shower, but instead, uses a bag. The idea is more or less the same, except these can be bought ready-made, with a valve and 'shower head' attached for ease.
Hang it up with a sturdy rope, surround the space with a DIY structure of your choice, and finish with a few cute details – like this shell-adorned mirror. And the best part is, if you're a fan of camping trips, you can take the shower bag with you for washing on the go.
8. Go for easy rinsing with a portable shower
Speaking of camping showers, this design comes complete with a pressure sprayer and, due to its compact size, is super versatile.
With a spray time of three minutes, it's not one for you if you want a spa-like shower experience. However, for washing pets before letting them indoors, taking an early morning rinse mid camper van adventure, or even for watering your plants, it'll soon prove to be a worthwhile purchase (plus, it's budget-friendly, too).
Although it's not a permanent installation, we think the convenience of one of these makes it a great addition for family garden ideas.
9. Build a chic shower zone complete with stepping stones
Adding a shower to the exterior wall of your home is generally the easiest approach in terms of plumbing. Plus, it's a great way to blur the boundaries between indoors and out: think of an ensuite shower courtyard attached to a bedroom, for instance. Sounds good in our book.
We love this DIY design created by @archiefivephotography (opens in new tab). The shower fixture looks fabulous against the white, cladded backdrop, while stepping stones underfoot feel fresh and playful. Plenty of potted greenery nearby adds to the serene vibe.
Looking for tips on how to install an outdoor shower like this? Our guide has plenty of useful advice.
10. Invest in a DIY shower enclosure kit
If you fancy a proper shower structure but want an easier solution than building one from scratch, consider buying a shower enclosure kit.
This design is constructed from low-maintenance PVC and looks super elegant and stylish. With a door and decking floor included, plus all hardware needed, it will only take a few hours to construct something like this.
Not sure about PVC? Look for wooden designs instead, which offer a more organic tone and will complement all outdoor surroundings.
And, don't forget to read up on these common outdoor bathroom mistakes before you get started, to ensure your project is nothing but a success.
11. Attach a shower to a tree for a natural vibe
Showering outdoors is a great way to get back to nature. So why not go one step further and extend the vibe by mounting your shower to a tree?
Whether you attach a simple hose and shower head combo to a strong branch overhead or the trunk, or hook it up to hot water plumbing, it's a simple yet effective approach. Plus you'll have the sight and sound of a beautiful canopy of leaves to enjoy while you rinse in the fresh air.
If it feels a little open, add a woven reed fence which will give you more privacy and will complement the natural theme. Or, plant some of the best screening plants nearby for a truly botanical setting.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.