Specifications and Constraints – Fountain Birdbath

For my final project, I will be creating a concrete fountain birdbath. My top five design specifications are a clean, professional-looking finish, a final product that contributes to a cottagecore aesthetic, strength and durability, a calming water feature, and sound materials used to create the birdbath.

1. Clean and Professional Finish

This specification is first on my priority list because I want the final product to be something that I genuinely love and am proud of. When I make this birdbath out of concrete, I will have to first mix liquid concrete solution and pour this into castings that form my desired birdbath shape. After some time, the concrete solution will dry and harden, and it is important to me that it does so in a clean way. Viewing my design (pictured as the blog post cover image), I want the edges to be defined and each curve in the birdbath to be smooth. In this way, the design can be elegant. 

2. Cottagecore Aesthetic

I have mentioned this in previous posts, but this fountain birdbath will be a gift for my grandparents. For half of the year, they live in a quaint mountain cabin. My grandma has created some incredible gardens, and I want this birdbath to add to her garden/cottagecore aesthetic even more. 

3. Strength and Durability

The birdbath will be in an outdoor mountain environment, and therefore must be durable. I want to build the project so that future cracks and wear and tear will be avoided. Since the material of the birdbath itself is already concrete, a water-proof and strong material, I believe the strength of the birdbath will depend on the quality of my initial concrete mix. I still plan on using weather-resistant sealants or some sort of product along those lines. This birdbath must also be strong for transportation. 

4. Calming Water Feature

To satisfy the dynamic element of this project, I want to make sure the water feature of this birdbath is incorporated in a seamless way. My plan, as of now, is to secure a solar-powered fountain device to the center of the birdbath bowl. Before I make the birdbath itself, I will make sure this item arrives so that I can make sure the bowl dimensions satisfy the fountain. A second plan for this water feature would be to make the bird bath two-tiered, so that water falls naturally from the top bowl. I am hoping that the sounds of the water will further add to a calming environment and aesthetic. 

5. Sound Materials

To make the casts of the birdbath, I plan on using an assortment of flower pots and saucers. It is important that these casting materials are integrated together in a clean way, so that the actual concrete pouring goes smoothly. 


The top five constraints are my projects are skill, money, space to make the project, cast shapes, and time.

1. Skill

I have never worked with concrete before, so doing so will be a new skill that I try. 

2. Money

As this process will be a new skill, money is a significant restraint for my project. I would like to stay within my budget of around 150 dollars for this project, but this must include the concrete mix, fabrication materials, casting materials, and the fountain mechanism. I anticipate error the first few times I try to pour my intended birdbath shape.

3. Space to make the project

Pouring concrete is a messy endeavor and, when dried, could adhere pretty permanently to surfaces. Thus, a location to make my project is a constraint. Right now, I plan on making the birdbath either in my sister’s backyard or at my parent’s house. I live in an apartment complex without a yard, but I think an open, grassy space where I can put down tarps or trash bags is very important. 

4. Casting shapes

As mentioned, the materials that I find to actually pour the concrete will dictate the overall shape of the birdbath. I have found potting materials that allow me to create the birdbath shape pictured in the cover image, but this is subject to change as I continue searching for/gathering materials. 

5. Time

Time is always a significant restraint for any project. Being a student, time management and balancing other responsibilities will play a major role in the success of this birdbath. Therefore, I have dedicated specific weekend times to fabricate the birdbath itself, and I have already gathered most materials needed.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Katie Schutt
    April 8, 2024 10:34 am

    Hi Sarah. This is an awesome project! I think the form and function of a bird bath perfectly fits into the cottage core aesthetic. Like Kyra I am also curious about your planned molding process. I saw you were planning to use flower pots and saucers perhaps but I am wondering if you think that will give you the desired clean edges. I think it is smart that you are planning to do a few trials pours and molds! I am excited to see how it turns out.

  • Kyra Anderson
    April 5, 2024 12:56 am

    Hi Sarah, I really love your birdbath design idea and I thinks it’s so cool you want to gift it to your grandparents. I was wondering what your plan was to make the casting mold? I don’t have much experience with this and was really interested in your plans!


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