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Outdoor shower

DIY project from NZ Gardener magazine

Rose Hughes shows how to cool off al fresco – and protect your modesty!

Build an outside shower
Learn how to make an outdoor shower

You will need

For the shower frame:

  • 14m of 90 x 45mm treated pine
  • 2 sheets of corrugated iron (I used recycled iron measuring 670mm wide)
  • 3 x 75mm hinges
  • Pencil & tape measure
  • Drop saw
  • Tin snips
  • 10g x 65mm screws, 8g x 40mm screws
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill, drill bits & countersink
  • Sandpaper & paint brush
  • Resene Woodsman Stain
  • Aluminium tape (optional)


  • 2m of 15mm alcathene pipe or similar
  • 1 Hansen 15mm male bend short
  • 2 Hansen 15mm male straight (joiners)
  • 1 15mm ball valve tap
  • 1 Hansen 15mm to 20mm male bend
  • 1 tap adaptor
  • Ceelon tape

For the shower mat:

  • 13m of 40mm x 18mm finger jointed pine
  • 8g x 32mm galvanised wood screws.

Cutting lists:

  • Shower frame:
    • Side bars: 4 x 2100mm
    • Struts: 8 x 670mm or the width of your corrugated iron.
  • Shower mat:
    • 16 x 760mm lengths.


$230 excluding corrugated iron, shower head and stain.



Step 1 Step one
Mark side bars so the top strut forms the top of the frame, the second placed  at directly below it and the following two with a 865mm gap between leaving a gap at the bottom (see photo). Drill screw holes, countersink and screw struts into position using the 65mm screws. Repeat for second panel. Sand and apply 2 coats of a suitable paint (I used the Resene Waterborne Woodsman stainSkywater’).

Step 2 Step two
Cut the corrugated iron to length so that it  fits tightly at the top and extends 10mm below the bottom strut. Drill holes in each trough at 450mm, 1010mm and 1960mm from the top edge. Put the tin in position and attach using the 40mm screws. One of the iron sheets I used had lots of holes in it, so I cut droplet shapes out of aluminium tape to cover the holes and add interest.

Step 3 Step three
Mark up 150mm from the bottom of each frame and cut a 30mm semicircle with the jigsaw. Stain, allow to dry then feed the 15mm to 20mm male plumbing bend through the hole. Attach the hinges. (This will allow the shower to be put away over the winter months.)

Step 4 Step four
For plumbing, I had an old over-the-bath shower head that I have adapted for this project, but you can buy a shower head, pipe and  fittings at any hardware store. I used alkathene pipe, attached the shower head with short male bend, a length of alkathene then the tap with joiners above and below, another length of alkathene and the 15mm to 20mm male bend (which is already in place) with the tap adaptor to allow the connection to the garden hose.

Step 5 Step five
To attach the plumbing to the frame I used 150mm x 25mm galvanised metal strips. Bend each around a 15mm former and with the shower panels at less than 90 degrees, feed the two ends through the timber gap to hold the shower head in position. Do the same each side of the tap and at the bottom to hold the bottom male bend in position. Bend the two edges out at the back of the panels and drill and screw into position.

Step 6 Step six
For the mat, follow the cutting instructions. Attach top struts to side and middle strip. Sand and stain.

4 handy tips for creating and outdoor shower

  1. Surfaces can become very slippery when wet. Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path creates a non-slip surface and ensures wet feet have a better grip especially on concrete and timber surfaces.

  2. Shower walls don't need to be all one colour. Create colourful effects using your favourite colours in Resene testpots.

  3. Always use high quality exterior paint and make sure the water is directed downwards – not into the wall.

  4. Wet areas tend to attract moss and mould, which can also be slippery when wet. Treat any moss and mould with Resene Moss & Mould Killer. Soap and water isn't adequate to kill mould effectively.

Photos: Rose Hughes. Outdoor table and chairs courtesy of Mitre 10 Mega.

Download a PDF of this project

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