Measurements for a whimsical wishing well differ depending on the purpose.Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
A homemade wishing well is a cute addition to the picnic table, entryway or yard if you use fitting dimensions. To design a wooden well for different purposes, you will have to alter the width, height and features accordingly. The round body of a wishing well could house an array of items, making it useful as well as adorable.
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For the tabletop, a small wishing well might hold a basket of buns, chopped fruit or veggie sticks. Even the bucket, suspended from a spindle could hold tiny candies or dip. Design the pail suspension to lower and rise with the handle crank, giving the well an added feature. Your measurements for this small-scale model should be about 6 inches wide by 13 inches high for it to hold enough food without standing too tall on the table. The body of the well could stand 4 inches high, and the slanted roof should match this measurement, leaving a spare 5 inches in the center for hanging the 2-by-2-inch bucket and reaching in for a snack.
To make a planter-sized wishing well, use the dimensions of a plant pot for your initial measurement. For example, if you plan to sit a 10-inch planter inside the well, build the body with a 10.1-inch diameter and a height that matches the pot. The roof peak should be about four times that of the width for plant space. In this case, you would plan on a height of 44 inches. Alternatively, skip the plant pot and line the well body with plastic. The vertical paling extending from the bottom of each side of the well walls into the roof peak ends would normally hold the doweling that attaches to a crank to simulate the mechanism for raising and lowering a rope-suspended bucket. Omit the doweling, crank, rope and bucket for a planter design, leaving the open space for plant growth.
Suspend a lavish hanging basket of flowers from the bucket of a large wishing well. In the front yard, this would be a striking feature at 8 feet high and 3 feet in diameter. Measure for a 3-foot-high well body and 24-inch-high slanted roof that extends 48 inches across. Drill holes in the paling supports at four inches below the bottom of the roofline for the sturdy wood doweling or brace needed to suspend the bucket planter. Using scraps, build an L-shaped, 4-inch-long crank. By keeping the doweling high in the open space, you'll leave plenty of room for the cascading plant. Don't waste the space underneath. Add a concealed cover over the well's body and access through the wall to utilize the lower space for garden tools or outdoor toys.
By incorporating a gate in the side of a jumbo wishing well, you could create a covered gazebo, hot tub area or playhouse. The well body could be square instead of round for easier construction. Make the thatched or umbrella-style roof peak two-thirds the height of the well's diameter, but alter if needed for a minimum of 6.6 feet of headroom. Omit the dowel, rope and bucket for practicality, but attach an oversized 10-inch crank to the support beam paling for whimsy. Whenever you are designing a structure for human use, contact your local building authorities to ensure that the construction plans are safe.