Outdoor showers are very common fixtures on pool decks or in backyards in warmer areas all around the world, and when the weather gets hot and humid, it’s nice to jump into a cool shower a few times a day. There are also dozens of outdoor shower ideas available, so it’s easy to customize your choice to fit your unique needs. You’ll be able to rinse off, cool down, and go about your day without worrying about wasting a ton of water or tying up the bathroom for the rest of your family.
Even if it’s not in the budget to have a full spa on your property, these outdoor shower ideas are an affordable luxury you can indulge in. There are full outdoor shower kits available that you can purchase and install at most big box stores or online. However, with a few basic DIY skills and a few tools, you can easily turn one of these outdoor shower ideas into a reality in a day or two. It could be as easy as installing a few fixtures on a wall, putting up a temporary stall, or even utilizing dead space in a corner of your patio.
The outdoor shower ideas are almost limitless, so you can take advantage of this and design one that fits beautifully into your budget and design aesthetic. To help you along and give you an idea of what is out there, we’ve picked out a host of outdoor shower ideas with a quick description. You can decide which option of features you can’t live without and put it together in time for the hot summer weather.
1. Canvas with Piping
To get a slightly more industrial look for your outdoor shower idea, you can enclose it with pieces of metal pipe and canvas. Pipe is inexpensive, and it makes a very sturdy frame for your shower. You’ll have to decide how large you want your shower to be. Get your measurements and get straight lengths of pipe to match your measurements with elbow joints to create square walls.
Next, you’ll get your canvas and attach it to the pipe frame with hooks or cord. Hooks allow you to quickly remove it to store it, and cord is a more permanent solution. For the front of the shower, hang your canvas on shower curtain hangers, string them over the pipe, and you now have a moveable door for your outdoor shower idea that makes it easy to get in and out.
2. Under the Pergola
Maybe you just built a pergola and you’re not sure what to put under it. If it’s by your pool, you can install a shower using this outdoor shower idea to give yourself a space to rinse off before you get in the pool and after you get back out. You will most likely have to run plumbing, but this is relatively easy to do if you do it when you first install the pool.
Keep in mind that the pergola usually has open walls, so this doesn’t give you a lot of privacy when you shower. But, if you’re just rinsing in your bathing suit, it shouldn’t matter. If you do want more privacy than you get here, consider growing climbing or trailing plants and set up trellises. Have the plants create a natural privacy barrier by partially obscuring the view. You can leave the top open so sunlight can get in.
3. Repurposed Bamboo Blinds
Do you have a more tropical look for your yard or design aesthetic? If so, this outdoor shower idea will blend right into it. It uses repurposed bamboo blinds with a wooden frame, so you will need a few tools to cut the wood. Decide how large you want your enclosure to be and cut a frame to your desired size. Stain the wood to prevent it from having a problem with the moisture from the shower.
Set your frame up. For the blinds, you can run them horizontally if you didn’t make the frame much larger than the blinds themselves. If you did, it could be a good idea to get a few bamboo blinds and have them drape down the side of your frame to create a nice barrier. You should enclose the entire shower with this frame and bamboo blinds, leaving a small area to enter and exit.
4. Simple Rain-Style Shower
Maybe you don’t have the necessary plumbing in place to create an outdoor shower idea from scratch but you need something quick and cold while you’re working or for your kids. All you’ll need for this idea is a tree with a branch you can reach, a shower head of your choosing, and a high-quality garden hose. It has to be long enough to run from the spigot to your branch, so keep this in mind.
Attach the hose to the spigot by your house and run it to your chosen tree. Attach the shower head to the hose and drape the hose over your tree branch. You may want to secure it with twine to ensure it doesn’t move. Now all you have to do for this outdoor shower idea is turn on the water. It’ll come out in a rainfall-style that is very relaxing.
5. Painted Tin Walls
Tin can give your design aesthetic a clean and modern look, or it can look rustic. For this outdoor shower idea, all you’ll need is a few pieces of corrugated tin and wood to build a frame. Tin will resist damage due to moisture from the shower or exposure to the elements, so it’s a good choice for long-term use. Also, you can paint it or leave it bare and still get a nice look.
Measure out your shower wall size and cut the corrugated tin to match it. Be careful with this step with this outdoor shower idea because the tin can have sharp edges. If you’re going to paint the tin, do so now using a metal-specific paint. Create your frame and attach the tin to it to hold it securely. Set the frame up around your shower for privacy.
6. Pallet Walls
Although wooden pallets can make beautiful and rustic bed frames, did you know that they can also work as walls in outdoor shower ideas? What’s even better, pallets are readily-available, and you can get them very cheap or free. Chances are, someone around you is going to toss them out, so you can easily take them and reuse them to build walls.
All you’ll need for this outdoor shower idea are the pallets, a few nails, saw, and a hammer. Lay the pallets down and measure them to the size you want for your wall. Mark your cut lines on the pallets and cut them down to size. Get your hammer and nails and attach them together to create a solid wall. You may want to stain or paint them to help them resist water and moisture damage. Set your attached pallet walls up around your shower for privacy.
7. Corrugated Metal with a Wooden Stand
Anyone who wants to add a small bit of sheen to their backyard should consider this outdoor shower idea. You will have to get sheets of corrugated metal, but you can get this from almost any home improvement store. Ideally, you’ll bring the measurements in for your walls and they can cut it to the correct size for you to make it easier to put up when you get it home.
You’ll also need standard 2x4s of the wooden frame. Add a coating of stain to the wooden frame to help it last long and not swell due to moisture retention. Create at least two rectangles for the frame for your corrugated metal. If you’re ambitious, you can add a hinged door to create a triangular enclosed space. Attach your metal to the frame, set it up, and enjoy your outdoor shower idea.
8. Simple Round Curtain with Stand
Maybe you need a temporary outdoor shower idea for the spring and summer months that you can put away when the cooler weather comes around. If so, this is one for you. All you’ll need is some PVC flex pipe, a shower curtain with hangers, and a few straight pieces of PVC to set your circle up on to create a stand. If you’ve created a hydroponic system or done your own plumbing, you may even have PVC laying around.
Once you get your circular PVC shape, connect it to create a complete circle. You can attach it to your shower, or you can create a second circular section and connect the two via straight sections of PVC. Doing this will create a self-contained, portable shower stand. Attach your shower curtain with the hangers to the top portion and pull it to open and close it.
9. Hula Hoop
This is a very quick and easy outdoor shower idea that you can use with your kid’s old hula hoop and a cheap shower curtain from the dollar store. You will also need something to attach it to, and we recommend a few lengths of paracord. You could build a stand with PVC pipe too to help support the hula hoop for this outdoor shower idea if you’re a DIYer.
For the simple route with this outdoor shower idea, you’ll need something to attach the paracord to in order to hold the hula hoop up. This could be a tree, or you could run a bar across the space. Tie the paracord to the hula hoop and secure the hoop above the shower. Take your shower curtain and attach it to the hanging hula hoop using the shower rings. That’s it. You now have a fun and quick outdoor shower idea for privacy.
10. Wooden Slats
This outdoor shower idea won’t give you 100% privacy, but it will partially enclose the area and allow you to section it off from the rest of your deck or patio. Decide how tall you’d like your walls to be first. You’ll get three 2x4s and cut them to the correct height. Now it’s time to make the slats. So, you’ll measure how wide and long you want your enclosure to be. This will tell you how long to cut the slats.
Next, decide how wide you want your slats to be. Remember, you’re not creating a full wall here. Instead, this outdoor shower idea alternates slats of wood with open space between them. Measure and mark your cut 2x4s where you want your slats to go to ensure they’re even. Nail or screw the slats on the boards. You will attach the walls together using these slats. Stand the whole thing up when you finish. You should apply a quick coat of stain to prevent moisture damage before you use it.
If you have an open shower but you want a little more privacy when you rinse off, this outdoor shower idea is a nice choice. You can make your own arbor, or you can easily purchase one that fits into your budget from your local garden center. If you buy it, it’s already painted or primed, so this can cut down on the amount of work you have to do.
Bring your arbor home and set it up directly up over your shower. This works well if the shower is against a wall, but it also provides some privacy for freestanding showers. To increase your privacy, you can easily get climbing plants and have them come up the sides and over the top of the arbor. They can even drape down the back to give you more privacy, and the humidity from the water will encourage them to grow even more each time you use it.
12. Small Cut Logs
Landscape timbers or small logs can make a stylish and natural outdoor shower idea, and it’s great for keeping your look rustic and whimsical. You can have them all the same height, or you can have them shorter by the opening and gradually slope upwards to meet the top of your shower. It all depends on how much time you have and how finicky you are with the finished product.
To make it easy, we’re going to keep all of the logs the same height for this outdoor shower idea. Measure to the top of the shower and add four to six inches because you’ll have to bury the ends in the ground to keep them standing. Dig out the area you want to have the walls in around the shower. Cut all of the logs to the same height and set them upright in your trench. You can fill in with concrete too if you want it more stable.
If you have taller shutters sitting in your basement or garage that you’re not using, you can create a simple wooden frame with this outdoor shower idea and use them for the walls. To get a coastal look, paint them a bright white color. This will also help them pop out in your yard whenever anyone happens to come through and see it.
Measure your shutters and cut your boards to make a frame that is between four and six inches taller than the shutters themselves. Nail the shutters to your frame, leaving a gap at the bottom for the water to drain away. You can even attach one shutter to hinges on this outdoor shower idea to create a moving door to completely enclose the structure. You’ll need two shutters side-by-side for the back, one for each short side, and two for the front if you’re doing a door.
14. One Panel Open Designs
If you don’t mind having a completely open shower system, this outdoor shower idea only has you build a single panel with a rectangular frame. The panel goes against the wall that the shower is attached to, or it’ll attach directly to the freestanding shower in the back. You can easily use a piece of corrugated metal or tin like we discussed earlier, or you can use wooden slats.
We found that it was easy to get 1x10s for wooden slats. The first thing we did was stain them to help them survive the wet and humid area around the shower. Once the stain dried, we built a simple rectangular frame that was around five feet across and ten feet wide. We cut our 1x10s to five feet and attached them to the frame using nails. We didn’t make a solid wall with them, but we left slats open between each piece.
15. Landscape Stone
This isn’t a simple DIY outdoor shower idea, but it’s something you could do over the course of a week or two if you’re familiar with working with stones and mortar. You’ll want to pour a concrete slab for the shower to drain out of, and this will serve as a guide for the walls to go up. How complicated or simple it is depends on your skill level and whether or not you want to do it yourself.
You’ll start from the ground and work your way up, layering landscape stones with mortar. It’s important that you work quickly but neatly to get nice walls when you finish. It works very well if you have flat stones like landscape pavers or brick, but you can make it work with more effort with irregular rocks. Create three walls and leave one open to allow you to enter and exit the shower.
16. Concrete Blocks
Cinder blocks will make a very sturdy wall, and you can even double them up as planters. If you want to make this outdoor shower idea more stable, you can drive lengths of steel pipe into the ground and thread your cinder blocks through it. This will ensure that nothing shifts or crumbles when someone is using your shower, and it can give you greater peace of mind.
Lay out your first layer of bricks and decide how high and long you want the walls for this outdoor shower idea. This will give you an idea on how many cinder blocks you need to finish it. Once you get them all up and secure, you can get concrete paint and paint them to help them blend in with your design aesthetic or stand out even more. Add a few plants to the top layer and allow them to drape down the sides for a tropical feel.
17. Colorful Tiles
Maybe you already have shower walls up but you’re trying to find an outdoor shower idea to jazz the area up. If so, adding colorful tiles is an excellent way to go, and you can even get sheets of them that you attach directly to the wall without a huge amount of effort. This type of tile is popular in kitchens and showers as backsplashes, and you can easily incorporate it outdoors.
Try to find blue or green hued tiles for this outdoor shower idea. This will help bring more of the surrounding environment right into the shower, and it can provide a cheerful pop of color that makes the space look more inviting. Adding a few glamorous gold hooks for your towels or robe makes this a more luxurious design, and it shouldn’t take long to complete once you start.
18. Add Plants
Plants can add a touch of whimsy to any outdoor shower idea, and there are so many ways you can incorporate them. Maybe you want to set them around the bottom of the shower area, or you can place them along the top and allow them to trail down the wall. Another option you have is to create a living wall on one wall of your shower, and you can swap out plants periodically. Adding herbs can give you natural aromatherapy benefits too when you shower.
If you choose this outdoor shower idea, try to place your plants in areas where they won’t get hammered by the water when you turn it on. They should also be plants that enjoy a wetter and more humid environment. So, you want to avoid most succulents and cactus species because this environment will encourage root rot very quickly, especially if you use the shower a lot.
19. String Lights
You don’t want to get stuck using your shower after dark without any lights, so this outdoor shower idea will allow you to get much more use out of your space. All you’ll need is a few outdoor string lights. If your shower is in an open area that gets a lot of sunlight, you could consider getting solar lights and setting them around your shower’s perimeter to light it up after dark.
If you get hanging lights, string them up around the top of your shower. Make sure you keep them out of the water’s direct spray, and try to get lights that will stand up to getting wet from anyone who takes a shower or if it rains. You can get rope lights to line the bottom of the shower for this outdoor shower idea too if you’re worried about not having enough light.
These 19 outdoor shower ideas allow you to improve your DIY skills while adding a functional piece to your deck, patio, or yard. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, but you can quickly and easily increase your privacy while giving yourself a space you enjoy. We invite you to take a look and see which ones work best for your needs. You’ll be able to cool off any time you want during the scorching summer weather without driving up your water bill, and the whole family can benefit from these outdoor shower ideas.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.