Making a Rain Gauge

Youth Rain Action Storyboard

Post 7: Making a Rain Gauge

Follow the instructions below to make your very own recycled rain gauge

Supplies Needed:

  • 2L Pop bottle
  • Ex-Acto Knife
  • Rocks
  • Duct tape
  • Sharpie
  • Ruler


  1. With the Ex-Acto knife, cut off the cone of the bottle, to make sure that the bottle is fairly straight
  2. Fill the bottom up with rocks to even the ridges in the bottom, so that there is an equal measurement of water.
  3. With the duct tape, tape the side of the bottle from the top of the rocks to the top of the bottle.
  4. With a sharpie and using a cm ruler, mark the tape, starting the base of the tape at 0 cm (it should go about 15cm, give or take)
  5. On the cone, take off the lid and invert it into the bottle, so that it helps direct the surrounding water into the bottle.
  6. Place the rain gauge in a place around the outside of the house on levelled ground that will receive a lot of water when it rains.
  7. Fill the rain gauge with water until where the rocks end and 0cm starts.
  8. Measure the water levels.

How to measure:
For a start we need to record the water level after the initial rain fall. After that when it next rains, collect the level of water collected and subtract it from the previous measurement to get the level of rain.

You can let the rain gauge fill up and then water the plants with it and go back and collect more. Or you can empty it out every time it rains and collect new water measurements every time.

Rain is usually measured in millimeters, so don’t forget to convert the centimeters to millimeters by multiplying by 10.

And there you have it, your own personal rain gauge!

Visit the Youth Rain Action project page to learn more or contact Emily Dutton at

The Youth Rain Action Project is led by Ecosource in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Burnhamthorpe Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), and Sheridan Nurseries, and is generously supported by the Government of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.