To make a rain barrel, drill a 3/4-inch hole 5 inches from the bottom of the barrel. Place a metal and rubber washer on a 1/2-inch spigot, apply watertight adhesive to the rubber washer AND insert the spigot into the hole. Install a second set of washers on the spigot threads that extend into the barrel. Tighten a hose clamp around the spigot threads that extend into the barrel, and cut two downspout-sized holes in the lid.
To prevent debris from entering the barrel, place landscaping cloth and fine-mesh fiberglass screen over the top of the barrel before placing the lid on the barrel. Place the barrel under the downspout so the downspout drains into one of the holes in the barrel lid. If desired, place a pipe in the second hole in the barrel lid to direct overflow into a second barrel.
Alternately, build a study stand using pressure-treated wood, and place the stand under the downspout. Cut holes in the bottom of the barrel using a 2 1/4-inch hole saw, and cut two holes in the top of the container.
Place the barrel on the stand, and connect the barrel to a spigot using 2-inch PVC pipes and pipe fittings that are connected to the hole on the bottom of the barrel. Install a screen in the top of the container, and direct the overflow as desired.