DIY Zen Gardens + Zen Garden Design Ideas

Zen Gardens

A miniature Zen garden added to your home or office can provide you with a sense of calm and an outlet for stress and anxiety. Zen gardens are a traditional Japanese landscape used for meditation, primarily within Buddhist monasteries. If you do not have the time or money to create a full-sized Zen garden, you can construct a small-scale version and incorporate some relaxation and meditation into your busy and hectic life. (Source)

DIY Zen Gardens

You will need:

  • a small metal or wooden box, or a small glass container
  • fine white (or colored) sand
  • smooth stones
  • something to use as a "rake" - I used a pen

    Creating a mini zen garden:

    Pick a theme for your zen garden that speaks to your heart, mind, and soul. The goal is simplicity, so keep that in mind while crafting your garden.

    Fill your container about halfway with sand (I buy mine on Amazon). Add smooth stones or other items, but remember that zen gardens are not supposed to be cluttered. Less is more.

    Rake the sand with a plastic fork, pen, or another object that will create the designs you're looking for. Make soft ripples to represent calming thoughts of the ocean.

    For me, creating zen gardens is very relaxing and a great way to ease into meditation.

    Zen Garden Design Ideas

    The great thing about creating your own zen garden is that you can change the design at any time!

    diy zen garden

    diy zen garden

    mini zen garden ideas

    mini zen garden ideas

    zen garden on a budget

    zen garden on a budget

    zen gardens

    zen gardens

    Want to buy a zen garden instead of making your own? The photos above were found on Etsy at numerous shops.

  • Lori Parcells - Beautiful!! Great idea for a gift! If you include a cactus, do the roots have to be ‘netted’ before inserting it into the sand? Do you just water as needed?

    Julie - I love your ideas. I need to have one of these in my house.

    Julie - Beautiful! Love cactus and succulents but can they grow in sand only without soil? How would you water without messing up the design? Would love to try!

    Anonymous - Beautiful! I love cactus and succulents but was wondering, do you use any soil? I didn’t know they could grow in just sand only. How do you water without messing up the design? Love this idea!

    Bonnie - These are awesome! Question, will this cactus actually live and grown in this sand?

    Summer Bucket List Ideas - […] books outside 60. Make s’mores 61. Run a 5k as a family 62. Build a terrarium 63. Make some zen gardens 64. Bake the best cupcakes ever 65. Write a story as a family 66. Watch fireworks 67. Fly a kite […]

    Julie - looks great

    Ashley Schein - I am going to try this. Maybe it will help me.

    Jessica - I need to make one!!

    Lynee Kelley - How very neat! I love these!

    Mary Williams - I think that is so pretty!

    Kimberly Frazee - I dont wanna be a chicken I dont wanna be a duck Quack Quack Quack Yeah Im a Quack lololol Love the Zen!!!!!

    Janelle Spencer - Love!! Great Christmas Idea too!!

    Sue Wilson - These look so peaceful. I wish I had had one when I was working. It would have been great.

    cathyf - these are very pretty

    Melissa - Too Cute an simple!

    christine adams - so cool going to have my kids make one for a school project

    Sandi - Love the colored sand! Kids love to do these!

    Jane Ritz - Those are amazing. I may do that with my grandson. He’s very artistic. I’m just amazed at the differentdesigns you habe.

    Brook - This is such a great idea! Love it :) Thanks for posting!

    Renae Rue - Such a neat idea… I bet its relaxing as well and makes a pretty decoration in the house or office. :)

    Merideth - Just looking at these takes me to a happy place…

    Tricia Igo - these are sooooo pretty!

    Heidi J. Sisco - I love the one with the purple sand! So neat, thank you .

    Amanda - Think I am going to make one of these as a gift! Love them Thank you for sharing!

    Shan - I LOVE zen gardens! You’ve shown some really great ones.

    Susan - This is such a neat idea!!! Will have to try it with the kids :)


    Shelley Drady Enright - I like all the designs. I’ve only ever seen straight lines. I love the paisleys.

    Lisa Hollis - The cactus makes gorgeous swirlies but me and cactus would be a no-no because I would forget the sticks and try to do it with my fingers :) It does look easy to make and as soon as I don;t have uber nosy grandchildren and a baby pit bull that puts his nose into everything, even high up, I’ll have to try it!

    Stacey Hall - I missed this one, thanks to the celebration I’m in the know in time to do a few of these for Christmas to add to my home made body butter, sugar scrubs, and sore throat soother! Thanks!

    Michelle - Those look fun to make. I like the idea of making them yourself, that way you can pick the colors you want.

    Sarah - I’m going to make one of these to take to work! Thanks for the idea!

    dayna k - Really cool idea!

    Tammy Frederick-Leckbee - I think I may venture out this weekend and get the stuff to make one of these. They are very cool. I work at home as a medical transcriptionist and get a little frustrated at times because I can not understand some of the doctors, this could be my ticket to sanity. Thanks.

    AlannaB - I think I might have to make one of these for my coffee table…never thought of using colored sand :-)

    Jessica - These are so nice to look at. Makes me want my own flower garden even more.

    Ashley Hawley - Very pretty idea!!

    Shamarah Prince - Awesome.. I think these would make the perfect gift for my girls teachers!!

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