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.

  • Comments

    1. Shamarah Prince says

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

    2. Ashley Hawley says

      Very pretty idea!!

    3. Jessica says

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

    4. Tammy Frederick-Leckbee says

      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.

    5. Sarah says

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

    6. Michelle says

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

    7. says

      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!

    8. Lisa Hollis says

      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!

    9. Shelley Drady Enright says

      I like all the designs. I’ve only ever seen straight lines. I love the paisleys.

      • Anonymous says

        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!

    10. LESLIE STOCKTON says


    11. Susan says

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

    12. Amanda says

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

    13. Heidi J. Sisco says

      I love the one with the purple sand! So neat, thank you .

    14. Tricia Igo says

      these are sooooo pretty!

    15. Merideth says

      Just looking at these takes me to a happy place…

    16. Renae Rue says

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

    17. Brook says

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

    18. Jane Ritz says

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

    19. christine adams says

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

    20. Sue Wilson says

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

    21. Janelle Spencer says

      Love!! Great Christmas Idea too!!

    22. Kimberly Frazee says

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

    23. Mary Williams says

      I think that is so pretty!

    24. Lynee Kelley says

      How very neat! I love these!

    25. Ashley Schein says

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

    26. Bonnie says

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

    27. Julie says

      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!


    1. […] 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 […]

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