We should all bring a touch of the garden indoors to create a relaxing, positive space. The Japanese practice of “Zen” means to be mindful. For us, a garden is the perfect way to bring the calmness and mindfulness into your day that helps us live a more patient and stress free life. Zen gardens may have begun in Japan, but you can make your own to enjoy indoors! They are meant to represent a small, simple version of a scene in nature. These DIY mini Zen gardens are so easy to make, are beautiful, and offer us the tranquilness of a garden space even while sitting at our desk, or while zoning out on the sofa after work. Remember when looking through these tutorials, you can take something from each project to create a garden that is customized to your meaning of “Zen”. It’s a very personal thing, harmony. Find your garden happy place in your mind, because that’s exactly where you want to go when creating your garden project!
We love this desktop Zen garden from ‘Gardenista‘. It has a more rugged outdoor feel than gardens made with sand that you can rake and change, and is the perfect mini landscape! (You can still stack and move the stones for that mindfulness practice!)
This Zen garden tutorial from ‘Thirsty for Tea‘ is the perfect combination of traditional Zen sand gardens to occupy the mind, and the serenity of plants and nature to give you a simple foundation. I love the idea of the lidded shadow box as a container. She has a secret for her sand rake, too!
This tabletop Zen garden step by step is from ‘DIY Network‘. DIY mini Zen gardens don’t get any easier than this with only three supplies! It’s also perfect for anyone with a brown thumb.
This mini Zen garden from ‘ The Merry Thought‘ is perfect, we love that serene black sand! They used an air plant in their garden, which is just about the easiest plant in the world to grow. They are perfect for this type of project because they require no soil. You literally soak them in water once a week. That’s it. Learn more about them at our post at OhMeOhMy on how to use air plants.
This Zen garden from ‘Dwell Beautiful’ is another super simple project. She used a faux succulent in this project, but she also tells you how you can use a real one, or even an air plant. I love her explanation on how DIY mini Zen gardens help with stressful days!
Another one with a faux plant… seriously, does is get easier? This faux plant you actually make with beads! Try the tutorial for this beaded cacti Zen garden from ‘Live, Craft, Love‘.
Ok, is this one cute, or what? ‘Brit & Co.‘ created this as a Mom’s Day gift, but it is the perfect touch of femininity for your desk or nightstand. And no, you don’t have to use flamingos!
Ellen at ‘Confessions of an Overworked Mom‘ created the perfect Zen garden tutorial because she encourages you to make it your own. (She also tells you where to get those mini sand rakes!) Collect stones or shells during your next vacation and make a meaningful memory Zen garden!
This colorful Zen garden from ‘Nous Decor‘ uses a succulent under the sand. They say you can water it through the sand, but you could also do this project with a faux succulent or an air plant as well. What’s your favorite color that makes you think of your garden happy place?
We love ‘Circle of Wealth”s little twist on their Zen garden tutorial… They use essential oils to add the scent of a garden to their project!
Lastly, if DIY’ing these is just too much work (oh, come on! :)) then we found this mini Zen garden that really captured our attention. You can order it with one of four different sand spheres that make different patterns in the sand… This is really cool! Find it at ‘Olander Earthworks‘.
We are loving on these DIY mini Zen gardens, and I am thinking it’s just what I need at the end of the day. Do you have a favorite? Mine is the black sand one… Clearing a spot on my desk. :)
If you enjoyed learning about Zen gardens, then try our post on DIY cactus and succulent projects.
These make excellent homemade gift ideas! love the black sand and geode garden. I must remember to do this when I have some free time.