Zen gardens are meant to be centers of peace and meditation. And that is all you really need keep in mind when making one for your home. Aside from the key elements of rock and sand, each zen garden is a personal masterpiece. Don't be afraid to play with form, size and visual elements to create something that you love.
Demarcate the outline of your zen garden with a thick line of sand.
Level the ground underneath your zen garden. Remove any large rocks or roots and eliminate any rises or slopes in the soil with a shovel.
Lay a black plastic liner. This will act as the foundation of your zen garden and prevent any weeds from cropping up. Cut the plastic so that it lies just over the sand outline.
Create the border of your zen garden with medium-sized rocks. Line them around the edge of the black plastic. No plastic should be visible on the outer edge of your border. It doesn't matter what type of rocks that you use, but they should be roughly the same size and color.
Add a few large visual elements to the interior of your zen garden. Traditionally, these large elements are an odd number of boulders. However, some zen gardens use large logs, sculpture or bird fountains. The elements are up to you but do not clutter the interior of your zen garden. The sand should have plenty of room to flow.
Fill the interior of your zen garden with a layer of sand that is 3 to 4 inches deep. Ideally, the sand should be made out of crushed granite, but any white, beige or gray sand will work.
Create shapes in the sand with a zen garden rake. The design that you make is completely up to you, but consider the fact that sand of a zen garden is meant to represent flowing water. Long, curving lines that continue from one end of the garden to another and circular ripples around large elements are the traditional design.