How to Create a Mini Zen Garden


Zen gardens as we know them today were created in the sixth century by Buddhist monks as a place for meditation. Created from a blend of nature and man-made materials, a Zen garden helps you to focus by shutting out distractions and stress. You can create a miniature Zen garden out of a small tray, sand and stones and place it on your desk to provide you with stress relief in your own work space.

Step 1

Choose your tray. Wood trays are traditional in Zen gardens, but anything shallow enough to give you easy access for raking, but deep enough to keep sand from spilling over the sides, will work.

Step 2

Pour white sand into your tray 3/4 to 1 inch deep and smooth the surface so the sand is level across the tray.

Step 3

Add small polished stones to your Zen garden if you like.

Step 4

Choose a raking tool such as a comb or fork. A good raking tool features tines that are spaced evenly and a flat side to smooth the sand.

Step 5

Rake your Zen garden into whatever formations are appealing to you, using swirls, lines, dunes and whatever else your imagination creates.

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow tray
  • White sand
  • Small stones
  • Comb, fork or other raking tool


  • Coaching Your Creativity: How to Make a Desktop Zen Garden
  • Washington State University: Zen Gardens

Who Can Help

  • San Jose State University: Zen Gardens
Keywords: Zen garden, create miniature Zen garden, rake Zen garden

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.