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How to Make a Zen Garden Rake

Wikimedia Commons/Jnn

Zen garden rakes are an integral part of a Zen garden experience. Zen gardens originated from Buddhist traditions and are meant to create a tranquil experience for the gardener. By creating circular patterns and designs with a Zen garden rake, the gardener will pass through meditative reflection. For the Zen garden viewer, the patterns make a tranquil statement. Making your own Zen garden rake is easy with these simple steps.

Buy supplies at your local hardware store. Request your dowels to be cut into the specified lengths. This will save you time and allow you to construct your Zen garden rake without a saw.

Make five equally spaced marks with a pencil on one side of your square wooden dowel. On the other side, mark one spot in the center.

Glue one of the 5-inch by 1-inch round wooden dowels over the first mark on your square dowel. Repeat with the remaining four dowels. Allow to dry thoroughly. These round dowels are now the tines on your rake.

Glue the 48-inch by 1-inch round wooden dowel over your mark on the unglued side of the square dowel. This dowel will be the handle for your rake. Allow the entire rake to dry for a day.

Spray paint your Zen garden rake. In a well-ventilated area, place your Zen garden rake on newspaper. Spray one side in long even strokes with the spray paint can. Allow to dry for 4 hours. Turn your rake over and repeat the process. After both sides are dry, continue spray-painting any missed areas on your rake. Allow to dry for 24 hours.


You might need multiple coats of spray paint to obtain a dark, smooth finish.


Wear a mask when spray painting to avoid inhaling fumes.

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