Instructables
Picture of How to build your own desktop zen garden
 There are a lot of people that like to have something special on their desk. There are also a lot of people that like gardening, but they simply don't have where to practice it. This little desktop garden will make them all happy.

It's all built from recycled scraps, and easily found stuff.

Let's start building our own desktop zen garden, for those moments that we look away from the papers or the computer.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Required tools and materials

Picture of Required tools and materials
DSC04335.JPG
DSC04377.JPG
DSC04333.JPG
DSC04334.JPG
Here is the list you need to prepare before you start building the zen garden.

Materials:
- wood scraps - planks and sticks
- some nice rocks you can find, maximum 10cm in size
- small pebbles
- sand
- some separating material (plastic, rubber, fiber) - so the pebbles don't mix with the sand
- old newspapers
- some old paint (i found some water based)

Tools:
- measuring tool (tape or meter)
- right angle
- screwdriver (manual or electric)
- sharp knife or cutter
- stapler
- clamp
- hand saw
- scissors
- screws
- pencil
- metal file
- paint brush or roller

That's about it... Let's start working!

Step 2: Cut the wood and start making the box

You need to measure the planks you've found. 
Mine was 84,5 cm long and 14.5 cm wide, so i cut two pieces of 42 cm each.

The sticks i found were of different lengths, so i cut out two pieces of 29 cm for the box legs and another 4 pieces to make the perimeter of the container.

Use the file to smooth all the edges of the planks and the sticks.

The box legs hold the two planks together side by side, so it's easier to mount the perimeter sticks afterwards.

Attention: Please be careful not to split the wood if you have large screws. It's better if you drill the screw holes and afterwards you screw them in. It's the safe way to do it.

tfrost19804 years ago
i used those cheap zen gardens you buy at dollar tree for the decorations and rake then bought a nice picture frame and sealed it, and bought extra sand. cost about 4 dollars
przem4 years ago
For miniature zen garden tool check this instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Zen-Garden-Rake-for-your-Ashtray/
itachi24584 years ago
you can take an old fork and bend the tips back to make a rake
trainey994 years ago
how big is that zen garden?
obbitz (author)  trainey994 years ago
The size is: 42 x 29 cm or 16.54 x 11.42 inches
But there is no tiny rake :( tending your zen garden is half the fun :/
obbitz (author)  aran-trefoil4 years ago
Seems i have to make an instructable on how to build the tools to care for the garden :)
quesoman4 years ago
This will make a great gift for my aunt considering her daughter(age 6) was just diagnosed with type 1 juvenile diabetes.

This will be a great thing to put on her bed side table to relieve the stress that comes with the fights and temper tantrums my cousin is having as a result of the finger pricks and insulin shots.

On a positive note this is an amazing instructable!
5/5!
obbitz (author)  quesoman4 years ago
I am very sorry to hear that the little girl is sick... I hope this small garden will help her build better spirit. Please accept my best wishes for her! If you need in-depth explanations, just ask. Also, thank you for the rating.
obbitz (author) 4 years ago
Thanks for the comments! :) I am glad that you are contributing with variations and ideas! Have fun building! :)
lordzion4 years ago
I have one of these and I bought my sand at the Dollar Store it comes in different colors.
Earths_hope4 years ago
I like it!
zascecs4 years ago
I always use my lava lamp as a distraction.

...but then I end up staring at it for a long time, not even realizing time is passing by. I should probably make one of these for a change...
obbitz (author)  zascecs4 years ago
Yep, maybe you should cause it can be an interactive feature on your desk.

It can be a bit of a workout for the fingers if you rake the sand differently each day :)

Good luck with it!
obbitz (author) 4 years ago
Thanks! :) I'm glad you like it!

If you need any detailed information, just ask.
Good luck with your builds!
mushfiqc4 years ago
 What an amazing Instructables.

5/5.
zack2474 years ago
awesome! you have inspired me to either make one of these with water and some grass, (maybe a flower too) or reuse that old usb fish tank i wasted $10 on. (the way they advertised it made it look so awesome!) too bad it only lasted a week before the motor seized up
artworker4 years ago
Very nice! I will try this for my dining table center piece. 5*