Let’s face it, life is stressful. There’s always so much to do, so many items on the to-do list, food to make, errands to run, work to complete, and relationships to maintain. It’s never ending! I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I can get overwhelmed by it all. I’m a big type-A list-maker and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to check those little boxes off on my to-do list. But if I don’t get everything done, I get really stressed and down on myself. Sound familiar? I’m trying to make a little more time in my days for Me. Not for things I have to do, but things I want to do. Things that make me happy or make me feel healthy. One little way I can get a little bit of peace and serenity in my day is just taking a couple minutes to do a quiet and mindless activity. And I’m not talking about surfing Pinterest or Facebook. I wanted to find a little way to get peace of mind (without looking at yet another screen) so I decided to make a little zen garden for my desk.
According to history, zen gardens were first created to be a place to go and meditate and think on the meaning of life. There are life-size, real outdoor zen gardens, and tiny small ones that can fit in the palm of your hand. The key to a good zen garden is having natural elements, like plants, rocks and flowers, to promote peace of mind. The raked sand is meant to imitate ripples in water and bring a sense of tranquility and meditation. While we all can’t have life-size zen gardens in our backyards, we can make miniature versions to get the same effect!
This little succulent desk zen garden is just the ticket to a few minutes of calm and serenity during my hectic days. When things are getting to stressful or I’m overwhelmed by my to-do list, all I have to do is play in my little zen garden and sketch out patterns and lines with a pencil. Just a few minutes of mindless doodling really opens my soul up and gives my brain a little breather and boost of creativity. Follow along with the 3-step tutorial to make your own!
Zen Garden Materials
– Glass container of some sort (I got mine at a dollar store)
– Faux or real succulent or air plant
If you have a faux succulent with a long stem, attach to the glass container so that it stays put and doesn’t flop over. I just used washi tape to hold mine in place! If you are using a real succulent, put a small amount of rocks on the bottom followed by a shallow layer of dirt. Plant your succulent to make it secure. If you are using an air plant, simply set the plant on top of the sand after you pour it in in step 2 – no need to plant it!
Next, just pour your sand in and give the bottom of the container a few gentle taps so that your sand evens out into a nice layer. I like neutrals so I used white sand that I found at Michaels, but if you want something more bold, there are plenty of fun colored sands you can find online and in stores!
Take a pencil or other instrument with a small end and doodle to your heart’s content! If you use finer sand and a smaller pointed instrument, your lines will be sharper, but my sand was more chunky and I used a pencil, so my lines are softer. It’s really just personal preference and material availability! It’s super soothing to just draw away and move the sand about.
Oliver thought the zen garden was very interesting and calming, too!
What are some ways you de-stress or take a break when things get hectic? I’d love more helpful tips!
What a beautiful idea! And who doesn’t need a little more zen in their life?!
Thanks so much, Kristi! I definitely need all the zen I can get! haha 😛
I need one of these? But will my kitten think it’s a litterbox?!
Haha that’s totally a valid concern! I have two kitty cats myself and so far they have left it alone. If you are worried maybe spritz the sand with your favorite body spray – that way it won’t smell like a potty to your kitten and you get the added bonus of having a nice-smelling decor piece!
Such a nice idea..
Thank you so much, Baishali! It’s definitely nice to have around on stressful days! 🙂
This is soo pretty, Erica! I am totally with you… I need this! Nothing like life getting hectic…. I’ll have to pick up some succulents to make one!
Thanks so much, Kendra! I totally agree, we need more zen in our crazy lives 🙂
So cute, and i love the idea of doing this with an air plant, fabulous!
Thanks so much, Julie! And I totally agree – an air plant would be a totally amazing addition to this type of zen garden! 🙂
I HAVE A BLACK CAT NAMED OLIVER TOO
Oh my gosh that’s AWESOME! Black cats named Oliver are the best 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hi! I love this idea, it’s awesome!💕 But what you think about using tiny decorative stones instead of sand?😀 I hope you reply and have a wonderful day~!!❤
I think tiny decorative stones would be super pretty! Love that idea – you should go for it! 🙂 Have a lovely week, friend!
So succulents are the only plants that work with this????