How to Make a DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation

Last Updated on

Posts may be sponsored. Post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase using my link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This DIY Zen Garden is a relaxing way to unwind at the end of the day for both adults and kids. Having the same bedtime routine each night can help your body recognize that it’s time to go to sleep. With teens (and adults) who are hooked on social media, it’s tempting to keep putting off bedtime by listening to one more song, answering one more email, or watching one more movie. Those behaviors make it difficult for your body to relax and fall asleep. I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and this post is part of an ongoing relationship. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Get everything you need for your own mini zen garden for a low price on Amazon.

DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation

DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation

A zen garden is a small representation of nature. Instead of lakes, rivers, and ponds, it offers open spaces, sand, rocks, and sometimes tiny manicured trees. The sand is usually raked or styled in some way to represent the ocean waves or ripples in the brook. You may have heard a zen garden also referred to as a Japanese rock garden.

To use this DIY zen garden for bedtime relaxation, just remove the elements, style your sand and create a peaceful landscape to signify to your body that it’s time to relax. This relaxation technique can be helpful for older children and teenagers who are too old for lavender scented playdough or “monster spray” as part of their bedtime routine.

DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation


  • Shallow glass, wooden, or metal bowl or tray
  • Fine sand
  • Small flat rocks, bonsai tree, cactus in a little pot, seashell, etc.
  • Mini zen garden rake to style the sand

New Creative Zen Garden 4-piece Mini Garden SetNew Creative Zen Garden 4-piece Mini Garden SetZen Garden Kit Black Indoor Zen Garden Relaxation Gift HandmadeZen Garden Kit Black Indoor Zen Garden Relaxation Gift HandmadeTabletop Zen Sand Rocks Candle Holder Rake Garden KitTabletop Zen Sand Rocks Candle Holder Rake Garden Kit


  • Add a very thin layer of sand to the tray. Do not make it so thick the designs won’t stay in the sand.
  • Arrange a few rocks or decorations. Don’t make it too busy. The designs in the sand should be the most prominent part of a zen garden.
  • Use the twig or rake to create swirls and waves in the sand. This process should be relaxing so don’t get hung up on what it looks like. Just create.

DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation

You can use whatever you like for accents. I chose a few polished stones: turquoise, rose quartz, and fuchsite. If you believe that certain stones have healing properties, turquoise is often used for protection. Rose quartz is supposed to help restore your self-esteem and self-confidence.  Fuschite is known as a healer’s stone. The little coin I got years ago at a Renaissance fair.

Place the stones or accessories and then using a toothpick or one of those little Zen garden rakes, style your sand. Do not get hung up on perfection. It should be relaxing. It’s OK to make a mistake. Just take out the stones and shake the sand slightly to smooth it out and start over.

Tips for kids

Kids can be master manipulators when it comes to bedtime. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can help them unwind and relax before bed. When my son was little, I remember having to spend 15 to 20 minutes searching for the “bug” that he insisted he heard in his room before he would settle down.  If you have a child who tries to manipulate their bedtime, allow them one more television program and then transition them into their bedtime routine including this DIY zen garden.

DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation

Next time you find yourself in the bedtime battle, just tell your kids they can watch an ENTIRE show before bed. Yep, you heard me right, and no, I haven’t lost my mind. Today, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation launched Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, new episodes of the latest hit, all in a nice little 5-minute package — letting your little negotiator think they’re getting away with the age-old ‘just five more minutes’ ploy. In a mere 300-seconds, your kids will be speechless as they march themselves up to bed knowing they got exactly what they wanted. You: 1, Kids’ stalls: 0.

Sharing is caring!

10 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Zen Garden for Bedtime Relaxation”

    • Definitely don't want the kitty getting into it. I have mine on a shelf when I'm not using it and so far my cats haven't found it.

Leave a Comment