DIY Crafting, Uncategorized
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Dollar Tree Mini Meditation Garden

Mini Japanese Rock Garden
Completed mini Japanese rock garden!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links. This is of no cost to you, and rest assured I only include links to items that I have used and loved myself.

Everyone has those days where you’re stuck at your computer and just need to quiet your mind, so here’s a quick and easy project that not only is cheap to make, but pretty to look at! Commonly known as a Japanese Rock Garden, this mini version can be placed on your desk or table where you can calmly rake the sand and rocks to de-stress.

Why do we find these “zen” gardens relaxing? The use of rocks and sand are used to recreate the essence of nature and promote feelings of tranquility, calmness, and peace…all of which equate to a stress-free environment. At least, that’s what google says – why not make one and see for yourself!


  • Any sort of tray – design and size are up to you
  • Sand
  • Smooth rocks
  • Decorative accessories
    • I’m using a wishing well figurine, copper wire LED lights, and a fake succulent
  • Bamboo rake
    • or just use a fork (but trust me, the bamboo rake looks way cooler)

I got all my necessary supplies at the Dollar Tree! I’ll admit, I did splurge on the bamboo rake from Amazon because it made my garden a bit more authentic and was less than $3 (you get a pack of 3 for $8.79)!

My local Dollar Tree (shout out store #8488 in Clifton Park, NY!) had several different container options but I opted for this silver looking tray, which is pretty sturdy. Most stores have a floral aisle and that’s where I found the sand (I used 2 bags for mine, but one would have been sufficient), the mini lights, and the bag of rocks.

The two other elements were the mini wishing well and the fake succulent – both of which were located on an end cap near the gardening supplies. I also saw a buddha head, but I’m not really into that. Much to my delight, the wishing well was amongst a whole display of fairy garden figurines! Of course I purchased a bunch, and will have a fun day with my nieces and nephews making fairy gardens…stay tuned!

The garden design is totally up to you and what you think looks good! But if you like mine, here’s how I did it:

I poured in the sand, then added my wishing well and succulent on opposite ends. I originally just dumped the rocks on the sand after that but it looked too chaotic. Before I changed my design I took a minute to run my fingers through the sand and for a second I thought I was in Miami. See how good these things work?? But then I opened my eyes and just made 2 stacked piles of rocks.

The last part was to add the mini lights. I’m not sure if I was too dumb to open the battery pack or if I got a bum set of lights but after many attempts with my tiny screwdriver, I ended up just prying the thing open. No harm done, they still worked! The wire is bendable, so I just twisted it around my tray, and hid the battery pack under the edge of the tray as best I could.

After choosing my favorite rake out of the 3 pack, I moved the sand around and immediately felt calm, peaceful, and worry-free! Not a care in the world!

You’re not buying it, huh? Ok, well at least you have to admit it looks pretty.

Have fun making this and may it bring you tranquility or at least a pretty table centerpiece. 🙂

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