Mini Zen Garden

July 28, 2017 , In: Metalsmithing, Mixed Media, Tutorials

Last month I shared photos of one of my favourite places in London, The Kyoto Garden. It is a beautiful tranquil place that makes me feel very calm and peaceful. Well I need more calm and peaceful in my day to day life as at the moment it seems to be a little hectic and stress filled, so I decided that I needed a little zen garden of my own!

My garden is unfortunately a shared garden as I live in an apartment so my zen garden was going to have to be desk top sized, I did a few searches on the internet to see if I could find what I was looking for and of course I could not so I decided to make my own….

First thing I needed was a box/tray. If I had any wood working experience I might have been tempted to make one from scratch but luckily I found this Shut The Box Game in a charity shop for £1 and it was the perfect size!

After brutally ripping out all of the velvet and extra pieces of wood that I would not need I was left with just the bare shell….

The brutality continued as I started to age the wood with the help of a hammer and nail, when I was happy with surface texture I then took my propane torch to it (I know this sounds a little extreme but wood stain did not work on this piece and I really like the colour of burnt wood) I then brunt, lightly sanded, bashed and burnt some more until I was happy with the look (this was all very good for relieving some of my stress).

The OCD part of me took over at this point and insisted that I painted the inside and the underneath of the box, both of which you are not going to see, this lovely shade of blue, because OCD me could not possibly leave it messy looking!

Of course my love of metal would need to be involved in this project some where so I sawed out a strip of copper and stamped it with words relevant to my zen garden and then more hammering around the edge, there seems to be a lot of physical work in finding my inner peace!

I wanted to set the metal into the wood but did not know how to do this so I ended up nailing it in place instead, then I needed to find feet!

I managed to find four pebbles that were the same hight (actually quiet a hard task), painted them black, added little felt spots to the bottom and glued them in place.

I then added a chunk of drift wood and lots of pretty little things to make it feel more me and finally the sand….

Now I still need to wait for the sand to dry out (it’s too damp and clumps when raked), collect some better stones (I might use some of my beads or cabs or more sea glass) and I have to make my own little rake and then de-stressing here I come! I would love to know what everyone else dose to de-stress?



Niky Sayers

Niky Sayers started creating jewellery 6 years ago after stumbling across a jewellery making blog while looking for a hobby. She is a stay at home mum with hermit like tendencies, a mild addiction to coffee and chocolate and a love of all things handmade or antique/rusty. While not raising her tribe she like to keep as busy as possible playing with metal sheet, wire and other treasures and trinkets all at her kitchen table in Surrey, England.
  1. Reply

    What a lovely idea, it looks great and worth all the effort. That piece of driftwood is gorgeous!

  2. Reply

    Niky, you are so creative, I love seeing the process!

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