How To Make A Zen Board

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Being present is such an important component of living a happy, peaceful, and fulfilling life. We’re all about living in the now here at Free People, and we’re taking every step we can to enjoy each moment, appreciate the little things, and truly live.

Zen boards are a magical tool that can help you practice appreciating each moment as it comes, steering you away from living in the past or focusing on the future.  A zen board is made of a special material that allows you to “paint” on it using water. Moments later, the water evaporates and you’re left with a blank canvas on which you may begin anew! Knowing that the water will soon evaporate makes it quite easy for you to focus your attention on the present moment, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of your temporary creation.

To make a Zen board, you will first need some magic calligraphy paper (like this). In Asia, this type of paper is used in order to practice writing! You’ll also need a picture frame and some wood sealer (if your frame is wooden). To use your board, you’ll need a cup of water and a paintbrush. I like to use a long-handle calligraphy brush.

Picture frames, magic calligraphy paper, Shellac

Spray your frame with sealant to protect it against water.

Spraying picture frame with shellac

Cut a piece of magic paper to be slightly larger than the picture frame backing. Tape  the paper onto the frame backing to secure, and your board is complete!

Taping picture frame

Now dip your paintbrush into the water and paint your little heart away. The more saturated the paper, the longer your paintings will stay. It’s quite relaxing to watch your creation slowly disappear into thin air.

Calligraphy brush and vintage glass bottle

Hand painting zen board

Feather painted on zen board picture frame

"Just be" zen board picture frames

Take a gander at our FP Movement yoga collection!

More DIY ideas on the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Comments

Natalie -March 8, 2013, 2:03PM

This is so cool and simple! I like the idea of photographing a temporary piece of art. Thanks for the tip! I’m going to make a half-dozen to hang around my loft.

DIYEARTE - DIY -March 10, 2013, 12:15PM
Amanda -March 11, 2013, 12:17PM

Can these actually be hung on the wall? Wouldn’t the water drip out? I’m assuming these are to be on a flat surface?

fp brigette -March 11, 2013, 3:24PM

Hi Amanda — yes, they can be hung! If the paintbrush is very saturated, the water my drip a little bit, but it will soon evaporate :)

Faiza -March 14, 2013, 3:58PM

Hey Bridgette! These zen boards are super cute! I just have a totally off topic question. When y’all receive letters….do you read them? :)

Nikole -April 1, 2013, 6:41PM

I love this idea! Where did you find that pretty glass bottle?

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