Wabi-sabi, also coined wabi kusa, can be an easy and fun project. These small plant balls are easy to make with most any plants available. Only a couple simple tools are needed, and only a few supplies are needed as well.
Netting is needed to hold the substrate in and can be found at most any department store, craft store, or fabric shop. Black is preferable as it is less noticeable than white or other colors. Cut a square out of netting and place it in your work area.
Place about a 1/2 to 1 full cup of crushed inert rock like quartz or basalt after it has been rinsed to remove fine dust and particles. Place 5 or 6 pieces of Osmocote fertilizer slow release balls in the middle and using a zip tie or string, secure the corners tightly so that you have a ball of substrate.
Trim off all the excess netting above the area that was tied. Use the neck that still stands out to tie the thread to. Use poly thread instead of cotton so that it doesn’t decay and break loose. Using a fly tying bobbin can greatly increase your plant placing accuracy. Once the thread is secure place plants on the plant ball and wind thread snugly around the plant roots or rhizomes to secure them. Any kinds of plants can be attached provided they use the same lighting. Cryptocorynes and other heavy root feeders will grow like this for a while but will eventually outgrow the substrate. Stem plants work well and tie easily to the substrate ball as well. These are simple to make and inexpensive so experiment with your ideas.
Once plants are designed and in place wrap moss around the netting and root ball to hide everything. Moss like java moss works perfectly and is easy to get and cheap. Wrap thread around the moss as you go. Don’t worry if the thread is visible as in a few days it will begin to grow and cover the thread. Tie off the thread and place the wabi-sabi in your tank submerged or place it emersed on a windowsill.