Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Diamond Painting [2021]

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What is Diamond Painting?

Diamond painting is the darling of the art and craft world. A relative innovation, it has become a popular hobby for crafters around the world as a means of relaxation and fun.

The Diamond Painting process is similar to cross-stitching and paint-by-numbers. In Diamond painting, a picture is divided into grid patterns that are then printed on a well-crafted canvas. Then you arrange rhinestones, small diamond-shaped stones, over the grid pattern. As a result, your creativity gives the artwork a whole new level.

With this extraordinary craft, you can be an artist and explore your creative side while relaxing. Whatever your skill level, this DIY art and craft are sure to boost your creativity to new heights.

How to Start a Diamond Art Painting

Step 1Find a Dedicated Diamond Art Painting Table

The first step is probably the most important as it determines your level of comfort and how much you will enjoy your job. In addition to getting the Diamond painting supplies of your choice, you should also get a smooth-surfaced table of the right height. The reading table is preferred by some while other people prefer other options. For this purpose, it is best to get a table that is specially designed.

Step 2Remove Supplies from Box

The paint kits for diamonds are similar regardless of manufacturer or brand. Although  they might differ slightly, everyone should at the very least include the following:

  1. Diamond drills i.e. flat-backed diamond-like stones.
  2. A tray
  3. Gel or wax
  4. A pre-printed Canvas and
  5. A pen-like tool known as the applicator.

Step 3Familiarize Yourself with the Diamond Color Instructions

This diamond painting comes with clear instructions and a chart showing the color of the canvas and diamonds. Like a diamond painting, the diamond painting is painted on canvas cross-stitch canvas is made up of colored small boxes. These boxes are labeled using letters and numbers mostly and sometimes symbols.

Charts consisting of these colors and matching drill colors are usually printed on canvas sides. This eliminates any ambiguity and lets you learn the directions for using the colors.

Step  4Pick  a  Color  to  Start  &  Apply  Wax  to  the  Tip of  your  Diamond  Pen

Avoid the urge and anxiety of uncovering the entire canvas at once. To avoid being overwhelmed, peel only a small portion of the canvas at a time. Fill the tray with the appropriate diamond-colored liquid from the peeled part of the canvas.

Then, dip the tip of your diamond pen into the gel or wax. This makes it easier for the rhinestones to stick to the pen for easy picking and placement. Although there are diamond pens that are like wax pencils that only need to be sharpened, most pens are dipped in wax. It also applies to diamond pens with a larger mouth that can pick up three rhinestones at once.

Step 5: Place  Diamond  in  its  Corresponding  Square on  the  Canvas

You must match corresponding diamond drills with the canvas, much like painting-by-numbers, but with drills instead of paint. As a beginner, you should lightly press the diamond pen against the canvas (after picking up the rhinestone in step 4) to avoid scratching it. This way, if the drill is off-set, you can adjust it by nudging it or removing it and placing it again. You then need to press down firmly to secure it.

Step  6:Repeat  Until you  Have a  Shimmering  Masterpiece!

Repeat steps 1 through 5 until you’ve completed your masterpiece, adding a color at a time.

Popular Painting Techniques

The Checkerboard Technique: This involves placing diamond drills alternately on the canvas in areas of the same color. The arrangement and alternating colors are more like the well-known checkerboard. It is relatively fast since you don’t need to follow any predetermined procedures. Keep the color code and everything will come together beautifully as you complete the remaining parts.

Row by Row Method: As its name suggests, you arrange the diamonds row-by-row. This method is more appropriate when you come across a large block of the same color on your canvas. It becomes even faster and easier if you have the diamond pen that can pick up to 3 drills at a time.

“Color by Color” Method: This is the most common method. It is simply a matter of working on every part of the diamond in turn. By applying this method, you can fill the canvas with one color and then take up another one. Though the varying colors are often a beautiful sight to observe, the exposed areas often become less sticky as time passes.

Farm Plot” Method: This method requires you to divide large areas of the same color into little blocks that you will paint at a time. The rectangular blocks should not be too wide – probably just wide enough for 5 or 7 rhinestones – for quick and easy painting. Just like a farmer dividing a large plot into smaller portions for harvest, you also move from one block to another as quickly as possible.

The upside of this method is that it makes sure areas that are not to be painted are not exposed. Hence, prevents those areas from losing their stickiness.

Diamond Painting Tips & Tricks

Use  Parchment  Paper on the  Canvas if you  Take the Protective  Sheet  Off: One of the major problems encountered by crafters working on a diamond painting is the cover of the canvas. Being a single large cover, once removed, the whole canvas will be exposed. This makes it prone to picking up dirt and debris. Also, your hand can stick to it as you go about your business.

However, with every problem comes a solution which is where the parchment paper becomes handy. The parchment paper acts as a protective cover that is much easier to use without causing any damage to the canvas. It does not require any expertise or skill.

Once you remove the plastic cover on the canvas, you carefully place parchment papers that have been cut into small squares of your preferred size on the exposed surface. You can decide to line up each square beside one another or even let them overlap to avoid leaving any area exposed. Lastly, make sure you start from bottom to top to avoid your hand sticking on the canvas.

Apply Weight to Finished Diamond Painting to Remove Creases: It sometimes happens that your finished diamond painting shows some imperfections like creases and folds. This is expected as the canvas might not be perfectly straightened out before you started or some of the drills are not firmly placed. The solution to this problem is to apply weight to it for a long period of time. This can be done via any of the following methods

1.    Placing heavy books on the canvas for about 48 to 72 hours.

2.    Place the canvas beneath your mattress for a night or two. Here, your body weight should be enough to straighten out the creases.

3.    Use a crafting knife to cut any stubborn creases that refuse to straighten out. You just need to carefully go over the creases with the knife in order to get rid of any air between the canvas and its adhesive part.

Diamond Storage Tips

There are no fixed storage tips to store your diamond. It all depends on how creative you are. Below are some of the creative DIY methods you can employ for storing your diamonds.

1.    Use Medicine Boxes to Store your Diamonds: Medicine boxes have different compartments that can be used to store different colors of diamonds. The compartments allow for high organization and you can label the cover as you deem it fit.

2.    Egg Cartons can come in Handy: Your egg cartons can be used to store your labeled bags of diamonds. This can be useful when you have your diamonds in a bag already as the egg cartons do not have compartments that can be used to store the diamonds differently.

3.    Use the Dry Cleaning Style: Just like the way dry cleaners hang clothes in a well-arranged and labeled manner, you can also label your diamonds in bags and hang them up too. This takes no time at all and ensures your drills are well-arranged.

Fixing Common Screw Ups: The most common and frustrating screw-up with Diamond painting is the spilling of the diamonds on the floor. So frustrating, that you almost never know where to go after. The easiest solution even if it is not a perfect one is to put a pantyhose or t-shirt on your vacuum tube nozzle and use it to suck the whole diamond. You can then start to separate the diamonds into different colors manually. An even better option is the insurance offered by some manufacturers like Painting With DiamondTM where you can complain about spilled drills. They either send a replacement diamond drill or even a whole new kit without any extra cost from your end.

Another screw-up is, your furry buddy (cat or dog) walking over the canvas. In this case, use baby wipes to clean the area aggressively. With this, the debris will go away and you can continue your painting after the area has dried out.

Best  Places  to  Buy  Diamond  Paintings

1.    Paint with Diamonds: Painting with Diamonds being the manufacturer that introduced this craft to Europe and North America inevitably stands out amongst the places you can buy Diamond paintings. As you would expect, they offer over two thousand diamond paintings, many of which are licensed. This wide collection is unmatched by any single manufacturer anywhere.

They also offer an enticing insurance policy known as the “Oh S*Insurance.” This policy allows you to get a new diamond or a whole kit for free if your painting broke apart or your diamond spilled and cannot be separated. Add this to their blogs and write-ups to help guide crafters and you have probably the best place to buy your diamond paintings.

2.    Amazon: There is no way you can talk about buying and selling today without mentioning the largest online store. Amazon not being solely for diamond painting might be a low point but it still houses some of the best manufacturers and brands in the business. With this, you can be sure of getting just about any diamond painting of your choice at the right price.

3.    Easy Whim: Easy whim is an online retail store for arts and crafts materials. It has a large collection of diamond paintings as well as other supplies needed to tackle just about any project. One of its major selling points is the 100% refund offer on purchases within 30 days if you are not satisfied with your purchase. This has made it an attractive proposition to customers wary of online purchases.

Tools and Accessories for Diamond Painting

Tools

1.    Drills and Pens: There is no way you can carry out diamond painting without the applicator pen. The pen is of two types: the wax pens and the drill pens. The drill pen is the usual one found in just about every diamond art kit. There is a need to dip it in wax before using it to pick up diamonds. While the wax pen applies wax to the diamond automatically. Just that it needs to be sharpened when low on wax.

2.    Light pad: The light pad is important as it eliminates the need to strain your eyes. Also, it ensures that each drill is placed in its exact spot. This reduces mistakes and as a result, creates perfect artwork.

3.    Glue or Wax: Glue or wax is an essential part of the diamond painting tools. It is responsible for the adhesion between the pen and the diamond drill, making sure the drill does not fall off.

Accessories

4.    Craft Tables and Easels: For a perfect diamond painting studio, you absolutely need a dedicated craft table or easel. Some of the features of a stand diamond painting table include smooth surface, angled and adjustable height, transparent surface and storage compartments.

5.    Ergonomic Chairs: This might not look like an obvious area of need, but it is paramount considering the hours that go into diamond painting. Without a doubt, sitting for a long period of time can have effects on your posture and health generally. Hence, it is important you get a pretty comfortable chair with an armrest and adjustable backrest.

6.    Storage Compartments: Your diamond painting studio is not complete without proper storage for your tools, especially diamonds. We have discussed ways by which you can store your diamonds above, but you still need storage for your applicator pen and other tools. This will increase their lifespan and make them reusable.

FAQ

Q. Difference Between Full Drill and Partial Drill?

A. Full drill requires you to cover the whole of the canvas with diamonds. This means that when you are done, the canvas will not be visible from the outside again. While partial drill on the other hand requires you to put diamonds on some parts of the canvas. These parts will have special symbols on them while the empty parts of the canvas serve as background.

Q. What Does Each Kit Include?

A. As mentioned earlier, each diamond painting kit might have different compositions but there are some supplies that are constant. They are:

  1. A pre-printed canvas.
  2. Diamond pen tool.
  3. Color diamonds.
  4. Wax pad.
  5. Pair with extra-sharp tweezers.

Q. How do I Seal a Diamond Painting?

A. Sealing of diamond painting helps to lock the drills in place and ensures its longevity. The most effective seal is the brush-on sealers. They fill the spaces between your diamonds by acting as glue. Below are the steps for sealing your finished diamond painting

Step 1: Straighten your painting by applying weight to it for an extended period of time. You can also achieve this by using a rolling pin.

Step 2: Dip your brush into any brush-on sealer of your choice (though the popular choice is Mod Podge).

Step 3: Apply the sealer on your painting broadly. At first, it comes off like white glue but starts to look more transparent the longer it stays.

Q. How do  I  Pick the  Perfect  Picture for a  Custom  Diamond Painting?

A. Choosing perfect pictures for custom diamond painting will determine everything about the diamond painting that comes out from it. Below are a few steps you need to follow to get it right.

Step 1: Go for simple, large, high-quality photos only: This step is very important as it determines the quality of the resulting diamond painting. Also, note that the more complex the photo is, the tougher it is to craft a top-notch diamond painting from it.

Step 2: Pay close attention to the colors and tone of the photo: This allows you to get a good grip of where every tile of the diamond will be without stressing yourself. Also, it will help you take note of the color differences that occur due to the magnification of the diamond painting.

Step 3: Get the perfect canvas for your photo: Think of the right canvas size and orientation for your photo. Should it be landscape, portrait, or square canvas? How big should it be? These are questions you should ask yourself with respect to what you have in your original photo.

Q. How do  I  Frame a  Diamond  Painting?

A. The finishing aspect of the diamond painting ends when you frame it. The framing allows you to display your creativity in any part of your home or workplace. Below are the common methods with which you can frame your diamond painting.

1) Stretch  Bars: The use of stretch bars is a more DIY approach to framing. It is super easy as you only need to stretch your finished painting over wooden pieces and use staple guns to hold it firm. Then, fix a wall-mounting material on the stretch bar for easy hanging.

2) Mount on  Foam  Board: This is another super easy DIY hanging method albeit one that involves a bit of measuring and cutting. This method requires you to get a foam board and cut it to the same size as your canvas (leaving out the canvas border). Then, fold the border to the back of the foam board and glue firmly.

3) Use  Magnetic  Hangers: The simplest method of all the options. You just need to get a pair of a wooden magnetic hanger, cut out the size you need for your painting and attach them at the top!

Wrapping  Up

Diamond painting might be the darling of crafters in some parts of the world; it is still a relative innovation in some parts too. Also, even in the areas where it is popular, there is still lots of information hidden about this creative gem. Hence, the importance of this ultimate guide containing just about everything you need to know about Diamond painting.

Author Profile

Christina Amerson has an English degree from the University of Austin, Texas. And she's obsessed with all things arts & crafts.