Everyone wants to make the most out of their free time. So, why not try a new hobby, like diamond painting?
Diamond paintings are so strikingly beautiful that it's hard to believe that making one is so easy. All you need to do is just follow the pattern on the diamond painting kit—anyone can do it!
In this article, we're going to cover everything there is to know about diamond paintings. We'll also answer frequently asked questions and share a few handy tips.
Overview: What Is Diamond Painting?
Diamond painting is a craft that's similar to cross-stitching. Instead of using thread, you glue glossy resins on a canvas. The art form is sometimes called "3D/5D diamond art," "diamond embroidery," or "paint with diamonds." Each gem is about 2.5 mm big, allowing you to create finely detailed works of art.
Diamond art has only been around since 2015, but it's already become a popular hobby among adults and children. Compared to most art forms, diamond painting is quite easy. You can create a beautiful piece of art with minimal practice or experience. It's also quite relaxing and therapeutic.
If you're looking for a new hobby to fill up your spare time, this is a good option. Not only is it simple, but it's also highly rewarding.
Once you're finished putting your kit together, you'll have a beautiful piece of art that you can proudly hang on your wall and display for everyone to see!
What's Inside Your Diamond Painting Kit?
Most diamond painting kits will have the following materials:
● Preprinted canvas - This is where you will glue the resin. It's preprinted with numbers and symbols that will serve as your guide. The surface of the fabric is adhesive, allowing the flat side of the beads to stick.
● Resin diamonds - These are the stones that you will glue on the canvas. Each piece has a code that helps you tell which part on the canvas it should go. The best kits are those with extra-reflective diamonds because they'll create the most brilliant effect. You should also look for painting kits with extra beads, so you never run out of pieces in case you drop and lose some.
● Plastic tray - This is where you will keep the diamonds while you're working. Think of it as a palette board.
● Applicator tool - This is a pen tool that allows you to pick up the resin and stick them on the canvas. Manufacturers usually include more than one applicator for larger, more complicated diamond paintings.
● Tweezers - Some kits come with a pair of tweezers instead of an applicator tool. You can try both to learn which one you prefer. You can also use the tweezers to pluck out diamonds you've accidentally placed in the wrong spot.
● Wax - Dipping your applicator into the wax enables you to pick up the diamonds with ease. The wax usually has a plastic film.
● Diamond painting ruler - Do misaligned gems get you worked up? Then, using a diamond painting ruler is the solution. It keeps all your resins perfectly aligned as you're working. Note that not all kits come with this accessory, so you might need to buy one separately.
Get To Know Your Diamond Painting Terms
Just like any craft, diamond embroidery will require you to learn a few new terms or phrases. Read the glossary below to understand the jargon.
Square Drill vs. Round Drill
These terms refer to the shape of the diamonds or gems. Square drills refer to square resins, while round drills refer to round diamonds.
Round diamonds are easier to pick up and are better for beginners, but because of their shape, they leave "gaps" in the canvas.
Square drills can be laid side-by-side on a flat surface without leaving gaps in between. They create a fuller, cleaner look when viewed up close.
It all boils down to preference, so there's no right or wrong answer as to which is better!
Full Drills vs. Partial Drills
"Full drill" refers to diamond art that uses beads to complete the image, as well as the background. Those that are described as "partial drill" only make use of beads for certain parts of the picture. The resins are usually used to highlight details and make them stand out from the rest of the piece.
3D vs. 5D Diamonds
These terms refer to how many facets each resin has. 5D diamonds reflect light better than 3D ones because each piece is cut into five corners.
DMC is a brand of embroidery thread. Diamond painting colors are based on the DMC color chart.
Diamond Art: A Step-By-Step Guide
1. Pick a location where you can work comfortably. It should be a clean, well-lit place where you can easily find diamonds you accidentally drop.
2. Unpack the kit and lay down the canvas. Tape the corners on a flat surface.
3. Read the color chart and choose a starting point. Identify which diamonds you should use based on the color code, then pour them on your plastic tray. Organize them so that they're facing flat side down.
4. Dip your applicator tool in the wax.
5. Press the applicator on the round or square side of the diamond. Doing this allows you to pick up the diamonds.
6. Peel back the plastic film from the canvas section by section. Do not remove the cover completely. It protects the canvas from dirt and dust.
7. Lay down the diamond on its corresponding place on the canvas.
HOT TIP: Some designs include large sections with colors that are hard to see. Work on these for about an hour, then switch to working on lighter-colored parts. Doing this prevents fatigue and keeps your mind fresh.
8. If you are done for the day, clean the applicator tool. Cover your work-in-progress with a plastic film, as well.
9. Repeat the process until you are finished.
10. Use a damp cloth to wipe off the excess gel from diamonds and bring out their shine.
11. Some kits come with an extra protective film. Lay the plastic sheet on your canvas and press down using a rolling pin.
12. Lay heavy objects like books on the artwork overnight. Doing this flattens the painting and secures the resins into place.
13. Peel back the plastic film and remove the tape on the corners of the canvas. Your work is ready for display!
Tips For Making Beautiful Diamond Art
Putting together a diamond painting is easy, but there are ways to make the process a lot simpler. Follow the tips below.
TIP #1: Check Your Inventory
Before you begin, review your color chart and check if they match the diamonds you currently have. If there's a discrepancy, contact the seller immediately.
TIP #2: Keep It Sticky
If the adhesive on your canvas dries out, you can buy double-sided tape as a replacement. You can also dip the flat side of each diamond in glue before you stick it on your canvas.
TIP #3: Stay Nice And Clean
If your canvas gets dirty while you're working, wipe it with a damp cloth. Do not scrub the canvas to prevent damaging the adhesive surface.
Tip #4: Apply Sealant
Sealing the diamonds will help them stay in place once your project is done. You can use mod podge for this purpose.
You can buy mod podge in craft stores and home supply stores. Alternatively, you can use clear nail polish or spray glue to seal your painting.
Using a roller to apply the sealant to your painting is the easiest way. Keep the pressure light, since pressing too hard might cause some of the gems to shift or fall off.
Add glitter before it dries so that the painting retains its sparkle. If the sealant comes in a spray bottle, use short bursts to cover the entire art piece.
Tip #5: Keep It Lit
Sometimes, it's hard to see the patterns on your canvas, especially if you're working with darker colors. Use a light pad to solve this issue.
Tip #6: Careful With the Pressure
Always be gentle whenever you pick up the diamonds and stick them on canvas. If you apply too much pressure, the wax from your applicator will stick to the resin and make it lose its shine.
Tip #7: Get Rid Of Static
Keep a piece of dryer sheet with your resins to remove static. This helps the diamonds stick to the canvas.
Tip #8: Stay Organized
Keeping your drills organized is the key to diamond painting. You can use empty pill organizers or ice-cube trays. Some people even use empty egg cartons!
Tip #9: Use A Multi-Diamond Applicator
As much as you love the craft, picking up hundreds of diamonds one-by-one can be tiring. Buy a multi-applicator tool or wheel to speed up the process.
Tip #10: Try Toothpicks
If you're a perfectionist who values quality and precision, try using toothpicks instead of the usual diamond applicator. This gives you better control and allows you to affix the diamonds in its precise place.
Frequently Asked Questions About Diamond Art
What are the diamonds made of?
The "diamonds" are small resins that were cut into different facets so they can reflect light. When choosing a diamond painting kit, make sure to look for those that include eco-friendly materials.
What size canvas should I get?
It depends on your experience and commitment. It's best to start with a small canvas, so you can gauge if the hobby is for you. Once you get the hang of it, you can try more ambitious pieces.
Note that the smaller the image, the grainier the finished product will look. If you work with a larger image, the finished art piece will have a clearer appearance.
Can I iron out the wrinkles on the canvas?
Ironing the canvas is not the most recommended way to smoothen wrinkles since it might damage the fabric's adhesive layer. A safer approach is to tape all sides of the canvas on a flat surface and place heavy objects on it overnight. Try using books or paperweight to ensure that the fabric flattens evenly.
If you don't have books that are large enough to cover the entire canvas, you can try using an iron, but be sure to protect the fabric using a towel. Keep your iron's setting at its lowest, as well.
I can't pick up the diamond with the applicator. What's happening?
If you're having trouble picking up the diamonds, you might not be using enough wax. Also, try to be gentle with the pressure. The gems should stick to the nib easily.
How long does it take to complete a painting?
It depends on the size of the artwork. A 20 cm x 20 cm piece can take you about a week if you're a beginner. Some people can finish this within two days, especially if they're quite experienced.
Should I heat the wax?
The wax should stick inside the nib of your diamond applicator without being heated.
My wax has melted. What should I do?
If you live in an area with sweltering summers, there's a possibility that your wax will melt. Simply cool the wax in the fridge for a few minutes for it to harden.
Is there an alternative to using wax?
You can try blue tack as an alternative to wax, in case you find the latter difficult to use.
What's the best technique?
There are no strict rules for diamond painting, but the most basic technique is to start from the bottom and work your way up.
You can change it up a little once you're more experienced. Try starting with the outlines first, then filling in gaps as you go along. Some people also recommend the "checkerboard method," a style in which you skip spaces instead of laying beads side-by-side. Doing this creates a checkerboard you can fill in later.
There's no right or wrong method. As long as you fill up your entire canvas with diamonds, then it's all good!
Is diamond painting good for kids?
Diamond painting is an art form that older kids and adults can enjoy. Pick a simple, recognizable pattern for children, so they don't have to stress too much about finishing an enormous project.
Note that diamond painting is not recommended for toddlers under 36 months. The diamonds are small and bear the same appearance as candy—if they're not careful, they might confuse the beads for sweets. Make sure to supervise small children as they're working, as well.
How long will a diamond painting last?
Depending on the framing technique and the sealant you used, a diamond painting will last up to three years without any of the beads falling off. Feel free to retouch some parts of your work if you see that the diamonds are getting loose.
Be sure to dust off your painting regularly as well, to prevent dust from settling between the diamonds.
Get Into The Craft
Diamond painting is a fun and rewarding hobby. It allows you to do something relaxing and therapeutic during your spare time, which can do wonders for your mental health. You can even sell the finished products or give them away as gifts!
Getting started is easy—just order a kit online, and you're good to go. The only question left to ask is this: which picture do you want to paint?