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The Must Know About Diamond Painting

What Is Diamond Painting?

Diamond paintings are easy art projects/hobby and a great way to relax for stress free fun, and to get creative. It’s a way of working on something beautiful you can hang on your wall to impress your family and friends. Diamond painting is similar to paint by numbers in many ways. One way it differs however is that rather than using paint to create your piece of artwork you stick small diamond shaped resin pieces onto your sticky pre-printed canvas sheet. Those resin pieces than shine in the light creating a sparkling effect on the finished artwork that is absolutely stunning.

Diamond painting goes by many different names so it can be a bit confusing at first when reading about techniques and following different instructions online. Some of these names include:

  • Diamond Painting
  • 3D Diamond Painting
  • 5D Diamond Painting
  • Diamond Paint By Numbers
  • Diamond Dots 
  • Diamond Dotz
  • Stone Painting
  • Mosaic Painting
  • Diamond Embroidery
  • Mosaic Embroidery

I’m sure there is a few that I’ve missed. To add to the confusion, the diamonds used in diamond painting are often referred to as “drills” because of the unique manufacturing method used to create them.

Also, there are two types of drills or diamonds to choose from when selecting your image in most cases. Round drills and square drills. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type later in this guide. 

Diamond painting art is a wonderful and fairly new artistic outlet for crafters of all ages. One of the more popular names for this style of art is 5D Diamond Painting because of the 5 sides of the diamond being used. Similar in nature to mosaics, cross stitch and paint-by-numbers, this new art form utilizes its jewel-like aspects to make bright, shimmering images that radiate with color. 

Diamond painting involves the use of very small, reflective, diamond or gem-shaped resin pieces that when placed together create a stunning work of art. The gems reflect light creating a beautiful image that shimmers in the sun. The process of working to create the image would be somewhat similar to a large scale pixel art piece where each dot or diamond in this case is placed one-by-one.

Applying the stones or drills as they are called, is a process that is really quite a relaxing task and can help you unwind after a long hard day at work. Diamond painting kits are available in a wide array of sizes and styles so that crafters of all ability levels can discover and learn to appreciate this awarding art form. 

Why Do Diamond Paintings Make for Wonderful Hobby Ideas

When it comes to finding new and unique hobbies, diamond painting is at the top of the list. It’s fairly new to the hobby world and has really grown over the last ten years. There aren’t a lot of cool hobbies out there that appeal to teenagers but this is one that allows them to create something beautiful and unique to them that they can then hang on their wall.

It’s a relaxing and invigorating way to express your creativity and create something beautiful. What really makes it such a perfect hobby idea is the fact that it is easy enough for almost any age over six in my opinion. 

Diamond paintings are hobby ideas that appeal to everyone. It can often be challenging to find fun hobby ideas for men but because you get to pick the painting you work on, it’s easy to choose something that appeals to everyone. Other hobby ideas for men can be expensive or require special equipment. 

Winter can be a great time to start a new indoor hobby and that is really where diamond art shines. Most indoor hobbies such as painting, learning a musical instrument or other adult hobbies can end up costing a lot of money. The nice thing about diamond painting is that everything you need comes with your canvas in one package!

It really is one of the best types of hobbies available on the market today and one of the most unique hobbies as well. 

Diamond Painting Instructions

But in reality, we can break down the process from beginning to end into more steps to make it very straightforward for any beginners out there; just so you feel confident about exactly how to create your project.  

  1. Ensure you have all the needed tools
  2. Remove the canvas from the kit and flatten it out gently 
    • Click here to see tips on flattening out your canvas the right way
    • Remember that it does not need to be perfectly flat as it will naturally flatten as you apply the diamonds. That being said, it is certainly easier to work with the flatter it is. 
    • Set out your diamonds so they are easily accessible and quick to work with. If you plan on using a storage box for your diamonds than now is a good time to get them sorted. 
  3. Prepare your first color by placing it in the sorting tray and gently moving it back and forth. The idea is to get the diamonds to line up with the flat portion sitting on the bottom of the tray. 
  4. Peel back the protective cover on one of the small rectangular pen wax pieces. Stick the end of the applicator pen into the wax and then touch the waxy end onto a gem. The wax is good for a number for a while so no need to get more wax until it loses its stickiness. 
  5. Place the gem (using the applicator pen) onto the canvas using the coded color guide
  6. Repeat step 6 until the wax stops sticking to the gems. At this point remove the remaining wax from the end of the pen and stick the pen end into the wax renewing the stickiness. 
  7. Alternatively, you can use the tweezers (if they are included in your particular kit or you have a pair at home) to place the individual diamonds. 
  8. Another alternative is to use the bulk-diamond placement tool while attached to the end of the pen to place multiple diamonds at once. 
  9. Continue steps 6 and 7, 8 and 9 until the canvas is full. 
  10. Store any remaining gems in a labeled storage container with sections for use in future projects. 
  11. At this point, I like to put a tea towel on top of the art piece and gently but firmly run a rolling pin over everything to help fix all the diamonds in place.  
  12. Gently wipe down the top of the art piece with a damp (not wet) cloth to remove any remaining wax or smudges on the diamonds themselves. This will help bring out the natural shine of the image. 
  13. Your project is now ready to frame if you choose! 

You can also check out this guide as well click here!

How is Diamond Painting Similar to Cross Stitch?

Cross stitch is an age old art craft that uses a counting system to determine the location of X-shaped stitches on a piece of fabric. The difference between diamond painting and cross stitch is that for cross stitch the canvas is any chosen fabric and the diamonds are instead X-shaped thread stitches. In diamond painting a color coded guide is used to determine the location of the diamonds. In cross stitch numbers determine the location of each individual stitch. Both diamond painting and cross stitching are generally sold as kits but basic supplies, pieces and tools can be purchased as well. 

What’s Generally Included in the Diamond Painting Art Kits?

Most diamond art packages contain the same basic tools to help facilitate the projects. 

  • Coded art canvas
  • All the needed jewels to finish each piece plus extras in case some are lost during the artistic process or eaten by your cat.
  • Diamond applicator pen
  • Wax sheets
  • Tweezers
  • Sorting Tray

What is the Difference Between Full Drill and Partial Drill?

A “Full Drill” canvas completely fills the image with diamonds. Every inch of the completed image from the top to the bottom (with the exception of the border) is made up of diamonds. 

A “Partial Drill” canvas will have some areas that are filled with diamonds and will also have some areas that are simply color printed images in ink. 

A full drill image is far more pleasing to work on and offers a much nicer finished project in my opinion. 

What’s the Difference Between Round Diamonds and Square Diamonds?

Round Drills (diamonds)

Round drills have a rounded shape to their tops. 


  • They are generally easier to work with and more forgiving as you place them next to other drills. 
  • They are faster to place which means you get your piece completed faster. 
  • They have a tendency to stick to the diamond applicator pen a bit better than square drills which again will increase the speed at which you can complete your project
  • Generally, a good choice for younger children or children with difficulty focusing. Round drills may also be a good starting choice for individuals who have difficulty with motor skills. 


  • Round drills leave small gaps between adjacent drills. 
  • Paintings tend to have a bit less of a professional feel to them when looked at carefully and up close. 
  • The small corner gaps allow for an area where dust and dirt can become trapped.

Square Drills (diamonds)

Square drills have a square shape to their bottoms. 


  • They give a more complete and professional feel to the finished painting
  • An incredibly satisfying “SNAP” sound can often be heard when placing a square drill in an empty hole in the canvas. A nice “CLICK” feel goes along with that snap sometimes. 
  • They line up with adjacent drills better giving a more “full” look and feel both up close and from a distance.  


  • More patience is required to pick up and place down the drills. 
  • This could really be a con or pro depending on who you are but projects tend to take longer to complete when compared to round drills. This is partly because of the importance of placing the drill directly on its associated square and partly because it can be slightly more difficult to get the pen to pick up the square drill.  

How to Improve Your Diamond Painting Experience

  • Inspect your diagram and legend carefully before you start. The bundles of jewels are labeled so it can help to mark each pack of colored diamonds with the image utilized for that shading. This helps to quickly identify the right bag for the right shading area as you work. Use a labeled storage container to make diamonds easier to work with and neater to store. 
  • The canvas will be covered with a protective plastic film. Only remove a small portion of the film at a time not removing more until you have filled that area. This helps keep the area under the film sticky and free from dust or dirt. 
  • Some feel it is easiest to work bottom to top. I prefer top to bottom as the bottom then remains pliable while hanging off the table onto my lap. If the bottom half is filled with diamonds I have to ensure it stays completely on the table forcing me to work above the canvas instead of sitting comfortably in my chair. Experiment to see what works best for you.
  • If you are right handed it is easiest to work from right to left on the canvas. This prevents your sweater or shirt from leaving unsightly pieces of lint on the sticky sheet. Left handed individuals may find it easiest to work left to right for the same reason. 

What Are Drills in Diamond Painting

Drills are another word for the diamonds used in diamond painting. They are the small gems used to cover the canvas. The word drill came about from the manufacturing processes used to create the colored plastic pieces and the drills are made out of small pieces of colored resin.

Diamond Painting Techniques

Think there’s only one way to place your diamonds? Think again! There has been a rather heated online debate over what really is the best way to place your diamonds though. Some say left to right, some say bottom to top and others like to start in the middle. The bottom line here is that there really is no wrong way to place your diamonds.

There is however a common method and an advanced method of completing all of these techniques. The common method is to place all the diamonds of similar color in the area you are working on all at the same time. The advanced method is to place each different colour as you come across it on your canvas. This can be challenging and very time consuming but is a fun way of working on the project if you like to draw out it’s completion.

Left to Right or Piece By Piece

Place your first diamond and continue piece by piece working from left to right. At the end of the row; start over at the beginning of the next row. Continue until you complete your canvas. 

Alternatively, you can alternate working left to right and right to left in a more efficient manner.

Top Down – Bottom Up

Personally, I like to start at the top and work my way down. This allows me to push the canvas away from myself as I fill it so that I don’t have the completed part of the canvas hanging off the table in my lap. Starting at the top left of the page place your first drill than work piece by piece down the page. Once at the bottom line, move one column right and begin working your way up again. Once you reach the top line, move to the next column and start working towards the bottom again. Repeat this process until you complete your canvas. 

Hopscotch or the Checkerboard Pattern

Place your first diamond then move down one space and then to the right one space. Place your next drill then move back to the left one space and down one space. Place your next diamond. Continue as you make a checkerboard pattern. Once complete, go back and fill in the missing diamonds. 

With each diamond you place you may hear a click. There is something magical about feeling the click of the diamond as it fills the empty spot between previously placed diamonds. This is what makes this method so satisfying. Using the checkerboard pattern increases the number of times you get to fill in the spaces with diamonds on all sides. 

Grid-Tied or Farm Plot

This one is very straightforward and almost as satisfying as the “Checkerboard” method.  Create six by six empty squares and then fill them in one by one using the 5-diamond pen tip attachment where possible. 

Diamond Painting “How To’s

How to Protect the Diamond Painting Canvas Edges

Sometimes your sleeve can rub along the sticky area of the canvas edge getting fuzz and lint attached to it. Here is a quick and easy way to prevent this from happening. 

Simply tape the edges of the canvas where the sticky area is using Washi Tape or a leftover piece of canvas cover from any previous diamond paintings you’ve done. Just cut the canvas into small tape-sized pieces. You can also use wax paper when in a pinch or if this is your very first diamond painting and you haven’t had the chance to save canvas cover in the past.

How to Neatly Lineup Stray Diamonds in the Row

Using a flat edge such as a ruler or credit card, place it against the line of drills and press it gently but firmly to line up any out of order diamonds. We also have these drill correctors here.

How to Flatten Your Diamond Painting Canvas

Sometimes the canvas can be difficult to flatten after arriving rolled in its shipping box. There are a number of different tricks you can use to flatten it back out to its former state. Creases in the canvas should also disappear as you place your diamonds. 

  • Partially peel back each corner of the canvas approximately halfway. Now replace that cover backing the way it was. Repeat this for the other half of the canvas. This simply helps remove some of the creases created through the cellophane cover adhesion process. Your canvas should be much straighter now and your ready to begin pressing your jewels onto your canvas
  • Use some books as weights. Lay them on top of your rolled out canvas overnight.
  • Tape your canvas to the table as you work on your art piece. 
  • Unroll the canvas and re-roll is in the opposite direction it was in originally. 
  • Some people suggest misting the backside of the canvas with paper then taping it to the table with the misted side up. They then let it sit overnight. I would suggest working with caution if you’re going to try this method and ensure you don’t over mist to the point where it becomes wet. It should just be slightly damp to the touch. I would only use this technique as a last resort. 

How to Fix Air Bubbles in the Canvas

At Easy Shop N Save we aim for the highest quality of products we can produce, however from time to time we miss something and you may find a small air bubble creeping under the sticky layer of your canvas. A simple and easy way to fix this is to gently score the sticky layer (be careful not to cut into the canvas backing) with a sharp razor blade, releasing the captured air and then press the cut areas down gently. 

How to Fix Diamonds that are Stuck Together

Every once in a while you may come across diamonds that have stuck together during the manufacturing process and may need to be broken apart. An easy way to do this is to use something hard to press into the sorting container. See the video for more details. 

Organizing and Storing Your Diamond Painting Diamonds

Our 5D diamond paintings come with a large number of different colours of diamonds. It can be nice to have somewhere to store these diamonds between sessions of painting. Here is a fantastic idea that makes storing your diamonds easy and satisfying

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Have Enough Diamonds to Complete the Canvas?

Yes! Most kits include far more diamonds of each color than is necessary to complete the image. This is to ensure that if you lose a few that you can still complete the canvas in its entirety. That being said. If you do find that you’ve lost too many or that you are short a few you have two options. 

  1. You can contact the store and they will happily send out more to you. Just be aware that it may take time to get them in the mail. 
  2. At the end of your project, after all diamonds are placed you can have a look at what colors are left and substitute a similar color for those that are missing. Sometimes this can be a good solution and sometimes it doesn’t work out. This may not be the ideal solution but it does allow you to complete your painting right away. 

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Diamond Painting?

The length of time it will take you to complete your painting will vary depending on the size of the canvas you are covering, your proficiency with the diamond pen tool and your level of patience with the overall project. 

If you’re someone who likes to watch TV while working on a painting this can slow things down and I usually won’t do more than an hour at a time so it’s hard to really gauge how long it takes. Much of the time required varies based on how carefully you place your diamonds on the canvas as well but here is a very rough guide to give some general idea of the length of time required. 

SMALL 30cm (11in) x 40cm (15in) = approximately 2-3 hours

MEDIUM 50cm (20in) x 60cm (24in) = approximately 6-10 hours

LARGE 80cm (31in) x 100cm (40in) = approximately 12-20+ hours

Diamond Painting Completion Times

What is the Best Size for Diamond Paintings?

One of the most frequently asked questions is “What Size Diamond Painting Should I Buy?”. There really is no “best size” or “right size” per se however there are certainly some specific characteristics that help make one size different than the other. For instance, one could argue that the larger the painting the better looking your final project will be. This is because similar to pixel art, diamond art presents a clearer, more defined image as the number of diamonds used to create the image increases. 

Some feel the larger pieces offer a more clean and professional look as well. I’m not completely sold on this idea as I have seen some fabulous medium sized pieces that have really brought life to the wall they were hung on. That being said, completing the piece with a proper frame can make a world of difference in the completed look of the project as well. 

Bigger is not always better though, especially when it comes to working with the canvas. With a larger canvas you need a larger work space and that workspace may be occupied for days or even weeks and sometimes even months. That can be a lot of working realestate to have tied up in your home for such a long time. 

A larger piece of work will also require a larger wall space in order to properly display it where as a medium sized piece can be placed anywhere throughout the home. 

Larger or smaller will really depend on the individual and their needs or desires. Try them both and then make a habit of doing the type you like best!

How Much Space Do I Need to Work On a Diamond Painting?

The amount of space you will need to work comfortably on your diamond painting will depend on which size you order. If you are limited on space than perhaps select a medium or small canvas. If you are short on space but still want a larger piece to work on maybe consider a multi-panel piece. These are beautiful pieces that are segmented into smaller, more workable sizes. 

Some people prefer to have a designated area where they can set up their diamond painting supplies and canvas so that they are able to work on them at their leisure rather than having to get everything out and put it away again each time they sit down to place diamonds. A diamond painting desk can facilitate this and really makes the whole activity even more fun. 

How Do I Follow the Color Guide to Know What Color Goes Where?

The guide shows which colored diamond corresponds to which symbol on the canvas. The colored diamonds are placed into the square with the corresponding symbol. It’s important to follow this guide carefully and check often that you are using the correct diamond for the symbol you are covering. Some symbols can look very similar, so take care, pay attention and work slowly at first. 

Diamond Painting Color Code List

How Do I Use the Diamond Pen?

To use the diamond applicator or diamond pen, simply peel back the protective layer on the pen wax.

Diamond Painting Pen Lifting Wax

Stick the end in the wax.

Diamond Painting Sticking Pen in Wax
Diamond Painting Showing Pen in Wax

Use the waxed tip to pick up and stick the diamonds to the canvas.

Diamond Painting Showing Drill Sticking to Pen Tip 1
Diamond Painting Showing Drill Sticking to Pen Tip 2

 Some kits come with a multi-diamond attachment. In this case simply stick the attachment on the end of the pen and then use the pen to stick the attachment into the wax. Now pick up 3-5 diamonds from the sorting tray and apply them to the canvas. 

How Do I Stick the Diamonds to the Paper?

Sticking your diamonds onto the paper is easy. Simply pull back a small portion of the film that is covering your canvas to expose the sticky portion of the canvas. Now stick some tacky wax gum that comes with your kit on the end of the setting tool or pen as in the previous section. To do this just press the end of the pen into the wax. Now using the waxed pen, touch the top of one of the diamonds with the pen and it should stick to the end. Now press the diamond on the designated square that matches the color code. Press firmly to secure the diamond to the tacky paper. Pull the pen away and your diamond should remain firmly fixed to the paper. Now pick up another diamond and press it to the canvas. Repeat until your wax loses its stickiness then replace your wax with fresh wax and continue the process until your canvas is completely covered with diamonds. 

Final Thoughts

Diamond painting is a great way to relieve stress at the end of a long, hard day. Check out our huge and beautiful selection to decide what your next diamond art project will be! Happy sticking!

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