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Diamond Painting for Beginners

What is Diamond Painting?

People have told me they started painting after first doing some diamond art projects. I had no idea what diamond art was, so I decided to do some research which led me to buying a few kits to try my own diamond painting.

Diamond painting doesn’t actually involve painting or, sadly, diamonds. It is more like a cross between a paint by number and a cross stitch project. 

The the diamond painting kits come with a preprinted canvas that has tiny, sticky squares that are numbered to correspond to colored plastic tiles or diamonds. 

The canvas is covered with a plastic film that you peel back as you go. The film protects the sticky surface of the canvas until you have covered it with diamonds. 

diamond painting of a lighthouse with pens, tray and diamonds
Large diamond painting in progress.

For larger canvases, you can cut strips in the film to expose smaller sections at a time. It’s easier than peeling back an entire length or width to access a section. (I found cutting the strips really difficult, but holding something with my shaky hand while trying to cut it probably wasn’t the best idea!)

The diamonds have a flat back and are cut on angles that catch the light and sparkle like “diamonds”. The diamonds can be either square or round.

The kit also comes with a pen like tool, a square of red wax and a small tray to hold the diamonds you are woking with. You pick up some wax with the pen and use this to pick up the tiny diamonds.

The diamonds are then placed on the corresponding sticky squares to complete a picture. Depending upon the size of your canvas, it can take hours, days or weeks to complete.

I purchased two kits, one with square diamonds and one with round diamonds to try out both. I also purchased an accessory kit and I am so glad I did. 

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If you prefer to watch the process, check out my YouTube video below.

Diamond Painting Accessories

This accessory kit came with two sets of little boxes, kind of like pill boxes, that you can use to store the little diamonds in. There are 28 little boxes in each set so more than enough to store the diamonds for your project.

diamond painting accessory kit with trays, wax, pens, storage containers and storage bag
Diamond Painting Accessory Kit from Amazon

You can label the boxes with the corresponding numbers for your diamonds and just pour a portion of them into the tray that comes with your kit when working with them. It’s easy to pour the leftovers back into the box when you are done.

The accessory kit also comes with extra pens that have wider ends for picking up more than one diamond at a time. This will save you time if you have a lot of squares with the same number to fill. You can use this tool to place the diamonds in multiple squares at a time.

Diamond Painting with a Disability

My main interest in checking out this diamond painting craft was to see how difficult it was for someone with a movement disorder to do. I have Parkinsons, so I expected this to be difficult with trying to manipulate tiny squares into other tiny squares.

The actual diamond painting itself was not all that difficult. The hardest part for me was filling the little tray provided with diamonds without spilling them. I also frequently tipped over the tray. 

small green tray containing round blue diamonds for diamond painting and a white diamond painting pen
The diamonds are kept in a tray for easy access.

I kept a damp paper towel handy to wet my finger and pick up all of the spilled diamonds. I found the diamonds generated a lot of static and kept sticking to the tray which was kind of annoying.

Overall, this craft is achievable even if you are a little shaky or have some trouble controlling your movements. It just requires some patients and more time than the average person would need.

Sizes and Shapes

The large diamond painting I did, which was 40 x 50 cm (approx. 16 x 20 inches), took me about 40 hours to do. This one had square diamonds.

The smaller painting, which was 30 x 40 cm (approx. 12 x 16 inches) took about 15 hours. This one had round diamonds. 

The numbers on the round kit also correspond to DMC colours used in cross stitch. You can also use this pattern to make a cross stitch project if you are a cross stitcher. There is even a DMC color chart book available on Amazon.

dmc color chart book
DMC Color Chart Book available on Amazon

The round diamonds were easier to pick up but I know a lot of people prefer the square ones because they fit together more snuggly. I honestly didn’t see a big difference in the finished projects using round or square diamonds.

I would recommend you start with a smaller painting to see if you like this craft and figure out if it’s something that doesn’t raise your frustration level too much. You can find kits that are very small to extremely large and an endless array of designs. I purchased mine at Amazon, but they are available in most craft stores and many web sites specializing in diamond painting.

My Finished Projects

dragonfly diamond painting
Dragonfly Diamond Painting
lighthouse diamond painting
Lighthouse Diamond Painting

My Overall Impression of Diamond Painting

I probably wouldn’t do another diamond painting. It just wasn’t something I enjoyed doing. I would much rather play with real paint.

However, I think diamond painting is a great pastime for those who do enjoy it. The repetitive task of covering squares is kind of meditative and you end up with a beautiful, sparkling picture. 

small green tray holding tiny red squares for diamond painting

One thing that did bother me about this craft is the amount of diamonds left over. There were a lot left over from each painting and if you do several of these, that’s a lot of little bits of plastic that end up in a landfill.

A quick google search led me to several sites that suggest ideas to use up these little plastic bits. You can use them to make ornaments, other paintings, crafts for kids, etc. Much better than throwing them in a landfill.

Here are a couple of sites with some great ideas for using up these drills.

Paint with Diamonds

Diamond Painting Guide

This is a very brief review of diamond painting from a beginners perspective. Give it a try if you are looking for something different and don’t be intimidated if you have a physical disability. You never know what you can do until you try.

Thanks for reading.

Digital signature Marilyn with butterfly

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