Diamond Painting, a cross between cross stitch and paint by number, has been around for several years now. Diamond Painting is applying resin gems known as “drills” to an art canvas using a provided color key. Some kits will use DMC color codes for the drills while others will not. Canvases come in a large variety of sizes and can be purchased from many different companies all over the world.
Diamond Painting kits come with everything you need to complete the project: the canvas, drills, a drill tray and drill pen. To get started in this hobby you need nothing more than the kit. That said, as you complete more paintings you will likely find the need to add to your tools and replace some kit tools with others. More about that later on – I’ll be adding a video discussing this soon.
Quality & Size . . .
Here’s a look at the very first DP kit I did back in 2015. This was purchased from a company in China. Let me say that Diamond Painting kits have come a long way since then and the quality can vary based upon where you purchase from!
The painting above actually has a dream catcher and two wolves in it. As you can see, only one wolf is easily seen and the dream catcher is not well defined either. The painting area is about 10×10 inches in size.
Size does matter when it comes to Diamond Paintings! When buying a kit think about the detail that is shown in the example. The more detail in an image, the larger size you want to buy. For small canvas sizes you want larger up close and simple designs. For something like scenery you need to buy the largest canvas you can afford. All around, a 30cm by 30cm is considered a small or “snack” size and should be for larger simple designs.
Here are two Diamond Paintings I did for Christmas this year after rediscovering the craft. These were purchased from Amazon and are 30cm x 40cm (9.75″ by 13.75″ drill area). As you can see, the designs are not that complicated and they show well when finished. Much nicer than the wolf kit!
It’s also good to note that when a company gives sizes for a design and do not show the actual canvas – this irritates me lol – that the actual painting area will be from an inch to two inches smaller on all sides.
Here are links to the Gnome kits in case you want to give one or both a try! These were both under $10 at the time of purchase. I enjoyed both kits and would happily suggest them for a first time kit!
Tools . . .
Every Diamond Painting kit comes with a basic tool kit. These are basic tools and all you need to complete a painting.
Basic tool kit includes: drill pen, drill tray, wax
The drills (diamonds) will come in bags and will be labeled with a color number on the outside of the bag. Some kits will include small zip style bags to put the drills inside and some will also include small stickers to put on the zip style bags.
With some kits the diamond colors are matched to DMC floss colors and if so, that number will also be listed on the drill bags and/or the canvas key guide. Some think this is a huge deal? My opinion …. I’ve not seen the need for that color number in any way. I’m thinking those that care about this must save left over drills/diamonds and sort them by the DMC numbers. And this group must also use the left over drills for other projects. This is just one of several “personal preference” things in this hobby.
Diamond/Drill Shape . . .
Last but not least, Diamond Painting kits come in two drill shapes: Round or Square. At this time I’ve worked with both and my personal preference is to go with Round drills. This could change over time as I work more kits and I do believe that one is no better than the other but it’s a personal preference thing.
Looking at the examples below you will see round drills on the left and square drills on the right.
This is my opinion on using round over square. You eye will see round as round and square as square so on an image with a lot of curves, your eye will see the curve as an actual curve with round but will see a jagged edge on a curve with square drills. Sometimes this matters a lot and sometimes it doesn’t.
Square drills do not stick to the drill pen as well as rounds will so you can easily drop drills on the canvas where you don’t want them. With round drills you can pick them up with the pen at any angle and place them perfectly but with square drills you must pick them up at the correct angle and be careful when placing them so they are not crooked on the canvas. It can take a bit of practice placing the square drills and sort of forces you to go slower while working.
Again looking at the example above, you can see a difference in how much of the canvas shows between the drills. Square drills are complete coverage while some of the canvas shows between the round drills. For some this is a big deal, for others it isn’t. Another personal preference thing. I don’t believe one is better than the other, it just comes down to what you personally like. My suggestion is to get two small kits, one round and one square and see what you like best.
All that said, Diamond Painting is a fantastic and affordable craft during these unusual times. The simple act of placing pretty diamond gems on a canvas to create art can be very relaxing and satisfying. It’s easy to drift away and forget your troubles while working.
Stay tuned as I’ll be doing some unboxing videos from various purchase sources and showing some fun kits in the future.
Here’s a little introductory video for you . . .
If you decide that you love this craft after working on a few, here’s a little video with some alternate tools you might consider picking up!
Happy Crafting . . .