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Diamond Painting, like many other craft style hobbies, has developed its own abbreviations and commonly used terms. When beginning your Diamond Painting journey, these terms can be rather confusing. When I began what I now call my “craft addiction”, I had no idea what a DMC Code was, the difference between partial and full kits, and so much more. This is a handy list of commonly used terms that you will find essential both in Diamond Painting as well as when talking with other Diamond Painters around the world. If you come across a term not listed in this glossary please reach out to the Craftibly Group on Facebook for Help!

Diamond Painting Glossary

Industry Terms and Tools

3D/5D: Most Diamond Painting companies will specify whether they are selling the common 3D Diamond Painting or 5D Diamond painting. What is the difference you may ask yourself? Well, it comes down to the number of facets (or cuts) on each drill. The more facets are directly related to the amount of sparkle each drill creates. A 5D Diamond Painting will create more shine and sparkle than a 3D Diamond Painting because the drills have more facets. Check out our selection of diamond drills here.

ABs: Aurora Borealis Drills have a special effect coated on them. They are great for creating extra shimmering effects on a Diamond Painting!

Centimeters: A common term I know, but most Diamond Paintings are measured using centimeters. The metric system is the unit of measure used in most countries. However, in America we use the imperial system, aka. inches. Craftibly measures to the closest inch, but will sometimes also list the centimeter measurements of a Diamond Paintings we offer.

Converting centimeters to inches can be a bit difficult, but there is a simple way to get an approximate conversion. Take the centimeter number, multiply that by 4, and then divide your answer by 10. For example, a 40-centimeter painting: 40 x 4 = 160, then 160/10 – 16. So a 40 centimeter Diamond Painting is approximately 16 inches.

Custom: Some sellers will offer to create custom Diamond Painting Kits. This process begins with the customer providing the image or photo. Then the seller breaks down the image into a pattern grid, prints on the canvas, adds adhesive, and then creates the kit to go with it.

Diamond Cross Stitch: Just another less popular term for Diamond Painting. The name came to be due to the similarity between Diamond Painting and Cross Stitch.

DMC Code: DMC is a brand that produces and selles embroidery floss in a wide selection of colors. The different colors are identified by a specific number. Diamond Painting drills are identified by the same numbers to depict the colors. When you see DMC or DMC Code, it is referring to the number style color code that corresponds to a particular drill color. The most popular DMC Code used in Diamond Painting is 310 which is the number associated for black. You can get charts and books of codes like this one reviewed by many Diamond Painting YouTubers.

Crystal/Rhinestone: This is used to describe a drill that appears more like a jewel or have a metallic appearance. This differs from the traditional resin drills that are cut and coated to create a shine. A majority of kits that utilize these drills are partials, although some full kits will feature these crystal style drills.

Diamond painting with varied sizes of diamond drills

Diamond Scoop: A diamond scoop is a spoon used to dip into your preferred diamond drill storage and scoop out diamonds to sprinkle into your tray.

Drill/Drills: The common term used for the resin style “diamonds” used when Diamond Painting.

Drill Pen: the tool used to pick up and place drills onto a Diamond Painting canvas that resembles a pen or pencil in shape and size. These pens can most commonly use two tips, one on each side. The most common of tips is a single drill tip that can only pick up one drill at a time. Decorative pens are an extension of your personality and a fun item to collect!

Drill Storage: Drill storage and labeling keeps your diamond drills organized so you can easily locate the color you need that corresponds with the symbol on the canvas. There are several options and preferences for diamond drill storage and organization.

Full Drill/Full: A Full Drill/Full Diamond Painting is a canvas that is covered entirely with drills. From corner to corner, you will not find an empty space where you are not asked to place a drill. Fulls are the preference of most diamond painters, while partials are great for beginners and diamond painting projects for kids.

Inventory: I am pretty sure we all understand what an inventory is, but it means different things in different industries. Our how-to guide discusses doing an inventory. When you receive a kit in the mail it is always recommended that you do an inventory of parts. To do this you should check to make sure you have an inventory list, all the tools needed, and the number of drill bags displayed on the inventory sheet.

Kit: Diamond painting kits include the canvas, diamond drills, wax, tray and pen so you can get started right away!

Light Pad: A light pad is a game-changer for diamond painters! A very thin and light-weight pad is placed under the diamond painting to show through the canvas and illuminate the area you are working on from underneath the image. This isn’t your mother’s Lite-Brite!

Magnifiers: Don’t let the small diamond drills keep you from enjoying diamond painting! Using a magnifier will help you to see the codes on the canvas and prevent eye strain. You can even get magnifiers with a light – even better for seeing the area you’re working on.

Multi-placer: This is usually on the other end of a diamond painting pen. You fill it with wax and can pick up a straight line of several diamonds at a time. This speeds up the process of completing large blocks of color. The smallest multi-placer picks up 3 diamond drills and they go up from there.

Partial Drill/Partial: This refers to a Diamond Painting where you place drills to illustrate the main part of an image while the rest of the canvas does not contain the pattern grid or adhesive. Partials are good for beginners, kids, or those looking for a quick project to work on.

This partial diamond painting allows the diamond drills to enhance intricate details

Roller: A rubber roller is used when the diamond painting is finished and is used to roll over the piece in each direction to make sure all of the diamond drills are secure.

Round/Round Drill: This describes one of the two most common drill shapes used in Diamond Painting. These are circular shaped drills that are flat on the bottom and cut on the top int shining facets. Round drills are said to be easier to place and sparkle more than square drills.

Special/Special Shape: Some Diamond Painting kits are classified as Special Shape Paintings. These are canvases that use a drill that is unique in shape or material. A majority of these are Partials. Crystal or Rhinestone drills are the most popular form of Special Shape Paintings.

Square/ Square Drill: One of the two most common shapes used for drills in a Diamond Painting. This describes the square shape. They are flat at the bottom and can contain a multitude of facets. Square drills are more challenging to place because if they are placed sideways they can keep you from placing other drills around it. Squares also create a more detailed image due to there not being any space between each drill.

Tray: A tool that comes in your kit, or can be purchased separately, that holds the diamonds while you Diamond Paint. Gently shaking the tray from side to side will separate, straighten, and flip the drills to make them easier to pick up.

Large blue tray with pen holder
Blue tray with pen holder

Tweezers: Tweezers are a common household tool, but essential for any diamond painter’s toolkit. We all make mistakes and tweezers allow you to carefully remove a diamond drill that has been placed in the wrong spot or placed incorrectly – not straight or upside down. These tweezers won’t be used for removing splinters!

Washi Tape: This was a new one for me and then I learned there is an endless supply of washi tape designs, colors and storage options. Washi tape is used around the edges of your diamond painting to keep a clean edge and is also great for matting, mounting and framing your finished works.

Wax: A colored sticky wax-like material that a diamond painter inserts their pen into in order to allow the pen to pick up and deposit drills.

Community Terms and Saying

Checkerboard: This term is used by many to describe a pattern of placing drills on a large area of the same color. Experienced Diamond Painters enjoy making a checkerboard pattern with the drills where they skip every other space. Once the area has been covered with this pattern, they fill in the empty spaces. This seems to create straighter columns and rows.

Confetti: Used to illustrate the area of a Diamond Painting with multiple different colors where it seems random and looks like confetti close up, yet when viewed at a distance creates a detailed image with shading and depth.

Example of confetti in diamond painting
A sprinkling of color is often referred to as confetti

Click: Also called “snap” is the sound and feel that comes from placing a square drill snugly into a spot that is surrounded by other drills. Diamond Painters have said that this sound and feeling is very satisfying.

Diamond Pox: This is a humorous term created by Diamond Painters to describe when you find random different color drills on your body or skin. Sometimes used when the painter accidentally spills drills in their lap.

DP: The acronym used to shorten Diamond Painting. This can be used in both the noun or verb tense.

Junk/Trash: Producing drill and checking for misshapen ones is a tedious process. Most kits will come with more drills than you will need. Junk/Trash are terms used in the Diamond Painting community that refers to misshapen drills not usable when completing a canvas.

Hitchhiker/Stowaway: Each drill bag is full of multiple drills all of the same color. A Hitchhiker is when there is a different color inside a drill bag. Diamond Painters use this for example when they find a yellow drill in a bag full of black drills.

Kit Up: This is used to depict the process of starting a new Diamond Painting. This process includes unrolling the canvas, cutting cover into sections, as well as putting drills into new containers and labeling them.

Popping: Popping is a term used when drills that are not firmly placed on the canvas adhesive pop off. This is something that happens to all diamond painters, though it is more common in cheaply made Diamond Paintings. This most often happens due to over-sized or misshapen drills. It can also happen due to weak adhesive, adhesive bubbles, creases in the canvas, or a combination of any of the above.

Sealing: A number of experienced diamond painters prefer to seal their finished canvases with either glue or a spray-on sealer. There are a multitude of sealers that can be used, however sealing a painting is not necessary, especially if they are being framed behind glass. Sealing is recommended if you experience any popping of drills.

Stash: This refers to the collection of Diamond Painting Kits you have not started on or completed. Many painters order more than one canvas at a time and store them for later. I personally have a stash of five at all times.

“Trust The Process”: Working up close to a project that is meant to be clear when looking at from a distance can lead to feeling uncertain of how it is going to turn out. This term is commonly used in the Diamond Painting Community to let people know to trust that the final image is going to look amazing, even if working up close may look a little off.

WIP: A common term used and is an acronym for Work In Progress. This is used to describe a Diamond Painting that is in the process of being completed.

Closeup of color shifting on a diamond painting
It might look like strange close up, but color shifts create depth in the finished work!

Have suggestions for words or phrases to add to our Diamond Painting Glossary of Terms? Contact us or chat about it in the Craftibly Community!

September 18, 2019 — Amy Rasor
Tags: Beginner


Julie said:

I am new to this craft and I have a feeling that its going to me my new obsession and I’m ok with that😉

Mary Brown-Kencayd said:

Thank you so much for the diamond painting glossary of terms. I am a beginner and just working on my first project. The information was very helpful.

Lukas Nguyen said:

I really like your blog. But most of that is the video tutorial part. Thanks! for sharing with us…

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