What is Diamond Painting?

A close up of a diamond painting
Reading Time: 6 minutes

I simply want to start off by saying that Diamond Painting, as a new DIY form of craft, is suitable for everyone and any age. As a crafter (especially if you do cross-stitch) you may have heard of it but most people in the United States probably haven’t. Some people refer to it as Diamond Art but here in the US people generally just use painting. Once I discovered it, Diamond Painting changed my life forever! I hope it does yours too!

A quick overview of what is Diamond Painting

Ok, So What Is Diamond Painting?

What is Diamond Painting?

Well, it’s similar to cross-stitch and paint-by-numbers but anyone can use it to create a dazzling DIY work of art. You take a picture and divide it into a grid pattern that’s printed on canvas. By placing a combination of small diamond like gems called diamond drills over the grid pattern you recreate the art and give it a whole new dimension!

The idea behind Diamond Painting (much like cross-stitch) is to be the artist while you relax and engage in something that’s creative and satisfying. Whether you’re a craft beginner or a seasoned pro you will love taking images and turning them into your own custom artwork.

I really find crafting a new painting to be my favorite hobby for relaxing. It’s enjoyable, and it feels great when it’s hanging on my wall.


The full pattern designs popular in cross-stitch, embroidery, and the concept of paint-by-numbers definitely inspired Diamond Painting

Each square of the grid contains a symbol (much like cross-stitch), letter, or number assigned to a specific DMC cross-stitch color.

The way you know which DMC cross-stitch code goes to which color diamond is by using a color chart. The color chart is usually printed on the border of the artwork in the area surrounding the diamond painting. Craftibly also includes a custom printed sheet for convenience. It displays a small image of the project and a large format chart with symbols and matching DMC number.

Closeup of a dmc color chart on a diamond painting

Each pack of diamond drills has the DMC number printed on them. I find them super easy to read/identify. Just double check your chart.

Glue won’t be needed to add the drills to the canvas because an adhesive holds each diamond you paint into place. You shouldn’t need extra diamonds because our kits come with all the drills to complete the project.

Where Did Diamond Painting Originate?

The idea for painting with diamonds appears to have originated in Asia but the activity quickly spread to Europe and is quite a popular craft in Russia. It’s still fairly new and while I couldn’t find an exact date I found 2015 mentioned a couple times. In other parts of the world Diamond Painting may be called diamond art, paint with diamonds, mosaic art, diamond stitch, or diamond embroidery.

What is the Difference Between Diamond Painting and 5D Diamond Painting?

There isn’t really a difference in how you do a regular Diamond Painting and 5D Diamond Painting. It’s a difference between the diamonds used to create your masterpiece. Regular diamonds used in older paintings have fewer facets on them. Our newer MaxLuster 5D diamonds are updated with more facets for the ultimate sparkle!

What is Full Drill Diamond Painting?

This type of painting just means you fill the entire art board area with your diamond drills. It differs from “partial drill” which means some of the painting is left alone as printed artwork and other parts of the painting have the diamond drills applied. The drills themselves also can be round or square. Square drills take up much more surface area and fit edge to edge with no breaks. In a full drill Diamond Painting square drills are very impressive and favored by most serious crafters.

What are Some of These Terms?

If some of the words used in diamond painting are new to you or if you’d like to know more about their meanings, we have a Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in Diamond Painting.

What Do I Need to Get Started Diamond Painting?

Open diamond painting kit on table

When you buy a Craftibly DIY Diamond Painting Kit it comes with everything, a diamond painting art pen, a comfort grip, a white tray with a funnel, pink pen wax, storage bags, and a free pair of tweezers. Our easy to apply MaxLuster 5D diamond drills have 80 percent more sparkle than traditional 3D diamond drills and are made from high-quality art grade resin. Round or Square, the bottom side of each drill is flat to go firmly into place when you “paint” it into place.

The diamond pen included comes with a free comfort grip. The pen is used to pick up diamond drills and paint them onto the matching symbol with different tips. To pick up a diamond drill with the diamond pen you must first press one of the tips of the pen into the new pen wax which is just sticky enough to hold the diamond while you place it on the canvas.

Organized drills in containers

The white tray included with each new kit is used to hold and separate drills as you paint. Tiny ridges on the bottom of the tray help to flip diamond drills over when softly shaking the tray as well as guide the drills into convenient rows. This makes painting easier and faster. The funnel at the end of the tray is perfect for pouring extra diamond drills into a new storage bag or container.

Tweezers included in our kits are used for two relatively different painting applications. Some use them in place of the diamond pen, but they are more commonly used to either straighten rows or remove drills that went on a little crazy.

Valeri doing a diamond painting

Other tools great for diamond painters can be purchased including storage containers, multi-placers, light boards, magnifiers, and rollers. Each is used to make this new hobby easier and more convenient. For example, multi-placers pick up more than one diamond drill at a time. This allows for painting large areas of a specific color quickly while keeping your drills in a straight line.

There are always new types of Diamond Painting storage containers available. These come in handy when completing a large Diamond Painting. Many crafters prefer to do their paintings in sections, which means opening several colors at a time. Storage lets you save them for later use when you’re further along in the painting. A Diamond Painting storage container or carrier also allows you to store diamond drills in a compact and organized way. No messy craft room here (cough, mhm, cough)!

It is important to remember and label which color diamond drill is in which storage container. So don’t forget labels. Diamond Painting is easy but I had to learn to stay organized.

Placing diamonds onto canvas

One of my personal favorite painting accessories or tools, is my diamond roller. As I complete each new section of a diamond painting, I use the roller to secure and flatten all the diamond drills. This helps me keep the drills from popping off the painting when moving or framing my canvas.

Light pads and magnifiers are also great tools when painting. A light pad can help make the symbols more clear in dark areas of the painting, and magnifiers help the symbols appear larger when placing diamond drills.

How Many Colors Are There in Diamond Painting?

Vivid colors of diamond painting

The new DMC Color chart for cross-stitch thread (the same colors for diamond painting) has 447 colors. This provides plenty of rich colors for my images to come out looking great!

Let’s Start Diamond Painting!

So I hope I’ve answered the question “What is Diamond Painting?” sufficiently. And I hope you give this new hobby a try.

The first step is to select a Diamond Painting kit that looks interesting to you. Whether you start out small or go big, Craftibly has Diamond Painting Kits perfect for you. Did we mention free shipping for orders over $75?

The next time you want to paint with diamonds come shop the perfect image for your room by browsing our Diamond Paintings online or maybe get a painting to complete with a friend or the whole family.

Paying attention to detail has never been so much fun!

Rachel smiling with a diamond painting

Do you have more questions? Check out our How To Diamond Paint blog post or scroll through the Frequently Asked Questions. You can also join our group on Facebook where we discuss our favorite hobby. It’s where I like to share my progress on a current Diamond Painting, discuss a favorite kit , ask & answer questions, or just visit with friends.

Until next time make every day Craftibly yours – Val

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