Step-by-Step Instructions for Diamond Painting: A Comprehensive Guide

Step-by-Step Instructions for Diamond Painting

Diamond painting is a relaxing and enjoyable craft that has gained popularity in recent years. This creative hobby involves placing tiny, sparkling resin "diamonds" onto a pre-printed canvas to create a dazzling and vibrant piece of art. Suitable for all ages, diamond painting is not only a fun activity but also offers the satisfaction of seeing the finished product come to life with every completed section.

If you're new to diamond painting or looking to enhance your skills, following a step-by-step guide can help ensure a successful and enjoyable experience. From preparing the materials to understanding key techniques, this article will provide an overview of the process, making it easier for beginners to get started with confidence. With the right instructions and guidance, anyone can create their own stunning diamond painting masterpiece.

What Is Diamond Painting

Arts and Crafts

Diamond painting is a popular arts and crafts activity that combines elements of both paint by numbers and cross stitch. It is a creative and relaxing hobby that allows people to create sparkling and eye-catching works of art, using small resin diamonds, referred to as drills, which are applied to a coded adhesive canvas.

The process begins with a pre-printed canvas, usually featuring a detailed design with a grid of symbols. Each symbol corresponds to a specific diamond color, creating a pixelated effect when completed. The canvas is covered with a protective layer that is peeled away incrementally as each section is worked on to maintain the adhesive's effectiveness.

Combination of Paint by Numbers and Cross Stitch

Diamond painting is often compared to paint by numbers and cross stitch due to its similarity in execution and the final outcome. Much like paint by numbers, diamond painting involves following a coded pattern to complete the artwork. However, instead of using paints, diamond painting uses small resin diamonds to fill in the design.

Similarly, cross stitch involves creating a picture using small colored stitches on fabric. Although diamond painting and cross stitch share some similarities in process, the final product of diamond painting is a shimmering, textured image, while cross stitch produces a flat, woven-like look.

In diamond painting, the tools and materials typically include:

  • Canvas with a pre-printed design and adhesive layer
  • Resin diamonds (drills) in various colors
  • Diamond applicator pen
  • Wax to pick up diamonds
  • Tray for holding diamonds

The process of diamond painting consists of the following steps:

  1. Prepare the workspace by laying out the canvas and tools.
  2. Peel back the protective cover from a small section of the canvas.
  3. Choose a specific color or symbol and pour a small number of diamonds into the tray.
  4. Dip the applicator pen tip in the wax to pick up diamonds.
  5. Apply the correct colored diamond to the corresponding symbol on the canvas.
  6. Repeat this process until the entire design is complete.

Diamond painting offers a unique fusion of paint by numbers and cross stitch, allowing artists to create intricate, sparkling masterpieces that are enjoyable to make and pleasing to the eye.

Diamond Painting Kits

Components of a Diamond Painting Kit

A typical diamond painting kit includes several essential components to help you create a beautiful masterpiece. These components come together to make the diamond painting process enjoyable and accessible for both beginners and experienced crafters.

Pre-Printed Canvas

The foundation of every diamond painting project is a pre-printed canvas. This canvas features a detailed chart with symbols and color-coded areas, allowing you to match the correct diamonds to their designated spots. The canvas's surface is covered with a protective film that helps prevent the adhesive underneath from drying out or collecting dust.

Diamonds (Drills)

Diamonds or drills are small, shiny, faceted resin pieces that give diamond paintings their unique sparkle. They come in a variety of colors and correspond to the symbols and colors printed on the canvas. You will place these diamonds on the canvas according to the provided chart.

Diamond Applicator (Pen)

The diamond applicator pen is a specialized tool used to pick up and place diamonds onto the canvas. The diamond pen is designed to hold the diamonds with the help of wax or gel, making the process smoother and more precise.

Wax or Gel

To help your applicator pen pick up the diamonds with ease, you will need to use wax or gel. This substance fills the tip of the pen, allowing it to grip the diamonds and place them accurately on the canvas. Remember to refill the pen with wax or gel as needed during the painting process.


A tray is a small, grooved container used to hold and organize your diamonds while you work. Pour a small number of diamonds into the tray, shake it gently, and the diamonds will automatically shift into an upright position for easy picking.


Some diamond painting kits may include a pair of tweezers as an alternative to the diamond applicator pen. Tweezers can help pick up and place diamonds accurately, especially for smaller details or more intricate patterns on the canvas.


Finally, a diamond painting kit will typically come with step-by-step instructions that guide you through the entire process. These instructions will teach you how to read the chart, use the applicator pen and tweezers, and provide helpful tips for creating a stunning piece of art.

By using these components, you will be well-equipped to embark on your diamond painting journey and create an eye-catching, shimmering masterpiece.

Types of Diamonds

Round Diamonds

Round diamonds, also known as round drills, are the most common type of diamonds used in diamond painting. They have a round shape and typically have 26 facets that give them a nice sparkle. These diamonds are popular among beginners because they are easier to apply and leave small gaps between diamonds, making the overall image look more cohesive. The round shape allows for faster painting and a smoother finished product.

Some advantages of using round diamonds include:

  • Faster to apply
  • Easier for beginners
  • Smoother finished look

Square Diamonds

Square diamonds, or square drills, are another type of diamond used in diamond painting. These diamonds have a square shape and also feature facets that give them sparkle. Unlike round diamonds, square diamonds create a more seamless and precise image due to their ability to fit closely together. As a result, they can provide a sharper, more detailed finished product.

However, using square diamonds may require more time and precision when applying them to the canvas. They are usually more suitable for experienced diamond painters or those who are looking for a more challenging experience.

Some advantages of using square diamonds include:

  • More seamless image
  • Produces a sharper, detailed finish
  • Offers a more challenging experience

In summary, both round and square diamonds have unique benefits when it comes to diamond painting. Round diamonds are generally more beginner-friendly and offer a smoother finish, while square diamonds provide a more seamless and detailed result, ideal for experienced painters.

Preparing Your Workspace

Setting Up a Comfortable and Organized Workspace

When starting any diamond painting project, it is essential to set up a comfortable and organized workspace. First, find a clean and well-lit area with a flat surface to lay out your canvas, such as a table or a desk. Make sure there is enough space to accommodate not only the canvas but also the necessary tools and materials for the project.

Next, gather all the diamond painting tools and accessories required for the project, such as:

  • Canvas
  • Diamond applicator (pen) or tweezer
  • Wax
  • Tray
  • Diamonds in small bags or containers

Organize these items within easy reach, so you can easily access them without disrupting the flow of your work. It can be helpful to use containers or organizers to keep the different colored diamonds separated and easy to find.

Once you have your workspace set up, it's time to prepare the canvas for the project. Remove the protective plastic film from the canvas, but only peel back a small section at a time. This will help prevent the adhesive surface from becoming dirty or losing its stickiness while you work on your diamond painting.

It's important to maintain a comfortable posture while working on your diamond painting. Consider using an adjustable chair or cushion to ensure proper ergonomics, especially for longer projects.

In summary, preparing your workspace for diamond painting involves setting up a clean and organized area with a flat surface, gathering all required tools and materials, and ensuring a comfortable work environment. By following these steps, you can enjoy a smooth and efficient diamond painting experience.

Getting Started with Diamond Painting

Reading the Symbols and Color Chart

Before starting a diamond painting project, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the symbols and color chart provided. This chart, known as the legend, will help you identify the correct colors associated with the symbols on the adhesive canvas. The legend is usually located on the side of the canvas and contains an organized list of symbols, their respective diamond color codes, and sometimes even a sample of each color for reference. Take time to study this chart to avoid confusion as you work on the pattern.

Peeling Back the Protective Film

Diamond painting canvases come with a pre-applied adhesive layer covered by a protective film. To begin, find a corner or edge of the canvas where the film can be easily lifted. Gently peel back the film, being careful not to remove it entirely from the canvas. It is recommended to expose only a small portion of the adhesive surface at a time, as the adhesive can lose its stickiness if exposed to air for an extended period. If you need to take a break, simply reapply the protective film to the exposed adhesive area to preserve its stickiness.

Applying the Diamonds to the Canvas

To start painting, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a section of the adhesive canvas with symbols that match the color of the diamonds you want to apply.
  2. Pour a small number of the selected color diamonds into the provided tray. Shake the tray gently so the diamonds are face-up and easily accessible.
  3. Dip the tip of the diamond applicator pen into the included wax. This will help the pen pick up the diamonds easily.
  4. Use the pen to pick up one diamond at a time and align it with the corresponding symbol on the adhesive canvas. Press gently to ensure the diamond adheres securely.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, applying diamonds to their corresponding symbols, working in small sections.
  6. As you progress, peel back more of the protective film as needed. Remember to reapply the film if you pause or take a break.

By following these steps, beginners can easily start painting and enjoy the process of creating a beautiful diamond artwork. The key is to be patient, work steadily, and take the time to ensure each diamond is accurately placed on the adhesive canvas according to the pattern provided by the legend.

Helpful Tips and Techniques

Checkerboard Technique

One popular technique for diamond painting is the checkerboard technique. This method involves filling in every other square with the same color diamond, creating a checkerboard pattern. After completing the initial pattern, fill in the remaining gaps with the same color diamonds. This technique helps in maintaining a straight line and prevents diamonds from shifting out of place.

Single Color Diamond Strategy

Focusing on a single color diamond at a time can make the process more efficient. Pour a small amount of diamonds of the chosen color into a grooved tray and shake lightly so they shift upright. Peel back a small section of the plastic film on the canvas and start applying the diamonds, working on one color at a time. This strategy keeps the work area organized and prevents confusion or mistakes.

Using Tweezers Versus Diamond Pen

There are two primary tools used in diamond painting: tweezers and diamond pens. Both have their advantages, and choosing one depends on personal preference.

  • Tweezers: These provide precision when picking up and placing diamonds, especially for smaller or more intricate designs. However, using tweezers can be more time-consuming and may require more practice to master.

  • Diamond Pen: A diamond pen, also known as a wax pencil, is often more comfortable for extended periods of work. It requires dipping the tip into the wax and then picking up the diamond with the wax-covered tip. The diamond pen allows for faster placement of diamonds but may be less precise than tweezers.

In summary, experiment with both tools to determine which one works best for you. Feel free to switch between tweezers and diamond pens as needed to achieve the desired result in your diamond painting project.

Finishing Your Diamond Painting

Sealing Your Masterpiece

After completing your diamond painting, it's important to seal it to protect your artwork and maintain its shine. To do this, apply an even layer of sealer over the painting, preferably with a thin bristle brush. Pay attention to fully cover the entire piece and ensure that there are no missed sections. Applying a thin coat is essential, as thick layers can dull your masterpiece's appearance1.

Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly. Once dry, gently use a rolling pin to secure the diamond beads onto the sticky surface of the canvas, making sure not to miss any of them2.

Framing Your Masterpiece

The final step in finishing your diamond painting project is finding a suitable frame to showcase your artwork. Remove the glass from the frame before framing, as it can diminish the shine of the diamonds3.

  1. Prepare the canvas: Trim the edges of your diamond art so that they extend approximately 2 inches out from the edge of the canvas4. This will help ensure a clean and neat finish when wrapping the canvas around the frame.
  2. Prep the corners: Cut slits from the edge of the canvas to the corners of the diamond art, making sure not to damage the artwork itself4.
  3. Attach the canvas to the frame: Place the diamond art face down, align it with the frame, and secure the canvas to the frame using staples or adhesive. Make sure it's centered and straight.
  4. Hang your masterpiece: Now that your diamond painting is securely framed, find the perfect spot in your home or office to display your brilliant artwork.

By following these instructions on sealing and framing your diamond painting, your masterpiece will remain protected and continue to sparkle for years to come.

Diamond Painting Benefits

Stress-Relief and Mental Health

Diamond painting is a highly engaging and relaxing activity that has significant stress-relieving benefits. As you focus on placing small diamond drills onto the canvas, your mind becomes occupied with the task at hand, allowing you to let go of daily stressors and worries.

Working on a diamond painting provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which in turn, boosts your overall mental wellbeing. The repetitive, focused nature of the activity can help people with anxiety or depression by providing them with a calming, meditative experience.

Boosting Creativity

Diamond painting promotes creativity by allowing individuals to bring an artistic piece to life one diamond at a time. The various designs and color patterns offer a stimulating and engaging experience that encourages artistic expression and experimentation.

Additionally, the process of selecting specific colors and placing diamonds on the canvas fine-tunes motor skills and hand-eye coordination, further enhancing creativity and problem-solving abilities. By choosing different designs and styles of diamond paintings, individuals can explore their creative potential and develop a newfound appreciation for this popular art form.

Troubleshooting and Resolving Common Issues

Missing Diamonds or Supplies

Occasionally, you might run into situations where some diamonds or supplies are missing from your shipment. In such cases, follow these steps to resolve the issue:

  1. Begin by double-checking the packaging to ensure no items were overlooked or hidden within the packaging material.
  2. Contact the seller immediately to report any missing items. Most sellers will be happy to ship out any missing diamonds or supplies to you.
  3. If you need to continue your project without waiting for the replacements to arrive, consider employing some creative tricks, like using similar-colored diamonds from previous projects or buying them from a local craft store.

Canvas Issues

Canvas issues can range from curling to adhesive-related problems. Here are some solutions to common canvas problems:

Curling Canvas

To flatten a curled canvas, follow these steps:

  1. Cover the canvas with a towel or blanket, ensuring the adhesive side is protected.
  2. Place heavy books or other flat objects on top of the covered canvas.
  3. Leave the weights in place for at least 24 hours, allowing the canvas to flatten out.

You can avoid curling problems by choosing canvases that are self-flattening and designed not to roll, such as those available from Diamond Painting.

Adhesive Issues

Here are two common adhesive issues and their solutions:

  • Diamonds not sticking: Make sure your canvas is free of dust, debris, or moisture before starting your project. Exposure to these elements can compromise the adhesive. Additionally, keep the protective cover on the canvas when not in use, only removing it in small sections as you work.
  • Wrong diamonds placed: In case you accidentally put the wrong color diamond on the canvas, carefully remove it using a toothpick or tweezers. Be gentle to avoid scratching the adhesive layer on the canvas. Find more information about fixing this issue here.

Organizing your diamonds and supplies can prevent many of these issues. An organized workstation allows for better control over the project and minimizes the chance of mixing up colors or damaging the canvas. Using containers or trays to store diamonds and keeping them close at hand will help with both organization and efficiency.

Finally, remember that shipping times may vary depending on factors such as location and customs. It's essential to be patient and track your shipment to ensure a smooth diamond painting experience.

Additional Resources

Online Communities

Joining online communities can be a great way to find support, share tips, and learn more about diamond painting from fellow enthusiasts. One popular platform for connecting with fellow diamond painters is Facebook. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to diamond painting, where members share their finished projects, discuss new techniques, and ask for advice.


For those who are new to diamond painting or looking to improve their skills, there are numerous tutorials available online. Websites like wikiHow and provide step-by-step instructions for getting started, along with helpful tips and techniques to make your diamond painting experience more enjoyable.

In addition to written tutorials, you may also find video tutorials helpful. Many diamond painting enthusiasts post their instructional videos on platforms such as YouTube. These videos can offer visual guidance to help you better understand the diamond painting process and learn new techniques at your own pace.

As you explore these resources, remember that practice makes perfect. Keep honing your diamond painting skills and enjoy the creative process as you work on your projects.

Create Your Beautiful Piece of Art

Diamond painting is an engaging and relaxing craft that leads to the creation of stunning, sparkly artwork. By following these straightforward steps, anyone can transform a canvas into a beautiful piece of art, using their hands and a bit of patience.

First, gather the necessary tools and materials, which typically include a canvas, diamond applicator (pen), wax, tray, and thousands of tiny resin "diamond" beads source. Lay the canvas flat on a clean surface and become familiar with the chart printed on it, which guides where the diamonds will be placed.

Before applying the diamonds, fill up the picking tool with the wax or gel provided in the kit by dipping the pen into the wax source. This step ensures that diamonds will adhere more easily to the tool. Next, place the diamonds in the tray and start applying them to the canvas, according to the pattern and color codes.

To ensure straight rows and even pressure, apply pressure on the canvas using either hands or a heavy book for a few hours source. Repeat this process as necessary to align the beads and create a smooth surface.

As the artist progresses with their diamond painting, they'll notice their piece of art growing more beautiful, vibrant, and captivating. The process of creating a diamond painting can be both meditative and rewarding, producing a dazzling final product that can be displayed proudly for all to see.