Diamond Painting Instructions: The Simple 3 Step Process

In case you haven’t noticed, the whole diamond painting world is a pretty new phenomenon, and it is taking the creative arts and crafts community by storm. With so many great colors and style palettes to choose from, there’s no reason not to pay attention to this fantastic new medium. However, with the huge uptick in popularity, lots of initial artists are wondering what this vibrant new style is and how to get involved.

Especially with the process of creation and completion, it can seem a bit overwhelming at first. This is why we’ve put together this list, so you don’t have to fret as you open up your kit. Of course, you the artist have enough on your plate as it is applying the diamond pieces without wanting to get overwhelmed by this exciting new challenge. So let’s take some time to explain what this process is and what instructions look like. 

Diamond painting works by applying tiny diamonds with a sticky resin on the backside to an adhesive canvas. Brick by brick just as your momma’s house was constructed, the fun, methodical development of your painting is half the intrigue. And what’s great is by the end of your development, The final product is a beautiful mosaic painting with vibrant colors. And what’s nice is the relative simplicity of the style means these diamond painting kits are a fantastic DIY art project that is fun for the whole family.

A great way for grandparents to bond with their young ones without any of the fuss or deliberation of a puzzle or board game. There’s always something to do and your progress is always ticking upwards in an enjoyable indoor setting, making it a perfect rainy day activity as well. And now you can follow along with our informative step-by-step guide to make your perfect finished diamond painting in no time. 

Of course, it may seem intimidating to go from a collection of tiny specks of color, some adhesive and an empty canvas, and come back a few hours later with a gorgeous, glimmering diamond painting. We understand if the first time you open up a 5d diamond painting kit, you feel like you’ll never finish the procedure, and can be overwhelmed by the process. Especially if you’re hoping to engage your little ones, who haven't strained their skills of discipline and learned to follow through on procedure. 

So we’ve decided to set up a helpful directions guide to walk you through the individual steps right here. Honestly, this new craft hobby is loads of fun, but we need to make sure we all know what we’re doing before you go out and lay down our first diamond. So follow along as we map out this superb new style of DIY art creation. 


A diamond painting.

Step 1: Unpack and flatten your canvas

The first thing you want to do is find a big flat surface where you can work. A table or big wide desk is a great choice, though make sure it’s not cluttered or sticky. The last thing you need is some leftover apple juice preventing you come tacking your beautiful mosaic onto the wall behind you once you’re finished! And because the pieces that are used are so small and delicate, we’d recommend wiping down your work station, as well as use a light disinfectant to ensure safety and proper connection between the adhesive and the diamond materials. Not something too powerful, but just enough to ensure a clean space before moving forward. A cluttered space reveals a cluttered mind, and you want to be able to have a concise area so you can concentrate without losing pieces and losing focus. 

All right, so now your workspace is clean and clear of clutter. A quick side note is if you have a cat or some sort of critter than feels comfortable popping up on the counter or table to say hello, well, you might want to quarantine him to a new section of the house as well. If he or she steps into your workspace, with all the powerful adhesives and diamond color materials laying around, you may find yourself with a cat wearing his Mardi Gras costume a few months too early. So please, keep your pets at bay, for their safety and your artistic security. Once the workspace is safe and there’s no chance of disruption from other family members or feline accomplices, you can now go ahead and unpack and flatten your canvas. 

Start by unrolling your canvas. Often, the canvases can have some marks or wrinkles that you’d like to get out before you start working. To best balance the material, tape each corner to a flat surface. Scotch tape should be fine; you don’t need something so heavy duty for this responsibility. Mostly just to ensure the canvas doesn’t slip and slide while you work and you can maintain a consistent surface. You don’t want to have to worry about improper formatting before you even have time to lay down your first diamond piece. 

If the canvas refuses to stay down and keeps popping up in inconsistent shapes and spaces, try rolling over the blank canvas with a rolling pin. A wine bottle also works, and I guess anything with a solid cylindrical shape that can press out the inconsistencies from the folding. 

If there are still creases after you’ve rolled out your canvas atop the flat surface, don’t fret. They will vanish as soon as you do your diamond painting. However, if you’re truly persistent regarding this issue, there are a couple of remedies we can recommend. 

Another thing you can try to remove imbalances and blemishes on the canvas is to place heavy books on the mat for a few hours at a minimum. Finally, those classics of Russian literature you inherited from your grandmother are getting some use! Anything wide and heavy will be great at pressing out the creases you are hoping to stiffen up.

A second option to help flatten the canvas would be to place the persnickety item under a mattress for a night or two. Gravity’s constant force will work wonders and won’t damage the fragile skin of the paper sheet you will be working on momentarily. 

Step 2: Prepare your diamonds and tools

So now that we’ve unpacked and flattened our canvas to our liking, we’re ready for our next step. You can start to prepare your tools and diamonds on your table. Organization is important here, so be sure to go slow and work with steady composure.  

The first thing you want to do is open the bag of diamonds and pour them out. This includes a grooved tray which will help you differentiate and isolate your individual diamonds into their various colors. Shake the material lightly so that the flat side of the diamonds is on the bottom. This way you won’t have to constantly roll them over the find the flat edge once you’re ready to start working. 

Next, you want to peel back the protective film that keeps the adhesive stick to the backside of the diamond’s shapes. That stickiness can fade after a while, so don’t peel off the pieces until you’re ready to stick them to the board. When crafting your artwork, it’s best to work in small sections to prevent this risk from inhibiting your final product. 

Now that the plastic film has been lightly removed, you’re ready to peel back the film on the red wax pad. You take your diamond applicator tool and stab the wax pad, to get a bit of wax on the tip. Only a small amount is advised, and a bit goes a long way. Next, you’re ready to move onto our next step of using the diamond pen to pick up a diamond. 

Step 3: Place your Diamonds

Once you’re got your tip of the applicator prepped with glue and diamond, you’re ready to continue. Peel back the film on the canvas, exposing the fresh underbelly. As we mentioned previously, we recommend starting in small sections to prevent the drying out of the adhesive. 

Another piece of recommended advice is to start your 5d painting kits by going in the corner first. This way you avoid getting adhesive on your hands. However, we’ll delve more into this topic in a later section.

Once you’ve started, continue to check the design chart for where to see where the colors go. Each has a corresponding symbol that helps you learn where each needs to be placed. Crafters will recognize this pattern as something we often see in paint by numbers processes as well, so it should be a familiar formula. Without a doubt, to paint with diamonds demands a certain amount of patience and discipline because it can seem a bit tedious at first. But once you’re locked in and focused, the process is both fun and offers a meditative type of calming energy. It’s great to see your work starting to take shape after just a few minutes at the board. 

Once you’ve finished, you can frame your canvas and share it with the world. Once you’re done, place heavy books alongside the finished frame to allow it time to settle. With the right side up it will look great bolstered on the wall. With your beautiful finished product, it’s time to find a frame that matches the lovely crafting project you just completed. Post a photo to show off to your friends online, and then it’s time to start researching the next kit you’ll invest in.

Of course, when scrolling through the internet to find deals on the best diamond painting kits, you’ll notice there are several varieties, and you may not be able to differentiate between the two. Follow along further as we break-down the highlights and differences between the two predominant styles: round and square drill.

A diamond painting of an elephant.

What’s the difference between a round and square drill? 

In the cross-stitch style of diamond art, there are actually various styles. The predominant two are round rill and square drill, which correlate to the physical shape of the diamonds. Round diamonds will give you a beautiful mosaic style look, while square diamonds will show a more traditional approach. 

Within these two diamond painting techniques, there isn’t much of a difference in how you create your image. Any diamond art kit will provide plenty of intrigues and artistic interest for the entirety of your project time. Both use a similar diamond applicator tool to create lovely diamond embroidery. You simply apply the items to the sticky flat side of the canvas. 

Some tips and pieces of advice 

What’s nice about a square drill piece versus a round drill is that the pieces here snap into place. There’s that satisfying noise that really comes with the territory, and the final product can look a bit cleaner than the other. We’re not talking about the literal soap suds here but because everything lines in a more efficient manner, the mosaic can look a bit fuller from a distance. 

Round Drill diamonds have their benefits as well. They seem to stick to the diamond pen more easily than their square compatriots, making the transition between the two feel more seamless. And for some users, they prefer the lighter air a rounded painting seems to give off. By squinting in close or watching the piece from a distance, the effects and impacts of the artwork differ a bit. This can be a welcome addition for those who are either near or farsighted and prefer one lens nearer than the other. 

Different diamond painting techniques

Once you’ve placed down several thousands of petite diamond figures, you may be looking to shake things up. The meditative process can suddenly seem bland or banal, and a new style could be implemented to resolve the lonesome blues. There are several different styles of placement you can ascribe to the change your tune of diamond painting technique. 

For starters, we recommend the checkerboard technique. Just as a chessboard has the alternating black-white pattern that rows up and down space, you can set up your tiles in a similar fashion. This works best when you’re using large amounts of the same color and don’t need to focus on each individual shape for some time. 

It’s great because once you’ve had down the approximate checkerboard pattern, you already see what the huge swath of one color looks like on the board. And then you can achieve cathartic release when you come back over that area, filling in the gaps you’d previously left unmarked. The lovely snap of the piece properly applied and snuggly tucked in alongside his neighbors is a great feeling. 

Another technique is what we call the dealer. If you need your diamond lines to be perfectly symmetrical and in pristine condition, line them up so it stays even. We recommend taking an old credit card and sliding it through the dill slot spaces so all the individual pieces are best placed. It’s also fun to run your old card up and down the board, helping to fine up everything with an easy trick. 

There’s also a method we call the work your way up style. Saving best for last and doing the smallest parts first, you being with your smallest quantity color into it has been completely depleted. Then, you move onto the next smallest color. It gets easier as you move along, and you can soon differentiate the broad strokes of the main color palate from the finely tuned secondary colors. The larger swaths can then be applied quicker if you use your diamond pen multihued pen. 

If you want to be a bit more conservative, we recommend going with the farm plot method. Just as a Nebraska cornhusker looks at his acreage and methodically moves from field to field grazing and maintaining order, you do the same with your color grid. Instead of harvesting each corner one at a time, you use this methodology to fill in section by section. This way gives you rewarding little bumps of completeness to keep you focused and progressing forwards. 


A diamond painting of a park in autumn.

The last method is what we like to call the Big Kahuna style. You basically just slowly work your way across the whole canvas one color at a time. The drawback here would be that exposed areas could lose their stickiness over time. So that’s something to be considerate of. But on the flip side, filling in all the blanks in a consistent pattern shifting sweep is more rewarding than a methodical row-by-row movement. Also if any areas start to lose their adhesive grip thanks to the prolonged exposure to air, try dabbing a spot with a moist towel or baby wipe.