How to Make Your Own Diamond Painting Canvas

Even though the wide variety of available full drill and partial drill canvases is sizeable and always growing, diamond painters with a certain creative drive may reach a point where they still want to keep painting with diamond shapes but want to take a little more control over the process from the beginning. There are two main ways to flex some creative muscle if you reach the point where you want your own diamond painting to be yours from its inception until you hang it up on the wall. Custom  5D diamond painting kits allow crafters to make their own canvas with their photographs or with famous works of art. There are also blank diamond painting canvases that have no photo on them at all. 

These blank canvases come in various sizes, just like other diamond painting kits, and they still have the grid and the adhesive surface you would expect in any kit you order. But that’s all for these kits – crafters are completely free to place diamonds however they like, in an abstract design or based on a drawing. There are as many ways to use a blank diamond art canvas as you can possibly think of. What you use blank canvas for all depends on your level of creativity and particular artistic abilities.

One of the best things about blank canvases for diamond painting is that they are very similar to cross-stitching, so anyone who has any experience cross-stitching will know how to put a pattern onto the blank 5d diamond painting canvas. Since the DMC codes are the same for diamond drills and cross-stitching kits, the patterns are really easily transferred between one craft and the other. Another option for a more freehanded transfer of a pattern to a finished diamond art conversion is to place an image between the light pad and the blank diamond painting canvas. Be wary that flipping over to confirm colors and match with DMC codes can be very trying if you’re attempting to convert a photo or other non-pattern into diamond art this way. 

If you don’t care much about getting the color right, making a normal tracing of an image with the light pad can work. You can transfer a tracing in black pen or pencil onto a blank sheet of paper and place that finished tracing between the light pad and your blank diamond art canvas and fill in the spaces with rhinestones. It might work better for more abstract pieces or for crafters who don’t mind having a green horse or a blue apple. If you want to try this out but aren’t sure how to begin, try something simple like a spiral and fill in each section with a different color! You’ll get the hang of it eventually. 

Custom diamond painting kits make it really easy to create your own canvas. Just about any image will work as an original model. All you need to do is keep in mind certain important factors like the quality of the image and the aspect ratio and you can turn cherished family photos or beautiful landscapes into bedazzled diamond art that will please passerby and make a fine adornment to any wall if you want to use it as home décor. One of the best things about crafting is the nearly inexhaustible supply of handmade gifts it leaves crafters with. Making a custom canvas with a friend or loved one’s favorite photograph or artwork and then turning it into a sparkling, colorful piece of diamond art is sure to be appreciated by just about anyone with an eye for the aesthetically pleasing. 

Even though a custom diamond painting canvas might seem a little intimidating at first, they’re really no different than the diamond painting kits that introduce most people to the craft. If creating your own canvas seems to be too limitless and overwhelms the creative sense, then perhaps starting with a partial drill canvas and an existing photograph are a good way to start. Once you launch into working with custom diamond painting canvases, you’re sure to love turning anything that inspires you into dazzling diamond art. Read on to find out everything you need to know about making your own diamond painting canvas!

A diamond painting of eagles.

All about diamond painting canvases 

The canvas is half of what makes diamond painting the wonderfully pretty craft we know and love (the other half is the diamonds). There’s not much to know about the canvas itself that isn’t immediately apparent at first glance, but there are a few things to note. If you are planning on making your own diamond painting canvas there are also some considerations that are affected by specific characteristics of the canvas itself. None of it is hard to understand but you could run the risk of inadvertently creating a lackluster piece or bedazzling an image that has been distorted by the wrong ratio or an incorrect color balance. 

Diamond painting canvases are measured out in a grid. The amount of drills that can fit in each inch or centimeter is always the same on a diamond painting canvas. This is a little different than it is with a cross-stitching canvas, so converts and crafters dual-enrolled in that pastime should make a note not to get confused by the lack of a 14 or 18 count canvas in diamond painting like you might find in cross-stitching. 

The fixed number of rhinestones that can fit in every inch of diamond painting canvas space is 10, or 2.5 drills per centimeter. This is the equivalent of a 10 ada canvas in cross-stitching. Enterprising readers may have already guessed that the lack of other ratios of drills to inches on a diamond painting canvas means that diamond art always exists in the same aspect ratio. What this means is that not only can a cross-stitch be more detailed than diamond art painting, but it also means that there is a level of detail past which diamond painting will not capture all the minute features that you might love about the original. When you are looking to create your own custom canvas, make sure you aren’t choosing an image with more detail that the rhinestones can translate. 

Square diamonds v.s. round diamonds

If you’ve been practicing diamond art for a while, you may have had the chance to work with both diamond shapes, that is, with both square rhinestones and round drills. There are many people who go for years without trying out both because of a lack of options on a preferred manufacturer’s website or just because they don’t drill often enough to think of switching when they finally purchase a new diamond painting kit. There are a few pointed differences between square diamonds and round diamonds that are well worth considering before you decide which you want to use on your own diamond painting canvas. 

Square diamonds are generally found to be easier to use than their rounded counterparts. A square drill aligns better with its fellow rhinestones and tends to snap into the grid of the canvas much more easily. There shouldn’t be any space between rhinestones on a square drill canvas once it has been completed; all the square diamonds should be flush with their neighbors. Some folks find it easier crafting a piece of diamond art with square diamonds than round diamonds because the square variety is easier to place, rarely need readjustment with tweezers, and are easier to seal because the sealant doesn’t have any cracks between the drills to fall into. That being said, round drills are sometimes more flexible. 

Round diamonds, while more difficult to place, are only slightly more so, and offer a few aesthetic differences that many crafters find pleasing. For example, a photo featuring lots of curved lines will likely look better with round drill kits than with square rhinestones. The round edge of the drills can communicate the winding edge of a river or the billowy shapes of clouds better than square drills can simply because of their shape. Round diamonds are definitely more difficult to place, though, so be wary if you’re leaping into your own diamond paintings for the first time. 

Overall, the better choice for blank diamond painting canvases is probably square drills. Especially if it’s your first custom canvas, you might be more satisfied if the drills in the finished product are perfectly aligned with each other after minimal effort with the diamond pen. If you keep going with blank canvases, though, make sure to give round drills a try eventually. Try to find an image that lends itself to more curves and round edges and you’ll be delighted with the difference round drills can make on the finished product. 

Tracing with a light pad

For many crafters, tracing over a light source or taking a rubbed etching of a textured surface was likely their first exposure to DIY art. For some others, diamond painting might have been that. Either case is fine, but if you don’t have any experience tracing then a custom diamond painting canvas is a great place to start. It’s really easy to make your very own diamond painting kit if you know how to trace a preferred image with a light pad onto blank canvases. 

The light pad is going to make the sheets about it translucent, which is the same purpose light pads serve in general diamond painting. It’s best to use white computer paper for this. Anything thicker and the light may not shine through the paper, making it untraceable. Follow along with a pencil or a black pen and get the chosen image drawn on the blank paper as well as you can. This will be easier for crafters with some drawing ability, but there are plenty of people who cannot draw and use tracing to cover up for it! In any case, get the lines down as well as you can. They should be defined enough that you’ll be able to place rhinestones along the lines without losing the shape of the image. 

Once you have the new tracing on the blank piece of paper, simply remove the original image, then place the tracing down on the light pad underneath the blank diamond painting canvas. Keep referring back to the original image to make sure you’re getting the colors as correct as you want them. You’ll soon be happy to see your original image popping off your custom canvas as diamond art. 

Choosing a high-quality original image

As we mentioned, there’s a certain threshold of detail possible in diamond painting. If you’re going to try and make any kind of custom diamond painting canvas based on another image, it’s important to make sure that the image is as high-quality as possible. That goes for custom canvases based on photographs as much as it does for those based on paintings or digital and abstract images. High quality doesn’t only mean a large size file-wise (if you’re working from a digital file) nor only aspect ratio-wise. You don’t have to have a billboard to make a sharp-looking diamond painting from scratch, but the image should be sharp and in-focus. If the photo is fuzzy at all it can lead to ill-defined lines on the finished product and that’s the last thing you want after putting so much work into the design of a canvas and filling it in with rhinestones. 

DIY 5d diamond painting on a canvas that doesn’t have a design already printed on it depends on the correct colors in the original image as well. In digital photography, there is something called white balance that describes the overall tint of the image, which is usually warm (reddish) or cool (bluish). A correct white balance will have all the colors appearing true-to-life and that’s just what you need for the source image for your custom diamond painting canvas. To get the right drills and recreate the image as well as possible, the colors will have to be as close to their correct shade in real life as you can get them.

Don’t go overboard with the size (as in length and width) of your original image. The more detail in the original, the larger the size of the diamond painting canvas will have to be to capture the same level of detail. Of course, we all love diamond painting, but part of the fun is completing projects and moving on to the next one. The original photo you choose should be large and detailed enough to translate well into rhinestones but not so big that your custom canvas turns into your Sistine Chapel project. 

A diamond painting of a panda.

Coordinating across quadrants

One of the most difficult parts about entering the realm of custom, blank diamond art canvases are having to keep the total idea of the finished product in mind as you work. It’s easier if you are tracing, but if you are working on a blank canvas and trying to scale an image into painting by diamonds, then planning where lines will meet on the overall canvas can be really hard. That’s why it’s best, at least at first, to work from tracings. Working with a custom diamond painting kit can also help solve this problem since the canvas will have your chosen image on it already, waiting for you to deck it out with rhinestones. 

If you ever do move on to scaling images in your diamond art, you’ll be worthy of respect from the whole diamond painting community. The abstract sense of the finished product is really important to successfully work on a blank diamond painting canvas with no guidelines and unfortunately, most of us just don’t have it. That being said, working without guidelines is certainly not the goal of custom diamond painting canvases. The goal is, as best as we can describe it, to be able to personalize your diamond art for yourself and your loved ones. 

The perfect canvas for the perfect painting

Moving from standard diamond painting kits to custom blank diamond painting canvases isn’t going to upend everything you know about painting with diamonds. On the contrary, it will reinforce everything you’ve learned with past diamond painting kits. Having the freedom to decide what you want to paint with rhinestones from the very, very beginning of the project is very edifying. Plus, if you thought it was easy enough to find the right diamond painting kit to complete and then give away as a gift, wait until you see how the options expand when you can turn pretty much any image you want into diamond art with a custom canvas. 

That being said, you should pay attention to the size and detail of the original image if you want to get a nice, high-quality diamond art piece at the end. There are certain limitations of detail possible in diamond art due to the fixed aspect ratio of the canvases. However, if you know the baseline amount of detail required in the original, it’s simple to pick an original image that won’t be lost in translation from the original to the diamond painting. 

Now that you have an idea of how to make your own diamond painting canvas, we can let you in on the most important tip: the only way to make the best custom diamond painting canvases you can make is to make them. Get out there and try one out. Like so many other areas of crafts, diamond painting is always a learning experience. Keep practicing your diamond painting skills on a new custom canvas as soon as possible. You’ll be amazed by how nice the additional creativity makes you feel when you see the finished product. 

Bonus tip: Check out this preparation for a floral diamond painting design on a blank canvas!