If you are active in the world of DIY crafting, you may have heard of diamond painting, which is also known as diamond embroidery or diamond painting cross-stitch. Painting with diamonds is taking the craft world by storm, so if you are a seasoned cross stitcher, you may be curious how diamond painting cross stitch compares to traditional cross stitch.
Diamond painting involves taking small, colorful diamond stones made from deeply pigmented resin, then adhering those stones to a pre-printed canvas that is coded by color and symbol. If you are familiar with cross stitch or even paint by numbers, the concept of diamond painting will come easily to you, and you are likely already well aware of DMC coding.
Instead of embroidery floss, diamond art crafters use an array of glittering, synthetic stones to create a unique art piece. Rather than tapestry needles, diamond painters use a diamond applicator tool or super-sharp tweezers to affix the diamond to its assigned spot on the canvas in their efforts to create one of a kind, handmade art.
Once you have completed a diamond painting, you have created a canvas that looks like a finished embroidery scene or an elaborately designed mosaic, only with a shimmering, colorful sparkle that catches the eye of everyone who passes by. So, what exactly are the reasons cross stitchers love diamond painting? And what is diamond painting cross stitch anyway?
Reason #1: It’s All About That Bling!
Unless you are one of the Kardashians, rest assured that diamond painting does not rely on actual diamonds. Diamond art painting kits use synthetic diamonds called drills, but they pack all the glitter of the real thing. All of the 5D diamond painting kits from VizuArts come with a high quality, full drill canvas, which means that every bit of space on the canvas is DMC coded so that the entire surface will be fully covered by diamond drills when the painting is complete. At some retailers, you may also see partial drill canvases, which means part of the canvas will not be coded for diamonds and the finished product will be part glittering diamond, part painted canvas.
Diamond drills are flat on the bottom so that the diamond is better able to adhere to the canvas. The glittering, multi-faceted top side of the diamonds shine out the surface of the canvas and give the diamond painting the depth of color and sparkle for which it is known. As you get used to the terminology of diamond painting, you may run across terms like square drill diamond or round drill, as well as crystals, rhinestones, beads, tiles, dots, and all of the miscellaneous terms for diamond drills that are typically used interchangeably by members of the growing community of diamond painters.
Cross stitchers are not immune to the appeal of creating something that sparkles, and their familiarity with DMC coding makes the switch from traditional cross stitch to diamond painting cross stitch more of a step than a leap.
Reason #2 There is a Pattern for Every Occasion
The folks who create diamond painting canvases allow no limits on their respective imaginations, and you can even create custom diamond paintings based on a favorite portrait! The patterns and choices are endless, and each diamond painting kit includes all that you need to get started. The kits include an adhesive canvas, and canvases are available in a variety of themes, color schemes, and sizes. With painting sizes that range from 20 x 20 centimeters (or about 8 x 8 inches) to some as wide as 90 centimeters (or about 36 inches), the available selection allows you to choose just the right diamond art kit for your style.
Maybe you want to reflect on a colorful mandala, or perhaps you are a Disney princess at heart. Rainforests, animals, or beach scenes may be the images that strike your fancy, or you may be pulled in by the saturated colors and fantastic images from a world where dragons roam. With a variety of sizes, themes, and colors, the possibilities are endless.
You can rest assured that if you purchase a diamond painting art kit from a respected retailer like VizuArts that your heavy-duty canvas will be weather-resistant and unlikely to crease or wrinkle. In addition, designers have ensured that the canvas will be durable enough to support the weight of the diamonds and to resist hot and cold temperatures.
Whether you select a more traditional cottage scene or create your own inspirational quote, painting with diamonds brings you all of the range and variety of cross stitch patterns, so consider adding one or more diamond art cross stitch kits to your wishlist.
Reason #3 Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy
Diamond painting is easy to learn, particularly for cross stitchers who are already familiar with the concept from their experience with DMC codes. Each diamond painting kit comes with everything you need to complete a diamond painting from start to finish.
After laying out the canvas, you choose what color of diamond drill you want to start with, then you pour a few of the diamonds in the chosen color into the plastic tray. Peel back a small section of the adhesive plastic film from the canvas, dip your applicator tool (a.k.a. the drill pen included in your kit) into the wax, and pick up a diamond from the rigid tray. Press the diamond onto the canvas on top of its corresponding symbol. Repeat this process until you have completed your very own DIY diamond painting! You can work in long stretches, or even just a few minutes here and there -- just make sure your diamond painting station is free from curious pets and toddlers if you have to leave it unattended.
Reason #4 Sometimes You Just Need a Change of Pace
If you have found yourself with a little more time at home on your hands lately, taking up a new hobby is a great way to keep your hands and mind occupied. Whether you are staying at home, recovering from surgery, or just want a new experience in crafting, diamond painting may be the very low impact exercise your body and mind are seeking.
When you paint with diamonds, you are opening yourself up to a wonderful change of pace for any experienced (or novice) crafter, and cross stitchers, in particular, are drawn to this new form of artful crafting. The work produced by diamond painting, especially work that uses square drills rather than round drills, is often said to resemble cross stitch, so cross stitchers will find themselves in territory that is at once new as well as familiar.
If you do not like the idea of putting together one more puzzle, or if the nights of Netflix and chill have grown dull, consider escaping into the glittering, absorbing world of painting with diamonds.
Reason #5 Hang It Up
Diamond art is specifically designed to express brightness by bringing a deep sparkle to any room with themes that intrigue children as well as adults. Diamond painting is the natural evolution of the art of cross stitch, so it is no wonder that diamond art often is displayed in the same tapestry style wall hangings that were previously the domain of stitched patterns, photographs, and oil or acrylic paintings. Like cross stitched gifts, diamond painting wall art makes a great addition to nurseries, hallways, living rooms, and office spaces in your home or at your workplace.
Whether you are displaying your diamond art on walls, in small frames, or as a jewelry box cover, you are sure to find the same versatility and universality that you experience when displaying cross stitch pieces in your home. If you are feeling especially crafty, you may also consider creating your own frame for your artwork. You can buy a DIY frame for exactly this purpose, or you can consider the many other options available for displaying a completed diamond art painting.
Reason #6 I See the Light!
The old image of cross stitchers or people working at embroidery is one of a woman bent over her needlework next to a window, or perhaps Bronte sisters squinting around the hearth with fabric and needles in hand, but the affinity for all historic pastimes like cross stitch continues to grow, even in today’s technology centric society. But there is no need to worry about your eyes with diamond painting since one of the advantages that diamond painting offers that cross stitch does not is the option of using a light pad.
An LED light pad is an optional tool, so it is not automatically included in most DIY diamond painting kits. Nonetheless, many hobbyists find it to be useful when working in dim light or when struggling with vision in general. The light pad works by being placed on a flat surface before being draped by the full drill canvas, and the light makes it much easier to read the DMC symbols and pick out the corresponding diamond drills.
VizuArts offers a diamond painting light pad that uses LED bulbs and has three levels of brightness, so you can adjust the light to your liking. Cross stitchers and other crafters may find that the light pad helps them continue enjoying their hobby for longer periods while preventing unnecessary eye strain.
Reason #7 There’s a Party Going on Down Here
Much like a 1000 piece puzzle, diamond painting can be enjoyed as a solitary activity or it can be used to bring family and friends together. Whether you are working together on a single diamond painting (for which you’ll need some more drill pen applicator tools) or working side by side on smaller canvases, diamond painting is a good way to spend quality time with your kids, your loved ones, or your friends.
There are already lots of social groups and diamond painting aficionados with diamond painting tips, examples, and anecdotes to share. Social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook all have forums devoted to and comprised of diamond painters. Each group is unique, but you are sure to be able to find the group that is right for you to network, trade leftover diamond drills, get useful tips, or even display your own handiwork.
Cross stitch is often a solitary activity, and diamond painting can be as well if you so choose. But much like sewing circles, diamond painting groups can come together to chat while they work together.
Reason #8 Flex Those Fingers
Although creating diamond art is not that complicated, it does offer enough challenge to require consistent focus and manual dexterity. Like cross stitch or sewing, diamond painting is one of the most innovative ways to improve the fine motor skills of children as well as adults. Acquiring and maintaining fine motor skills is one of the primary indicators of appropriate growth in children, and a family diamond art project may be just the thing you are seeking to help your children or grandchildren develop critical motor skills. Plus, do not forget about that sparkle!
As adults age, fine motor skills become an area of focus. Manual dexterity is one of the key areas that experts assess when they examine the effects of aging on adults. When you use the drill pin to pick up diamonds and fix them to the surface of your diamond painting, you are helping to ensure that your hands and fingers maintain mobility and flexibility. So pick up a drill pin and flex those fingers!
Reason #9 Just … Breathe
Clinicians and behavioral experts have long studied the effects of art on both emotional and physical health, and most experts concur that having a meaningful hobby that employs the creative side of the brain helps individuals with self-esteem, trauma recovery, and managing stress. Like cross stitch, diamond painting provides a way for you to engage in an activity that is mindful and freeing at the same time. This process mimics some of the effects of meditation practice in the way it frees up part of your active brain while encouraging it to focus on other, less intense activities.
While we have discussed ways to make diamond painting a social activity, it can, of course, be enjoyed alone. When you are working on a diamond painting, you are creating a space for yourself to relax, and like other hobbies, diamond painting provides a respite from the worries of the moment. Put on something that soothes you and lifts your spirits, brew yourself a mug of chamomile, and begin recovering from a stressful week the minute you roll out your canvas.
Not convinced? Repeated studies have shown that having a consistent activity to turn to for focus and relaxation can lower rates of dementia while improving day to day focus. Just as there are therapeutic effects in sewing for pleasure, diamond painting allows the hobbyist to work on something that fuses mindlessness with mindfulness. So while your hands and part of your mind are engaged in picking up and placing the diamonds on the canvas, your animal brain can kick back and take a break from the cycle of worry and the chronic to-do lists that often clutter our consciousness.
Reason #10 No New Electronic Gadgets to Learn
If you are considering a new hobby, it may seem like most of your options involve a lot of expense or rely on technology. Like cross stitch or paint by numbers, diamond painting is one of the activities that the crafter can enjoy from the comfort of their own home without spending a fortune. So if you are looking for ways to entertain yourself or your family, or if you just like keeping your hands busy, diamond painting is an activity that improves dexterity, relieves stress, improves focus, and is just fun to do. There is no software to download and there are no elaborate tools to acquire -- all you need is an all inclusive diamond painting art kit (or two).
There’s No Time Like the Present
Whether you are new to the world of diamond painting or a seasoned diamond painter, the best way to know if this fantastic new hobby is right for you is simply to try it out for yourself. With all that is going on in the world, the time is ripe for you to seek ways to reduce stress, and taking up a new DIY craft project may be just the ticket for exploring a new way to relax while creating something that lasts for years to come. With sale prices and two day shipping available on everything from LED light pads to the best new arrivals in DIY diamond painting cross stitch kits, what better time to take the plunge?