Last month we moved house, and I gained a dedicated craft room. To celebrate this new room, it seemed a fitting time to try a new craft I have had my eye on for some time. Diamond Painting. If you have not come across this before, it is like cross stitch but instead of adding a stitch to each cell you place a gemstone on the sticky canvas. Today I thought I would share more about this with you because it is pretty Fibro friendly.
What comes in the kit
When you purchase a diamond painting kit they send you everything you need to get started. Amazon has a wide range of styles available. A kit typically contains:
- A sticky canvas
- A set of gemstones (drills)
- A gemstone applicator
- Red Wax
- A tray to hold the gemstones
- A set of mini bags
Two types of canvas
There are two types of canvas made for diamond painting. One is poured glue which, in my experience has a clear film cover. They create the other with a double-sided tape and these seem to come with a white, non-stick paper cover.
Pros and Cons of the canvas types
So far I have worked on four diamond paintings. The first three were poured glue, and the fourth has tape on it. Although I like the white paper cover that comes with the taped canvas (it is useful if you want to hide the design from somebody because it is a gift.) I have found that you can get creases in the tape which you need to flatten. So, at this stage my preference is the poured glue style.
Basic Method of Diamond Painting
To get started all you need to do is press the applicator tool into the wax. This fills the hollow cylinder with low-tack wax. After opening a pack of drills and shaking them out into the tray, you then use the tool to pick up a gemstone. Finally, placing the gemstone onto the correct symbol.
Useful Tools for Diamond Painting
Diamond Painting Storage
Although you have everything you need to get started in a kit, as with all crafts there are things that can improve your experience.
These storage trays are great for organising your drills, When I start a new canvas I organise all my colours into these boxes I purchased from Amazon, before I begin. I label the colours on each box in number order and I can quickly find the colour I am looking for.
A Lightbox makes a massive difference. Depending on the quality of the canvas sometimes it’s hard to read some symbols. I already owned an expensive one which I purchased for papercrafting but it is amazing how many good quality massively affordable ones are available now. Like this one from Amazon.
Diamond Painting in Comfort
I bought these pencil grips from Amazon to use with coloured pencils for my adult colouring but I have found they are perfect for use on the diamond painting stylus and make it far comfier to hold for longer periods of time. Before I thought to try a grip, I found after a while my hand would ache. Since I added the grip I worked for four hours solid!
My Top Tip
I have only been diamond painting for a little over a month but I already have a top tip for you. Canvas size! The more intricate a design is the large the canvas you should purchase. For anyone who is a keen photographer, think about the issues of pixilation when you resize an image. My first canvas was 40 x 30 cm, and this is the finished result.
There is some pixilation and I am not sure about my decision to add glitter tape around the edges. But because it is my first and I love the colours of the night sky, I framed it and put it on my wall. This is the photo of how it should look.
I am now working on a larger canvas, although it is taking longer and cost a little more the difference in image quality is worth it. At some point I hope to get a large-scale image still. This will cost more money but the quality of the image will be worth it.
Why Diamond Painting for Spoonies?
So, why do I advocate diamond painting for spoonies?
When you are diamond painting, you must concentrate! The more intricate the design the more concentration you need. This completely takes you out of your own head. I know this is no help when pain levels are at their worst. But on those average days when you are dealing with many niggles, it is a great distraction.
Although the finished designs can look amazing and far from simple. The actual diamond painting process could not be easier. Check the key, take the correct colour gemstone and place it on the corresponding letter/number/symbol. Unlike Adult Colouring where you need to develop skills to produce something amazing, the quality of a diamond painting is down to the tools provided. A novice or experienced painter can produce the same wonderful results.
Make it personal
You can order canvases made from your own photos which would make an amazing gift for a loved one. If you are considering doing this I would look around for a reputable seller who will show you a mockup of the finished result. Following the advice given above purchase the largest canvas you can afford.
A non-spoonie Community
Diamond Painting has become very popular and there are many Facebook Groups and YouTube channels dedicated to it. Although we are all very grateful for our Spoonie Community and the support we find from each other. It is also nice to join communities where our chronic illness is not the reason for being there!
As a spoonie many of us are time rich and cash poor. The kits come in a range of prices based on quality, many diamond painters sell their completed works for a considerable profit. So far all my kits have been to decorate the house or as gifts for family for Christmas but next year I may start selling some.
Have you Considered Diamond Painting?
Perhaps this post has encouraged you to give diamond painting a go! Or maybe you have been doing it for a while? Either way, in the comments below, I would love to hear from any fellow Fibro Warriors or Spoonies who share this new passion of mine. Healthy diamond painters are welcome too ?