Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Finishing Touches: Budget-Friendly "Frames"

Diamond painting can get expensive. Not only do you have to buy a kit (and then another.. and another... and, well, you get the idea), but there are also storage items and a host of tools that-- while not strictly necessary-- definitely make the diamond painting experience better. And then, when your painting is finally done, there's framing. Getting your diamond paintings professionally framed can easily cost hundreds of dollars, even with a coupon!

But despair not, fellow diamond painters, there is hope! Many DPers have demonstrated their creativity in finding less costly ways to display their finished works. 

One DPer (who gave permission for her photos and method to be posted about here but asked to be anonymous) shared recently on the Paint With Diamonds Support Group how she saved money not only by getting some of the "free" small diamond painting kits offered by Decor Haven (you only pay shipping) but also by coming up with a budget-friendly (but still stylish) method of framing them:


To achieve this effect, she just created a "frame" by gluing a few rows of spare drills in various colors around the edges of the finished painting. Then she glued a few skewers to the top of the painting, and tied on some paracord for hanging. The result, as you can see, is quite pretty-- without breaking the bank!

For a second painting, she added a little extra flare with some seashells glued along the top: 


Don't they look great? Thank you to Anonymous for sharing this lovely idea with the DP community!

Have you found a creative way to frame or otherwise display your finished diamond paintings? Email your ideas and photos to diamondpaintingdigest@gmail.com for a chance to have them featured on the blog!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Diamond Painting Party!

Did you attend the diamond painting party this past Saturday? Yours truly got to be there in person (it was held in Southern California), but everyone around the world was invited to be there through Facebook Live. In addition to diamond painters from all over the US, I know we had some from Australia, the UK, and Norway watching-- and probably visitors from many other countries as well!

If you missed it, you can catch the replay on the SoCal Diamond Painters page here. As of this writing, it's received 8.9K views and 2.8K comments!


So what does one do at a diamond painting party? Well, diamond paint, of course! But we also enjoyed lots of yummy snacks and drinks, ogled each others' diamond paintings and tools and storage, and chatted-- both about diamond painting and other topics. Meanwhile, hosts Renee Lee Dean and Kylie Lee kept everyone online entertained and informed, telling stories, answering questions, and raffling off diamond paintings, light pads, tools, and more. I even won a nifty custom diamond painting pen from Southforkrafts.com!


Thanks to Paint With Diamonds for sponsoring the party and Renee and Kylie for hosting it. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, and proved that while diamond painting is a great solo activity, it can be turned into a fun social event as well! Maybe we'll see other diamond painting parties start to pop up around the country-- and around the world-- after this. Renee and Kylie even brought up the idea of a diamond painting cruise!


If you missed this party, keep an eye out on the Paint With Diamonds Support Group page for announcements about the next one, which will likely take place in early November. Or plan your own!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Blueprint For This Blog & How You Can Help

Now that I've gotten a few basic posts under my belt (though I still have plans to keep adding to and improving those-- yes, there will be photos!), I'd like to share my vision for this blog. In short, I don't want it to just be my blog. I want it to be a blog for sharing the creativity, tips, and finished works of the whole diamond painting community. But in order to do that, I need you guys to be willing to share with me!

So, I've laid out below some categories of regular, recurring posts I would like to have on this blog. If you have something that you think would be worth contributing in any of these areas, please email me at diamondpaintingdigest@gmail.com. I believe strongly in giving credit, so you will of course by given your due if you contribute, but I can share as much or as little information about you as you like. For instance, if you'd like your name in any form (first, first and last, first and last initial, nickname/screenname) and location shared, I will do so. If you'd prefer to remain anonymous, that's fine as well. I'm also open to sharing links to any relevant websites or Facebook groups you may run or be involved in.


Without further ado, here are the categories:


Size Wise: In these posts, we'll share photos of the same diamond painting done in different sizes so people can really see what a difference size makes and judge which one is best for them. The first three Size Wise posts will be on Soulmates (any color), Berry Branch Owl (full or partial), and Galaxy Eyes. So if you have finished any of these three paintings in ANY size and would be willing to share a photo, please email me! Make sure you share a good photo, the size of the painting, and where you bought the kit from, in addition to whatever info you want shared about yourself.


Shop Around: Each Shop Around post will highlight a different place you can purchase diamond paintings (like those in our current poll.) We'll talk about the pros and cons of each seller and share tips on how to get the best shopping experience with them. So if you have any thoughts or tips to share on a particular site or seller, please email!


Finishing Touches: So you've just completed your diamond painting. What now? These posts will highlight the creative ways diamond painters have found to finish and display their paintings. If you've got tips on finishing, framing, displaying, or otherwise making use of your finished diamond paintings-- with photos, of course!-- shoot me an email.


Smart Storage: Here we'll look at different storage solutions, whether they're for diamonds, tools, unfinished paintings, or finished paintings awaiting framing. Email your suggestions!


Pen Pals: These posts will highlight different drill pens. If you've got a favorite pen, if you sell pens, or if you've got a method for making your own that you'd like to share, send an email!


Cool Customs: Want to show off your favorite finished custom diamond painting and tell us what it's all about? This is the category for you.


Leftover Love: Diamond painters have found some creative ways to use their leftover diamonds. If you've got one, please email a photo and tell us about it!


Getting to Know You: Here I'll interview different diamond painters. If there's someone you'd like to see interviewed, or if you would like to be interviewed, please email me.


Tips, Tricks & Tools: This will be the place to share advice, tricks of the trade, special tools, and more. Email your best ideas, suggestions, and secrets!


So, that's it. I'd love to hear in the comments below what you think of these categories and the overall plan for this blog. And in case it's not clear already, please don't hesitate to email me if you have anything you think would be worth sharing!


Note: The one thing I will be avoiding sharing in this blog is anything I have reason to believe is copyrighted artwork-- for instance, anything owned by Disney (and we all know Disney owns pretty much everything nowadays). I hate to exclude so many neat diamond paintings from being featured here, but I don't want to risk breaking Blogger's rules. Copyrighted artwork that has been licensed, like the Afremov and Dean Russo collections, should be fine. 


Note 2: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links do not cost you anything extra, but the author receives a commission on them, which helps to support this blog. 





Sunday, August 5, 2018

Monthly Poll For August

There are lots of different places to purchase diamond paintings, with more seeming to pop up every day. What's your favorite place to get diamond paintings from, and why? Please vote and then share in the comments about your experiences with various sellers!

Update: Poll closed. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. Paint With Diamonds was the clear favorite, with twice as many votes as the next most popular vendor: AliExpress. Amazon and Michaels both received one vote each.


Keep an eye out for the September poll, coming soon!


Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links do not cost you anything extra, but the author receives a commission on them, which helps to support this blog. 


Friday, August 3, 2018

The Diamond Painting Dictionary

Like many hobbies, diamond painting has developed its own set of terms and abbreviations that can leave newbies and outsiders scratching their heads. This post will act as a handy reference for those looking to understand what diamond painters are saying.

Centimeters: Okay, you probably know what a centimeter is. But I include it here because most sellers measure their diamond paintings in centimeters-- and that can be a little confusing if you're an American. An easy way to convert centimeters to inches is to multiply by 4, then divide by 10. So if something is 30 centimeters... 30 x 4 = 120, 120/10 = 12... it's approximately 12 inches.


Checkerboard: When working on a large area of the same color, many diamond painters like to create a checkerboard pattern with their diamonds first, then fill in the gaps. This makes the task less monotonous, can create the coveted "click" (see below), and seems to help with making straight rows and columns. Checkerboard can be used as both a noun (the pattern) and a verb (the act of creating the pattern).


China Mail: Because many diamond paintings are manufactured and shipped from China, diamond painters will often refer to diamond painting kits received in the mail as "China mail".


Click: The sound (and sensation) often created when placing a diamond, especially a square, snugly into a spot already surrounded by other diamonds. Also called a "snap," many diamond painters find this very satisfying.

Confetti: This term is used to describe an area of a diamond painting where there are many different colors. These can seem random and chaotic (like confetti) up close, but when viewed from a distance often help to add depth, detail, and shading to the picture.


Crystal/Rhinestone: Crystal or rhinestone diamonds (also referred to as crystal rhinestone) have a more jewel-like or metallic appearance than regular drills. Many kits using these types of drills are partials, but they can be used in full-drill kits as well.


Custom: Many sellers offer an option to create a custom diamond painting kit, using photos or other images you provide.

DAC: Acronym for Diamond Art Club, a popular seller of diamond paintings, which ships from the U.S.


Diamond Cross Stitch: This is just another term for diamond painting, used because of the similarity between the cross-stitching and diamond painting crafts.

DMC: DMC is actually a brand that sells embroidery floss and other products. Different colored DMC flosses are identified by different numbers, and most diamond painting products use these same numbers to denote the colors of their diamonds. So in diamond painting, DMC refers to the number that corresponds to a particular diamond color, such as 310 for black (see below). You can download a DMC color chart here.

Diamond Pox: A funny term invented by diamond painters to describe the condition when you start to randomly find stray diamonds on your body.

DP: Acronym for Diamond Painting (both a noun and a verb)


Drill(s): Another name for the resin "diamonds" that are used to create a diamond painting. Drill can also be used as a verb, describing the action of placing diamonds on the canvas (so "to drill" and "to diamond paint" are synonymous).


Drill Pen: The stylus that is used to pick up drills and place them on a canvas


5D/3D: You will often see reference to 5D diamond paintings, or to a lesser extent 3D diamond paintings. When asked about the difference, some claim that 5D diamonds have more facets than 3D, but the author of this blog is not convinced of this. PWD says 5D is just a "marketing buzzword." More than likely, if you see one DP labeled as "5D" and another as "3D," there is no real difference other than the marketing terms the seller has chosen to use-- but you can always ask them to clarify.


Full Drill/Full: A "full drill" diamond painting is one in which the entire canvas is covered with diamonds. Fulls are generally preferred by most experienced diamond painters.

Inventory: When you receive a new diamond painting kit in the mail, it's a good idea to "do inventory." This means checking the inventory list provided by the seller (this may be a separate piece of paper or may be printed on the side of the canvas itself) to make sure that all of the packets of diamonds necessary for your kit to be completed were received. If anything is missing, contact the seller right away to get it resolved.


Junk/Trash: This refers to misshapen drills and any other stray, unusable pieces of resin that end up in a bag of diamonds.

Kit Up: Kitting up refers to the process of getting ready to start on a new diamond painting kit. Usually this means getting your diamonds into new containers (as opposed to the bags they come in) and labeling them.

Lightpad: A lightpad is probably the most frequently recommended tool for diamond painters (besides those like the drill pen and tray that come with every kit). These thin LED lights can be placed behind a diamond painting canvas to make it easier to read the symbols on it. Sizes range from A4 (approximately 9x12 inches) to A1 (26x36 inches). 

Partial Drill/Partial: A "partial drill" diamond painting is one in which only part of the canvas is covered with diamonds. Partials can be good for beginners or those looking for a smaller or easier project.

Popping: Popping drills have unfortunately become a not uncommon problem for diamond painters recently. This is when drills that have been placed on the canvas buckle, come loose, or completely pop off of the canvas. It can be due to oversized or poorly formed diamonds, weak adhesive, bubbles or creases in the adhesive or canvas, or a combination of factors.


PWD: Acronym for Paint With Diamonds, one of the most popular places to buy diamond paintings

Round/Round Drill: One of two shapes that diamonds come in is round. Round drills are known for being easier to place than square drills, and can also create a shinier painting.


Sealing: Some diamond painters like to seal their finished diamond paintings with a glue or spray-on sealer. There are many different sealers to choose from, all with their own pros and cons (and advocates and detractors). Not everyone sees sealing as necessary, especially if diamond paintings are being framed behind glass, but it may be needful to seal even while your diamond painting is in progress if you experience popping drills.


Special/Special Shape: Drills or kits can be referred to as "special" or "special shape". Special shape kits (usually partials) use drills that are not just the standard square or round, but of varying shapes and sizes. These drills are usually crystal/rhinestone drills.

Stash: Any unfinished diamond painting kits you have stored up for future projects.

Square/Square Drill: One of two shapes that diamonds come in is square. Square drills can be more challenging to place than round drills, but result in a more full and detailed-looking painting.

310: The DMC number for the color black. Black drills (310s) often make up a large portion of a diamond painting and also tend to contain more low-quality drills and debris-- perhaps because they are manufactured in larger quantities-- than other colors, and consequently inspire a lot of dread and/or complaining in diamond painters.


Tray: Most diamond painting kits include a slotted plastic tray. Diamonds are poured into this tray, and by shaking the tray from side to side, most of them can be flipped so that they are flat-side-down (faceted-side-up) and ready to be picked up with the drill pen.


"Trust The Process": This has become a common phrase in the diamond painting world to reassure people who are working on their diamond painting and feel uncertain about how it is going to turn out. Working up close on something that is supposed to be viewed from far away and that is still incomplete can cause people to worry, but usually if they "trust the process", keep going until the whole picture is completed, and step back, they will be happy with the results.

Wax: A pink wax that, when inserted into drill pens, allows them to pick up diamonds


WIP: Acronym for Work In Progress-- a diamond painting that is in the process of being completed



So, fellow diamond painters, what do you think? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments! This page will continue to be added to as needed in order to be as valuable a resource as possible.


Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links do not cost you anything extra, but the author receives a commission on them, which helps to support this blog. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Welcome: Intro to Diamond Painting

Welcome to Diamond Painting Digest!

Diamond painting is a unique crafting hobby that's been compared to cross-stitch, paint-by-numbers, and latch hook. While the exact origins of diamond painting itself are hazy, it is essentially a new twist on the ancient art of mosaic, which originated in the 3rd millennium BC in Mesopotamia.


Diamond painting kits include a canvas printed with a pattern divided into tiny squares. Each square contains a number, letter, or symbol, and each of these symbols corresponds to a different color. The canvas is also covered with a sticky adhesive, which allows different colored "diamonds" to be adhered to each square one by one. (Of course, these aren't real diamonds, or very few people would actually be able to afford this hobby. They're actually made of resin, and are flat on one side-- to stick to the canvas-- and faceted on the other side, resembling cut diamonds.) Once all of the diamonds are placed, a full, beautiful-- and shiny!-- picture emerges.


Diamond painting can be a very relaxing hobby, and one that produces stunning results, so it's no wonder that thousands of people have already fallen in love with it. And I hope those of you who count yourselves among them will help to make this blog a place to celebrate the hobby, and share ideas, tips, and finished paintings.