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Relaxing Crafts: Diamond Painting

For my new Relaxing Crafts series, I decided to pick up a pile of random craft kits that one of my neighbours was selling on Facebook and see if there was anything interesting for me to try…

a selection of craft kits

It was quite a haul for a few dollars! There are quite a few things I’d like to experiment with in here, and I’ll pass the rest onto someone else who has kids who can use them – nothing will go to waste.

Hiding out in the bottom right corner of the above pic, I found a kit I was intrigued to start first: a small diamond painting kit.

Diamond Painting

The craft of ‘diamond painting’ – sticking flat-backed plastic ‘gems’ onto an adhesive colour-coded surface to form a pattern – seems to have sprung up from nowhere over the past few years. Have you heard of it before?

puppy diamond painting kit

A diamond painting kit comes with an adhesive backing (this one is cardboard, but most are canvas), preprinted with the design. You fill in each space with a plastic ‘diamond’. Depending on the kit, the diamonds can be square or round – in this kit, mine were round.

There’s an individual bag for each colour of diamond. With only a few colours in this design, I found it most fun to pour a few colours into the tray at once, and then I got to play a minigame every time: to look for a piece that was a) the right colour and b) the right way up.

puppy diamond painting kit

Each diamond has a domed front and a flat back. You pick up a diamond by loading the nib of the special pen with a little pink wax, then pressing it gently to the domed side of the diamond, so the diamond sticks to the wax:

puppy diamond painting kit

Then you press the flat side of the diamond down to the picture. The adhesive grabs the diamond and keeps it in place. (The wax stays inside the nib of the pen, ready to grab the next diamond.)

puppy diamond painting kit

It’s very satisfying to place all the tiny diamonds into neat rows and watch the picture emerge. It’s faster than cross stitch, much easier than paint-by-numbers(!), and once each piece is placed it stays there, so you don’t have to worry about knocking them out of place before you complete the design.

puppy diamond painting kit

As you work, you peel back the protective plastic film from the painting a bit at a time, so the rest of the picture stays sticky and doesn’t attract dust or lint before you’re ready to apply the diamonds to it.

And, after a little time, the canvas is filled and the finished picture emerges!

puppy diamond painting kit

Relaxing Craft Verdict

This kit was just a dollar store special and I don’t love the design, but as a test of the craft it served its purpose admirably: I call diamond painting a win on the relaxing front! Big thumbs up from me.

I’m looking at diamond painting kits now – there are lots with really nice looking designs, and I think I’ll be picking one up. Here are my top choices at the moment:

Diamond Dotz diamond painting kits
Clockwise from top left: Miniature Magic, Forest Babe, and Graceful Swimmer kits from Diamond Dotz.

I’m leaning towards the turtle – I think the diamonds may make it look like it’s swimming in a sparkling sea. What do you think?

Have you ever tried diamond painting? Are you tempted to try now? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. DianneU said

    I was curious about diamond painting but never tried it. Now I think I will. My two grandkids are 7 & 12 and could do these on their own while I do one with them. Fun group activity! Thanks for sharing the info. on this craft. I never would have tried it without you telling me what was involved and how to do it. Thanks!

    • June said

      I definitely think the kids will enjoy them! Just remind them not to uncover the whole picture at once so they don’t stick their hands to the adhesive! (It wouldn’t hurt them; it’d just make it less sticky so the diamonds might not stick.) I’ve started my turtle kit which has square diamonds, and I’d say, from my experience so far, I’d say a kit with round diamonds would be easier for kids – you don’t have to place them quite so precisely.

  2. Michelle said

    I have been looking at these for awhile and thinking they look pretty relaxing. I think the turtle would be gorgeous. The hummingbird is a good one too because they are jewel like colors. Congrats on the craft haul!

    • June said

      Hmm, I think you’re right, Michelle! I think I’ll go with the turtle first, and maybe pick up the hummingbird later 🙂

      • Michelle said

        I hate to be an enabler, but the fawn is adorable – jewel like or not. LOL

        • David said

          I like the fawn ( Forest Babe ) but it’s way more expensive. The one with frame was $90 ( not completed) the kit. I looked more and found just the Forest Babe for $49. I decided to try one of the simpler ones Tree of Life ( I think ) from Amazon. It’s only 12inch square but only costs $6. It should be a good starter kit.

          • Michelle said

            $90 – OUCH :astonished:
            I like $8 much better. Its cute but not THAT cute!

          • June said

            Yeah, these kits are too expensive to collect the way you might collect crochet patterns, thinking you’ll probably get around to making it one day 😉 I picked up the turtle kit for $50 CAD, but it’s huge, so I think it was worth it.

          • June said

            Good idea! I’m going to get a cheap kit from Amazon too, and I’ll write another post later to review whether there’s a difference in quality etc, and whether I think it’s worth the additional cost to pay for a branded kit vs a cheap Chinese one…

  3. Cindy G said

    I really love this series- it’s bringing back some memories! This past year, couple of my students encouraged me to try diamond painting and while a friend had tried to convince me previously, I think the pandemic stress finally convinced me to pick up a kit. But, because remote teaching really ramped up the workload, I never had time to actually try it out, and the kit was tucked away and, honestly, forgotten. But now, I’m going to dig it out and get started on it. I’m still in “summer brain mode” so I need something that doesn’t require much thought, and this could be it! Thanks for highlighting it!

    • June said

      Ooh, yay! Even better if you’ve already bought a kit – it’s essentially free for you at this point! I hope you’ll find it as relaxing as I do, Cindy. (I wonder what the picture in your kit is…)

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