Essential diamond painting tools: A complete intro to diamond art supplies

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The diamond painting craze is on the rise and has engaged crafters of all ages since making its way into the realm of crafty, creative hobbies — it’s really quite the phenomenon!  

Besides highly entertaining, one of the most significant advantages of this pastime is that it doesn’t demand expensive diamond painting tools or a particularly spacious craft desk. 

A popular way to get into diamond art is by purchasing a diamond painting kit. They’re very affordable, offer fun projects, and include everything you need in a single bundle. 

However, if you’re looking to explore the craft beyond a kit, there are a couple of supplies you should consider buying. Check out our list of essential diamond painting tools to find all the nifty diamond art gear needed to keep you crafting!

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

Before you get started 

Diamond painting is pretty straightforward, and the supplies needed are very budget-friendly and accessible.

Before purchasing new diamond painting tools, being able to differentiate certain items and understanding how each work is a good idea — you can also learn a little diamond painting lingo while you’re at it!

Read also: 100+ creative hobbies to try, and how to get started

Square drills vs. Round drills 

When lined up, square drills create more cohesive, gapless rows vs. round drills. This type of diamond has a snap mechanism that helps lock down gems more effectively, leaving little to no space at all between each when placed down on canvases. 

Crafting with round drills can be a little trickier and often requires the help of a pair of tweezers to achieve accurate compositions —especially if you’re a perfectionist!

Also, because these types of diamonds are round, they generally leave minor gaps when placed side-by-side, which may give you the feeling of having a few unwanted blank spaces on your canvas.

However, it’s important to know that no matter what kind of diamond painting project you take on, your final work is to be appreciated from afar; much like a painting!

By observing your canvas up close, you won’t really be able to enjoy the detail and overall outcome of your work.

Canvas types

Whether you opt for a blank, customized, or themed layout, selecting a well-built, sturdy canvas is crucial for your diamond art projects. 

When working with pre-printed canvases, be aware that designs or photographs should be transferred onto surfaces in high definition and quality.

If you’re purchasing a canvas online, be sure to read the guidelines on image definition and canvas size, as this will affect the result and proportion of your project. 

If you are customizing a canvas, confirm that your photograph or image is as good as possible! The more defined your picture is, the more realistic and similar it will be to the original reference.

Diamond painting methods 

Diamond painting is very entertaining, but it’s also an extremley relaxing, meditative pastime. However, if repetition is getting the best of you, there are several techniques and methods you can experiment with your diamond painting tools: 

Also, remember — the Internet is a wonderful thing! There are many online troubleshooting resources to support you while working on your shiny masterpieces, offering lots of tips on how to master essential diamond painting tools.

Diamond painting kits

Although buying diamond painting kits online is incredibly time-saving and convenient (we highly recommend them!), we do advise double-checking what each set contains before purchase to ensure you get all the diamond art tools needed to complete your projects.

Read also: Best diamond painting kits

Essential diamond painting tools 

Read through our list of essential diamond painting tools to start your diamond art ventures right away! 

Canvases

Canvas diamond painting tools
Photo credit:  Olga (Adobe Stock Images)

A canvas with high-quality adhesion that is easy to flatten is crucial for diamond painting. Without a solid surface to work on, this craft can become a real mess! 

When purchasing a canvas, there are several types to consider:

Pre-printed canvases 

These types of canvases are mostly included in hobby diamond painting kits and come in all sorts of designs and themes, from landscapes to animals, to cartoons, fun phrases, mythical creatures, and more! 

This option is ideal for beginners to build confidence and technique before taking on more challenging projects. Also, before purchasing, check if you are getting a full drill or partial drill canvas to meet expectations.  

Customized canvases 

Suppose diamond painting your own designs or photographs sparks your interest — bingo! Today, most diamond painting businesses use state-of-the-art technology to transfer personalized images onto blank canvases; there are a lot of great prices and deals worth checking out!

Whether you submit a picture of your family, friends, pet, favorite vacation spot, or band logo, recall that the higher the quality and definition of your images, the better. The secret to getting the best outcomes lies in transposing every shade, line, and color of your original image onto your custom canvas.

These canvases can be ordered individually or as customized diamond painting kits

Blank canvases

Ordering a blank canvas will allow you to diamond paint freely and create whatever design or illustration you want to tackle through the art of gem-placing. These canvases feature a printed grid pattern for guidance and proportion.

However, in this scenario, diamonds are usually not included.

Owning a light pad is especially recommended since you’ll most likely be doing lots of intricate drawing and tracing work (keep scrolling to learn more about this tool!). A pencil and black pen are also the most effective for this purpose.

Mind you that working with blank canvases requires more experience and extra prepping since you’ll be creating your visual concepts from scratch. That said, not the best starting point for beginners.

Diamond pens and multi-placers

Drill pens diamond painting tools
Photo credit:  Olga (Adobe Stock Images)

Diamond pens are used to transfer diamonds to your canvas, come in all kinds of designs, and feature diverse functions and applications. They’re the most important of all diamond painting tools!

Here’s a quick outline of the different diamond pens you can find:

Standard drill pen 

A standard drill pen is usually included in most hobby diamond painting kits and are straightforward to use.

To transfer rhinestones onto your canvas, you apply diamond painting wax to the tip of your pen, pick up a gem off the tray, and place it onto your surface, one diamond at a time. 

Wax pen

Some pens have wax tips that can be sharpened like ordinary pencils and replaced once they’re too short to grip.

These are fun to craft with, but know that having a standard drill pen or a wax pen ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Wheel pick-up pen

Contrary to the pens mentioned above, wheel pick-up pens are more supplementary as they can only be used in canvas areas that require the same color.

This item features a little adhesive wheel used to roll over same-colored diamonds, gripping several drills simultaneously vs. one by one. The great thing about this tool, is that you can both place and remove drills in one go.

If you have large areas to cover, this can be a real-time saver! On the other hand, you might need to experiment a little until you get the hang of things.

Multi-placers

Once you’ve developed more technique, adding different applications to your pens, like multi-placers, is a phenomenal way to make this activity more dynamic and engaging. 

There are many helpful tips and tricks and lots of free resources online providing guidance for extra support!

Diamonds/drills

Diamonds and drills
Photo credit: Viktoriia (Adobe Stock Images)

Also known as drills, rhinestones, beads, crystals, or gems, these teeny weeny pieces are the show-stoppers of diamond painting!

These tiny, color-coded pieces come in all kinds of shades, shapes, and textures and are used to embellish your canvas. 

Diamond painting kits will include all the diamonds needed to cover your canvas and frequently offer the option of choosing between round or square drills. 

Read also: Looking for a creative gift? Try these hobby and craft kits

While square diamonds snap neatly onto canvases creating cohesive, gapless rows, round diamonds may require the support of tweezers to reduce the slight gaps formed when placed side-by-side. Our advice is to test both diamond types and decide what works best for you! 

On the other hand, purchasing individual drills to experiment with blank canvases or to add to your diamond painting tools is very easy — and cheap!

Here are just a few places you could purchase these pieces to put the bling into your art: 

AB rhinestones are also a favorite among diamond painters. Standing for Aurora Borealis (yes, as in the Northern Lights), these are dainty, iridescent drills that add shimmer to your designs: perfect for holiday-themed canvases and customized projects for special occasions. 

Complementary accessories like storage containers and cases are great for protecting and maintaining your diamond painting tools and drills!

Wax

Wax diamond painting tools
Photo credit: OB production (Adobe Stock Images)

Diamond painting wax is probably the cheapest item you can purchase for this craft, but essential if you’re working with a standard drill pen and multi-placers.

Wax is used to transfer diamonds from your tray to your canvas. It’s weaker than the adhesive on your canvas to ensure a smooth transition.

Although wax is included in every diamond painting kit, you can also make your own! Researching online tutorials and DIY hacks is great way to learn how to incorporate household materials in your projects, like blue tack or craft putty

You can also purchase this wax separately, in different shapes, colors, scents, and designs to make crafting more fun!

Parchment paper

Parchment paper diamond painting tools
Photo credit: cottonbro studio (Pexels)

One of the more challenging parts of diamond painting is working around the plastic sheet that covers your canvas. 

Its function is to protect your work while in progress, preventing it from getting dust, dirt, or losing its adhesiveness. That said, parchment paper is a really helpful resource to avoid this from happening.

This allows you to diamond paint without the concern of affecting unveiled sections of your canvas as you peel off the plastic sheet as you work. 

Tips

  • Only use parchment paper for this purpose
  • Don’t remove the plastic sheet in one go; gradually peel it off as you work
  • If you need to clean parts of your canvas, gently use a baby wipe to eliminate unwanted dust or sweater fuzz!

Another useful item to add to your diamond painting tools is washi tape. It’s very effective in holding parchment paper down while working through small sections of your canvas and helpful whenever prepping work for framing. 

Washi tape comes in different designs and colors and can be easily found on online retailers or at your local craft store. If you need a visual on how to apply this tool, click here!

Diamond Trays

Diamond trays
Photo credit: Daria Nipot (Adobe Stock Images)

Diamond trays may seem unecessary. However, without them, diamond painting life would be pretty hectic!

These small plastic containers feature grooved lines where diamonds are placed. With just a like shake, drills flip over, adhesive side up, making them easy to grip with your pen.

This means you won’t need to turn your crystals around every time you need to pick up a drill!

Every diamond painting kit includes this accessory, but you can also purchase these individually according to your preference, whether you’re looking for special tray designs or larger trays with different compartments.

Light Pads 

Best lightboxes and light pads_FEATURE
Photo credit: ignasi (Adobe Stock Images)

Light pads are not so much of a must like other diamond painting tools, but we highly recommend them if you’re a full-fledged diamond painter. 

Convenient and affordable, light pads provide additional illumination while placing minuscule drills on canvases, reducing eye strain and improving your view of your project’s color chart

Our favorite light pads are battery-operated, although there are also lots of USB-connected options available. LED pads are the best options as they have long lifespans and are very durable. Plus, they are all flicker-free!

Read also: Best light boxes and light pads

If you’re on a budget, a cheap USB-powered light pad is a great option, but if you can afford it, this rechargeable light pad from Cricut is just about the best you can get. Take care of your eyesight!

Besides diamond painting, this accessory is also fantastic tool you can use for other creative hobbies you may have, such as calligraphy, storyboarding, stained glass projects, illustration, digital art drawing, and needle-felting projects.

Along with a light pad, a magnifier and an adjustable craft table will enhance your work station and help keep your posture and vision healthy while you diamond paint! 


That’s it for all of the essential diamond painting tools you need to get started! Feel free to drop any questions, comments, or tips for other readers below.

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