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

The diamond painting phenomenon is on the rise and has engaged crafters of all ages since making its way into the realm of artsy hobbies. 

Highlighted as a very affordable activity, the advantage of taking up this craft is that it does not demand expensive diamond painting tools or spacious workspaces.

There are countless diamond painting kits available online that offer a myriad of fun canvases and shiny drills to work with. 

Nevertheless, adding to your set of diamond painting tools is always a great idea if passionate about this pastime or looking to explore it further. 

Scroll through our list of essential diamond painting tools if pumped to add some nifty diamond art gear to your toolkit!  

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

Before you get started 

Diamond painting is pretty straightforward, and the items needed to pursue this activity are budget-friendly and easily accessible.

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

Square drills vs Round drills 

Square drills or diamonds create more cohesive, gapless rows when placed on a canvas. These drills have a snap characteristic that helps lock down gems more effectively, leaving little to no space at all between each. 

Crafting with round drills can be a little trickier and often requires the help of a tweezer to perfect placement on the canvas.

Especially if you are a perfectionist!

Also, these diamonds tend to create minor gaps between them because of their shape, which may give you the feeling of having an incomplete layout when done.  

However, no matter what kind of diamond painting project you take on, know that the final outcome of your work is to be appreciated from afar. If you observe your canvas up close, you will not be able to enjoy the precision of its details and colors, thus defeating the purpose of the work. 

Canvas types

Selecting a well-built canvas is crucial for your diamond art project, whether you opt for a blank, customized, or themed layout. 

When working with pre-printed canvases, be aware that designs or photographs should be transferred onto this surface in high definition and quality. If you are purchasing a canvas online, be sure to read the guidelines on image definition and canvas size, as this will affect the result 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 approximate it will be to the original reference.

Diamond painting methods 

While diamond painting is very entertaining, it’s also a 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 resources for troubleshooting to support you while working on your shiny masterpieces and lots of tips on how to incorporate all types of diamond painting tools!

Diamond painting kits

Keep in mind that although ordering diamond painting kits online is incredibly time-saving and practical, double-checking what comes inside each beforehand is recommended to make sure you have all the diamond painting tools you’ll need! 

Essential diamond painting tools 

Read through our list of essential diamond painting tools to start diamond placing right away! 


Canvas diamond painting tools

Having a canvas with high-quality adhesion that is easy to flatten is crucial for diamond painting. Without a good, 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 commonly found in standard diamond painting kits along with a set of fundamental diamond painting tools, 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 in this craft before taking on more challenging projects. Also, before purchase, be sure to check if you are getting a full drill or partial drill canvas

Customized canvases 

If 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 at very enticing costs. 

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 these images, the better. The secret to impactful results 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 navigate through gem-placing. These canvases have a grid pattern printed on them for guidance and proportion.

However, diamonds are usually not included.

Owning a light pad is especially recommended in these cases since you’ll most likely be doing lots of intricate drawing and tracing work. Pencil and black pen are also most effective in this scenario.

Mind you that working with blank canvases requires a higher level of experience and extra prepping since you’ll be creating your visual concepts from scratch. They’re definitely not for beginners.

Diamond pens and multi-placers

Drill pens diamond painting tools

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

Here’s a quick outline of the different types.

Standard drill pen 

A typical drill pen is usually included in most standard diamonds painting kits and are very easy to use.

To transfer rhinestones onto your canvas, all you have to do is apply diamond painting wax to the tip of your pen, select a gem off the tray, and place it on your surface, one step at a time. 

Wax pen

Some pens have wax tips that can be sharpened like an ordinary pencil and replaced once too short to hold.

While these are really useful and practical to work with, having a standard pen or a wax pen really comes down to personal preference.

Wheel pick-up pen

On the contrary to the previous pens on our diamond painting tools guide, this one is more supplementary as it 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 simultaneously rather than individually. With this supply, you could place drills on your canvas, as well as remove them.

If you have large areas to cover, this can be a real time saver. They will, however, require some practice to use.


Once you’ve developed more techniques in the craft, 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 and drills

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: Best diamond painting kits for all skill sets and budgets

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 out 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 suggestions where you could access these pieces to put the bling into your art: 

Another favorite among diamond painters are AB rhinestones. Standing for Aurora Borealis (yes, as in the Northern Lights), these are dainty, iridescent diamonds 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 also great to protect and maintain your diamond painting tools as you continue to evolve in your craft!


Wax diamond painting tools

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

This 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 usually included in any diamond painting kit, making your own wax is also a great idea! Researching online tutorials and DIY hacks is a fun way to learn how to use household materials in your projects like blue tack or craft putty

You can also purchase this tool individually in different shapes, colors, scents, and designs to make your workflow more fun!

Parchment paper

Parchment paper diamond painting tools

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

Its function is to protect your work while in progress, preventing it from getting dust, dirt, or losing its adhesiveness. This being said, a way to avoid this from happening is by using parchment paper. 

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. 


  • 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 do need to clean parts of your canvas, gently use a baby wipe to get rid of unwanted dust or sweater fuzz!

Another helpful item to add to your diamond painting tools is washi tape. It is very effective in holding this paper down while working through small sections on 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

Diamond trays may seem replaceable. However, without them, diamond painting life can get pretty hectic!

These trays are small plastic containers with grooved lines where diamonds are placed. By giving your tray a light shake, drills will fall into line and be flipped onto the correct side for gripping. This means you won’t need to turn your crystals around every time you want to pick them up with your pen. 

Every diamond painting kit comes with this item. Nevertheless, you can also purchase these individually according to your preference, whether you’re looking for trays with a pen-holder or larger trays with different compartments or in quirky designs and colors. 

Light Pads 

Light pads

Light pads are not a must like other diamond painting tools on this list but are a great option to consider if you’re an ongoing, full-fledged diamond painter. Or if you want to take on other types of illustration.

Read also: Best map illustration classes: Discover the world of map art

Convenient and affordable, light pads provide additional illumination while placing minuscule drills on canvases, which reduces eye strain and improves your view of the very essential color chart you need to follow. 

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.

If you’re on a budget, this 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. Invest in your eyesight!

Besides diamond painting, this accessory is also a tool you can use while working on other crafts and hobbies such as calligraphy, drawing and tracing, stained glass projects, illustration, and needle-felting projects.

Along with a light pad, purchasing a magnifier and an adjustable craft table is a great idea to not only enhance your craft station but to keep 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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