The History of Diamond Painting

From ancient origins to modern craft

Diamond painting is a popular and meditative craft that has recently taken the creative and crafting world by storm. Combing elements of cross-stitch and paint-by-numbers, this art form involves placing tiny resin “diamonds” onto a pre-printed canvas to create intricate and vibrant designs. But where did this mesmerizing craft originate?

Ancient inspirations: mosaics

The concept of diamond painting can be traced back to ancient times when mosaic art was at its peak. Mosaics, which involved arranging small, coloured pieces of stone, glass, or other materials to create images, were prominent in ancient civilizations like Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. These intricate designs adorned the grand structures’ walls, floors, and ceilings, leaving behind a rich artistic legacy. 


Fast forward to the present day, and diamond painting pays homage to this ancient art form. The tiny “diamonds” serve as modern-day substitutes for the stone and glass pieces used in mosaics, creating a visually stunning effect when arranged meticulously on a canvas. 

The emergence of “paint-by-diamonds”

While the origins of diamond painting can be linked to mosaic art, the modern iteration of the craft is credited to a group of Chinese artisans in the early 2000s seeking to fuse traditional art forms with contemporary creativity. Originally known as “5D Diamond Painting” or “Diamond embroidery,” when the diamond painting was first introduced, it was marketed as a combination of cross-stitch and paint by numbers and quickly became a popular craft. 


At first, diamond painting kits were sold with pre-printed canvases, adhesives, and tiny plastic “diamonds” in various colours. Crafters would use a stylus to pick up the diamonds and place them on the corresponding colour-coded squares on the canvas. The results were a sparkling, gem-like image that was visually appealing and fun—this method of diamond painting allowed for more detailed and vibrant designs than traditional cross-stick or paint-by-number kits. 


The many types of diamond painting kits

Over time, diamond painting has evolved and become more sophisticated. Today, numerous variations of diamond painting kits are available, including partial drill, full drill, round drill, and square drill. 


Drills are the shape of the diamonds and whether the entire canvas is covered or only a portion of it. The designs offered also have become more intricate and detailed. From landscapes animals, to portraits and abstract designs, there are a wide variety of images to choose from.

The global popularity of diamond painting

The newfound art form gained traction in China and quickly spread to neighbouring countries. As word of this craft reached the international community through social media platforms and online marketplaces, diamond painting lovers around the world began to emerge. 


Online communities and forums dedicated to diamond painting started to flourish, providing a space for artists and hobbyists to share their creations, techniques and experiences. Much like colouring books, the craft became utilized by many as a therapeutic outlet that offered a sense of accomplishment and relaxation. 

Innovations and customization

As diamond painting gained popularity, so did the demand for more intricate and customizable designs. Manufacturers began offering a wide array of kits, ranging from small, beginner-friendly projects to large, highly detailed canvases. 


As technology advanced, so did the ability to create kits with more precision, resulting in even more realistic and visually stunning finished pieces. Crafters can now choose from a vast library of images, from landscapes and animals to famous artworks and more, making diamond painting an incredibly versatile and personal art form. 

A sparkling craft

From its ancient mosaic roots to its modern-day resurgence, diamond painting has evolved into a beloved craft cherished by artists and hobbyists worldwide. Its ability to blend tradition with innovation has created a unique and mesmerizing art form that continues to capitate creative minds. 


As technology and artistic expression continue to evolve, so will the future of diamond painting. With an ever-expanding community and a wide array of designs, this sparkling craft is sure to remain a source of joy, inspiration, relaxation, and artistic fulfillment for years to come. 

Find your next project at Canadian Diamond Drills

We have a continuously growing and changing selection of diamond painting kits in stock. Ranging from beginner-friendly to expert-level, expect quality kits and competitive prices, we have it all. Check out our current selection, or contact us with any questions.

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