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The Diamond Art Painting Dictionary: 60+ Terms to Know


April 24, 2021

Time reading

6 minutes
The Diamond Art Painting Dictionary 60 Terms to Know

Like many other hobbies and crafts, diamond painting has evolved its own lexicon. There are several words, abbreviations and terms commonly used by those who enjoy the hobby, but unfortunately, they can be a bit confusing for beginners. Even some more seasoned crafters find themselves scratching their heads when they stumble upon words like “confetti” or “training wheels” in relation to diamond art. 

Whether you are thinking about ordering your first diamond art kit, have stumbled upon an unknown phrase in a crafting group or would just like to expand your knowledge about diamond painting, keep reading to discover the meanings of many commonly used words, phrases and abbreviations.

The Basics

If you are new to diamond painting, these are the basic terms and abbreviations you need to know before getting started: 

  1. Canvas: The template on which diamonds or drills are used to create a painting is known as the canvas. 
  2. DAC: That’s us—Diamond Art Club®! 
  3. DP: This is the abbreviation for your new favorite hobby: diamond painting! 
  4. Drill: Don’t let the name fool you. We aren’t talking about power tools here. In diamond art, drills are the diamonds, gems, beads or rhinestones that come with every kit and are applied to the canvas to create the artwork.drill pen
  5. Drill Pen: Shaped similarly to a regular pen, a drill pen is the tool used to pick up diamond drills and place them on the canvas. It is the most common of all diamond painting supplies and one that comes with every Diamond Art Club® kit. 
  6. Full Drill Canvas: A full-drill canvas is a diamond painting where the artwork area is completely covered by diamond drills.
  7. Partial Drill Canvas: A partial drill canvas is a diamond painting with an area that is printed and not covered by diamonds. It is not an incomplete painting, but rather one that has areas intentionally left blank to highlight the main subject of the canvas, drawing in the viewer to the part that sparkles. These canvases are great for kids and beginners because they are easier to complete.
  8. Kit: A diamond art kit refers to the canvas, drills and tools that come with the artwork you ordered, so you have everything you need to start diamond painting! When you order from Diamond Art Club®, every kit includes the canvas, drills, tray, applicator and grip, two wax hearts and, for square diamond kits, a pair of tweezers. 
  9. Round Drill: Diamonds, gems, beads, rhinestones or drills that are round in shape are referred to as round drills. They are the easiest drills to use and are great for beginners. Diamond Art Club® drills have more facets than our competitors for that EXTRA sparkle you deserve!
  10. Square Drill: Diamonds, gems, beads, rhinestones or drills that have a square shape are known as square drills, and they create a mosaic look. Typically, they result in a neater-looking finished product without gaps in between each placed drill. As a bonus, they make a fun clicking sound when put in place. diamond art tray
  11. Tray: A container to hold your drills is included with every diamond painting kit from Diamond Art Club®. They can also be purchased separately if you need more. These trays are specially designed with grooves to fit the exact shape and size to hold diamond drills and make them easier to pick up. 
  12. Tweezers: Tweezers are excellent for removing a drill if a mistake is made. They are included in all square drill kits from Diamond Art Club®, but they can be purchased virtually anywhere if you need an extra pair or  prefer round drills. 
  13. Wax: To pick up drills, the tip of the drill pen is dipped in a sticky wax-like substance. When the pen is then pressed to the top of a drill, the drill sticks and can be picked up and placed with ease.

Additional Words, Phrases and Abbreviations Used in the Diamond Painting Community

  1. 3D: 3D refers to the number of facets on one side of a square diamond drill. 3D drills have nine facets, three on each side.
  2. 5D: 5D square drills, however, have 13 facets. They typically have more sparkle than their 3D counterparts and give the finished design more depth. 
  3. AB Diamonds: These are Aurora Borealis diamonds. Only available in certain premium kits, they have a special coating that gives them a stunning, glowing effect across the finished painting when used as accents and mimics the Aurora Borealis lights, hence the name.

    Shop Diamond Painting Kits at Diamond Art Club!

  4. Addition: This simply refers to adding drills to the canvas. 
  5. Bubbles: Sometimes air bubbles can form in the canvas or finished project. They are caused by the glue. Struggling with air bubbles in your diamond painting canvas? Learn how to get rid of them in our guide
  6. Checkerboard: The checkerboard technique, which applies when a large area of one colored drill needs to be filled, involves applying diamonds in every other desired space. Rather than going down each row or column and filling every space, the diamond painter fills every other space first and then goes back to fill in the missing spaces, resulting in neater rows and columns.
  7. Color Blocking: Color blocking means working on large sections of the canvas by a single color.
  8. Confetti: In the world of diamond art, confetti refers to an area that has been filled with multiple colors of diamond drills and looks like random confetti up close but reveals an image, character or landscape when viewed from a distance. 
  9. Cover Minder: A Cover Minder is a mini-weight that keeps the plastic cover, which protects your canvas from dirt & lint, out of the way while you're working on your diamond painting. 
  10. Diamond Art Sealer: While not completely necessary, spray-on or brush-on sealers are sometimes used to seal diamond art paintings before framing. It prevents “popping,” which is when a diamond drills pops off the canvas. This issue is not common with Diamond Art Club® canvases and drills.diamond organizer
  11. Diamond Organizer: As the name suggests, it's a container system for keeping your drills organized so none get lost. Diamond Art Club’s diamond art organizer comes with 30 mini containers to hold the maximum amount of colored diamonds. 
  12. Diamond Pox: After spending a lot of time working on a diamond painting with your arm resting on your work surface, you may discover a diamond or drill stuck to your skin. We like to lovingly call these diamond pox.
  13. DMC Codes: This refers to the reference chart included with every diamond art kit that shows what color goes where on the canvas. DMC is a brand that manufactures embroidery floss in a wide range of colors, and DMC codes are used to identify them. These codes are also used in the diamond painting industry to identify drill colors.
  14. Double-Sided Adhesive Tape (DST): Tape that is sticky on both sides is commonly used in diamond painting to remove dust and debris from the canvas. 
  15. Drill Field: The drill field is the adhesive area of the canvas where diamonds are placed. 
  16. Drill Vacuum: These small (and often cute) vacuums are great for cleaning-up spilled diamonds. Often portable, they are made specifically for convenience especially when you accidentally knock over your organizer or tray while painting.
  17. Finished Object (FO): A diamond painting that has been completed is known as a finished object or FO.
  18. Frame Size: The canvas size refers to the size of the artwork. The frame size refers to how large the frame needs to be in order to display the entire canvas, including its border. 
  19. Framing: Just like any other type of art, completed diamond paintings can be framed to be displayed in a bedroom, living room, kitchen or anywhere else in the home. Framed pieces make lovely office decor, too! diamond art framed
  20. Fully Finished Object (FFO): In diamond art, a fully finished object, or FFO, is a diamond painting that has been completed, framed and is ready to be hung.
  21. Hitchhiker or Stowaway: Sometimes, a single drill of the wrong color will make its way into a bag. This is known as a hitchhiker or stowaway and is just an extra, lucky drill. The bag will still have plenty of diamonds in the appropriate color for completing your project. 
  22. Image/Pasting/Drill Area: These terms all refer to the center of the canvas where the drills will be placed. 
  23. In Search Of (ISO): If you are looking for a specific kit, you are “in search of” or ISO. 
  24. Inventory: When it comes to diamond painting, doing inventory means checking your kit upon arrival to ensure you have all the tools, drills and everything else needed to complete your diamond art painting. 
  25. Kitting Up: Kitting up a diamond painting is organizing your drills & tools for easy access so your painting experience is more streamlined and enjoyable.  This includes putting all of your diamond drills into their own containers and preparing all your accessories for use. Check out this tutorial
  26. Kitting Down: Kitting down is the process of sorting and cleaning up after finishing a diamond painting. Learn more in this tutorial
  27. Legend: A table of symbols printed on the canvas to better explain the correlation between the DMC color codes found on the diamond bags and the character marks used on the canvas to create the diamond painting artwork.
  28. Licensed Artwork: When a diamond painting design features characters from a movie, television show, etc., that is trademarked or is a replica of an original design created by an artist, the owner of that intellectual property should be paid a royalty for the use of their creation.  Diamond Art Club® proudly legally licenses all of our artwork from these amazing artists who continually move and inspire us. 
    light pad
  29. Light Pad: Light pads are a game changer when it comes to diamond painting!  Just place the thin pad under your canvas and let the light shine through your painting.  This extra brightness helps people read the small symbols and codes, which are printed on your canvas, more easily so you can clearly see which drills go where. A light pad is especially helpful when working on a painting that features primarily dark colors. 
  30. Multi-Placer: Located on the opposite end of many drill pens, a multi-placer is a tool that can be used to pick up and place multiple drills at one time. For instance, Diamond Art Club® premium hand-turned pens come with a 4 & 7 multi-placer adaptor so you can pick up 4 or 7 drills at one time.  These are great for filling large areas of your canvas consisting of a single color. 

Browse Our Diamond Painting Supplies

  1. Poured Glue: Diamond Art Club® uses this liquid adhesive, versus double-sided tape, on all our canvases because of its extra, long-lasting, superior stick.  Our poured glue process ensures that your drills will adhere to your canvas and makes your overall diamond painting experience easier and more enjoyable. 
  2. Release Paper: Release paper protects diamond art canvases from dirt and debris that naturally lives around us. Many people remove the clear plastic covering that comes with the kit and replace it with double-sided release papers created for Diamond painting because it is easier to work with and around. 
  3. Rivers: When a canvas or diamond painting has creases, the creases are known as rivers.
  4. Roller: Using a small rubber roller to go over your finished diamond painting is an excellent way to ensure all of the diamonds or drills are firmly stuck in place. 
  5. Ruler/Straightener: A ruler, yardstick or other type of straight edge can be used to ensure your drills are properly aligned and placed on your canvas in an orderly fashion. 
  6. Sectioning: Sectioning is the practice of dividing the canvas into small blocks so you can focus on painting one specific area at a time. This process can be done using washi tape and is commonly used to avoid placing drills in the wrong location accidentally.single placer
  7. Single Placer: Most drill pens have a tip that is used for picking up and placing one drill at a time. This is known as a single placer.
  8. Spare: Most kits come with extra drills just in case any get lost or are accidentally spilled while you’re painting. Diamond Art Club® will always include 20~30% more drills than you need to finish your masterpiece. These leftovers are referred to as spares.
  9. Stainless Steel Tips (SS): Some diamond painters like spicing up their pens with stainless steel tips that last longer than the usual plastic tips. 
  10. Stash: A diamond painter’s stash consists of all the diamond kits they currently own and are looking forward to completing.
  11. Symbol: A character mark used to represent a specific diamond color.
  12. Training Wheels: Symbols on a canvas sometimes have circles around them to help with drill alignment. These circles are known as training wheels. 
  13. Unboxing: Many YouTubers film themselves opening their newest, and greatest kits and reviewing the quality, tools, etc. The resulting videos are called unboxing videos. 
  14. Unfinished Object (UFO): An unfinished object, or UFO, is a diamond painting someone is working on but is currently taking a break from. 
  15. Washi Tape: An adhesive tape made from natural materials, washi tape is often used to section off areas of a canvas because it is easy to remove. It can also be used to decorate diamond painting tools and frames. 
  16. Wax Pencil: A wax pencil is essentially the same thing as a drill pen, just with a different name. 
  17. WIP: The project you are currently working on is your WIP or work in progress.diamond art with organizer
  18. Wipes: Household wipes, including baby wipes, can be used to clean the drill pen and drills as needed. 
  19. Wishlist: The diamond kits you are looking to purchase soon or at some point in the future make up your wishlist. If you are new to diamond painting, you will likely have a huge wishlist in no time! 
  20. Trust the Process: This phrase has become common in the diamond art world and is intended to reassure people who are working on a painting and feeling uncertain about how it will turn out. When you are working up close on something that is meant to be viewed from a distance, it is easy to worry about what the finished project will look like. The best advice is to trust the process, keep going until the picture is finished and view from a distance. Chances are, you’ll love the end result! 

In the wonderful world of diamond art painting, there are so many different yet important terms to know. Whether you’re an experienced diamond painter who has completed dozens of projects or a novice painter who’s just getting started on their first kit, we’re sure there are a few words and phrases you haven’t heard before, so we hope this has helped! 

Can you think of any other words, phrases or abbreviations that should be in our dictionary? If so, leave us a comment below! And if you need any assistance with ordering a kit or are looking for help with the one you have, shoot us an email at support@diamondartclub.com