Spilled Beads, Drills, Diamonds: 6 Ways to Make Cleanup a Breeze


November 06, 2021

Time reading

4 minutes
hands holding diamond drills

Painting with diamonds is a fun, relaxing hobby that can elevate your mood and help you unwind. But, if you have ever accidentally spilled your carefully assembled and aligned diamond drills, you know how quickly those feelings of relaxation can turn into utter despair! Just about every crafter has been there. Whether it’s a tray of shimmering drills, a strand of bitty beads, a package of glitter or any other assortment of miniscule crafting accessories, it is hard not to lose your cool after seeing your materials spill in a million directions. In addition to having a big mess to deal with, you might also be concerned about whether you will still have enough supplies to complete your project. 

Take a moment to breathe. Cleaning up your spilled diamond painting supplies will be much easier if you are not in a panic. Once you have given yourself a few moments to calm down, check out these tips for dealing with spilled beads, drills and diamonds. With a bit of ingenuity and planning, cleaning up even the tiniest crafting materials can be a breeze. 

Best Ways to Clean Up Spilled Drills

There is no use crying over spilled milk — and the same holds true for spilled drills! Although it’s undeniably frustrating when you dump an entire tray or bag of beads, getting upset is not going to put them back in their rightful place. It’s much more helpful to have some tricks up your sleeve for cleaning up the mess quickly. Here at Diamond Art Club®, we have seen it all and have some clever ideas to help you out. 

get out your lint roller

1. Get Out Your Lint Roller

Lint rollers aren’t just great for removing fuzz or pet fur from your favorite black pants. They are fantastic at picking up dropped drills, too! Gently run the lint roller over the spill area. Then, use tweezers to carefully remove the resin gems from the tacky paper, and place them back in the tray, their bag, or wherever they need to go. 

Depending on the roller’s adhesive, your beads might be a bit sticky after picking them off of it. If so, give them a quick wash. Fill a large bowl with warm water and add a bit of dish soap. Then, put your diamond drills in a mesh strainer. Lower the strainer into the water, and let soak for up to an hour. Remove the strainer, rinse your drills using fresh warm water and place them on a paper towel to dry. 

Here at Diamond Art Club®, we recommend keeping a lint roller with your diamond painting supplies. This inexpensive, household essential is ideal for gathering up the faceted bits of resin, and comes in various sizes to fit your available space.

2. Try a Damp Paper Towel

If you spilled beads while working at a crafting table or another hard surface, you may be able to pick them up using a damp paper towel. With the towel moist, but not soaking wet, your drills should stick to it with ease. Once you’ve swept them up, gently shake the towel over a large bowl to release them. 

When you are only dealing with a few dropped drills, even a moist fingertip can do the trick. Dampen your finger and then press down on the beads. They should stick to your skin for easy cleanup. After picking them up, just deposit them in their appropriate container. If they are stuck, pop them off with your fingernail. 

3. Use a Mini Broom and Dustpan

A mini broom and dustpan are another good option for collecting spilled drills from your table or desk. Just sweep the beads into the pan and then carefully pour them into their container. For best results, keep a specific whisk and pan for this purpose, because, if you use the same one that you use for cleaning up around the house, your drills will likely end up pretty dirty! 

If your beads do get dusty or dingy after sweeping them up in this manner, give them a good soak in warm, soapy water. Rinse and let dry completely before placing them in their containers.

use your original vacuum

4. Use Your Regular Vacuum

As long as it has a hose, you can use any vacuum to suction up your toppled drills. To avoid drawing them into the bag or canister, stretch a nylon stocking over the nozzle. Hold the stocking in place with one hand to prevent it from getting pulled into the nozzle. With the stocking in place, the vacuum cleaner will pick up the drills without pulling them all the way into the device. When finished, hold the end of the nozzle over a large jar or container with the vacuum still running. Switch it off, and all the resin diamonds should drop into the container. 

Please note: This cleanup method is not your best option if your spilled drills landed on your canvas. A regular vacuum cleaner has too much power and will likely suck up the drills you have already carefully placed, along with the loose ones. This technique is best for corralling  loose beads from your floor or table. 

5. Invest in a Drill Vacuum

This tip might not help much if you are currently in the midst of dealing with a spill, but it is a great option to consider for dealing with future accidents. A drill vacuum is a useful, handheld device that every diamond painter should have in their tool kit. They come in a wide variety of colors and shapes, and they are perfect for gathering up a deluge of drills in seconds. Just run the vacuum over the area and then empty the device to retrieve your drills. 

As a bonus, these small, handheld vacuum cleaners do an excellent job of removing dust, pet fur and other debris from any surface. Run yours over your crafting table before working on your current diamond painting and you will not have to worry so much about keeping your canvas clean. 

6. Grab Your Tweezers

picking up diamond drills with tweezers

Did you knock some beads onto your self-adhesive canvas? If so, tweezers are the best option for cleaning up. Carefully grab the individual diamond drills and put them back in the tray, bag or container. This will take some patience if you spilled a large amount, but it is the best way to save your supplies without damaging your artwork. 

Preventing Messes Before They Happen

No matter how careful you are, no one is immune to accidents. And, drills’ tiny size makes them all too easy to drop. You never know when a child, pet or even a poorly placed cup of tea might send your drills flying. Because of this, it is never a bad idea to take steps to prevent messes before they happen. Here are a few ideas that could help you.

1. Minimize Scatter

One of the worst things about spilling your beads is how far they tend to scatter. Fortunately, you can minimize the spread by underlining your work surface. Place your canvas on top of a beading pad, a piece of felt, fleece, or even a pillowcase. Anything that makes your surface a bit less smooth and flat will help keep anything you drop from bouncing all over the room. Another option is placing your canvas and drills inside a rimmed baking sheet. If you spill, you will just have to tilt the tray up and carefully pour the beads into their container. 

upgrade your bead storage

2. Upgrade Your Bead Storage

It’s all too easy to lose beads when you keep them in their original bags — especially if those bags are not resealable. And, even resealable bags have a bad habit of popping open at the worst possible times. Save yourself lots of frustration and hassle by investing in some nice diamond painting storage containers

There are loads of different organizing solutions on the market, but diamond painting organizers are your best bet. Each case has individual containers to keep your colors of resin gemstones neat and organized. And, since each container features a secure, screw-on lid, you won’t have to worry about them tipping over. When it comes to preventing disasters before they happen, upgrading your bead storage is the most effective option. 

3. Work with One Tray at a Time

When working on a large canvas with a myriad of colors, you might be tempted to fill multiple trays with drills to keep the hues you need handy. The more trays you have out, though, the more likely you are to accidentally knock one over. To keep mishaps to a minimum, only work with one tray at a time. This is an especially wise idea if you have pets or kids who are prone to accidents and mayhem. Plus, working with one color at a time means that if you do spill, you will not have to worry about sorting colors. 

keep your extra drills

4. Keep Your Extra Drills from Completed Kits

While this tip won’t prevent you from losing drills, it will help ensure that you have enough to finish your project if you ever do. When you have placed your last drill on a diamond painting, don’t throw away the extra beads. Instead, place them in containers labeled with their color code. The next time your beads manage to roll under some cabinets, you will not be as concerned with finding all the lost ones if you have extras from a previous kit in storage. Instead, you can just sweep them up in your regular vacuum cleaner and use your spares to complete the project. When it comes to minimizing stress, it doesn’t get much better than that! 

Order Extra Diamond Painting Supplies as Needed

Closing Thoughts

Diamond art is meant to be a fun, relaxing hobby. While it’s natural to feel frustrated if you knock over your drills, there is no need to get upset. Take a few moments to calm yourself and realize that it isn’t  really a big deal. Round them up using one of the methods mentioned above, and, if necessary, sort and separate them by color. Take your time and just think of it as a part of the process. Trust us — just about every diamond painter has had to deal with spilled diamonds! 

Keep in mind, too, that when you purchase diamond painting kits from Diamond Art Club®, they include extra diamond drills. This means you don’t have to worry about finding every single one if you drop some on a thick carpet or into a gooey mess. In fact, should you find yourself in the midst of a level 5 disaster, make sure to check out our free accidental “Oops” insurance, where we’ll actually replace your spilled diamonds for free!

diamond art painting and supplies

As a diamond painter, there’s no need to let mishaps get you down. Try the suggestions above for preventing and cleaning up spills — and remember to have fun no matter what happens! 


Image Credits


Camel Case/Shutterstock.com