My Journey into Diamond Painting with Michaels

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Discovering a New Hobby at my Favorite Craft Store

As an avid crafter, Michaels has always been my happy place – filled with endless inspiration down every aisle. I’ve worked on more projects over the years than I can count, from needlepoint to jewelry making and everything in between. But this year, I discovered an entirely new hobby at my go-to craft store: diamond painting.

The first time I stumbled upon the diamond painting section at Michaels, I was immediately drawn in by the variety of vibrant images and fascinating texture. Though I’d never heard of diamond painting before, I was intrigued by these kits that allow you to create sparkling works of art by layering colorful resin rhinestones one-by-one. It seemed like a fun new craft to try, so I decided to pick up a small kit and give it a go. Who would’ve thought this impulsive purchase would lead to a new passion!

Selecting my First Diamond Painting Kit

Browsing the extensive selection of diamond painting kits at Michaels, I was totally overwhelmed with beautiful choices! From floral designs to night sky scenes, animals to famous artwork recreations, it was hard to narrow it down for my first purchase. I decided to go with a smaller kit around 20cm x 20cm, since I wanted an easy introduction to diamond painting without a huge time commitment.

I chose an adorable baby owl design for my first kit, with vibrant purples and greens that grabbed my eye. The amount of detailing on the small owl image looked manageable for a beginner. I also opted for a kit with round diamonds rather than square, since that seemed to be most common for new painters. The kit was affordably priced under $20, and included the owl design canvas, a tray of color-coded rhinestones, a wax pad, and basic toolkit – everything I’d need to complete my first painting!

Trying Diamond Painting for the First Time

Once I got home and opened my new diamond painting kit, I was ready to give this craft a try. I carefully laid out the canvas and began studying the symbols and corresponding rhinestone colors. The process reminded me of paint by number, using the codes to place the tiny resin diamonds one at a time.

I started slowly, getting a feel for the tools and how to pick up the teeny diamonds with the wax applicator. The toolkit wasn’t anything fancy, but handy for a beginner like me. I was really focused and patient starting out, making sure each diamond lined up perfectly with the symbols on the canvas.

What I loved most was seeing the owl image emerge bit by bit, row by row. The shimmering diamonds brought it to life, taking shape right before my eyes. I’ll admit my hand and shoulders started to cramp up after about an hour working on the small details. But that feeling of accomplishment seeing half a sparkling baby owl finished by the end of the night made pushing through totally worth it!

Completing my First Painting and Getting Hooked

Over the next few evenings, I dedicated a little time each night to work on filling in the rest of my owl painting. I got into a nice rhythm and groove. The process was so therapeutic and calming, almost like meditation as I placed hundreds of tiny rhinestones. Seeing the finished product come together, I stepped back in awe – I made this sparkly masterpiece with my own two hands!

My first diamond painting experience was so enjoyable and rewarding, I was completely hooked. That little 20cm x 20cm owl kit from Michaels opened my eyes to this wonderful new hobby. I loved the creative outlet and sense of satisfaction diamond painting gave me. The textures, shine, and depth the rhinestones added really made the artwork pop off the page. It was so much fun watching a design emerge as I enhanced it with sparkling rhinestones.

Expanding my Diamond Painting Collection

Now that I was officially obsessed, I couldn’t wait to start my next diamond painting project. There were so many options at Michaels, I was brimming with excitement exploring the aisles and picking my next canvases. I decided to size up and challenge myself with some larger 30cm x 40cm paintings.

I chose a variety of colorful floral designs that I was drawn to, as well as some pandas and butterflies. Loving the sparkle, I also went with more designs featuring AB rhinestones for extra shimmer. As I became more comfortable with the process, I branched out to try square drill paintings along with round. With each new painting, my skills improved – I was able to work faster filling in larger sections, gaining confidence in my diamond placing abilities.

Helpful Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way

As someone now hooked on diamond painting, I wanted to share some helpful advice for fellow beginners based on what I’ve learned. Here are my top tips for starting out with diamond painting from Michaels:

  • Start small – Don’t feel like you need to begin with a giant, daunting canvas. Ease in with a compact 20cm x 20cm or 30cm x 30cm painting to get the hang of it.
  • Be patient – Diamond painting requires focus and attention to detail. Go slow and steady, take breaks when needed. Rushing leads to mistakes and burnout.
  • Use good lighting – Bright, natural light is best for easily seeing symbols and properly placing diamonds. Avoid low light that strains your eyes.
  • Organize diamonds – Take time to sort through and organize your rhinestones by color before starting. This saves major headaches down the road!
  • Frame your finished art – Show off your sparkly creations properly by framing and mounting completed paintings to enjoy for years to come.
  • Take it on the go – Smaller/partial kits are great for transporting to work on during downtime or while traveling. Diamond painting is so portable!

Expanding my Skills with Larger, Multi-Faceted Paintings

Once I honed my skills on smaller diamond painting kits, I felt ready to upgrade to larger and more complex designs. Michaels has so many stunning paintings in all sizes; I was drawn to grand landscapes, animal portraits, and fantasy art renditions. For my next big challenge, I chose a 40cm x 50cm painting of a gorgeous tiger, my largest canvas to date.

Not only was the tiger painting far bigger than my previous works, but it incorporated multi-faceted AB diamonds for extra depth and shine. These special cut stones have 4 or more facets instead of flat backs, creating a layered jewel-like effect. The AB rhinestones cast amazing rainbow glimmers of light – perfect for capturing the tiger’s striking eyes.

Working on this more advanced painting tested my patience since it was so much larger with multi-faceted diamonds. But the end result blew me away. Those dazzling AB stones brought the artwork to a whole new level! My skills have grown so much, I feel ready to tackle even bigger and more intricate paintings next. The options at Michaels are limitless.

Creating Meaningful Custom Diamond Paintings

While Michaels has every diamond painting design imaginable, I wanted to try customizing one with a meaningful personal photo. Michaels offers a custom diamond painting service where you can submit your own photos to be transformed into a sparkly artwork.

For my custom painting, I chose a favorite photo of my grandmother and me from when I was young. Since it was in black and white, I had it colorized first to create a more vibrant canvas. Submitting the photo online and selecting my size options was simple. In just a couple weeks, my completed custom painting arrived—seeing that cherished photo reimagined with shimmering diamonds brought tears to my eyes. It is now proudly displayed in my living room as a constant reminder of my grandmother.

Perfecting my Painting Station for Optimal Comfort

Now that I’m regularly spending hours immersed in my diamond painting projects, having an optimal workspace set up is crucial for my comfort. The right lighting and ergonomic arrangement helps prevent neck, shoulder, and eye strain—allowing me to fully relax and enjoy the process.

I have a well-lit desk set against a large window for daylight during the day. For evenings, I use a bright desk lamp and magnifying glass for clearly seeing symbols. I position the canvas at a slight tilt in a stand, allowing me to sit upright rather than hunching over. My diamond trays, wax pad, and tools all sit neatly within arm’s reach. And I have a pillow for arm support and soft classical music playing to help me zone in. These little touches really enhance my painting sessions!

Helpful Accessories to Elevate My Diamond Painting Projects

While Michaels provides all the core supplies needed to complete a painting, I’ve accumulated some handy accessories along my journey to take my projects to the next level:

  • Diamond pick pen – This tool with a super sticky tip makes picking up those tiny diamonds a breeze compared to the basic wax stylus. It grabs diamonds like a magnet!
  • Light pad – Illuminates my canvas from underneath, which helps tremendously for placing diamonds in darker areas by seeing symbols clearer.
  • Multi-placer tools – These nifty devices allow you to pick up several diamonds at once, making filling larger areas faster compared to doing each stone singly.
  • Larger storage trays – Containers with separate compartments for organizing and storing my many diamond colors make projects feel less chaotic.
  • Canvas stand – Holds my painting at an ideal angle hands-free so I don’t have to constantly hold it up as I work. Saves my neck!
  • Desktop magnifying glass – When working on paintings with very fine detail, a magnifier helps ensure accuracy in those tiny spaces.

Joining Online Diamond Painting Communities

As I’ve become more invested in diamond painting, I love being part of online communities full of advice, inspiration, and camaraderie. Groups on Facebook are hugely active hubs—I’ve learned so much from other experienced painters by browsing finished pieces for insight on techniques.

These groups are also motivating by letting you share work-in-progress photos and milestones receiving encouragement. I posted my first completed Michaels painting in a diamond art Facebook group and was overwhelmed by the positive responses and thoughtful feedback on ways to improve. It made me proud to be welcomed into this supportive community!

Through online groups, I’ve discovered independent brands and artists creating stunning original diamond painting designs. While Michaels has an unbeatable selection, connecting with the global diamond painting community has opened my eyes to even more variety. I’m excited to try paintings from some of these indie creators down the road!

Michaels Makes Diamond Painting Accessible for All Skill Levels

As a beginner who just discovered diamond painting in the last few months, I’m so grateful that Michaels offers such an accessible selection for all skill levels. From the simplest kits for under $10 to elaborate canvases over $100, there are paintings tailored for every budget. Their beginner-friendly tools and instructional materials broke down the process so I could dive right in with confidence.

Now that I’ve progressed to working on larger, more challenging paintings with specialty diamonds, Michaels still has all the options I need to keep advancing. Their diverse inventory and pricing means both casual painters and devoted enthusiasts can stay supplied with this addicting craft! And their omnichannel shopping experience makes it easy to buy online or in-store.

Thanks to Michaels, I’ve found a comforting new hobby that lets my creativity shine. Diamond painting has become my go-to stress reliever in the evenings, providing hours of fun while making dazzling works of art. As a valued Michaels customer for over a decade, I’m so pleased they expanded into offering diamond painting supplies. This new section in my favorite store unlocks a world of sparkling potential.

My Advice for Beginners New to Diamond Painting

Now that I’ve shared my diamond painting origin story, I want to provide some helpful advice for anyone looking to start this fun and relaxing craft. Here are my top tips for beginners that I’ve learned first-hand from my journey beginning with Michaels:

Choose a Small, Simple Design for your First Painting

It’s tempting to go bold right off the bat with an elaborate large canvas overflowing with details. But as a beginner, you’ll have the most enjoyable experience starting with a more modest painting. Look for a small design, around 20×20 cm, with minimal colors and simple shapes. This allows you to get comfortable with the process without getting overwhelmed.

Make Sure you Have Proper Lighting

Having excellent lighting is crucial for clearly seeing the symbol chart and properly placing diamonds. Avoid starting a painting in low dim conditions that will strain your eyes. Bright overhead light or natural daylight from a window is best. For evenings, get a focused desk lamp. Proper lighting prevents headaches and mistakes.

Organize your Diamonds by Color Before Starting

Nothing slows down your painting groove more than fishing around disorganized diamonds trays as you work. Take some time upfront to sort and arrange all your rhinestones neatly by color in the trays. This organization will save you loads of frustration down the road.

Start from One Edge and Work Methodically

Resist the urge to jump randomly around the canvas as you diamond paint. Starting in one corner and working methodically row by row or section by section makes the process smoothest. This organized approach helps ensure proper diamond placement and coverage.

Take Regular Breaks to Rest your Eyes and Hands

It’s easy to get sucked in rapidly filling a canvas, forgetting to pause. But diamond painting requires very focused repetitive motions that can take a toll fast. Be sure to take regular 10-15 minute breaks to stand up, stretch, rest your hands, roll your neck, and give your eyes a break. This makes longer painting sessions sustainable.

Enjoy the Journey and Avoid Rushing

Diamond painting is meant to be a fun relaxing hobby, not a race to the finish line. Avoid putting pressure on yourself to complete paintings in record time. Just take it steady, enjoy the creative process, and eventually you’ll have a beautiful sparkling artwork to be proud of. The journey is the reward.

Frame your Completed Pieces to Properly Display the Artwork

After finally completing your first diamond painting, don’t just stow it away in a drawer! These sparkling designs are meant to be displayed and admired. Professionally frame your artwork once finished so you can proudly hang it on your wall for all to enjoy for years to come.

Join Online Communities to Connect with Fellow Diamond Painting Lovers

One of the best parts of picking up a new hobby is being able to share your passion with likeminded enthusiasts. Join some Facebook groups or other online communities to exchange tips, showcase paintings, and appreciate each others’ work. It’s very motivating!

Diamond painting is an incredibly enjoyable craft that unleashes your creativity while providing hours of meditative enjoyment. By starting with the right beginner fundamentals, you’ll be creating gorgeous sparkling artworks in no time! Michaels has everything needed to fuel this shiny new hobby. Let the blinging begin!

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