Diamond mosaic or diamond puzzle (painting, embroidery) is one of the easiest types of needlework. Paintings created using this technique retain their original appearance for a long time, even if they are not framed under glass. Another advantage is that there are ready-made kits with detailed instructions on how to use them. But experienced masters have a few secrets and rules that greatly simplify and speed up the process of work.
What is a diamond puzzle?
This technique of laying out images (pictures) with acrylic rhinestones with a shiny surface on a canvas, divided into cells, is loved by many. Round or square crystals are attached by means of glue, applied to the textile canvas. Most kits for such needlework are sold together with detailed instructions on how to use them properly.
The history of this art goes back to the 5th century in Greece. In those days, precious stones were used for the laying of paintings, and the cost of the work was very high. Modern technology has made it possible to adapt the kits for such embroidery under the budget of an ordinary family. For the production of materials used acrylic, coated by spraying paint with a shimmering effect. Pebbles can be round or square. Their shape depends on the quality and visual perception of the finished image.
Tools and materials
The kit for beginners and experienced masters must include not only materials, but also tools for working on a diamond mosaic. Complete kit:
rubberized canvas with a layer of glue and a scheme;
Rhinestones and crystals, placed by color in bags with clasps;
drawing of the finished canvas and instructions;
a tray with longitudinal “ribs” on the bottom and plates for rhinestones;
pencil, tweezers and/or stylus;
a square of dry glue, and a ruler for aligning the rows.
The glue base, applied to the canvas, is protected by a special smooth paper or a transparent film. It also needs to know how to use it – do not remove it all at once.
With the help of a tray with a ridged bottom it is convenient to turn the crystals for the diamond mosaic, shaking the container slightly.
If the manufacturer offers a stylus as a tool for working with small pieces, the set should have a special silicone filler or dry glue. To work with square pebbles, as a rule, tweezers are used.
When choosing a set, preference should be given to those that have spare rhinestones. Small elements often fall apart, get lost, and it will be difficult to find the exact counterpart.
Types of schemes
Mosaic from pebbles is very similar to conventional embroidery. The image is laid out according to the scheme, which can be black and white or color.
In the black and white scheme the colors are indicated by a certain symbol. Work with her recommended for those who already have experience in this kind of needlework.
Two-color manuals are attached, as a rule, to paintings of three or four colors, small in volume. When working with them, there is a high probability of error, and often have to redo almost the entire canvas.
Working with a color scheme on the canvas is much more convenient. It is applied to the shades, in the process do not have to be distracted by the insert, the time spent in less time.
The depth, the visual perception of diamond paintings depends on the shape of the stones and their cut. They can be square or round, with diagonal or longitudinal facets. There are from 9 to 13 facets.
How to use – step by step instructions
Work on a diamond mosaic begins with the choice of the subject of the picture. No matter what purpose it is created for – to decorate your interior or as a gift – it must become a part of the overall plan, to emphasize and complement the designer’s idea of decorating the room.
Before you start laying out, you need to carefully read the picture, check the availability of all materials and tools, correctly prepare the working surface.
It is important to understand that on a sticky glue base not only the rhinestones are well attached, but also quickly adheres to dust and particles of debris. The place where you are going to do this type of needlework must be perfectly clean, just like the masters’ hands.
If there is no special stand-molberts, the canvas should be fixed on the table. This is easy to do with the help of double-sided tape.
When the surface is prepared, you can proceed to the main steps:
diamonds spread out on the cells of a specially prepared box or in “plates” that come in a set, mark them (if the base is black and white);
remove the protective film in portions, exactly as much as will be done in a single “session” so that the rest of the glue base does not get clogged;
seize the crystal with tweezers, a pencil or a special handle for the diamond mosaic, put it in place, lightly press it with a tool or a finger;
the second and subsequent rows must be tightly “adjusted” to the neighboring with a metal ruler;
finished section can be additionally fixed by covering with paper or cloth with a dense weave and rolling it without effort with an ordinary rolling pin or a special roller from the set.
The technique of laying the crystals can be different. Some masters lay out one color of rhinestones in the open area first, and then take on another. It is easier to prepare all shades at once and glue the stones one to another, evenly spaced, according to the color palette.
How to use a pencil and stylus
These mosaic kits often have wax pencils or styluses with a silicone square.
A stylus is a plastic pen stick with a hollow metal tip. We dip the tip into the silicone, the cavity is filled with it. Then we press it to the front (convex) surface of the crystal and transfer the element to the canvas. With a wax pencil work on the same principle.
10 golden rules and tricks
In the “arsenal” of experienced mosaic masters there are both tricks and rules, thanks to which the picture turns out perfect, it takes much less time to work on it.
A canvas which has been rolled up in a tube must be straightened. To do this, it is ironed at minimum temperature on the underside through cardboard or thick woven material. If you have time, you can put it “under the oppression” for 10-12 hours.
Remove even a small portion of the protective film from the cloth is not necessary. It is better to just bend it and fix it. Cut pieces do not need to throw away, they will be useful in the future.
Working with glue, applied to the canvas, while laying the diamond mosaic must be done properly and with care. If in any case you can get some dirt on it you can remove it with a wet brush or a finger, remove the remains of small debris with tweezers, wait until it is dried out and continue laying.
The adhesive base is usually slightly out of the pattern. Surplus must also be protected from contamination. For this, needlewomen use a cut protective film – cut it into small pieces and glue it to the edges of the pattern.
It is inconvenient and time-consuming to turn each rhinestone in a tray with a ribbed bottom. There is a quick way – lift the tray and lightly tap on its bottom. Most of the elements will “lie” face up and it will be easy to pick them up with a tool.
If you are going to work with several shades of mosaic at once, plastic plates or bags are not the best option. The elements of the picture can be laid out on a palette for mixing colors when painting.
Alignment of rows of pebbles already laid out on the canvas is a must. Even the smallest gaps between them will ruin the appearance of the diamond mosaic. To do this, use a resilient, perfectly straight ruler, preferably made of metal. The row is pressed against the previous one gently, trying not to ruin the composition.
If there is a lack of rhinestones of one color, it is necessary not to replace them with close in shade, but try to find analogues in specialized stores. Make it difficult, but the result is worth it.
It is important to understand that the mosaic needs additional fixation. You can use improvised means or a special roller, carefully iron it through a thick cloth or put under a burden, for example, under the books for the night.
When the painting is done, it is better to frame it under glass. This will protect the textured surface from dust settling between the elements.
The final stage of the work is framing
The best option for decorating such a picture is a frame with special “museum” glass. He has a high percentage of light transmission (99), which eliminates the glare, the elements simply beautifully iridescent in the light. In addition, the structure of the mosaic will be protected from dust.
Experienced needlewomen make frames with their own hands, often with a passport. This is a time-consuming process that requires experience and skills, special tools and devices, which you need to know how to use. If this is your first experience in laying and designing a diamond mosaic, it is better to buy a ready-made frame.
Rhinestone paintings are quite heavy, and you should choose a frame with a dense, strong sub-frame made of MDF or particle board. The canvas should be fixed on it with glue. There should be no irregularities or warping on the surface of the picture.
The edges of the canvas are fixed with small nails or stapler. The product is inserted into a frame, cut off the excess canvas.
The areas where the fabric is cut and the joints between the stretcher and the frame are sealed with a simple paper adhesive tape. The final step is to fix the object with the fasteners that are included in the frame set.
The popularity of diamond mosaic as a kind of needlework is on the rise. It is very easy to learn how to make such pictures. So, have patience and everything you need, and make yourself, your family and friends happy.