Crafters of all ages are falling in love with the glimmer and glitz of diamond painting. In addition to a creative outlet, this increasingly popular hobby offers senior crafters physical and mental benefits, as well as fun. If you’re in the market for a new hobby, you might want to give diamond painting a try.
What Is Diamond Painting?
Diamond painting is similar to paint by numbers. But instead of painting over the numbered sections, you glue colored rhinestones or tiles onto the number specified for that color. A tool with adhesive on the tip makes it easier to move the tiny rhinestones and place them on the canvas. As you move and stick the sparkling gems, a shimmery mosaic emerges.
Phoenix resident Paula Shipione, 61, is an avid diamond painter who discovered the hobby when she was working on a different craft. “I started latch hooking first, and then I spotted a diamond painting kit on Amazon. I ordered my first one, and now I am hooked,” Shipione says.
A Hand-Eye Coordination Workout
Occupational and recreational therapist Clarisse Quirit Rella says Diamond Painting offers two important elements of hand-eye coordination. “Reaction time and dexterity decline as we age. Some of the fine motor skills involved [in diamond painting] are finger/hand/wrist flexion, extension, ulnar/radial wrist deviation, bilateral coordinator, finger opposition pinch, and grip strength.” In other words, picking up and placing each tiny rhinestone on the canvas is a mini workout for your fine motor skills.
Calming the Mind
Meditation can take many forms. Shipione says that the repetitive motion of diamond painting and the concentrated focus it requires “helps keep my mind off other things.”
Rella agrees that diamond painting requires the artist to focus on the canvas, which can offer some of the same benefits of more formal meditation. “Seeing the progress is immensely rewarding, so it can help you escape anxiety, at least for a while,” she says.
Share With Friends or Make New Ones
Though diamond painting is a solitary activity, it’s also fun to share with a group of friends. Like other crafting activities that require repetitive motions without deep thought, it’s possible to work on a painting while holding a conversation. Seeking out a local crafting club or exclusive diamond painting club is a great way to make new friends and enjoy the creative process in the company of others.
“Diamond art painting clubs can foster a sense of community, belonging, and connection with people with similar interests, ages, and hobbies,” says Rella. Working in a group also offers support either as a source of answers to questions or encouraging words to help you keep going when you lose motivation. “There will be many friendly people who will offer a helping hand for anyone struggling,” says Rella.
If you’re not sure where to look for a club, start with your local public library. For those who can’t leave home or don’t have access to a group, the Internet can offer a different way of sharing your art and process with a new community. A search for Diamond Painting in Facebook Groups yields many private groups for people who enjoy the craft and like to share with one another.
Express Your Creative Side
Engaging in the creative process has a psychological value that often gets overlooked. Rella says, “Arts and crafts are byproducts of the natural desire to express emotion creatively…everyone needs a creative outlet, and that’s exactly where diamond painting comes in.”
In addition to finding relaxation and pleasure in creating her diamond art, Shipione appreciates how it comes together. “If you look at the painting in a certain way, it actually sparkles. Everyone who has seen my paintings simply loves them,” she says.
Shipione thinks everyone should try at least one diamond painting. If you’re on the lookout for a creative outlet with a bit more to offer, why not take her up on it? After all, the worst that could happen is a new blingy conversation piece in your life.
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