Diamond painting rulers (or diamond mesh rulers) are templates for placing diamond drills on a canvas. A diamond painting ruler is designed to help set the diamond drills in a straight line and create uniform rows.
There are two types of diamond painting rulers, and they come in various sizes. Round diamond painting rulers are used for round drills, and square diamond painting rulers are used for square drills.
Diamond Painting Ruler Sizes and Types
Diamond mesh rulers can be round or square. These rulers come in different sizes, depending on the length and the number of blank grid holes on the mesh ruler, and the size of the diamond painting canvas.
When it comes to length, diamond painting mesh rulers range in size from 3 to 11 inches or longer. Instead of length, some companies use the number of grid holes to indicate the size of the diamond painting ruler. The smallest diamond painting rulers have around 240 grid holes, while the largest mesh rulers have up to 1,020 grid holes.
The size of the diamond painting canvas is an important factor to consider when choosing a diamond mesh ruler. Depending on the size of the diamond painting canvas, you can choose between 140-, 140.5-,141-, and 141.5-millimeter diamond painting rulers. The most commonly-used diamond painting ruler size for round diamond drills is 141 millimeters.
Use a regular measuring ruler to measure the diamond painting canvas and determine what size diamond mesh ruler you need. Place the beginning of a measuring ruler between two symbols on the diamond painting canvas, and count 50 symbols down, which is around the 140-millimeter mark. Watch where the measuring ruler lands to determine the size of the diamond painting ruler.
Square diamond painting rulers create a cross pattern on the canvas and are designed for 2.5-millimeter square drills. Like round diamond rulers, square mesh rulers come in different sizes depending on the length and the number of grid holes.
Using a Diamond Painting Ruler (Step-by-Step)
Here’s how to use a diamond painting ruler to keep diamond drills straight:
1. Line up the Diamond Painting Ruler With the Canvas
Start by placing a diamond painting ruler in the corner of the diamond painting canvas. Place the ruler so the holes on the diamond painting canvas line up with the holes on the ruler.
Align the diamond painting ruler to see all the symbols for drills inside the canvas. The wide, metal part of the diamond mesh ruler should be outside the canvas.
Slowly lay down the ruler on the canvas, ensuring it aligns with all the diamond drill symbols on the canvas. Getting the ruler perfectly aligned in one spot on the canvas, but not the other spots, defeats the ruler’s purpose.
2. Prepare All Essential Diamond Painting Accessories
Once the ruler is aligned with drill symbols on the canvas, prepare the diamond painting pen, diamond drills, drill tray, and roller. These essential diamond painting tools are necessary for diamond painting, and having them close by makes the diamond painting process easier.
3. Place the Drills in the Holes
Use a diamond drill pen to scoop a diamond drill and place it in the hole on the mesh ruler. The grid on diamond mesh rulers differs depending on whether you’re using round or square diamond drills. Round diamond painting rulers have each hole cut out separately, and square diamond painting rulers have a cross pattern.
Following the color template, place the drills in their corresponding slots on the canvas. Continue putting the drills down into the canvas to cover the entire surface of the ruler.
Pressing the drills into the canvas creates a clicking sound, which is a sign that drills have passed through the ruler and stuck to the canvas. If there’s no snapping sound, the diamond drills haven’t gone through the ruler and are not properly attached.
4. Use a Roller to Snap all Diamond Drills in Place
After dropping drills into the entire meshed section of the ruler, use a roller to roll over the canvas. Pressing the roller too hard can damage the diamond drills, so roll gently until all drills have snapped into place.
Slightly press the diamond drills with your fingers to ensure each individual drill is firmly in place.
5. Carefully Remove the Diamond Painting Ruler off the Canvas
Slowly remove the mesh ruler once all diamond drills have been snapped into place with a roller.
Diamond painting mesh rulers are made of stainless steel and have very sharp edges. To avoid injuries, lift the corner of the canvas, bend it, and put your finger underneath the ruler’s metal edge.
Use your finger to gradually lift the ruler off the canvas. While removing the ruler, use your other hand to softly press the drills to ensure they are staying in place. Keep using both hands to remove the ruler without damaging or breaking any diamond drills.
Tips for Using Diamond Painting Rulers
A mesh ruler isn’t a mandatory diamond painting tool, but it keeps drills straight to create perfectly-lined rows. Here are some helpful tips for using a diamond painting mesh ruler:
Take Time Lining the Ruler
The hardest and most important part of using the diamond ruler is aligning the ruler with the canvas. When beginning a new diamond painting, try to align the ruler with a corner of the canvas, so the holes on the ruler align with the symbols on the canvas.
If the ruler doesn’t line up fully with the canvas, remove it and try again. Take your time lining up the ruler, making sure the drill holes align down the entire length of the ruler.
Wipe the Ruler After Every Use
Wipe the ruler with a damp cloth to keep the ruler clean and prevent dust, fuzz, or pet hairs from sticking to the surface. Keeping the ruler clean will ensure that no hairs or dirt get stuck on the canvas or between diamond drills.
Use the Drills on the Canvas as Guides to Align the Diamond Ruler
If you started a diamond painting before obtaining a ruler, use the existing diamond drills to line up the ruler. Using the already-placed drills as a guide is easier than aligning a ruler on an empty canvas.