Crystal painting

Here is a question for you. You have prints on the wall, you have made a book of your favourite photographs and also had several canvas prints made, so what next?

How about a crystal painting? What is that I hear you ask?

Answer: A picture you assemble yourself made up of crystals using a photograph that has been transferred on to a canvas.

Some background information.

Some years ago my wife was given a crystal picture to make up for a friend, (which she enjoyed making up). A year or two after this we were looking for a project for our son, word search books etc. were finished in a matter of hours so did not hold his attention for very long. We hit upon the idea of the crystal pictures. We ordered a generic image from a company called Craft Buddy and showed him what to do. Our son took to it like a duck to water.

We noticed that Craft Buddy offered a service that would make a custom picture from a supplied photograph, so we decided to give the service a try. The first photograph we uploaded for a custom picture was of a favourite horse of our son. He was delighted.

Subsequently we have used Craft Buddy for all our custom crystal pictures from personal photographs.

The process

A jpeg file is uploaded to the Craft Buddy website via a dedicated link. The site allows the user to see an approximate representation of the finished image.

The process produces an image similar to a posterised print – the number of colours is dramatically reduced, hence the tip to ensure your original photograph has abundant colours in it.

Delivery time varies with the time year, the longest wait we have experienced has been 8 weeks (but this was during the first Covid 19 lockdown)

When your canvas is produced you will get a background image, (this has a self adhesive layer), packets of 1.5mm coloured crystal plus tools to apply the crystals to the image. The canvas is divided into colour blocks within which are a series of 1.5mm squares each containing a number / letter / symbol or combination of two of these. The number, letter or symbol relate to a specific colour crystal as marked on each pack of crystals. Full instructions on how to apply the crystals is enclosed with each canvas.

Picking up crystal with pick up tool

Placing crystal on canvas

Hints and tips

If you are tempted to have a try at creating a custom crystal picture, here are some hints and tips to help you on your way:

  • Ensure the photograph is bright and colourful.
  • Have plenty of shades of colour –  this is because the conversion reduces the overall number of colours in the crystal image.
  • Be aware that very fine detail is lost in the conversion – the finished result is like a posterised image.
  • As with any photograph, avoid a cluttered background.
  • Make sure the original photograph is sharp since out of focus elements can look odd in the finished picture.
  • Do not upload very large files for conversion, for once large files are not necessary.
  • The crystal picture can be made either as a flat canvas or pre stretched onto a wooden frame, the pre stretched variety is our preferred finish.

Sample images

Original and crystal image

Finished crystal image

Tempted to try for yourself?

Craft Buddy can be found at:

Please note – we do not receive commission or payment in kind from Craft Buddy, there are other companies offering a similar service, we just happen to be happy with the service that Craft Buddy provide.




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