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Etsy Spotlight: Deedee’s Adorable Smartphone Cases

headermelodycaseDecoden, the art of decorating cellphone cases (decorate + denwa, the word for phone, gives us the portmanteau word ‘decoden’) has grown and evolved since a few years ago. Clam shell style phones have given way to the flat glass of smart phones, and seen its share of trends from slim and streamlined to bulky status symbols. While I prefer a slim and sturdy style of phone case for every day use – currently I favor a hard back Angelic Pretty case with a Daydream Carnival motif! – there are some decoden that I’d make an exception for. The phone case started out as functional, but it’s now a full-fledged fashion accessory.


This Etsy shop, Deedeegoods, is kawaii on a whole other level. Update from basic to alpha with these cases – perfect for showing off at conventions or big meetups. Full diorama scenes and sculptures decorate your cell in a way reminiscent of the scenes displayed in Marie Antoinette’s hair! Choose from Hello Kitty, My Melody, or any other custom character of your choice – she makes all of her designs by hand in Malaysia.

If you’re finding these creations a little pricey, she also makes custom phone charms for a more affordable price. Cookies and ice cream are paired with soft puffs of fur and dangling crystals.

I’d love to snap up one of these masterpieces to dress up my phone for special events, or add one of her dust plug charms to a simpler case for every day princess style. Who’s your favorite character for decoden and phone accessories? Do you think you could coordinate one of these extravagant designs?


Lolita Deco Log: Part 2

I promised an update on my deco projects, so let’s talk more about all that glitters, shines, and can be glued down to anything to moves! To begin with, here’s the finished product of my iPod case –

Materials used: rose crystal chain; roughly 200+ swarovski crystals; flatback pearls; Diamond Glaze glue; one plastic clear iPod case (which interestingly enough has a cellphone strap hook!); two plastic cabochons (bunny and heart).

Other tools: tweezers, napkin or kleenex for excess glue, good lighting!

I started by framing the screen in the crystal chain – crystals in stone settings that are interconnected. They work really well for making straight lines, which can be yourself for defining borders. Since the crystal chain has large gaps in it, I filled these in with smaller rhinestones (4mm rose AB swarovskis). The click wheel is framed in a pattern of flatback pearls.
The back was a different story. First I glued down the large cabs – the bunny to start – and then outlined the shape in varying sizes of crystals and pearls. From there, you just keep fitting them together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. This is for a ‘mix’ motif, which means that the crystals and pearls are not uniform.
I find deco to be a very relaxing hobby, much like embroidery, which is also close, delicate work which requires concentration. It hones your spacial skills as well as your sense of color and design.

I’m happy with my iPod, but it’s not my first piece, and I’ve mostly been learning by doing. Which leads me to:

Deco Tips I Have Learned the Hard Way
Make sure that your base is the same color as your crystals or main components. My first item was a black-and-white business card case, which created jarring gaps between the bright pink stones. The affect is much better with the pink iPod peeking out between pink stones.
If you’re going to deco something expensive or electronic like an iPod, DS, or cellphone, make sure you deco a case and not the object itself. Doing that will void your warrenty, and you can potentially break the item when it gets smeared with glue.
Deco items are like dye jobs – they need retouching and have a short lifespan. My iPod needed fixing up after five months of daily use, for example – it had lost some of the chain on top, and a few crystals. Make sure you have a few of your supplies left for touch-ups. Eventually your item will reach a point where it is used beyond repair – and that’s when you’ll be glad you have a case that you can throw it and start over, rather than a sad-looking electronic.
Think outside the box on items to deco! The usual things are pillboxes and electronic cases for phones and the like. But if it’s solid, you can most likely deco it – the backs of hairbrushes, the edges of fans, the tops of bento boxes, headphones – even sunglasses or keycovers. Universal Doll even shows how she decoed her bicycle!
The best way to design your deco projects is to look at as many deco pictures and magazines as you can. Look on tumblr, Livejournal communities, or just search ‘decoden’ or ‘dekoden’.
I haven’t decided yet what my next project will be – it’s a toss-up between a new phone case and a summer fan to carry! But that’ll be my next deco-themed post :)
Favorite Deco Resources – where I like to buy my swarovski crystals
Mimilolo – an etsy shop for cabochons and crystal chains
ToffeeHouse – another etsy shop for charms and cabochons, including plush princessy bears
Full Moon Nails – deco parts for nails as well as other items – now available in English!

Paint It Gold… and Rhinestones

I’m a sucker for anything that sparkles, glitters, or shines. I’ve been known to chase silver gum wrappers on the pavement. I own Bodyline prints for the simple reason that they’re edged with glitter. So is it any wonder that I’ve jumped into the world of deco?

Deco, short for the word decoration, is a Japanese fad of decorating your items with rhinestones, lace, plastic cakes, anything you can glue down really. Originally the item of choice to decorate was cell phones, giving us the term decoden (den being short for denwa, or phone). But since then the trend has expanded to just about anything that can withstand glue. Nintendo DS lites, computer mouses, iPods, makeup compacts… if you can think of it, you can probably glue rhinestones to it.

My phone is going to be upgraded in a few short months, so that project is on hold. In the meantime, I’ve started in on a few smaller projects. My end goal is to have my entire electronics set deco’d – my Mini Toshiba notebook, iPod, headphones, flash drive, and earbuds.

I’ve already finished my pillcase, which was previously just gold with an image of pansies. Now with a few flatback pearls and Light Colorado Topaz swarovskis…

It looks like this. (Also shown in this photo: incomplete pink business card case.)

In the works-in-progress rings (of which there are many occupants), there are currently the Swimmer headphones (pink with kitties, bound for a new lease on life with light rose Swarovskis), my silver USB flash (the jewel in the center came with it and flashes green when plugged in, and it is acceptably done simply, but hopefully that will be covered someday, in light Colorado topaz I believe?), and my business card case (rule: finish for con season! that seems to be when I need business cards the most).

My currently upcoming big project is my new Ipod Nano 5th generation, which is naturally bright pink. I’m waiting on my supplies to arrive in the mail as we speak!

So, do you want to get into the hobby of deco? Like any hobby there is a cost involved. Depending on what you want to deco and what materials you use, however, it can vary wildly. For example, if you’re doing a small project versus a large project, or the quality of materials you use. Are you okay with acrylic (plastic), or are you dead set on Swarovski (glass) crystal?

Price wise, it’s the Swarovskis that get you. I’ve used plastic/acrylic jewels on my old phone and they are decent if you want to do this about $20 cheaper, or even $30 or $40 cheaper depending on the size of your item. It’s not water polo, but you could say that deco, normally populated by lolitas and gyaru, a group of big spenders, is a rich girl’s craft. I can only assume eventually, like all crafts, you just amass supplies – enough rhinestones and cabochons that you can make things without feeling your wallet ache.

Anyway, I did use plastic on my current phone. It’s not so much that I prefer Swarovski in that I disliked plastic. Swarovskis don’t sparkle to death like they do in the package, but the plastic ones in my opinion just don’t catch the light the way I want. If that means I do my projects piecemeal, so be it. I want to use this item for a long time, so I’m down with that. The other thing I will note from extended wear on my current phone, is that plastic, after being put in bags and on desks and used endlessly, the color or sheen wears off the crystal. Unfortunately it’s the same with flatback pearls, as they’re also plastic coated with a sheen. I’m going to experiment with extending its longevity by using a sealant.

So that’s my experience with the rhinestone district of deco thus far. I’m hoping to make the dive into the silicone candy land of sweets deco when I replace my cellphone this spring, and then I’ll add to my collection of deco articles.

Interested to know more about deco? Try going to decoden, a Livejournal community where girls post photos of their creations. Or look at Flickr, where you can see tons of inspiring deco crafts. For DIY advice, read Universal Doll’s article series on deco basics like rhinestone patterns and where to buy supplies.

I’ll also be showing the start-to-finish action on my iPod nano, so be on the look out!
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