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
– an etsy shop for cabochons and crystal chains
– another etsy shop for charms and cabochons, including plush princessy bears