This project took me approximately 5 hours (of course, I took lots of breaks in between :P) and cost me roughly $60. Deco'd cases for iPhone, Nintendo DS, and other items seem to have really been rising in popularity lately, and I can see why they cost upwards of $90. It takes A LOT of time, materials, and patience to fully deco one of these cases. But it is really fun and rewarding!
This post is for anyone who is interested in doing their own deco projects, buying deco materials, or a buying a pre-deco'd case.
What is decoden?
Deco-Den [デコ電] — which literally means, DECOration DENwa / phone that is encrusted in Swarovski, rhinestones, glitter, seals and paint. Deco-den doesn't only include phones, it can be how you decorate your keys, makeup sets, camera, etc. (source)
Who created decoden?
"Japanese ‘Hime-Den’ [姫電] comes from Hime meaning “Princess” and Den for Denwa or phone. Hime-Den refers to girlly keitais who have money — average and total monthly cellphone bill for a regular Hime-Den is about 60,000 yen per month or $530 USD and time to decorate their phone! (source)" -- don't quote me on that... but that's what I found through google :P ...Nowadays, decoden is popular with a wider audience... anyone who likes kawaii/hime/gyaru style!
Where to buy decoden materials?
I would HIGHLY recommend Sophie and Toffee as your first stop. They are based in Singapore and all prices are in SGD, so in USD; it is SO much cheaper! Their prices are already extremely low compared to many US distributors (who I honestly feel overcharge for their products) and shipping is only SGD$4... roughly $2.90 USD. They have a HUGE selection... a decoden lover's paradise ;)
The other two main places that I personally buy from are Yukiumi and Strapya. Yukiumi has a nice selection of deco materials but they are on the pricey side. Strapya is based in Japan and they also have a huge selection but the prices really vary. Shipping is also kind of pricey but it is rather quick.
Decoden materials can also be found on Etsy for various prices from various sellers.
Where to buy pre-made cases (iPhone)?
- Yukiumi -- from $69.95 and up
For the Do-It-Yourselfers:
Here's the breakdown of where I bought my deco supplies and how much it cost me to deco my iTouch case:
2nd Gen iTouch Case -- $3.99, free shipping
If you want it PINK, don't buy this case. It is "hot pink" but is actually a bright fluorescent neon-orange "pink" and looks nothing like in the picture. I was resent a CLEAR case -- a better choice because you can paint the inside whatever color you want. I used OPI's Oh So Glam nail polish for a light pearl pink.
Silver Crown (metal) 1 pc. -- $3.95
Pearls/Gems Combo A -- $14.95
This combo is worth it. You get so many different pieces. All you need for a quick deco project. And you will have LOTS left over. I would go with white because you can easily paint it whatever color you want.
TOTAL -- $21.95
Cellphone decoration/nail art glue w/ picker -- $6.00
This glue is VERY VERY VERY sticky and VERY messy. The picker is cute but doesn't work that well. I got glue all over my hands and it pretty much sticks to everything and stays there for a really long time. Not even washing took it off right away. But it works really well and bonds everything to the case securely. The tube looks really tiny but I still have more than half a tube left after deco-ing the entire case.
Franche 8mm Width Jewel Charm Part (Korilakkuma) -- $3.50
Franche Famous Character Parts for Strap/Bracelet 6mm Width Korilakkuma -- $3.50
These are actually for phone straps, but they have a flat bottom surface so you can easily glue them down. Most of you know I have an obsession with Korilakkuma so of course, I had to include him somewhere ;)
TOTAL -- $17.50
FROM SOPHIE & TOFFEE
Japanese Craft Supplies Cabochon - Lolita Ribbon(I got pink)
SGD S$0.60 each
Stunning Crystal Faux Pearl Heart Cabochon
SGD S$2.10 each
High Quality Clear Crystal Silver Chain - Half yard 2.5mm
Rhinestones measures 2.5mm
Round Clear Faceted Rhinestone Set - 200pcs 2.5mm
Clear Acrylic Faceted Rhinestones Set - 200pcs 4mm
Unique Flower Cabochon (I got one white & one pink)
SGD S$0.80 each
TOTAL -- $15.93 (USD)
Decoden How-to & Tips
- It's cheaper (and funner and feels more rewarding) to decoden your items yourself!
- Search around to find the cheapest prices for materials or cases. Some places are really overpriced.
- Ebay is the best place to buy cheap cases and most sellers have free, fast shipping and excellent customer service.
- Tweezers are REALLY helpful :)
- A full decoden project can take several hours... patience pays off ;)