Thursday, 12 July 2012

Decoden Phone Case Tutorial

Recently I took the decision to enquire about upgrading my crapBerry to an iPhone. Mostly for the sake of my blood pressure, I hit the highstreet with some admittedly delusional expectations that despite having 6 months left on my Blackberry contract, there was a phone company waiting to give me a shiny white iPhone 4S for the same plan I was already on. I'm a valued customer, Goddamnit!

My current provider, O2, essentially laughed in my face. Apparently it's acceptable for an 18 month old, £200 value smart phone to crash on a regular basis, struggle to perform even the most basic of commands and don't even talk to me about it's inability to receive text messages in full. No early upgrade, £100 for the handset even in 6 months time when my current plan expired and a minimum contract of £36 a month? They made absolutely no attempt to stop me when I walked out that door.

Undeterred, I ended up in Phones 4 U - who not only wavered the £100 handset fee, they bought me out of my remaining contract and I left with cash in my pocket for the old phone. I nearly bit their hand off for the deal! The moral of the story here, kids, is to shop around. Had o2 made me feel even slightly valued as a long standing customer I would have been much more inclined to wait the remaining 6 months and stay with them, because I'm a pushover like that. There was no offer to attempt a service or system reset on the old phone, no offer to look into upgrading early at all. Customer service goes a long way people, and they've just missed out on getting £700+ of my customer guaranteed for another 2 years.

Anyway, I divulge. Naturally the first thing I did after downloading Instagram for my iPhone was look into purchasing the tackiest, blingiest case I could get my hands on. Having been hugely ashamed of my Blackberry before, spending any more money of it seemed daft, but as I love my new iPhone more than most humans I was willing to spend a fair whack on getting my kawaii on.

But heavens above, Decoden cases are expensive. Like everything, you get what you pay for, and I am not one to belittle someone's craft at all, but given the following tutorial took me a total of 30 minutes, from my sickbed while drinking tea, £60+ is somewhat steep.

So without further a do, here's my easy peasy tutorial to get a totally kitsch-tastic decoden phone cover for around £20.

You Will Need:

- cabochons and charms. There is an absolutely huge choice of cabochons on eBay and Etsy, but I purchased a rainbow set from this Canadian seller for around £15. Delivery took about 4 days which is pretty fast even for impatient old me.

- E6000 Jewellery/Craft Glue - this is specially formulated to adhere most surfaces together - wood, metal, plastic, leather, textile to name a few. Unlike superglue, this dries totally clear and is also more maleable before it dries allowing for a little shifting around. I've linked to a small tube here because my only quarm with it is that it is soo difficult to store, despite using a airtight seal it still manages to dry so I end up cutting the corner off the tube to get mine out of my big one!

- clear phone case just 99p with a screen guard from this seller

- old paintbrush and tweezers

Step 1:

Lay out your cabochons in your desired pattern. I had about 15/20 pieces left over and tried to ensure there were some of each colour left over for repairs in the future.

Step 2:

The glue does dry quite quickly so ensure you work in small areas at a time. Either pipe straight from the tube, or use your old paint brush to spread the glue onto the case quite thickly. Remember this glue will dry 100% clear so you can be a bit more generous with the glue here.

Step 3:

Press the cabochons into the glue firmly. Remember to position them so that there are minimal gaps in between each cabochon. I started around my camera position. Don't panic too much if you get gaps though, the glue stays maleable for a little while so you can always have a little shift about later.

Step 4:

Apply glue to your next layer/area and repeat until you have finished your case.

Step 5:

This step is optional, but as I had some spare, I filled in the smaller gaps with some coloured Swarovski flat back crystals

Place it in a cool place for 24 - 48 houes to ensure it's dried completely before using.

And voila! See, told you it was easy. This is a really simple application but just as eyecatching as some of the pricier cases out there. I decided to just deco the back of the case, but you could always apply the same to the sides and even front of your phone for ultimate kawaii style.

I'd love to know your thoughts! Do you like the rainbow kitsch look or do you prefer something a little classier?


  1. It looks great! I used make compact mirrors covered in beads like this. :D

  2. Nice work!!!!, to buy an iphone so I can do this!

  3. This is so awesome! I ha no idea you had done thi when I did it to my phone and someone asked if I had followed your tutorial!
    I think we have to meet sometime - we have very similar tastes!!

  4. One thing that every durable phone case has in common is a tight fit. The best iPhone cases all share this property. By being built to the exact specifications of Apple, the cases keep the device snug and secure without giving the iPhone a chance to move around. This extends beyond just Apple products, too. The most durable Android and Blackberry phone cases are all built with precision to keep the device secure at all times.



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