Trends: Deco-den and the art of customizing

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As we have said in the previous post, Japanese people love to express themselves by personalizing their belongings. The most striking example of this trend is Deco-den, that is cellphone decoration (the term comes from the word “decoration” and “denwa”, or “decorated phone”). Over the years, this trend has spread like wildfire, becoming a true art form and extending to other handbag objects, such as game consoles, mirrors, mp3 players and anything you want to make unique in the world!

Deco-den: ultime tendenze da Deco & Deco
Some pictures from Deco & Deco, one of the many magazines devoted to the Deco-den, and more generally to do-it-yourself decorating: summer trends are sailor style, roses and bows. In addition to phones, pens and music players are very fashionable… of course in glitter!

But what are the main trends of deco-den? First, the Swarowsky glitter style: a real must for any respectable decorated mobile phone (or other object)! The 90% of the objects Deco-den style has inevitably some diamond, live with it! The most common technique is to use crystals of various sizes and colors to create patterns and designs, even very elaborate, which can be enriched with other elements, picking up Hime-Gyaru style in vogue lately (coming soon on these pages). The stickers are also commercially prefabricated… perfect for those with little patience, little practice and those who often want to change the decoration.

Deco-den: gli adesivi delle brand
Skin adhesives and Art Deco-den are produced in large quantities from brands as well.

Other current must-haves are candies, ribbons and flowers, always alternating the ubiquitous glitter, pearls or colored tufts of “cream” made with special silicone pastes. In addition to various types of stickers, there are also sets to create the miniature by hand, like the popular Fuwa Fuwa molds or Decotti kits, containing pastries and sandwiches ready to be decorated with silicon whipped cream and to be used with a matching phonestrap.

Deco-den: i kit Decotti e Fuwa Fuwa
Decotti and Fuwa Fuwa kit for making decorations and miniatures. Images are from Strapya World, where you can buy these sets.

One of the first questions that could arise to a Western is: do you not ruin the phone sticking on all that stuff? Actually, the answer is no! Japanese people know better and use a protective base, similar to nail polish (clear or colored), which not only defends the plastic below by glue and silicon, but also allows you to easily detach the whole decoration just “peeling” the base layer!

Mixing craftsmanship and creativity, you can achieve spectacular results: here are some examples of decorations, commercial and handmade! Some of the Deco-den Japanese artists have opened specialty stores and even keep decorating courses!

Deco-den: cutie picks
1. Strawberry iPod by Dolce Deco. 2. Gothic & Lolita Red for DSlite by Decoling. 3. Sweet Pastel calculator by Sweet Essence. 4. Logo cellphone by Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. 5. Pink Korilakkuma card case by San-x. 6. My Melody cellphone by Angela. 7. Hello Kitty Sweet Frame Orange Juice by Queenberry. 8. Sweet Cake Box “Torta Gioie” by Cute Can Kill. 9. Business Card Holder by Bea_ichigo.

In Japan, you can find Deco-den accessories almost everywhere: many accessories stores have a small department dedicated to handmade with stickers and materials for decoration, but there are also shops that customize any item for you! Available to us in the West, there is the excellent and always stocked Strapya World, which has a section devoted entirely to decoration (not just candy and beads, but more “sober” materials)! Ready to try your hand at decorating?


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