Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Cupcakes, cell phones, Hello Kitty, and BLING! What do these things have in common, you ask? The answer: decoden! And what is decoden? It’s a Japanese-inspired craft trend that is sweeping the nation. Deco is short for decorate and Den is short for denwa, the Japenese word for phone. The technique started as a cell phone decoration, but now you can see it on everything from compact mirrors to picture frames to even finger nails! In short, decoden is just another form of mosaic, but instead of using tiles, you use rhinestones, pearls, clay charms, and, of course, glitter!
Until now, the supplies were a little hard to come by here in the US. You could buy them on Amazon or Etsy, but it was cost-prohibitive because they are mostly coming from Japan. Now, Mod Podge (my favorite craft supply ever) has come out with product line that will make DecoDen a hit here in the States (check your local Michaels Stores for availability). Visit Cathie & Steve’s Handmade Happy Hour to read about the products and to watch videos about how the products work. They were kind enough to send a heap of supplies for my friend Sophia’s 12th birthday party, and I can tell you first hand that THIS IS FUN. I loved it and the kids were obsessed!
To start your decoden projects, you need a few basic things—collage clay (commonly called whip), the object that you want to decorate, and your embellishments (charms-commonly referred to as cabochons, rhinestones, beads, mini-erasers, glitter). You can also use dimensional paint as the adhesive to stick the items to the object. Most of the charms that you see in the photo above are plastic trinkets that I pulled off of inexpensive hair rubber bands and clips, but kids can make their own with polymer clay or with Mod Podge’s new product called Mod Melts. You use the melts with a glue gun and silicone molds to make your own cabochons.
The Collage Clay goes on like icing (but don’t eat it!) It comes packaged in a piping bag and comes with 3 different tips. Here I am showing the kids how you can apply the clay in different patterns, and Victoria is practicing her technique before applying it to her frame.
And then, the decorating began. I offered very little design direction—the kids just went for it full speed ahead. Some went for broad strokes with big, overlapping chunky decorations, and others spent the entire 3-hour party painstakingly applying tiny rhinestones like a mosaic to the back of their phone cases. It was so insane to watch!
Birthday girl Sophia was more than pleased with her unique decoden birthday party! I might venture to say it is one of the first of its kind around these parts!
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