This pom-pom phone case covered my desk in rainbow confetti (in a bad way)

Phone Case of the Month is a monthly series in which we live with, and subsequently review, our time with a phone case. Phone cases are one of our only ways to express individuality with our smartphones, so what do our phone case choices say about us?

My great aunt, who’s 98 years old, told me my phone case looks like a bag of candy. Other people asked me if I made it. I’m not crafty, I told them, although after a month with this case, I do think I should have just glued it together myself, so I could have at least chosen different pom-poms. These rainbow ones are deceptively cheery. They exude happiness. They seem like fun, but they aren’t. They might ruin your life a little bit. They ruined mine.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. My life is fine. I’m doing fine. It’s just that I’ve found rainbow confetti everywhere. The rainbow-tinged strings have shown up in my food, my drinks, my bed, my desk, my clothes, my purse, my boyfriend’s armpit hair, on the couch, and in my kitchen. I’m sure some confetti is clinging to a random New Yorker’s body right now after he or she sat next to me on subway. Sorry.


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

But before I learned the downsides of having confetti on your person all day every day, I loved this phone case. A friend sent it to me on Instagram a few months ago, and I’ve considered buying earrings from the designer, Lola Abbey, who goes by dadybones. I got the case on sale for $25 when it usually costs $50. I’m all for supporting independent artists, but damn, $50 is a lot of money, especially for a thing that’s clearly handmade and that maybe, just maybe, I could have crafted myself.

It’s obvious Abbey bought a clear, cheap plastic case and glued pom-poms on top of it. The case is frail, and I constantly worried it would snap, especially near the volume buttons. Also, it didn’t fit in my pocket, so I always had to carry it in my hand if I wasn’t wearing a bag. This was annoying. The pom-poms also blocked my camera, so all my photos from the last month feature a strange rainbow-ish vignette. I actually kind of like the effect, but clearly it isn’t ideal.

I’m not trying to diminish Abbey’s work. Her pom-pom placement strategy is exceptional in the sense that the case looks like a cohesive thing. All the pom-poms look like they’re in their rightful place. I searched Etsy to see if other people had tried to make their own versions (they did), and their attempts paled in comparison.


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Still, after a month of being tossed in my bag, the case hasn’t held up. As I mentioned before, it sheds confetti. The pom-poms keep falling off. The glue is wearing off and taking all the pom-poms with it. The confetti is starting to curl into itself and look knotted. I cook with my phone by my side, and one night, it slipped from my hand and fell into guacamole. I’m pretty sure there are still brown remnants of guacamole stuck to the pom-poms, but I can’t distinguish it from dirt.

Here’s a gallery of photos so you can survey the damage:

About two weeks into the case’s use, I dropped my phone on the sidewalk and shattered its screen. I’ve never broken an iPhone screen. It’s not great. I didn’t want to spend $169 to fix it, so I ended up taking my phone to a random repair spot down the street from my apartment. I paid $90 for a new display, and now it sometimes stops working. I have to reset my phone at least once a day. Was it worth it for the pom-poms? Not really.


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Overall, this pom-pom case is a show stopper. People loved to look at it. I loved to look at it. It really does seem like a piece of art, which is what I’ve always wanted. But this case won’t last long, unless you’re willing to treat it like a one-of-a-kind piece. New York is a constant struggle, and a pom-pom case isn’t designed for this world.

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