Jewellery comes in a broad spectrum of metal types and combinations or alloys. Some people, however, are sensitive to some of these metals. Their skin may develop a rash or give other signs of irritation, like itchy or unsightly dermatitis, when they wear alloys that contain the offending metal against their skin. Such individuals should wear hypoallergenic jewellery. Hypoallergenic jewellery is made with metals that do not cause dermatitis in most people. While hypoallergenic jewellery is available at many retailers, it is also relatively easy to make.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 14-karat (or higher carat) gold jewellery making components
- Sterling silver jewellery making components
- European standard, nickel-free stainless steel jewellery making components
- Chain nose pliers
Avoid jewellery making supplies made with nickel. Nickel is most often the culprit when people have a reaction to the jewellery they are wearing.
Choose jewellery making supplies in at least 14-karat gold; sterling silver; or European standard, nickel-free stainless steel. Note that sterling silver jewellery making supplies are easier to find than nickel-free stainless steel ones and are significantly less expensive than 14-karat gold jewellery making supplies.
Buy ear wires, earring posts, chains, charms, clasps, beads, jump rings and wire in either 14-karat gold, sterling silver or nickel-free stainless steel. Note that these are the basic jewellery making components that will enable you to make a variety of hypoallergenic adornments.
Create a hypoallergenic necklace by using a 14-karat gold chain and clasp. Open the small ring on one side of the 14-karat gold clasp with chain nose pliers. Hook the ring through the last link on a length of 14-karat gold chain. Close the ring with the pliers. Attach the other end of the clasp to the last link on the other side of the chain using the same method. To embellish the necklace, add a 14-karat gold charm as a pendant.
Make hypoallergenic earrings by opening the small rings at the base of two sterling silver ear wires using chain nose pliers. Slip a pair of sterling silver charms of your choosing, such as hearts or stars, onto the opened rings. Close the rings with the pliers.
Fashion a hypoallergenic bracelet by linking nickel-free stainless steel jump rings. Open the jump rings with chain nose pliers. Join as many jump rings as you need to make a bracelet in the length you desire. Close each jump ring with the pliers after you join it to another.
Tips and warnings
- To make colourful, stylish earrings, add beads in a variety of styles, shapes and hues to ear wires made of 14-karat gold, sterling silver or nickel-free stainless steel. Since the ear wire is the only part that is constantly in contact with skin, it is often safe to attach beads made of other alloys to them. Remember that beads also come in glass, crystal, plastic, wood, ceramic and countless other materials that are not irritating to sensitive skin.
- Try eliminating metal altogether from your jewellery creations. Use beading thread and wood, glass or crystal beads to create attractive necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
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