Top Tips for How to Take Care of Handmade Jewelry

In this post, some of the Happening Hands jewelry makers share their top tips for how to take care of handmade jewelry!

Custom Mountain Bracelet from Wild Child Jewelry Designs

Custom Patinated Mountain Bracelet / Wild Child Jewelry Designs

Some tips from Jessie Parry of Wild Child Jewelry Designs on Caring for Patinated Jewelry

Keep in a cool, dry place. Patinated jewelry especially must be stored away from direct sunlight as this can cause it to fade.

Sunlight, heat, and moisture can accelerate tarnish. With that, although it’s tempting, avoid showering or swimming with jewelry on. If it does become wet, make sure to dry it thoroughly. Taking these measures will also help preserve the quality of any set stones and avoid damage.

Courageous Ring from Wild Child Jewelry Designs

Courageous Ring / Wild Child Jewelry Designs

General Tips: Chemicals, lotions, and perfumes can also cause your jewelry to tarnish. Apply them first and let them dry before putting on your jewelry.”

Polymer Clay Earrings from WhimsyJuice

Terracotta Boho Ophelia Earrings / WhimsyJuice

Tips from Anna Tibbetts from WhimsyJuice on Caring for Polymer Clay Jewelry

Polymer clay is a unique medium that is surprisingly lightweight and easy to maintain. If your earrings become dusty or dirty, you can wipe them clean with a soft, damp cloth. It’s okay for them to get a little wet as polymer clay is plastic-based, but it’s not recommended that you wear them while swimming or showering.

Polymer Clay Earrings from WhimsyJuice

Terracotta Boho Ophelia Earrings / WhimsyJuice

You’ll want to avoid using chemical-based products near or around your earrings. If you have stubborn makeup stains, you may use a cotton swab dipped in acetone and spot-clean the surface of your earrings lightly. Keep in mind that every time you use acetone, it is taking off the top-most layer of clay, so you’ll want to use this method lightly and sparingly. Do not use acetone on earrings that are hand-painted or sealed with varnish or resin. The gentlest solution is either a damp cloth or a baby wipe.

When not in use, store your earrings in a box or separate compartment.

All these steps will help preserve each handmade piece.

Stacker Rings from Rocky Pardo Jewelry

Peachy Sola Stacker Rings / Rocky Pardo Jewelry

Tips from Rocky Pardo of Rocky Pardo Jewelry on Caring for Gold & Silver Jewelry

Unique, custom, personal jewelry is timeless but not invincible. I generally describe my work to other people as dainty but durable. While it’s important to take care of your pieces as best you can to extend the longevity of the piece, I take care to make pieces in a way that is conscious of the fact that we may not always remember to take our jewelry off. Sterling silver tarnishes over time and everyday activities/products can actually be quite harmful to both gold and silver.

To ensure your jewelry remains a part of your everyday style, please take the following considerations:

Remove jewelry when doing any activity that could cause damage such as: sports, sleep, shower, pool, or beach.

Silver Stacker Ring Set from Rocky Pardo Jewelry

Silver Stacker Ring Set / Rocky Pardo Jewelry

Avoid contact with chemicals, products, and perfumes.

Clean regularly with specific jewelry cleaners or mild cleaning agents (baking soda, water, and a toothbrush are a great way to remove tarnish from silver).

Use a jewelry polishing cloth to return pieces to original luster.

Store jewelry in safe and dry location. Silver pieces should ideally be kept in an airtight plastic bag to prevent tarnishing.

Oxidized jewelry will “wear polish” and start to shine the more it is worn. Reach out to myself or a local jeweler to have it re-oxidized.

It’s never a bad idea to have your special pieces checked every year or so (6 months for heavy wear).

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