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how do you make ear gauges? Answered

i am trying to make custom plugs for my stretched ears. i was wondering if woods are okay to use and also what kind of paint to use to decorate them with also.


Here's a very complete study done on the suitability of various woods for wooden jewelry: http://www.organicjewelry.com/woodhazards.html .  It doesn't say which woods are good, but does say which ones to avoid.  For an idea of safe woods look at some manufacturers' websites (omerica organics, paul's plugs, etc) and see what woods they offer and just make sure that they don't use any on the unsafe list (I don't think they do).

Fimo clay is PVC based and thus not exactly suitable for being worn in piercings.

There are 2 problems with using wood sealers, 1) they aren't necessarily safe for piercings and 2) they destroy the breathability factor which is one of the best things about wood jewelry.  The best way to condition the wood for wearing after you craft the plugs is to rub them with jojoba oil, then finish them with a mix of jojoba oil and some kind of natural wax (carranuba or beeswax).  As for paint, well, wood is so pretty, why cover it up.  Try woodburning or inlaying to decorate them.  If you're set on painting them make sure you only use the paint on the faces and not on the wearing surface.  Good luck!

I've seen people make ear plugs and stretchers from fimo clay... Obviously wood has a totally different look, but you might want to consider this too :)

Some woods are OK for skin contact, but it depends on what you are allergic to (or will develop an allergy to-my wife is allergic to pine, I've heard of someone developing an allergy to chestnut and walnut). If you seal the wood, you shouldn't have a problem : ) If you seal the wood, then paint, then put on a sealer or clearcoat over the paint, you should be fine. If you don't seal before painting, the wood absorbs the paint and it smears or is difficult to get the paint to flow. Some woods are 'oily', and aren't easy to get a sealer on. If you can find a local exotic wood seller (Rockler Woodworking around here) to ask, you can try some of the sealer's websites (like Minwax) on how to seal them. Usually it's wipe with acetone just before applying the sealer or something similar.