Homemade Plugs

Body modification is certainly nothing new; it has been around for ages as a prevalent part of many different cultures, and its popularity is rising. People from all walks of life are rocking tattoos and piercings, and increasingly choosing to stretch (gauge) their ear piercings. If you are considering this path there are a few things you should understand about the process before diving head-first (or ear-first, rather) into your own personal stretching journey.

How do I stretch (gauge) my ears?

Stretching is a process by which piercings are enlarged over time. Just how large ears are stretched varies by preference from person to person, and can range in appearance from barely larger than a standard piercing to the size of a dinner plate. There are many different methods of ear stretching, the important part is using non-porous jewelry, taking your time, and never forcing jewelry into your ear.

What are ear gauge plugs?

Ear (gauges) plugs are worn inside of a stretched lobe to adorn the piercing and maintain it’s size and shape, and the jewelry options are endless. Some feature elaborate designs, jewels, and wild colors, while others offer a more subtle look with organic materials and earthy tones.

What are the best ear plugs to wear?

There are many types of plugs available on the market today; glass, metal, silicone or wood are just a few of the more common materials. Each of these types of plugs serves its own purpose. For example, glass and metal are great for stretching as they are non-porous can be sterilized, but they are less comfortable to sleep in and can get cold during the winter months. Silicone is squishy and holds body temperature, but is terrible for stretching as it may tear the ear or even adhere to the body. Lastly, there are organic plugs made from materials such as wood, horn, or bone. Since organic materials are naturally porous, these materials allow your ears to breathe, but the porosity also makes these materials less than ideal for stretching.

Can I make my own ear plugs (gauges)?

Many people like the idea of having stretched ears, but don’t like the idea of spending money on jewelry and therefore turn to their own home-made plugs (gauges), but is that safe? Many commonly used materials are not ideal and can be harmful to the body.

Re-purposed items such as pens, plastic game pieces, etc may have rough edges and are typically not made of materials that are suitable or safe for wear in the body, for short or extended periods of time. Polymer clay is porous, and toxic when heated for extended periods, as occurs when the material is worn inside the body.

If you have a skill that allows you to make jewelry from acceptable materials, such as wood, glass, or metal, it is important to research the materials you are working with thoroughly, and to achieve a smooth finish.

Whether you’ve already spent years stretching your ears or are just starting to think about it, it is important to remember to take care of your lobes by stretching slowly and using safe materials. You only get one body, and one set of ears, so takes your time and invest in high quality jewelry, you’re worth it!

Author's Bio: 

Erin Sim works at Omerica Organic as a social media and marketing manager. She has enjoyed the opportunity to share the brand’s story and connect with customers over the last 5 years. She is based in Denver, Colorado and loves spending free time with her husband and their dog.