Wearing jewerly is hard when you have fibromyalgia: all those finger-wearying clasps; the weight on your neck or other joints; metal sensitivity.

I know I haven’t been around my blog for awhile, but I’ve been staying busy. One of the things I’ve started doing more often is crafting – not an easy feat if you have hand issues. (The key to making jewelry with fibromyalgia is taking frequent breaks. I found that out the hard way.)

I started playing around with the idea of making jewelry that was easier for people with fibromyalgia and related conditions to wear. Heck, your sense of style doesn’t drop off the edge of the earth.

One of the first things to consider in this type of situation is what kind of obstacles people face. I thought of a few that I know:

  • Taking jewelry on and off. Why does everything have a tiny little clasp? Even when they don’t, jewelry still isn’t easy to take on or off. Even pulling a necklace with no clasp over your head can be hard on the neck or shoulders.
  • Skin sensitivity. Many people have metal sensitivity, and I sense this is particularly true for people with fibromyalgia. How can we minimize the amount of metallic, scratchy, or other irritating materials against the skin?
  • Weight. Some of the prettiest jewelry is also big, clunky, and heavy. Nice for a little while, then painful.
  • Interference with daily activity. I really like a bracelet I made recently, but I usually have to choose between it and a watch. I can’t write with jasper beads pressing against the underside of my wrist. Disaster.
  • I’m sure there are more – I just can’t think of them all right now.

I’m still experimenting with different techniques (one of which my mother was not fond of, the other she gave her wholehearted approval to). Here are a few that I’ve found particularly helpful:

  • Make it easy to take on and off. Elastic, velcro, whatever. Or these delightful little inventions I found – magnetic clasps. I don’t know how I didn’t discover these until now. They’re just what they sound like – sturdy little clasps that don’t require you to fiddle with a zillion different things. You can find them for a lot of money at Michael’s, or wholesale at Rings n’ Things.
  • Use ribbon or fabric instead of metal chain. Much softer. Also, if you can incorporate already-worn fabric, then it’s even softer. (There’s some already featured on my etsy store. I plan to add more soon.)
  • Use bamboo and wood materials, or minimize number of beads. This significantly lowers the weight.
  • Don’t forget to make it pretty!

I hope this helps other people. You can find my attempts at www.etsy.com/people/RogueCrafter . Those that are “arthritis/fibromyalgia friendly” and noted in the item name. (I play around with more “conventional” methods as well.)