As a maker of vintage-inspired jewellery, I find myself reminding customers that handmade costume jewellery needs as much, if not more, care than the 9K or sterling silver pieces one buys from regular jewellery stores. Here are three tips which will help you to ensure that your lovingly created handmade item enthrals you for many years to come.
1. Avoid exposure to chemicals such as perfumes, deoderants and household cleaning products.
Chemicals can damage precious metals and gemstones, so just imagine what they could do to your silver- or gold-plated piece or your vintage rhinestone pretty! To avoid damaging your handmade jewellery, apply perfumes or cosmetics before putting on jewellery, and always remove your jewellery before going for a swim in a chlorinated pool or embarking on a massive household cleaning day.
2. It is also best to avoid exposing your jewellery to excessive moisture or high heat.
Handmade creations which utilise adhesive in some or all of their construction (such as Two Cheeky Monkeys' cabochon jewellery) are particularly susceptible to this kind of damage. Moisture and heat are enemies of all but the most resilient types of glue (such as military or construction grade). So don't forget to take off your handmade pieces before showering or heading to the gym.
3. Invest in good storage solutions for your handmade jewellery, both at home and when you're travelling.
Keeping necklaces and bracelets organised on hangers or laid out flat separately is the best way for preventing them from getting all tangled up with each other. Delicate pieces, such as glass, Swarovski or real pearls need to be kept away from anything which might scratch the beautiful surface of your beaded item. An added benefit of storing your jewellery carefully is that you will never again spend hours rummaging through a confused mess of pieces looking for that ONE earring you're missing or that ring that would perfectly match the day's outfit.
Taking care to follow these three tips as best as you can should hopefully mean that you can enjoy your handmade jewellery purchases for many years, having a unique look which can't be found with mass produced pieces. Enjoy!