Need Ideas – a Ring for Painful Finger that Swells?

by Robyn.
(Ottawa, Ontario)

How to design a ring for fingers that swell? - Jewelry Making JournalA friend of mine has severe fibromyalgia and swelling in her fingers and has had to have her rings (including her wedding ring!) cut off as a result.

She feels lost without a ring on her finger and has asked me to make something adjustable for her that she could wear regardless of how much swelling she’s experiencing.

I see that there are a lot of adjustable ring tutorials on this site, and I know that’s a great place to start.

My question is this – how do I make a ring that:

  1. can be worn regardless of how much swelling she’s experiencing;
  2. is sturdy enough for everyday wear; and
  3. would be gentle enough on her fingers to avoid aggravating any pain she’s experiencing?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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  1. I’ve heard that copper jewelry helps with arthritis. One of Rena’s adjustable rings might be the perfect answer. Her Rugged Adjustable Ring or Adjustable Class Ring (leave it plain or stamp her initials) could be opened bigger when needed, or when she needs to remove it. Rena also has adjustable wire rings.

  2. Thanks for those helpful suggestions, Connie!

    Robyn, here are some thoughts I have about rings for your friend:

    Unless you’re trying out a wide copper ring as Connie mentioned above, you might want to consider making a thin ring (I’m thinking less coverage of the finger might be less painful?). Also you might start by making some experimental rings from less expensive materials for your friend, until you find the style that works best for her. I have several adjustable ring tutorials here on JMJ. If you go to Ring Projects you’ll find all of them, plus a few other interesting posts about making rings. I hope you’ll be able to find a ring design that works comfortably for your friend! I’d love to see what you make for her.

  3. Lezlie Russell says:

    Soham Harrison has a great tutorial on YouTube for making a hinged ring for people with arthritis or painful joints. It might give you some ideas for your ring.

  4. Catherine says:

    I’m all for Soham Harrison’s tutorial. I have fibro also and it really solves the problem. I have also made the ring size with the swelling size and then added an adjustable piece that can be added to the ring when the finger isn’t swollen. They sell those on Amazon.

  5. Lorian Rivers says:

    Great ideas! I have a lot of swelling myself, and a friend with fibro and am hoping I can make us each a nice ring!

  6. Julie White says:

    Go to Rena’s Easy Folded Wire Ring tutorial! I made a bunch of these and they are elegant and magical! They don’t look like an adjustable ring but can be stretched open or squeezed shut at will to fit over an arthritic enlarged knuckle or a swollen finger. They are also safe as they will pull open if caught on something. You can make simple ones of a 3″ length of wire, or very elaborate ones with a 10″ length, doubled. One of the simplest and most striking is a 10″ length doubled and each end turned into a spiral in opposite directions. Made with ” nu gold” or ” red brass” they look like 14k gold! You can of course make them in precious metal wire or ” filled” wire too. I have actually made them in colored craft wire and tumbled them to increase hardness. I am crazy about these rings.They are very fun and quick to make and can sell very affordably yet with a high profit margin. They can be made while you’re watching TV. Each ring invents itself!
    Thanks, Rena for a fabulous idea.?

  7. Julie, thanks for your lovely comment – I’m thrilled to hear how well this tute has worked out for you! 🙂

  8. I made a ring recently with elastic and seed beads (#8 I think) with a small stone bead as an accent…just a smaller version of an elastic bracelet. I am not a huge ring wearer, but this one I like because it doesn’t pinch and is very comfortable. Just a thought…

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