How to Gauge Your Ears Without Tapers

A sterile taper is the safest way to stretch your earlobe piercings when you want to achieve a larger piercing size. If you do not have access to a sterile taper, there are other methods and tricks to stretching your ears. Before attempting to stretch your earlobe piercings, a consultation with a professional piercer can help you to understand the rules, risks and dangers of stretching your earlobe piercings at home.

There are other methods and tricks to stretching your ears. (Image: Eugenio Marongiu/Cultura/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wear ear weights attached to your current earrings. You can use fishing weights or professional piercing ear weights. Loop a piece of fishing wire through the top circle on the weight and secure with a knot. Tie the other end of the fishing wire to the bottom of your earring--if you are wearing spirals or jewelry that dangles--or thread the fishing wire through a tunnel plug.

Step 2

Knot the fishing wire to secure the weight while hanging from your jewelry. Leave adequate room when tying the fishing wire around a plug or through a tunnel to avoid cutting off circulation to your earlobe piercing. Wear the weights each day for several hours for a month before attempting to insert a larger size plug into your ears.

Step 3

Wrap your current earrings with Teflon tape. Roll the tape--sticky side facing down on the earring--once around your earring. Keep the edges of the tape lined up on your earring instead of overlapping. Tearing or ripping can occur from rough edges over overlapping tape and the stretch may be uneven, causing pressure on one side of your earlobe piercing. The tape will make your earrings slightly larger than your current size.

Step 4

Purchase heavy jewelry, such as glass plugs or spirals to wear in between stretches. Insert the heavy jewelry into your earlobe piercings a week or two after each stretch to allow the weight of the jewelry to work for your next stretch. Wait a month or longer in between each stretch to give your earlobe piercings ample time to heal and gain elasticity while wearing heavy jewelry.

Step 5

Stretch your ears with tapered jewelry or talons. Tapered jewelry is shaped like a cone, with a small and large end. The large end should be the gauge you are looking to achieve by the stretch. Attach o-rings to the front and back of tapered jewelry to ensure that the jewelry will not fall out of your ears.

Things You'll Need

  • Ear weights

  • Fishing wire

  • Teflon tape

  • Talons

  • O-rings


Use a hot compress on your earlobe piercings if the skin is sore after stretching to relieve discomfort.


Visit a professional piercer before, during and after stretching to ensure that an infection is not present.

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