How to measure without a ruler?

29 December 2023

We’ve all heard this quote before: Measure twice, cut once.

What if you don’t have a ruler or measuring tape and you want to measure something? What will you do then? 

There are N numbers of ways to measure things without a tape or any measuring tool. Things such as a dollar note, A4 sheet, body parts, etc. can be used to measure the length, width, and height of an object.

Further, Rebecca Lane in her recent blog is sharing a lot of useful information related to measurements.

In this blog, we are going to discuss the different ways, by using which you can measure anything without a tape measure. 

Keep on reading….

Different ways to measure things without a ruler:

Your hands, feet, elbows:

Your hands: Using hands to measure an object is one of the traditional ways. Measure along surfaces by gauging from the line on your wrist to the tip of your middle finger. For shorter distances, rely on your pinkie finger's length. It is easier for smaller dimensions as it is situated on the hand's exterior.

Your feet: Measure room dimensions using your foot length from heel to longest toe for accuracy. Estimate foot length by referencing your size on a sizing chart.

Your elbows: If you need a 12-inch ruler that time you can use the length of your elbows. As the distance from the crook of your elbow to the tips of your fingers is about 15 to 18 inches.

US dollar note: 

An easy way to measure without a tape measure is to measure with a US dollar. A plain old dollar bill dimension is exactly 6.14 inches long and 2.61 inches wide. 

For example, if you want to measure how long is 6 inches, you can use the length of a dollar note to measure it.

Printer paper:

A standard sheet of letter paper is exactly 8.5 inches by  11 inches. Use either the long or short edge depending on the surface length you are measuring.

Print out a ruler:

Instead of using a sheet of paper, you can simply go a step further and get print out of a 12-inch ruler. You can use this technique when you want to make the most accurate measurements possible. 


In this blog post, we discussed, numerous ways to measure objects without the aid of a ruler or measuring tape.

When faced with an emergency or a lack of conventional measuring tools, everyday items are the best ways to measure.

Utilizing the span of your hands, the length of your feet, or even the distance from elbow to fingertip can provide a quick estimation for various measurements.

Moreover, common objects such as dollar bills, credit cards, or printer paper can serve as makeshift measuring devices, each offering a different standardized length to gauge dimensions. Even the digital world provides a solution, allowing for the printing of a ruler when a physical one is unavailable.

See you in the next post…