Measuring with What's at Hand
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post, "No Ruler, No Problem," about how I used an Erector set piece to make accurate measurements in a pinch.
Checking back on my post, I found that Threads online community members have left comments with their own nifty measuring tricks. I've collected some of their tips here, and added a few more I've discovered recently:
On average, people measure 36 inches from the tip of their nose (facing forward) to the end of their arm, outstretched to the side (tip of the thumb and forefinger pinched together). I just tried this--and it's true for me! Check out how close it is for you. It can become a handy "guess-timation" technique for the remains of a fabric bolt or roll of ribbon.
Check out your handspan and hand length. Threads readers suggested these two measurements. I found that my hand measures 7 inches from the base of the palm to the end of the middle finger. My open handspan is 8 1/2 inches--same as the width of a piece of letter paper.
A U.S. dollar bill (any denomination, actually) is 6 inches long.
The standard Post It is 3 inches square.
Many business cards are 2 1/2 inches by 3 inches.
Letter paper is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.
Legal paper is 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches.
Tabloid paper is 11 inches by 17 inches.
And one for the metric system--a standard business envelope is 24 centimeters long.
Floor tiles in many buildings (stores, schools, etc.) are 12 inches square.
Common pegboard has holes with centers that are 1 inch apart.
My favorite tip from a Threads community member is from miracleworker. Although she recommends a substitute that's not commonly found, I enjoy her willingness to think outside the box and use a precision tool from her DIY arsenal. She uses a laser level to accurately measure fabric spread out on the floor!
Thank you to everyone who shared their measuring tricks! I look forward to learning and sharing more in the future.
Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 in tips & tricks, tools & supplies, notions, marking, measurements, rulers, measurement tools, measure without ruler