How to Measure Yourself Without a Tape Measure

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Taking accurate measurements of your body is essential when you're making and altering garments, shopping for clothes online or tracking your progress on a fitness and diet regime. While using a tape measure is typically the easiest way to measure yourself, it is not the only way to take your measurements. If you don't have a tape measure, you can measure yourself using a piece of string and a ruler, yardstick, dollar bill or even your own hand.

Step 1

Pull taut a long piece of string, yarn or even dental floss as you wrap it around the part of your body that you wish to measure -- for example, your waist or hips.

Step 2

Grasp the string where the string crosses over itself using the thumb and pointer finger of your non-dominant hand. Mark this point on the string using a marker.

Step 3

Hold a yardstick or ruler against the length of the string and measure from the beginning of the string to the point you marked.

Step 4

Use a dollar bill to approximate the measurement of your string if you don't have a ruler or yardstick. A flat dollar bill measures 6 1/4 inches long. Folded in half it is 3 1/8 inches long. If you fold it in half again, it is almost 1 1/4 inches long. Knowing these measurements, you can place your dollar bill on your piece of string and then measure it in increments.

Step 5

Use your hand to approximate the measurement of your string if you don't have a dollar bill, yardstick or ruler. When your hand is spread wide, the distance between the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pinky is approximately 9 inches and the distance between the tip of your thumb and the tip of your middle finger is approximately 6 inches. Also, the first joint on your index finger is approximately 1 inch long. Knowing these measurements, you can place your hand or index finger on your piece of string and then measure it in increments. Remember that measurements can change if a person is particularly tall or small, so check the measurements on your hands first to be sure of these lengths.

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