Don’t like the look of your cheap plastic tape measure? Wanna pretty it up? Here’s one solution that you can customise and be creative with.
– Tape measure approximately 2inches (51mm) in diametre
– 1-2 pieces of wool felt approximately 2.5inches in diametre (64mm) – depending on how you choose to decorate your tape measure. (You really do need to use 70-100% wool felt for this to work, “craft” felt will not hold up to being stitched so tightly by hand.)
– A yoyo, made with a starting circle of approximately 5inches (130mm).
– Embroidery thread and a little bit of stuffing for the top of the measure.
OK, you ready?
Grab you measure and the two pieces of fabric you’re going to use to cover it. With your needle and embroidery thread start a nice, tight whip stitch around the edge with the measure wedged in. It’s a little tricky. In the past I have put a little glue tape on the side of the measure with the button on it to keep the felt from moving (you don’t want glue tape both sides as you’ll be stuffing one side). Also note that you want the bottom of the measure to be the side with the button, so don’t put your decorated side on the button side, it can make using the button difficult. You’ll also want to make sure that the tape measure pull is positioned at the beginning of your whip stitching, so that you finish at the pull and don’t enclose it!
Once you’re about an inch from finishing enclosing the measure grab a little stuffing (ie polyfill or craft filling of your choice) and put it between the top side (decorated side) and measure, squish it around to get it even and as puffy as you like or flat, your choice.
Then continue to whip stitch the edges together until you come back around to the pull. Leave the pull sticking out and fasten off your thread.
Now you can also decorate the pull if you like. I use a bit of felt and just slip it through the pull top and fasten it at the end of the pull with embroidery thread.
The one you see below is decorated with a yoyo and a vintage button. However you could decorate your tape measure with buttons, fabric, ribbon, felt beads, embroidery, you’re only as limited as your imagination. Here’s a link to some that I’ve previously made.