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Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Last year i was so impressed when i saw a covered tape measure i knew i just had give it a go. I looked at a few tutorials to get ideas.

This is how i covered the ones i have sent out to friends. It might not be the right way to do it, but it works for me and i am happy with the finished result. I haven't had any complaints from ladies who have received them that they have fallen apart yet!

I was asked if i could provide a tutorial of how i make them, so here goes, my first attempt at anything like this, i'll try my best.

The last one i made i tried to photograph at each stage -

Materials you will need :-
1. Retractable tape measure (i buy mine at a well known supermarket on the haberdashery stand, there are other sizes and shapes available)
2. Double sided tape
3. Scissors - 2 pairs, sharp pointed ones and standard ones (where are my sharp ones in this pic?)
4. Craft glue
5. Paintbrush
6. Stitched design - please make sure it fits before you start
7. Backing fabric
8. Braiding (as deep as the side of the tape measure)

Fix 2 strips of double sided tape to the retractable side making sure you cut the edges to the curved shape - be careful not to cover the button

Fix 2 strips to the other side the same

Stick the double sided tape all around the edge making sure you go right to the ends near the puller. I use a 1cm tape as it is the perfect size for this type of tape measure. (Forgot to take a pic of that but you can see it in the pic below)

Remove the backing from the double sided tape on the flat side and attach your stitched piece making sure you centre it. Don't worry if you get it wrong, it often happens, just take it off carefully and reposition. You might need to remove the tape if it's not so sticky and start again. Press down firmly and then carefully cut around the fabric leaving only enough to go down the side of the measure halfway.

Remove the backing tape along the side and carefully press down the fabric all around the edge. You will need to cut around the hole carefully with your sharp scissors - here they are in this picture, i knew i took a pic of them!

Remove the the backing tape on the reverse side and do exactly the same thing again with your chosen backing fabric.

Place the braid around the tape measure and cut to length

Now for the messy bit with paintbrush and glue. I use the plastic cover that the tape came in and put some glue into that, it's so much easier to use with the paintbrush and you dont get too sticky and it's not so messy, you just throw it away when you've finished with it.

Put a layer of glue all around the edge of the tape measure along the middle to hold the braid, being sure to cover the edges of both fabrics.

Press the braiding into place. I always put glue all the way around the square opening to secure all the loose threads of the fabric to stop the stitched piece from fraying and to stop the braid fraying. The PVA glue i use dries clear so is not seen, make sure your glue is clear when dried too.

Be patient while you leave it to dry thoroughly, mine are left overnight to be sure.

HEY PRESTO...... a lovely gift for a friends birthday, or for your own workbox. I really should make myself one of these!

I hope this makes sense and would really love to see any that you make. If you need anything clarifying or have a problem, there is an email button top left of the blog or you can leave me a comment.

Happy tape measure covering.


Lisa said...

Thanks for the great tutorial Julie, you make it look so simple but I'm sure I'd end up in a right mess lol. Will have to look out for a similar tape measure and give it a go though soon.

Maggie said...

Great tutorial! Whenever i use any glue it always ends up everywhere, lol- good tip to use a paint brush and the plastic top!

jane said...

you make it look easy I will have to have a go one of these days as the finished items do look very nice.

Lesleyanne said...

A lovely tutorial. Thank you for sharing.

butterfly said...

Oh how lovely, i must try and make one thank you.

Denise said...

You make it look very easy. I should go looking for tape measures at the stores now.

Erin said...

Thanks for the tutorial! The finished product looks lovely.

Rachael xxx said...

An excellcent tutorial, Thank you Julie!!

Christine said...

Thanks Julie, that seems easy enough, but I bet I can muck it up, I'm not the best person in the world with glue ;)

Barb said...

Thankyou for sharing"how to " with us Julie,that has solved a couple of littles for Christmas methinks.
Now to find measures.

Carol said...

What a helpful tutorial, Julie! Thanks for taking the time to explain it so well :)

Hazel said...

That's brilliant and I'm going to add it to my list of tutorials on my blog if that's okay. I will get around to making one one day soon. x

Carol said...

Thanks for the great tutorial Julie! I love your covered tape measures and have been wanting to have a go. :o)

Sally said...

That is a brilliant tutorial Julie. So simple too. I really must have a go so will look out for some tape measures. I love mine:)

Melanie said...

Excellent tutorial!! I'm going to have to try this! Next time I go to Joann's, I'm scoping out the tape measures. lol

Angi M said...

great tutorial Julie, I've been wondering how they were done.

Daffycat said...

So easy, Julie! They just look fantastic when you are through...they should be much more complicated!

Thanks for the lovely instructions. I've added this to the tutorial links page on my blog.

Pumpkin said...

Awesome! Thanks for the tutorial Julie! I've always wanted to make one but never really knew how :o)

Lisa said...

oh thank you Julie, I have been wanting to try one of these, your clear instructions and pictures make it seem easy, I will definitely be having a go soon!