How to Measure Your Waist without a Tape Measure {5 Easy DIY Tips}

Professional tips to women on how to measure your waist without a tape measure, how to measure waist without measuring tape You do not have a tape measure in the house? No problem. You can still get your waist measurements using other creative DIY means that are readily available at home.

Unfortunately, some of these methods will only give you an estimate of your waist circumference. So besides a digital measuring application, you can only manually find the perfect size of your waist by using a calibrated measuring tape.

All in all, all these methods are practical and will enable you to purchase your favorite pair of pants or dress that will fit you as nicely as you may ever want. If you have fitness goals, then you need to measure your waistline regularly, and these easy methods come in handy.

5 DIY Tips on How to Measure Waist without Measuring Tape

When taking your waistline measurement make sure that your body is relaxed. Do not try to inhale or exhale because this might alter the numbers. Remember also not to tighten whatever you are using to gauge the measurement.

How to measure your waist using a string and a ruler or yardstick

Using a string and ruler is the simplest way to measure your waist size at home. The first step is to get a string that is fairly long. Tie the string on the slimmest part of your waist and use a mark pen to indicate where the two ends meet.

On the other hand, you can use scissors to cut where the two ends meet. When doing this ensure that you are relaxed and do not hold your breath. It is also advisable not to make the string too tight on your waist since you might not be able to transfer the same tightness to the ruler or yardstick. Use a ruler or a yardstick to determine the length of the string. That is your waist length.

How to estimate your waist using dollar bills

This is such a creative and interesting way to measure your waist. All US Federal Reserve notes come in a standard length of 6.14 inches. The first step is to tape them together and wrap them around your waist. Determine how many dollar bills it takes to wrap your waist.

Multiply this number by 6.14 inches and you will get your waist size in inches. Unfortunately, this method only gives you an approximate number since sometimes you might find that the last dollar bill has only a half or a third of it as part of your circumference when you wrap them around your waist. In this case, you would need to calculate the one half or one third length of the dollar bill.

How to measure waist size using the standard printing paper

Using printing paper works the same way as using currency notes. The longer side of the standard printing paper is 11 inches and the shorter side is 8.5 inches. Tape the papers together and wrap them around the slimmest part of your waist.

Multiply the number of papers that go around your waist by 8.5 or 11 depending on the side of the paper that you used. Just like using dollar bills, this method will give you an estimate since sometimes you might use two and a half papers and it becomes difficult to get the exact measurement.

How to gauge your waist using outstretched fingers

You can use your outstretched fingers to guesstimate waist size. For the typical American woman, when you stretch your fingers, the distance from the tip of the thumb to the end of the smallest finger is around 8.5 to 9 inches.

Determine how many times your stretched fingers go around the slimmest part of your waist and multiply that by 9 inches. This will only give you an estimate, more inaccurate than the other methods.

How to measure your waist using a mobile phone app

The best mobile apps for measuring your waist are the AR Ruler App and the iPhone’s Measure app. You can use it in combination with a string as described above. If you cannot find a physical ruler or yardstick in the house, use the virtual ruler to determine the length of string that goes around your waist. It is more accurate than printing papers, dollar bills, or outstretched fingers.

FAQs on How to Measure Your Waist without a Tape Measure

Is there an app to measure my waist?

The 3D waistline is an app available on the iOS app store. It scans your body in a matter of seconds and from this, it can determine your waist circumference, besides providing other important details like the BMI.

The good thing with such an app is that you keep track of changes in your waistline, an indicator of whether you’re gaining or losing body fat.

Give the app a try and compare the results with a tape measure. Other 3D body scanning apps are coming up so very soon it will be easy to measure any part of your body even without using a tape measure.

The Stanley Hand Tools 33-116 3/4" X 16' PowerLock® Professional Metal Tape Measure

Can you use a metal tape measure to measure your waist?

It might be impossible to use a metallic tape measure for your waist since it’s not flexible to contour the shape of your body. However, you can be creative and find a string that you will use to transfer your waist length to the metallic measuring tape.

What is the correct way to measure your waistline?

The correct way to measure your waist is to stand upright, breathe and breathe out, and then take a measurement when you’re relaxed. When measuring your waist, make sure that you are wearing very thin clothes or nothing at all.

The bulkiness of your garments might affect the measurements. Do not make the tape measure too tight around your waist because you might end up with a top, dress, or shirt that is too tight.


Using a tape measure is still the most trusted method of determining your waist size, but the times have changed and you can use a couple of other means when the measuring tape is not available. A string, a dollar bill, or a yardstick, are easily available to take measurements with, and you can also measure digitally, using different mobile applications.

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