Making a flexible measuring tape is an inexpensive way to measure curved and flat surfaces. The tape comes in handy for such individuals as dressmakers, fitness instructors, woodworkers and crafters. The homemade tape is made with grosgrain ribbon, a ruler and a black marker. The ribbon and black marker may be purchased at craft or hobby stores, while the ruler can be found at office supply, hardware and home improvement stores.
Roll out white grosgrain ribbon onto a flat surface, such as table.
Measure 60 inches of ribbon by placing a 12-inch ruler next to the ribbon. Mark the first 12 inches with your finger and move the ruler down to measure another 12 inches. Continue this process for a total of five times. When 60 inches is reached, cut the ribbon with a sharp pair of scissors.
Lay the newly cut ribbon on a flat surface. Place heavy books near the middle and the ends of the ribbon to help straighten it out. Let sit for 1 hour.
Remove the books. Place the 12-inch ruler next to the ribbon. Measure 1 inch with the ruler. Use a black marker to mark the inch by drawing a vertical line on the ribbon and writing in the number "1". Move the ruler down the ribbon and mark each inch location with the black marker until 60 inches is reached. Return to the beginning of the ribbon and add lines for 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8 and 15/16 with the black marker.
Let the ribbon measuring tape dry for 1 hour. Roll the measuring tape up and store for future use.