Paper measuring tapes using A3 and A4 paper

This resource provides PDFs of metric rulers, showing centimetres and millimetres, that can be printed out and cut to create low-cost, double-sided, and flexible rulers for various surveying activities (e.g. measuring tree circumference).

measuring tape wrapped around a tree

Two PDFs are provided with 28cm and 40cm paper rulers that require A4 and A3 paper (and printers).

Have students assemble the measuring tapes according to the following instructions.


  1. Printing
    • Select the matching paper size (A4 -> A4 or A3 -> A3).
    • Select Landscape orientation.
    • Print the pages double-sided, if you can.
    • Make sure the print settings don't resize the PDF. Print at 100% size.
  2. Cutting (see step three before proceeding)
    • Cut along the solid lines.
  3. Durability bonus
    • Tape down the corners of the sheet.
    • Lay a strip of tape along each measuring tape.
    • Flip page and repeat.
    • Cut out measuring tapes.

For superior water resistance cut paper tape measures first, then double side with tape, but get some help or frustration ensues.

The source SVG files are also provided if you wish to make changes or improvements to the rulers.

Created by Cyrille Médard de Chardon
on 2024-07-16