The ingenious tape measure hack that Instagram is calling 'mind-blowing'

We can't believe we didn't already know this!! It's a game-changer for DIY fans

If you have caught the DIY (opens in new tab) bug this year we have the perfect tape measure hack to make your new hobby run smoothly.

Related: 10 easy decor hacks to rethink your interiors on a budget (opens in new tab)

Tape measures are a handy piece of kit, but they can be fiddly when working out exact measurements. That is where this genius tape measure hack shared by brightbazaar on Instagram comes in.

The New York-based blogger revealed that most tape measures have marked on the back how long the body of the tape measure is. This is a lifesaver when measuring something in a tight spot such as a window sill.

A post shared by Will Taylor (@brightbazaar) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Instead of doing your best contortionist act to bend the tape measure to get an exact measurement, simply run the tape measure till the plastic or metal body rests against the wall. Hit the lock button, and add the measurement on the back of the tape measure to the one show on the tape itself.

Assuming your maths is right it should give you an exact measurement with minimal effort.

measure tape

(Image credit: Future PLC)

In the reel Will Taylor, also known as brightbazaar (opens in new tab) on Instagram, demonstrates how the hack works.

'When measuring things in tight corners or at height I lock the tape measure flat against the wall,' he explains. 'The tape measure is locked at 56 so I know that the total width is 58.'

'How do I know that?' he asks. 'Here's the secret, most tape measures have their length engraved on the back.'

Fellow Instagrammers were as mind blown as the Ideal Home team by this genius tip.

'OMG, really?!? 🤩' commented one fan.

'Wow 😮👌🔥🔥🔥' wrote another.

'Omg mind blown 🤯' added another. We can definitely relate.

cardboard packaging

(Image credit: Future)

Getting measurements right is crucial when carrying out DIY, while decorating your home. The old saying goes measure twice, cut once.

However, even when buying a sofa or planning hallway storage ideas (opens in new tab), double-checking your measurements are correct can save alot of hassle in the long term. Anyone who has watched  The Home Edit (opens in new tab) on Netflix will know the importance 1mm can make between a dreamy storage setup and a messy room waiting to happen.

Most standard tape measures are around 7cm. If the number isn't engraved on the back it could be on the front in the form of a sticker.

Related: What the drawer under the oven is actually for – and it's not extra storage (opens in new tab)

Trust us, once you try this tape measure hack, you won't believe how you ever used a tape measure without it.

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.