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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

How to draw a circle with a tape measure

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

A handy hack for how to draw a circle for your DIY projects.

mdf board with tools resting on top

There are quite a few DIY projects and painting DIYs that require you to draw a circle or arch. Colour blocking with paint is a common one, as is cutting MDF arches to customise furniture. You can use string and fiddle around tying it to a screw and pencil, or you can simply hook your tape measure on instead, read how below...

How to draw a circle with a tape measure

Step 1: Insert a screw

Decide how big you want the circle and where you need it. Insert a screw at the centre point.

Screw poking out a piece of mdf

Step 2: Set up the tape measure

Take the radius measurement (the distance from the centre to the circumference) on your desire circle and set the tape measure to that measurement. Be sure to lock the tape measure so it can't move, by pressing the lock button on the side (the black button in the image below).

Tape measure and screw driver

Step 3: Add a pen

Tape a pen onto the side of the tape measure using masking tape.

Tape measure with pen taped to the side

Step 4: Hook the tape measure

Hook the metal end of the tape measure onto the screw.

Tape measure hooked over a screw

Step 5: Sweep round in a circle

Rotate the case of the tape measure round in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. As you do so the pen will mark out the circumference of the circle.

Tape measure drawing a circle with pen taped to the side

Ta-dah! I told you it was an easy one! Just remove the screw and fill the hole and you are ready to paint or cut your circle out.

Thanks so much for reading. I'd love to keep you up to date with future DIY, decorating, interior styling, and upcycling projects, if you would like to receive my (not more than weekly & no spamming I promise) emails then please subscribe (scroll down to the box at the bottom of the page).

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