Craft Rulers and How to Use them!!

Rulers are one of the most basic of craft supplies ...you and me have used it from childhood.

But in this post I am going to be talking about special features of craft rulers that make crafting easier and more fun for us crafters!

Exploring the various features of craft rulers was both challenging and exhilarating!
 I fervently hope you find this post and the  video Tutorial useful !!

Special features of Craft Rulers 

Metal Edge 
The metal cutting edge is a super useful feature for papercrafters as it allows you to use a rotary cutter or craft knife with a cutting mat to easily and snugly cut along your ruler without slicing off a part of your ruler!
Metal Cutting Edge 
This allows you to use your ruler to get a nice straight cut on paper , fabric, chipboard etc
Cons: you need to hold the ruler firmly against your paper/chipboard so that it doesn't slip
You need to use a cutting mat when using the craft knife/rotary cutter!
Clear Acrylic Rulers
Being able to see under your ruler is an indispensable feature !
Pro : You can see exactly where you are cutting and measuring and only acrylic rulers can have the feature of a grid
Con : Scratches, Breakage, markings wearing off over time

Grid Feature
You can use grids to
  • Easily and quickly draw parallel lines by using the grids as guides
  • Easily create mats and frames for your pictures as I have shown in the video
Centering Feature
This is the feature I find most useful and its something which you will find indispensable once you start using it!
Centering Feature
How to use Centering : refer to the video

Uses of centering

  • Hanging something precisely requires finding its center point!
  • Centering an image
  • Scrapbooking -precise centering of photos
  • Card making- Matting and Layering precisely and easily
  • Using Grids of rulers
Card with mats created with ruler grids

Card making- making layered cards and card bases easily and quickly
Card layers
Card Base made with help of Rulers
  • Adding embellishments at equi distances.

Adding brads/eyelets/pearls perfectly at equi distances
Centering eyelets on a tag
Using the centering feature its super easy to mark the exact center of you tag/ photo-frame etc
Christmas Tag
  • Precise placement of a sentiment
    Centering a sentiment
Here is a Video Tutorial  I made to show you how to use grids and the centering feature.Its my very first video with a voice so please do forgive my mistakes.
Piercing Holes in the Ruler
Stitched shapes are the vogue in the craft world right now and there are so many dies which can give the beautiful pierced hole edge feature but how about if you don't have a die cutting machine or want the versatility of being able to create your own customized pierced lines...well then pick up a ruler with the piercing holes feature.
Things you can do with the piercing feature
  1. Add a pierced hole border around your cards/ layouts
  2. Stitch through the holes
  3. Create a lattice of holes
  4. Create patterns and even letters with the pierced holes
  5. Play with spacing of the holes
    Piercing feature in ruler
In the Tim Holtz ruler, holes are placed at 1/8 inch intervals so you can create stitch lines on your cards or layouts by using a needle tool [ I have used a humble thumb tack] and a foam base .
Pierced Border using ruler
You can create a stitched border all around!
Pierced frame border using ruler
And you can play around with the distance and create rows and even create patterns!
Piercing patterns using ruler
Now that I have discussed the features of craft rulers here are the salient features of different popular brands of rulers.

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Design Ruler

12 inch clear acrylic, centering ruler, with piercing holes, grid and metal edge.Sturdy ruler.My crafter friend Melissa said the markings wore of in hers and she had to get several of these. I have been super careful with mine and store it in a foam lined box I made for it so mine is holding up good!
Cons : Difficult to use the line where the piercing holes are as it is a difficult to see through in that particular area. Also the 1/4 inch tapered edge on the centering edge was not very easy to use to get a 1/4th inch line if you are using the grid feature to draw let's say parallel lines.
Creative Impressions Acrylic Ruler
This is my personal favorite among the lot!
12 inch clear acrylic ruler with metal edge,grid and Centering ruler  with 1/4 inch measurements on one side and 1/16 th measurements on  the other side
Pros : The markings are only 1/4 inch on one edge and that gives a nice uncluttered look
You also have the option of a centering of 1/16th inches which is an advantage over the ideaology Tim Holtz ruler
It is also 2 inch wide which is wider than most rulers
Also comes with a nice plastic cover which you can  use to store the ruler and also hang it .
Cons : It doesn't have piercing holes so keep this in mind if that feature is very important to you
Universal Crafts Metal Edge Ruler
 30 cm clear ruler with metal edge , grid, centering feature and piercing holes.
You can get centering to millimeter accuracies!
Westcott Wooden Ruler with Metal Edge 12 inch

  • Lightweight wooden ruler which is super cheap costing just 70 rupees!
  • Has a Metal edge on one side and is calibrated in both inches and centimeters
  • The groove in the center allows you to firmly hold the ruler and press it while you use your craft knife this protecting your fingers and decreasing the chances of the ruler slipping.
  • Manufactured by the pioneers of ruler making, the Westcott company who have been making rulers since  1872 .Here is the link to a wikipedia article about the brand for those interested in a bit of history : Westcott Scissors and rulers


  1. Thanks for sharing the rulers info. I bought a C Thru Westcott ruler and use it a lot.
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

  2. Thank you for sharing this video!! Loved all the tips and ideas!!

  3. Awesome tutorial. Thank you for sharing Sonia.

  4. A useful and well thought out post Sonia and what a good idea to use one of those pins for paper piercing.

    B x

  5. Such an amazing tutorial Sonia Ma'm..never thought of so many uses of a simple ruler..

  6. very informative post Sonia, love the tip about creating mats and layers !!

  7. Great post, Dr Sonia!!! Thanks very much for all your comparions and trick!
    I have the metal ruler for cutting with mat and knife, it has inches on one edge and centimetres/millimetres on the other. I found it very useful. But I haven't an acrlic ruler with the center position, the grids and the holes for piercing. Now I wish to buy one! :D LOL
    Thanks also for the videotutorial, so useful and clear to learn something new. Your voice is so sweet!!

  8. What a fabulous tutorial an awesome tips!! Thanks for putting this together my friend!! Your projects are stunning, Sonia!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  9. Very useful information. I tend to always use a clear ruler that was made for quilting. I need to look for one to do the piercing.

  10. some great tips -thank you
    Carol x

  11. great post!
    thank you for sharing!

  12. Will save this for future, thanks for a great tutorials!!
    ♥Hugs Valentina♥

  13. Hi Dr Sonia,
    thank you for the wonderful tutorial.
    This was so very helpful.
    Your video was great.
    Love your tags you created too.
    Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

  14. Thanks Doc, very informative.xx.xx {aNNie}

  15. Amazing informative post! So useful & beautifully explained! I loved the video and all the gorgeous creations!
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. What a beautiful tag. Have a blessed day
    DIANA L.


  17. Great and informative post on rulers. I usually just eyeball it....now I'm looking at my rulers differently. ;)

  18. A really useful tutorial! Nice to put a voice to the face too :). Debra x

  19. Thanks for the tuturial.Very useful.Love your project too.Have a nice day.

    Hugs, Sylvia.

  20. These are amazing tips!! Thanks for sharing them!!!!!!!!

  21. Discovered your blog through visiting Tracey! Great article on rulers! I love the Tim Holtz one!

  22. Great projects and very cool tutorial. Your tag is so lovely. Thank you for joining us over at the Rubber Dance challenge. xx Susanne.

  23. Sonia, your creations are just gorgeous!! Thank you for the helpful tutorial with the rulers too! So nice to hear your voice along with the tutorials too!! I'm a new subscriber of your channel! :) HUGS

  24. How VERY informative Sonia, thnaks for this, I am bookmarking it so I cna come back. When I have more time.
    PS FABULOUS cards

  25. Very useful tutorials and your projects are beautiful. hugs, Teresa

  26. Lots of great tips for rulers Doc. We can all use a reminder of their many uses. Thanks!

  27. Great tutorial Sonia and your creations are beautiful!

  28. Fabulous tutorial and video Sonia..Loz

  29. Wow, Sonia, I found this VERY interesting! I have not owned a centering ruler before but I have just added it to my wish list! It would come in very handy! You have already answered my question (which one you prefer), so thank you! Very interesting and informative post and video!

  30. Great post! So much useful information about rulers.

  31. What a thorough and useful tutorial! Thanks! Hugs, Autumn

  32. This is such an informative post. I had been contemplating to buy the Ideology ruler for quite some time and your post has come in so handy. Beautiful projects! Thank you so much for the detailed review :)

  33. Your cards are lovely, Sonia! Thank you so much for showing a variety of ruler uses. My favorite part of your blog post was hearing the kindness in your pretty voice. hugs, de

  34. I love your ruler ideas- Thanks for sharing them!

  35. I will definately be looking a rulers differently now, instead of just winging it ! :) Great tutorial Dr Sonia! Ps...so nice to hear your voice :)

  36. Might have to get me one of those grid rulers. Thanks for the tips. Your tag is beautiful. Love the poinsettia and great use of the colours. Thanks for joining the Rubber Dance challenge. Hugz

  37. I love your video, Sonia!!!!!!!!!!!! I already have good acrylic rulers for quilting so, although they do not have a metal edge, I can use them with my rotary cutter. I did not know the ruler with the holes, I will try to find and buy it. Kisses, my friend. Thank you so much for the tips.


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