Here is another Instructable in my series of 'Shop Cheats.' This cheat will help you use your broken tape measures, so you can get every last inch out of them. If you want to know some of my other cheats, check out my other Instructables. I will forgo the links to keep things tidy.
So if your like me, you probably wear-out or break tape measures from time to time. Usually I am a little despondent over the loss or ineffectiveness of a tool. Especially one I use so often. So after having seen one of my neighbors having lengths of old tape measure tape nailed to his workbench I realized that just junking my busted tape was bad form. Plus I like to re-use or re-purpose things whenever possible.
First thing you will want to do is get the blade out of the tape measure. If it has been dropped from a great height you may have already completed this step. If not just remove the screws from the body and separate the two halves of the body. If you really have some anger issues to work out you can always use a hammer, and smash the body to bits. Just a quick heads-up, the blade of a metal tape measure is a spring. And will want to do some exciting things if you aren't paying close enough attention. Nothing that is harmful, but you may have to chase some parts around.
Next, lay out the length of tape you want. Most of these bits of tape I have are a one foot section. And just cut it up. I think scissors will work, but I have never used them for this. Tin snips would work. But I just snap the blade in half. Just fold the blade length-wise and try to put a crease in the it. You will get a gratifying snap as the blade breaks, and no tools required.
Now you have a extremely disposable flexible ruler. I have these taped to sticks, lying around all my machine tools, and littering the workbench.