How to Measure a Hole Punch Dot


Binders and folders use rings and fasteners of standard lengths, and electric and manual paper punch devices are available at office supply stores. Other types of paper punches are decorative; these have a distinctive design or shape that is cut out for paper crafts or decorations such as a star or animal shape. These paper punches usually produce single holes with a size larger than the standard 1/4-inch found in office hole punch machines. While these specialty hole punches have shaped holes, careful measurements can produce creative uniform borders, similar to that from standard hole punch machines.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper punch
  • Ruler (metric and imperial)
  • Mark the desired location of the first hole and determine the number of holes needed for your document(s).

  • Check the diameter of the hole punch drill or press: According to, the most common hole size is 1/4-inch diameter; specialty paper punches can produce shaped holes with diameters up to two inches.

  • Measure the desired diameter from your mark to determine the end of the hole and place a second mark. For example, mark 1/4 inch from the first mark to specify the end of your hole.

  • Measure from the center of the two marks to the location for the second hole (this will be the center of the second hole).

  • Divide the diameter of the hole punch by two and mark each side of the center of the second hole. For example, for a hole punch with a one-inch diameter, each end of the second hole is 1/2 inch from the center.

  • Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for subsequent hole locations.

  • Place your hole punch over the marked areas for the first hole, taking care that the drill or opening for the chad is between the two marks.

  • Depress the hole punch to produce the hole punch dot and discard the chad as necessary.

  • Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for remaining holes.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not know the diameter size of the punch dot, punch a sample sheet of paper and measure the center area to determine the size. Consider measuring the diameter in millimeters for a precise measurement.
  • Create a distinctive border around party hats by punching a series of shaped holes around the rim.
  • Create personal outdoor decorations by punching large and small holiday shapes in paper bags and insert tea candles to create festive lighting.

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