Things that Are 13 Inches Long

13 inches is 1 inch longer than a foot or 33.02 centimeters. While these conversions may help with math problems, they don’t do much if you’re trying to gauge 13 inches in your mind’s eye. Luckily, there are countless everyday objects we can use as references.

Use these objects to visualize what 13 inches long looks like:

  • Sheet of legal paper
  • 2 pens
  • 2 soup spoons
  • 3-1/4 tea cups
  • 1-1/2 men’s size 10.5 shoe
  • 4 sticks of butter
  • 1-1/2 loaves of bread
  • 1-1/2 chopsticks
  • 2-1/2 soda cans

1. Sheet of Legal Paper

Sheet of Legal Paper

Legal paper is the taller version of regular letter paper, stretching out to a lanky 14 inches in height, compared to the usual 11 inches. This paper is a favorite in law offices, hence the name. It’s perfect for longer documents—more room for all those fancy legal terms!

If you’re trying to imagine what 13 inches looks like, grab a sheet of legal paper and visually subtract an inch. If all you have is letter paper on hand, you can add 2 inches to the bottom or add about half its width.

2. 2 Pens

2 Pens

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and when it comes to writing, they have a point. The ballpoint pen, the kind you use every day, was invented by László Bíró in the late 1930s. This little writing wizard uses gravity to feed ink to a rotating ball, which transfers the ink to your sheet of paper.

Now, let’s measure 13 inches without a ruler. Grab 2 of your trusty pens, each about 5-7/8 inches long. Line them up end to end, and ta-da! You’re in the ballpark of 13 inches. Keeping the caps on the pens may help by adding length.

3. 2 Soup Spoons

2 Soup Spoons

Soup spoons are an often-forgotten part of the cutlery world, specially designed for battling the slippery slopes of soup! With their round and deeper bowl, they’re perfect for scooping up every delicious drop. Unlike their flatter friends, the dinner spoons, soup spoons make sure no pea or noodle escapes.

To measure 13 inches in soup spoon terms, you’ll need to collect 2 of them. Each spoon measures 6 to 8 inches long, so you may be under by an inch or over by 3. Ideally, you’d have 1 6-inch soup spoon and a 7 incher.

4. 3-1/4 Tea Cups

Tea Cups

Tea cups aren’t just for tea parties with fancy hats and pinkies up! They’ve been around for centuries, evolving from tiny Chinese bowls to today’s handle-holding versions. Tea cups are made of anything from delicate porcelain to chunky ceramic, and they’re often decorated with patterns that could rival any artist’s canvas.

Now, let’s turn tea time into measure time! To eyeball 13 inches, line up about 3-1/4 tea cups rim-to-rim. A 6-ounce tea cup measures around 3-1/2 inches in diameter.

5. 1-1/2 Men’s Size 10.5 Shoe

Men’s Size 10.5 Shoe

Shoes are like your feet’s best friends. Did you know the oldest shoes found are about 5,500 years old? They’ve come a long way from just being foot protectors. Now, they’re fashion statements, sports gear, and comfort providers, all while keeping our toes toasty!

If you’re curious about how long 13 inches is without a ruler, grab a men’s size 10.5 shoe. It’s roughly 10-5/16 inches long, with another half of that being slightly longer than 13 inches. Of course, shoe sizes aren’t the same across the board. For instance, a size 10.5 shoe in the US is about the same as a size 8.5 Mexican shoe size.

6. 2-4 Sticks of Butter

2 4 Sticks of Butter

Butter is a fat that turns everything it touches into creamy deliciousness. It’s been around for thousands of years, and some people even used it as money in the olden days! Butter can be sweet, salted, or herbed, making it a versatile vehicle of flavor.

To picture 13 inches, think about 4 sticks of butter lined up. Each stick is about 3-1/4 inches long, so lining up 4 side-by-side gets you close to 13 inches. In some places, sticks of butter are 4-3/4 inches long, so you’d need slightly more than 2-1/2 sticks to get to 13 inches.

7. Loaf of White Bread

Loaf of White Bread

White bread, the classic sandwich starter, has a fun history. It’s been a staple for ages, but did you know it was once a luxury item? Only wealthy folks could afford it! Now, it’s everyone’s go-to for PB&Js and toast. Plus, it’s got this soft, fluffy texture that’s just irresistible.

Want to measure 13 inches but don’t have a ruler? Grab a loaf of store-bought white bread. Most loaves are about 14-1/2 inches long, or only about 1-1/2 inches beyond your target. If you only have homemade bread made in a standard 8-1/2-inch pan, you’d need 1-1/2 of them to reach 13 inches.

8. 1-1/2 Chopsticks

Chopsticks are super-versatile utensils that can be used for chopping, picking up, or stabbing. Originating in China about 3,000 years ago, they’re used by over a billion people today. These nifty sticks can be made of bamboo, metal, or even ivory.

To visualize 13 inches, think of 1-1/2 chopsticks. Most chopsticks are around 9 inches long, so half a chopstick more gives you a rough measure. Japanese chopsticks, on the other hand, are shorter at just 20 centimeters or 7.87 inches. 2 of them will get you pretty close to 13 inches.

9. 2-1/2 Soda Cans

2 1per2 Soda Cans

Aluminum cans get a new life every couple of months due to their recyclability. They were first used in the late 1950s for drinks. An aluminum can could be a soda can today and part of a bicycle or even an airplane in a few months!

Now, let’s measure 13 inches in a fun way. Stack up 2 soda cans on top of each other and visualize adding half of another. Each can is 4.83 inches tall, so when they’re piled up, you’re hitting close to 13 inches. If you use slim cans, like those for Red Bull or Monster Energy, stacking 2 of them will get you only slightly taller than 13 inches.