One of the easiest ways to measure out a centimeter is by using everyday objects that are close to 1 centimeter in size, such as a pencil, pen or highlighter. It is also possible to measure out the distance in imperial units and then convert to centimeters.
To measure out a centimeter with an everyday item, place the item vertically on a sheet of paper, and place another at the top of the first item so that they form a right angle, and make a mark at the shared edge of the two items. Next, make another mark at the other edge of the vertical item. The space between the two marks should equal one centimeter. Other items that measure about 1 centimeter are the length of a staple, the thickness of a standard notepad, the radius of a U.S. penny and the width of five CDs or DVDs.
One inch equals 2.54 centimeters, but the value is not constant, so a special conversion factor is needed. In order to obtain a centimeter measurement from inches, divide the number of inches by 0.39370. In order to obtain a centimeter measurement from feet, divide the original measurement by 0.032808. In order to obtain centimeters from yards, divide the original measurement by 0.010936.