How to make a homemade level

Are you in need of a level, but don’t have the money to buy one? Well, never fear! With a few simple supplies and a bit of elbow grease, you can make your own homemade level. Read on to find out how.

make a homemade level


Leveling is the process of creating a flat surface. A level is an instrument used to determine whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (not level). The position of the bubble in the vial indicates whether the surface is level.

Most levels have one or more vials, each containing a coloured liquid and a air bubble. The aim is to place the level so that the air bubble is in the centre of the vial. If the bubble is to the left of centre, then the surface is not level; if it is to the right, then it is level. Depending on how far away from centre the bubble is will give you an indication of how severe the error is.

The traditional way to check if a surface was level was using a spirit level or water level. A spirit level (or bubble level) uses liquid in a completely sealed vial that doesn’t interact with its surroundings, whereas a water level uses any container partially filled with water.

With recent advancements in technology, there are now electronic levels available which use sensors and digital displays instead of liquid-filled vials. These devices are often more accurate than their older counterparts and can be easier to read under low-light conditions.

What you will need

You will need:

  • A straight edge (a ruler or a level)
  • A drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 1/4″ dowel rod
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Nails or screws (optional)
  1. Cut the dowel rod to the desired length. The dowel should be slightly longer than the length of the straight edge.
  2. Place a dot of wood glue on one end of the dowel and attach it to the straight edge. Allow the glue to dry completely.
  3. Drill a hole through the center of the dowel, perpendicular to the straight edge. The hole should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the nail or screw you will use.
  4. Insert a nail or screw into the hole and secure it in place with a hammer (if using a screw, you may need to pre-drill a pilot hole).
  5. Trim off any excess dowel rod and your level is complete!

Step-by-step guide

It’s not hard to make a homemade level, and it’s a handy tool to have around the house for general home maintenance and improvement projects. This step-by-step guide will show you how to make a level using just a few items that you probably already have around the house.

  1. Start with a long straight edge. A yardstick or a level ruler works well. If you don’t have either of those, you can use a long, straight piece of wood or metal.
  2. Place the straight edge on a flat surface, like a table or the floor.
  3. Place one end of the straight edge at the edge of the surface, and mark where it extends past the edge with a pencil.
  4. Measure and mark another point on the straight edge that is exactly one inch (2.54 cm) from the first mark. This is your reference point.
  5. Place one end of a measuring tape at the reference point, and extend it out to touch the other end of the straight edge at the pencil mark. Mark this spot with another pencil mark. Now you have two pencil marks that are exactly one inch (2.54 cm) apart on your straight edge. These marks represent two points that are level with each other.
  6. Place one end of your level at one of the pencil marks, and hold it steady while you slide the other end until it rests against the other pencil mark. Now you know that your level is exactly one inch (2%) long!

Tips and tricks

If you don’t have a level or you need a smaller one, you can make your own with a few household items. All you need is a straight edge and a container that can hold water without leaking.

First, find a container that is slightly larger than the straight edge you will be using. Fill the container with water and place the straight edge in the center. If the straight edge floats, it is level. If it doesn’t float, adjust the amount of water until it does.

You can also use this method to check if something like a table or shelf is level. Simply place the straight edge on top of the object in question and see if it floats.


Q: What is a level?

A: A level is an instrument used to measure whether a surface is horizontal or vertical.

Q:How do I make a homemade level?

A: Making a level is easy and only requires a few supplies. You will need:

  • a straight board or rod
  • a stable platform to attach it to
  • a bubble vial with fluid
  • marking tape or paint
  • Optional: leveling feet or adjustable clamps


Now that you know the basics of how to make a homemade level, you can get started on your next home improvement or woodworking project. Remember to take your time and check your work as you go. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time.

  1. Attach the board or rod to the platform. Make sure it is securely fastened so it won’t move around while you’re working.
  2. Affix the bubble vial to the center of the board. You can use tape, glue, or epoxy for this step. Make sure the vial is level before moving on.
  3. Apply marking tape or paint to clearly mark the center of the board. This will help you keep track of where the bubble should be when the level is properly calibrated.
  4. Place the level on a flat surface and adjust the feet or clamps until the bubble is centered in the vial. Once it is level, your homemade level is complete!


When it comes to creating a level surface, there are a few different ways that you can go about it. You can either use materials that you already have on hand, or you can purchase some supplies specifically for the task.

If you’re looking to save some money, you can likely find everything that you need around your house. For example, you can use a broom handle or a piece of doweling as a straight edge. If you don’t have any wood that is long enough, you can also use a length of string or twine. Another option is to use a level that is meant for hanging pictures; these levels are usually small and easy to maneuver.

If you’d rather not use household items, there are plenty of levels available for purchase at your local hardware store. You can find options made from different materials, such as aluminum or plastic. There are also different sizes available, so be sure to measure the area where you’ll be using the level before making your purchase.

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