Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Mug Rug Tutorial

I love tutorials so I thought I’d have a go at doing one. Now I’ve included photos of every step which is probably overkill but you’ll certainly get the gist of it.
Now this is how ‘I’ make mug rugs. I’m sure there are lots of different ways to do it & there is no right or wrong way. I think the trick is to look around & choose the method that you like.
The first 2 rugs I made, I added separate binding, which I  found fiddly. The 3rd rug I decided to simply cut the backing bigger & fold it over. On that one I stitched around the edge of the rug before folding over the binding but this time I thought if I put the pellon on glue side down I could iron the backing to it & save the sewing around step. It worked well. :-)
I looked for a standard size but they vary.
I settled on 9” x 6” finished.

Here’s one I prepared earlier:

a range of fabrics you love
Iron-on pellon, medium-weight not light-weight
threads to match
First I choose a feature fabric.


Then I choose fabrics to match.


Cut a strip from each fabric.
They should be between 1 1/2’ & 2” wide.

They vary in length, the longest for the centre strip is 9”, then 8”, 6 1/2” & 4 1/2”. If you have more or less strips these measurements will vary.
You can cut your strips as you go, so you can check how long they need to be.

Cut a 6 1/2” x 9 1/2” piece of iron-on pellon.
The standard thickness, not thin.

Draw a line, 3 1/4” from the right side on the side of the pellon that DOESN’T have the glue on it. 1st
Lay your longest strip across the ‘square,’
right side up.

Lay your 2nd strip right side down on the first & stitch.
Pins are optional.

seam allowance
Stop stitching once you are approx. 1/4” past the line you drew. You will trim the excess later.
Flip the sewn piece over & finger press in place.
Keep adding strips until you’ve covered that side.
4th 5th
Add strips to the other side.
6th 7th 1st trim
When covered, trim the fabrics & pellon back on 3 sides. It should now measure 6” x 9 1/4”.
side trim
Turn your work over & fold the pellon back.
edge trim
Trim the excess fabrics back, making sure the edge is perpendicular to the other side.
trimmed edgeside piece
Cut a 4” x 6 1/4” piece of your feature fabric & sew it to the edge of the stripes.
flip side
Flip the fabric back & trim any excess so the rug
measures 6” x 9”

Cut an 11 1/2” x 8 1/2” piece of backing fabric.
Centre the rug on the backing & pin in place.
The glue side of the pellon is now against the backing.

Turn the rug over & iron a section where there is no pin, to hold it in place. When it is lightly attached remove the pins & press well.
trim backing2
Turn back over & trim the backing back to 1” all around the rug.
Cut a 5/8” square our of each corner to cut back on the bulk.
Turn the binding in half, then half again over the front of the rug. Pin in place.binding3
Turn the corner over 45 degrees.
The pin is so I could take the photo as I didn’t have a third hand. :-)
Fold the hem in half.
Finally fold it over again & pin. You might have to fiddle a little to get a neat corner but it doesn’t take long.

Hand stitch the binding in place & enjoy your mug rug.
NOTE: I can’t guarantee you won’t catch the Mug Rug Bug!!! :-)


Julie said...

I love the tutorial Jan, just the thing I needed to motivate me to catch the mug rug bug! Fabulous work!

Jan Quigley said...

Thanks Julie, they're fun to make. I bought a few new mugs, I have a huge mug collection, & I'm making rugs to suit each mug.

RG said...

This is a really great tute Jan..
I especially love the way you do your binding!
Thanks heaps!!

Karen said...

Thanks for this great tutorial! I'll use it sometime this week to make my very first mug rug...Christmas style of course.

Merry Christmas!

elliesue said...

Too late, have already caught it. Thanks for the tutorial on the binding, I found that the fiddliest part.

Oknana said...

Your pics are super and you did a fabulous job on the tutorial! Don't ever feel you over do with pics! They speak a thousand words and make me feel you are right here teaching me in my sewing room! Nice, clear pics too! Thank you! I just started up a Mug rug swap and am going to use this one to make my person a couple of these! SO CUTE!! Thanks again!

Jan Quigley said...

Thanks everyone, I'm glad it's been useful. I've certainly enjoyed other people's tutorials & put them to good use. I do like lot's of pics, I'm a visual learner. :-)
Now I need to think of something else to make & do a tutorial on.

Soraia Melo said...

Thank you for this tutorial..I loved!
I will put a link in my blog.

Unknown said...

I absolutely LOVE this project. I can't wait to try one using this method. I featured your project on my blog at and put a link directly back here.
Thanks so much!

Unknown said...

Could you add a layer of the material that doesn't conduct heat or would that be too bulky.

Jan Quigley said...

Hi, yes you could use one of the heat resistant waddings available instead of the pellon. Good idea! You could then make it bigger, perhaps a square, to use on the table for hot dishes.

Cheri the Quilting Nanny said...

what kind of batting do you use?

Jan Quigley said...

Hi, I use iron-on pellon, medium weight rather than light weight. You could also use cotton batting. If you use cotton batting I would pre-wash it to allow for shrinkage. cheers, Jan

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. I want to make my first Mug Rug and this tutorial has given me the inspiration to do it. I can't wait to start.
Mug Rug Bug here I come!

TorreyChristine said...

Is there a way to Pin this that I don't see?

Dulce said...

I love the tutorial.

Unknown said...

Hi Jan, I'm new to sewing and enjoyed your tutorial. What is the reason to hand stitch the binding versus machine stitch? Would you hand stitch is using cotton batting?

Unknown said...

Jan, I am a quilter but Mug Rugs have interested me as a new project. Your tutorial has been absolutely awesome! I am now inspired to start my first one. Thank you for posting this. I noticed your origination date and in looking at the date today --- you have been inspiring people for quite a while.
Debby, South Carolina, USA

Cathy said...

I am going to try this ASAP thanks so much

CraftyOne said...

I love the mug rug design, great tutorial. This is just what I was looking for. I am going to make a lot of them for gifts. Thank You for taking the time to do this tutorial.

Jody said...

Thank you for the tutorial with the pictures. I love making mug rugs and will be making another one like this in the near future. The only thing I will do different is add some quilting as I have a new fancy sewing machine.

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