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How to Make a Mug Rug

Updated on November 10, 2015
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been quilting for 25 years and writing about quilting for almost 5 years. She has won a number of awards for her work.

How to Make a Mug Rug
How to Make a Mug Rug | Source

Supplies needed

  • Fabric - 100% cotton, pre-washed and pressed
  • Batting - Use a low loft
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needles
  • Cutting board
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilting ruler

What is a mug rug?

Mug rugs are cute mini quilts that are a cross between a coaster and a placemat. Usually about 5" x 7", they are just the right size for a coffee mug and a snack. They are the perfect homemade gift for friends and family, especially those who love their coffee and tea. Mug rugs also add a nice decorative touch to a coffee table or make a pretty protective coaster for a side table.

Use this step by step guide to make your very own mug rug, or get creative and design your own.

For all of you diehard quilters, this is a perfect fabric stash buster.

Easy mug rug pattern

This is a fun and easy pattern that anyone can follow. Use fabric scraps you have on hand, or buy a special fabric collection. Any colors will do.

Note: This pattern is sewn using a 1/4" seam. The finished size is approximately 5" x 7".

Step 1 - Choose the fabrics

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bright fabrics give the mug rug a summer like feel.With a fun pattern, these jewel tones give the mug rug a rich feel.Earthy tones give the mug rug a more subtle look.
Bright fabrics give the mug rug a summer like feel.
Bright fabrics give the mug rug a summer like feel. | Source
With a fun pattern, these jewel tones give the mug rug a rich feel.
With a fun pattern, these jewel tones give the mug rug a rich feel. | Source
Earthy tones give the mug rug a more subtle look.
Earthy tones give the mug rug a more subtle look. | Source

For this pattern, you will need three fabrics.

Changing fabrics really changes the look of a mug rug. The photos above show three different color schemes. The first is a bright summer-like scheme, the second has richer tones, and the third one is in earthier tones.

While you do not need large amounts of fabric for this project, you will need one piece that is large enough to be cut to 7" x 9".

Step 2 - Cut the fabric

Cut out all of the fabric pieces you will need.
Cut out all of the fabric pieces you will need. | Source

Cut out the fabric pieces listed below.

Use a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and cutting mat for easy and precise cutting.

Yellow fabric:

  • 2 - 4" squares
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle

Pink fabric

  • 1 - 4" square
  • 2 - 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles

Blue fabric

  • 1 - 4" square
  • 2 - 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles

Step 3 - Create the half square triangles

Form the half square triangles.  Note the drawn diagonal line and the seams sewn on each side of it.
Form the half square triangles. Note the drawn diagonal line and the seams sewn on each side of it. | Source

To get the triangle and square shape of the pattern you'll need to:

  1. Place one yellow square and the blue square, right sides together, so that they are lined up perfectly.
  2. Do the same with the remaining yellow square and the pink one.
  3. Take a marking tool and a ruler and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other.
  4. Using a 1/4" seam, sew on both sides of the drawn line.

Step 4 - Cut the triangles

Cut on drawn line.
Cut on drawn line. | Source

Cut the fabric on the drawn line. You end up with four half square triangles.

Step 5 - Press the half square triangles

Press the triangle squares.
Press the triangle squares. | Source

Press the squares. For ease of sewing, press one of the half square triangles towards the yellow fabric and the other one towards the pink fabric. Pressing like this will ensure that the seams nestle together when piecing them.

Step 6 - Trim the half square triangle to the correct size

Trim the half square triangles to size.
Trim the half square triangles to size. | Source

Using this method to make half square triangles makes a larger square than you will need for the pattern. Because of this, you will need to trim down the squares to the required size.

Using your quilting ruler, trim all of the half square triangles down to a 3" square. Use the diagonal seam as a guide.

Step 7 - Lay out the squares and rectangles

Lay out the fabric pieces in the desired pattern.
Lay out the fabric pieces in the desired pattern. | Source

Once the half square triangles have been trimmed to size, lay them out in the desired pattern.

Step 8 - Sew fabric pieces together

Sew all of the pieces together.
Sew all of the pieces together. | Source

Sew all of the pieces of fabric together. Start by sewing the half square triangles together and then the rectangles. Remember to always use the 1/4" seam.

Step 9 - Cut the backing and the batting

Cut the backing and the batting.
Cut the backing and the batting. | Source

Cut the backing fabric of your choice in a 7" x 9" rectangle. Cut a piece of batting in the same size. This is larger than the approximate finished size of the mug rug. Cutting the larger pieces allows for shifts and shrinkage during the quilting process.

Step 10 - Layer the pieces and quilt

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Layer the pieces and quilt.  This mug rug is quilted along the seams.This mug rug is quilted using diagonal lines marked on the quilt.This mug rug is quilted along the seams and then in a more intricate pattern, using the sewing foot as a guide.
Layer the pieces and quilt.  This mug rug is quilted along the seams.
Layer the pieces and quilt. This mug rug is quilted along the seams. | Source
This mug rug is quilted using diagonal lines marked on the quilt.
This mug rug is quilted using diagonal lines marked on the quilt. | Source
This mug rug is quilted along the seams and then in a more intricate pattern, using the sewing foot as a guide.
This mug rug is quilted along the seams and then in a more intricate pattern, using the sewing foot as a guide. | Source

Lay the backing fabric on the table, right side facing down, then place the batting on top. Lastly, lay the pieced top on the batting, right side up.

Using your machine, quilt in any design you choose. In the photos above, the bright summer mug rug was quilted along the seams. The richer toned example was quilted along diagonal lines that were marked on the top. The earthy toned example was more heavily quilted using the sewing foot as a measuring guide.

Trim off all of the threads on the front and the back.

Using your ruler and rotary cutter, trim off the batting and backing around all four sides.

Step 11 - Bind the mug rug

Bind the mug rug.
Bind the mug rug. | Source

Binding is made from 2 1/2" strips of fabric. Using the same technique used to bind a full size quilt, put binding on the mug rug.

If you need more information on binding, Millionaire Tips has written the perfect tutorial on how to bind a quilt.

Step 12 - Admire your finished product

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Admire the finished product!Another version of the same mug rug pattern.Changing the fabric changes the whole feel of the mug rug.
Admire the finished product!
Admire the finished product! | Source
Another version of the same mug rug pattern.
Another version of the same mug rug pattern. | Source
Changing the fabric changes the whole feel of the mug rug.
Changing the fabric changes the whole feel of the mug rug. | Source

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab a couple of cookies and enjoy your new mug rug!

Mug rug ideas

Mug rugs are perfect for:

  • Nursing home gifts - Brighten up a dreary nursing home room with a cheerful pattern.
  • For the guy who has everything - Choose his favorite sports team colors so he has a place to put his beverage.
  • Teacher gifts - Have your children help make a set of four. It will make a unique and heartfelt gift.
  • Coffee or tea lovers - Include a mug rug or two in a gift basket to add a homemade touch.
  • Seasonal decoration - To add a little seasonal charm to any room, use holiday themed mug rugs for every occasion.

© 2013 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had to read this just to find out what a mug rug was. Now I know. :) very cute and clever for those with any talent at all...which leaves me out.

      Have a great weekend my friend!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for posting this versatile project with the clear how-to guide! Mug Rugs would indeed be a super way to use up those extra fabric pieces. All of your ideas for using them are I'm thinking personalized sets, with cookie recipe cards, of course. :)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I've done needlepoint mug rugs on plastic canvas, but these are pretty. However, I've never done quilting..it looks like too much for me. I'm not that "into" sewing anymore. I did it for years when my kids were little, and got pretty burned out. Now, I mainly use the sewing machine for making repairs.

      Voted up, beautiful and interesting.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I saw the title and was a little confused - how can someone make a rug out of mugs? As soon as I looked at the hub I thought ooooohhhh. Cool idea and great instructions!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I was definitely curious to see what a mug rug was. What a great idea. Learned something new today. Great job.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      Beautiful pictures and I love the bright colors you chose in the mug rug you made in this hub. Voted up and pinned!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Bill - Thanks so much for stopping by. I like these easy projects that can be done in a short time. I appreciate the support.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much RTalloni. They are great fabric stash busters. I want to do some in color families. I think they would be pretty too.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 4 years ago from Katy, Texas

      I've never heard of these before. What a clever idea. I'll have to try this one out.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks DzyMsLizzy! A project like this is so quick and easy you could get back into sewing for a short time. But I understand sewing burnout. Sometimes I need a break too.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Natashalh - I thought the title might either interest people or turn them away. Glad you checked the hub out. It's a fun little project.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      bdegiulio - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I enjoy doing projects like this, of course they are not as much fun as travelling.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Rosie writes! They brighten up my living room on these dark winter days here. I appreciate the comments and shares.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks joanwz. I'm glad you are going to try this. It is a lot of fun and a great way to use up scraps.

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      These are super cute. I know a few people who would love them. I need to use your instructions and get busy! :o)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I love these! so clever, and after reading and looking at the photos I may give it a go! I remember years ago making a box in a similar way, with cardboard to keep the sides up, voted up!

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 4 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      This would be a great starter for a slow learning quilter. I think I might be able to do this to get me started down this track. thanks for this step by step guide.

    • kmaskreations profile image

      kmaskreations 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this mug rug hub :) I'd never heard of them and love the idea. It's just what we need while snacking and watching TV in the den.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Mary Merriment. These take no time. Use up scraps to make it even quicker. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Nell - I hope you give it a try. Go crazy with fun colors and brighten up these cold winter days right now. Thanks for visiting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Eileen - You are right, this is a good beginner project. It does not take a lot of fabric or time and a finished product is always inspiring to beginners. Thanks for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate it kmaskreations! These brighten up those dark television rooms (at least mine is dark). I think they are fun in sports team colors.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      What a clever idea! I know some who would really appreciate these as they host a lot of get togethers. I don't think I have the time right now to make these, but maybe a few over the year before Christmas comes around again. Thanks for sharing. Voted up++

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks teaches! I think they would be great in Christmas colors and patterns. A year gives you a lot of time to finish them too. I appreciate the comments.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Glimmer, this is a wonderful idea!! I'm not too good with sewing, but I will pass this on to Mum, who is a wonder at it. These are beauties. Thanks for sharing!! Passing these lovely rugs on.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Michelle! Your Mum will have a good time making them. They are lots of fun. I appreciate the support!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I didn't know what a mug rug was - what a fabulous idea, this is something to make on a cold snowy evening.... maybe later!

      Thank you and voted up.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you Movie Master. These are such a quick and easy little craft and they are fun to have around the house. Hope you get a chance to make one.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very educative and with excellent photos, GTF. It really seems simple to make but I know you made it appear so. Thanks. Voted up, useful and awesome. shared too.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for all of the support Rajan! I appreciate it.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      Super cute! I love the look here! And very helpful instructions - even I could do this!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Marcy - Thanks for reading this hub. This is a fun project and easy too. Have fun sewing!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      These are so cute, Glimmer Twin Fan. As I was reading I kept thinking they look like mini-quilts and then got to the section where I saw quilt. I am not at all surprised since you do so much with quilting. The step by step directions give a great model to follow to make these.

      Thanks for sharing

      Sending Angels your way :) ps

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I always appreciate your angels pstraubie. Thanks for commenting and enjoying the hub. Have a great day.

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