Mug Rug Inspiration and Free Gift Tag

I am on a kick with mug rugs lately! Not only are they super fun to make (and don’t take near the amount of time an actual quilt would), they make great gifts so I’m stocking up for the holidays 😉

In addition to sharing some of the mug rugs I’ve had fun constructing, I’ve thrown in a few extra goodies – links to free patterns & tutorials as well as FREE printable gift tags designed by yours truly especially for you!


mug rug blog post

“What’s a mug rug?” you ask? A mug rug looks an awful lot like a potholder, but functions like an oversized coaster + mini placemat.

I have one on my desk at work. Not only does it add a pop of color and pizzazz to my office decor, but it keeps my smoothie and water bottle from smearing condensation all over my desk.

I gifted the one pictured below to my stepmom and she said it’s been very useful on her desk as well!

mug rug

I picked up a quilting book from Red Hen Fabrics a while ago. The book teaches you how to build several different quilt blocks. The pinwheel design caught my eye so I figured I’d give it a try for a mug rug. It was much easier than I thought and I’ll definitely be visiting the design again!

If you’re interested in trying out the pinwheel block design, here is a great tutorial for how to make the perfect pinwheel.

mug rug 2a

{Front of the Liberty of London scrap mug rug}

The mug rug above is made from Liberty of London scraps I snagged from Mad For Fabric on Instagram. The pieces are mostly too small to sew as a traditional block so I used some pretty messy zig zag stitching to keep them in place.

As you can see on the back, the zig zag was pretty crazy, but it looks kind of fun, right?!

mug rug 2b

{Back of the Liberty of London scrap mug rug}

Perhaps in the future I should attach the scraps to the batting and add the backing fabric after all the craziness 😉

One of my favorite mug rugs so far is this one (which I’m saving for my sister):

mug rug 3

Last month I joined the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild and at my first meeting the President showed up with 3 gallon size bags FULL of beautiful scraps. She let us pass them around to plunder and take what we wanted. She had a lot of modern designer fabric that I have been admiring online, but hadn’t splurged on yet. I jumped on the scraps to use for mug rugs!

Here is a great tutorial for how to create a frame quilt block (a great way to “frame” a design like I did with the mermaid above – except that the tutorial includes a way cooler frame design!).

mug rug

I think the mug rug above is the one I’m most proud of! I followed this tutorial from Owen’s Olivia (linked again below). This could be a newbie issue, but once I had the top pieced together, I realized that it was much smaller than the backing I’d cut. This worked out great because I was able to wrap the backing around for the binding (yep, no separate binding attachment! A great time saver).

Here is a great tutorial for how to bind a quilt with the backing. Speaking of binding, here’s a helpful post from Crazy Mom Quilts on how to bind tiny things.

Even by “cheating”, the mug rug still came out to the specified dimensions: 8 1/2 inches square.

Mug-rug-gift-making-hack: If you are following a tutorial and cutting specific sized pieces, cut double what you need so that you can make two at a time. Since they are pretty quick to sew, it’s much easier to sew them simultaneously than one at a time (for the same design at least).

Want to make your own mug rug?

You totally should! I’m sharing some fun [free] patterns and tutorials I’ve found around the blogosphere and beyond. Each image links directly to its source – if you see one you like, just click the image and you’ll be routed to the tutorial.

I don’t usually follow a specific pattern when I’m making my mug rugs. I’ve been using these as opportunities to build my quilting skills. I just find a quilt block tutorial I like and give it a shot. When I get it to a size I like, I stop and add binding. It’s been a really great way to build my quilting skills and knowledge as well as use up a lot of fabric scraps 🙂

If your quilt block comes out too big, just turn it into a pillow cover {PS: my Pillow Ideas Pinterest Board might be of help here 😉 }

Mug Rug Patterns & TutorialsNote: these are not my tutorials nor have I followed all of them (yet!) unless otherwise noted. They all look fabulous and I intend to try them out, but in the meantime I wanted to share them with you and also to credit their source – please click the image to find the artist’s tutorial.

Honeycomb Mug Rug from Going Home to Roost

honeycomb

Honeycomb Mug Rug Pattern and Tutorial from Going Home to Roost

Mini-Hexie Mug Rug via Craftsy

hexie 2

Here’s another hexagon-themed mug rug – you can find the free pattern & tutorial on Craftsy

Peppermint Twist Mug Rug via Fort Worth Fabric Studio

peppermint

Peppermint Twist Table Runner and Mug Rug Tutorial from Twiggy and Opal via the Forth Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Half Star Mug Rug from Owen’s Olivia

half star

Half Star Mug Rug Tutorial + How to Match the Binding to a Design from Owen’s Olivia

Looking for more ideas? Check out my Quilting Pinterest Board!

Tips on How to Gift a Mug Rug

The obvious choice is to pair a handmade mug rug with a mug when gifting.

Mug recommendations:

  • Handmade mug from a local potter (My favorite: Kyle Smith – I can’t say enough great things about Kyle! His pottery is incredible quality and he’s just a super cool guy [who, btw, teaches art – including pottery! – to middle schoolers…bless him!] you can find him most weekends at the Soda City market and he’ll also be at Crafty Feast! Follow him on Facebook to stay in the loop.)
  • Vintage teacup – hit up your favorite thrift store and search the shelves! {For teacup inspiration, check out my recap of the DIY Bridal Tea Party my sister helped me throw for my BFF Caroline!}

Accessories you could pair with the mug rug:

  • Handmade tea bags & blends – use this picture to inspire you to make your own hand-stitched tea bags! You can find loose tea in most specialty grocery stores or google around to find some recipes.
  • Share your favorite pre-made tea bags with this adorable paper teapot (DIY it with some pretty scrapbook paper) to hold them!
  • Got a techy tea-lover on your gift list? Gift them this super fun robot tea infuser!

FREE Printable Gift Tags!

Because your recipient may not instinctively know your beautiful mini-quilt-of-sorts is actually an incredibly useful mug rug [and you don’t want to risk it being called a potholder because that’s a real downer], I’ve designed a FREE Printable Gift Tag for you to attach!

Below is an image of version 1 of the gift tag. Click here or on the image to open a printable document.

mug rug tag

{Click image for free printable!}

The document contains 2 different versions of the tags: on page 1 there are 3 larger, rectangular tags (like the one pictured above). On the second page, there are 6 smaller, rectangular tags (like in the image below). Just pick your preference and print the corresponding page.

You can print these on card stock and punch a hole in the top left to attach with yarn or ribbon (like I did in the picture below) or you can use the version on the first page to wrap around the mug rug. You could even glue the tags to scrapbook paper or other colorful paper to frame them. Be creative! 🙂

mug rug 2

Note: You are welcome to use the printable for personal use (to attach to gifts). Please do not use my tag to profit in any way (selling of the document/images or attaching the tags to sold goods is not permitted). Feel free to contact me {find my info here} if you have any questions on how you can use the gift tags. 

Thank you for supporting this little blog of mine! I would love to see your mug rugs – tag me on Instagram (@jordslice11) or post your image on the blog’s Facebook page.

Happy mug-rug-making! 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Mug Rug Inspiration and Free Gift Tag

  1. Pingback: What I’m Lovin’ in November | resliced by Jordan

  2. Pingback: Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas | resliced by Jordan

  3. Pingback: Reflections on 2015 | resliced by Jordan

  4. Love it. Retired, love my sewing room great gift and tag for gifts. Going to $ store for mugs and make small bag to match to give it in. Thank you.

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