Hearts Aren’t Just for Valentines – a Mug Rug tutorial
January 17, 2012 by robiedodson
Wherever you are – will you take a moment to look around for some kind of horn that you can blow really loud? I really need someone to sound the proverbial alarm today …. why???
I have had this idea for a mug rug in my head since Christmas: a mug rug (which is a small placemat) with an appliqued heart pocket that can be used to send messages/give gifts. I thought it would be such a cute thing for Valentine’s day … but I also wanted it to be useful for the rest of the year too. I mean seriously, who likes to spend so much time on projects that can be used/worn once a year!?!
Well….here it is, not even February, and I’ve DONE IT!!! Insert laughing hysterically here.
I mean really y'all. Who wouldn't love to wake up to this on Valentine's day... or Mondays???
These were really simple to make but they look really impressive (and expensive!) Read on for how to make these fun mug rugs / small placemats. (NOTE: you can make these ANY SIZE you want – if you prefer full size placemats, I won’t look down on you!)
Choose your fabric. I made sure to use fabrics and colors that complimented my home instead of being specific to just Valentines Day. You do what you like! Hearts are ALWAYS in season .. just ask Tiffany's.
I started with the hearts. Cut out twice as many hearts as the number of mug rugs you'll be making. I made four, so I cut out 8 hearts.
I used a slippery polyester fabric for the hearts so I made sure to pin them securely. Then, sew all the way around using a narrow seam allowance - and leave an opening. Just like you're making a pillow.
Then turn the heart right side out and press - make sure to press the seam allowance inside at the opening. There's no need to sew the opening closed right now because you'll do that at the end. Now set that aside until you're finished with the mug rugs.
Now for the rugs ... I used a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper for my template . (confession - I had NO IDEA how big or small to make a mug rug so I guessed with this size. I'm super happy with the result!) You'll need to cut 2 rectangles per rug. Also, I find it's really helpful to cut your rectangles with the right sides facing - this way, you know that each side matches perfectly.
Here are my 4 sets of rectangles. You can see I have them right sides together.
I also decided to round off my corners by folding the set in half and ... rounding off the corners. (most books will tell you to take a plate or a bowl and use that as a guide ... yeah right, just wing it!)
For this project, I discovered something really wonderful - PREMADE PIPING!!! There is a chorus of halelujah's going on right now! This stuff is so fun and really opens up your embellishing opportunities w/o demanding a lot of extra time. I'm super bummed I haven't noticed this stuff sooner! (and again, I used a color that coordinated with my home and not the holiday)
Attach the piping all the way around 1 rectangle. If you don't have a cording/piping foot, I suggest using your zipper foot and positioning your needle close to the piping.
Look closely at how I started and finished the piping - at the corner. Begin with piping hanging off the edge at a corner, and end with it going off the edge as well. Then trim the corner so that it looks just like a rounded edge.
Now... you get to use that bag of FUSIBLE BATTING you've been wanting to get rid of! How cool is this stuff??!! You simply press it onto your fabric and it stays in place as you sew - miracles do still happen!
Cut one rectangle of batting for each mug rug. Fuse it (iron it) to the unpiped rectangle on each rug - according to package directions. Then layer your two rectangles with right sides together.
Sew all the way around .. place your piped rectangle on top so that you can just follow the stitches you've already made. This will be sure you don't sew over/on top of the piping. Leave an open - like you're sewing a pillow.
Turn right side out, press, and sew up the opening. If you're one of those crazy types, you can whip stitch the opening closed. I prefer to just machine stitch it. The batting gives the mug rug alot of lift, so the stitching is almost invisible.
Your piped corner should look something like this!
Give your rug a nice steam press .. and go find those hearts that you probably put somewhere around the house as you were chasing your little people!
Pin your hearts however you want them placed on your rug. I wanted mine to serve as message and gift pockets, so I left the top part unsewn. Use a very narrow seam so that you can make certain to close up the opening in the hearts. AND YOU'RE DONE! You're amazing. Your family will rise up and call you blessed!
Stand back and admire your work. You're a placemat/piping/batting genius.
I'm getting the feeling I need to make more versions of these mug rugs because THEY'RE SO STINKING CUTE!!!
One of these days … probably Valentine’s Day…I’ll post a photo or two of my hubs and my kids sitting down with their mug rugs and their notes and gifts tucked inside. I’m super excited about that photo opp!
In the meantime – please make these. You won’t regret it!
Time: okay … these are time consuming, and I hate to admit that, I really do. Don’t confuse time-consuming with difficult. These are NOT difficult, but the details will cost you some time. I’m thinking about 2 hours… maybe 3 if you’re unsure about piping.
Cost: CHEAP! You’ll only need about 1/2 yard to 1 yard of fabric and can get by with scraps for the hearts. The batting will cost you about $4 if you buy it on sale – but you’ll only use a small portion of it, so let’s say it costs $1 for batting. The piping is about $2 per package and I needed 2 packages. So, in total, my 4 mug rugs cost $8.50!!!
Okay friends … tomorrowish I’ll have another project inspired by Valentine’s Day but that can be used (or maybe worn) all year!