Gift Idea for Teachers & Dad {or anyone!}

With the end of the school year coming up (our last day is this Thursday) and Father's Day around the corner, I wanted to get a tutorial written up on Mug Rugs. I know there's probably a million out there already, but I think they make the perfect teacher's gift and really, a good gift for dad (probably more suitable for a desk job dad, but no reason he can't use one at home!)

You might have seen my other postings on Mug Rugs here. I've used them as teacher's gift, graduation gifts, co-worker (or anyone's) birthday gifts. This is one of my personal ones and I love it!

I've even made one big enough to accommodate my 9x13 pans or cookie sheets when they come out of the oven. Yes, at that point it becomes a hot pad, but I hated having to get out 2 small hot pads for my big pan. I'd show you a picture, but by now it has stains on it that don't seem to come out and you can tell I use it a lot. I really should make another one. Those would make a great bridal shower gift! See, that's the beauty of making your own stuff - you can tailor projects to be any size you want for whatever you want to use it for.

So, first off - decide what size or shape you want your mug rug to be. It can be oval, circle, square, rectangle... it's up to you. Cut that shape out from a blank piece of paper. Then decide if you want it to have several different fabrics (good time to use up scraps!) like mine or you could have just one. I'm making one for my hubby from the girls, so I chose 5 coordinating fabrics, one being the plain muslin so I could sew the tie on that strip. I used my 0-3 mo. tie template from here. After that, you will need:

Fabric A (top) in your mug rug size
Fabric B (backing) in your mug rug size
Muslin (Fabric C) an inch all around larger than your mug rug size
Batting an inch all around larger than your mug rug size
Coordinating (or if you chose, something to make your quilting stand out) thread

I cut 5 strips of fabric 2 3/4" x 8". I then decided what order I wanted them in. Sometimes I spend way too much time moving them all around deciding how I want them and I just have to stop. It's ridiculous! lol. Iron your strips if necessary.

Then I sewed on the tie to my plain muslin strip using a zig-zag stitch.

 Next, start sewing your strips together, right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

When you are all done, your top will look like this:

Next, press your seams flat. Flip over and give the right side a good press too.

Take your top and lay it on your batting. Cut the batting about an inch larger all around your top.

Do the same with the muslin, cutting it the same size as the batting.

Now you have a quilt sandwich, with 3 layers.

Decide how or what stitch you want to use to quilt. You can do squiggly lines, straight lines, pick a fancy stitch from your machine - again, up to you. I am going to use a zig-zag stitch and go right down the middle of each strip - except the tie strip. I don't want stitching going down the middle of my tie. So pin your layers together, I'm pinning in the "ditch" since I'm going down the middle of each strip.

Start your sewing outside of your top, in the margin of the batting....

also end in the margin of the batting.

Then I sewed in the ditch on each side of my tie strip.

Add the backing piece of fabric to your sandwich.

Take your mug rug template and position it on the sandwich. Try to get even on all sides.

Cut out around your template, I go about an inch around it if there's room. 

Now, flip your bottom layer so that the right side is facing up, and flip your quilted sandwich so that it's facing down. You could do this to start out before you cut, but I like to see my strips when I lay down my template to make sure I'm getting an even exposure.

I leave my template on when I sew as a guide.  Sew around the template, about 1/4" from the edge of the fabric. Leave a 2" opening for turning right side out.

Trim any of the bulk around the rug.

Next, turn right side out and make sure your edges are nice and tightly turned.

Almost done!  Head on over to your ironing board

Iron your rug nice and flat, getting the edges as smooth as possible.

Make sure your opening is nice and ironed flat too.

Then go to your machine and top stitch all around, making sure to close your opening.

See how fun they are to use? And no more wasting paper plates.

This was a project I did for Father's Day last year. I had the photo printed as an 8x10 and Modge Podge'd it onto a canvas for my hubby to hang in his office at work. It turned out really nice. He's a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan and it was Hayley's idea to wear the hats and I {reluctantly} agreed.

This one I had made into the Father's day card for him:

What are some ideas you have done or are doing for teacher's gifts or Father's Day gifts? I'm kind of struggling this year for my first grader's teacher gift because she gave her a mug rug for Christmas and I've seen all kinds of neat ideas for gifts that include classroom supplies but she's retiring this year so it doesn't do any good to give her supplies. Any ideas?

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  1. I love this project! I may have to help my daughter make one for Father’s Day for her Dad. I love your fabric selections, it shouts out Dad. Super Cute. I am new here on your blog, and I am glad that I find you. Love your DIY projects. ;o)

  2. Thanks Paula! LOVE to have new followers! I'm sure her dad would cherish the mug rug if your daughter made him one. They're fun to make, picking out different fabrics and they come together quick! I'd love to see yours if you make one!

  3. This is so cute. Thanks for sharing. I am your newest follower. Would you follow me back?



  4. Thanks Ellya, I did follow you back! :)

  5. love the mug rug idea! Found ya at Happy Hour Link party, thanks. Your blog is cute, when my baby goes down for his nap I am coming back to explore. Have a great day!

  6. Thanks for stopping by Phat Quarters & hope to see you soon!

  7. What a creative idea! Love it! Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.

  8. Thanks Alli, I enjoy "partying" over at your place! ;)


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