How to Make Applique Mug Rugs
Imagery and text courtesy of Mollie Makes Woodland Friends Published by Pavillion/Collins & Brown. Photography by Rachel Whiting
These sweet little place settings measure 21.5 by 11.5 Centimetres (8.5 by 4.5 inches) and are just the right size for a large mug and a cookie or two – ideal for your coffee break. There are four forest friends to choose from, each cut in negative from your top fabric to reveal its shape on the felt fabric beneath – a technique known as reverse appliqué.
Project by by Mollie Johanson – Mollie Johanson began her blog Wild Olive as a creative outlet. Dreaming and doodling have resulted in rembroidery and paper projects, most featuring simply expressive faces. Mollie lives near Chicago, commuting daily to her in-home studio via he coffee pot.
- One piece of printed fabric measuring 11.5 by 14 centimetres (4.5 by 5.5 inches)
- One piece of plain fabric measuring 9 by 14 centimetres (3.5 by 5.5 inches)
- Two pieces of dark brown wool-blend felt measuring 23 by 12.5 centimetres (9 by 5 inches)
- One piece of paper-backed fusible interfacing measuring 23 by 25.5 centimetres (9 by 10 inches)
- Embroidery threads: white, black, light brown, dark brown and yellow
- Mug Template >>
- Tracing paper and pencil
- Embroidery needle
Top Tip!…When choosing a printed fabric for the mug rug’s larger section, look for colours and prints that are less likely to show tea or coffee stains: the mats should be spot cleaned or hand washed only.
1. Trace the two mug rug templates onto the paper side of the fusible interfacing. Taking the smaller mug rug section, trace a reversed outline of your chosen forest friend onto it. Iron the larger piece onto the printed fabric and the smaller piece onto the plain fabric, making sure that the fusible interfacing is glue side down. Cut out the mug rug sections, then carefully cut out the animal shape from the smaller section and discard.
2. Remove the paper backing from the large and small sections and position onto the felt so that the straight sides are next to each other with a small gap in between. Iron to fix in place.
3. Trace your chosen forest friend onto tracing paper, and hold it in front of the animal shape on the felt, lining up the outlines. Begin to work the embroidery details using three strands of embroidery thread.
4. For the rabbit, backstitch the ears and work the ‘fur’ with lines of running stitch using light brown; satin stitch the nose in white. For the deer, use white running stitch to create the brow and back markings. For the hedgehog, use light brown for the backstitch face outline, then work curving lines of running stitch for the spines. For the owl, use yellow thread to backstitch the face outline and to work the small stitches for the breast feathers.
5. Work French knots in black for the noses of the hedgehog and the deer and for all eyes. Once the embroidery is complete, carefully tear away the tracing paper.
6. Iron a piece of fusible interfacing to the back of the embroidered felt piece, then fuse to the second piece of wool felt to back the mug rug. Using three strands of dark brown embroidery thread, stitch a running stitch border around each section of the mug rug and around the outline of the forest friend.
7. Trim off the brown felt around the outer edge, following the shape of the fabric pieces and leaving a margin of approx 6 millimetres (a quarter of an inch).