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More Than 1,000 Quilters Have Made This FREE Scrap-Busting Mug Rug

Do you save the selvedges from your fabric? Finally, here’s a good (cute!) way to put them to use: our free selvedge mug rug pattern!

Selvage Mug Rug

If you’ve been wanting to try a project using up some of your cute selvages, this is the perfect mug rug for you! It’s quick and easy and you’ll discover just how much fun sewing with selvages can be! 

Let’s get started!

Want to print and save this tutorial? Get a free downloadable version here!

Supplies needed

Supplies needed:

  • 6″ x 9″ piece of batting
  • 6 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ piece of backing fabric
  • Marking pen
  • 10-15 selvage strips in varying widths (¼” to 1½” of printed fabric in addition to the selvage), approximately 10″ long
  • 2″ x 30″ strip of fabric for binding
marking the angle

Step 1: Marking the angle

Layer the batting on top of the backing fabric, with the backing fabric right side down. Using the 45-degree marking line of a ruler, draw a line on the batting. Start in one corner and draw the line all the way to the opposite side of the batting, as shown above.

placing the selvage strips

Step 2: Sewing the selvage strips

Layer the first selvage strip on the batting with the raw edge along the marked line. Layer the second selvage on top of the first, overlapping the raw edge by at least 1/4″. The raw edge will be tucked safely under the bound edge of the second selvage strip.

sewing the selvage strips

Sew along the bound edge of the second strip 1/16″ to 1/8″ from the edge, as shown above. This sewing line will provide your piecing and quilting all in one step. The raw edge will be hidden and the fun designs on the selvages will show. 

adding more selvage strips

Repeat layering the selvages and sewing along the bound edge. Always check to make sure the raw edge is at least 1/4″ under the bound edge of the selvage strip on top.

completed selvages

Once your selvage strips are all sewn, your mug rug will look like this. Notice all of the sewing lines begin and end at the edges of the backing fabric. 

trimming the edges

Step 3: Trimming the edges

From the back of the mug rug, trim the edges 1/4″ inside the backing fabric on each side.

edges trimmed

This will result in a 6″ x 9″ mug rug that is fully quilted and ready for binding.

2'' binding from the back

Step 4: Binding

[If you’re not familiar with binding quilts, start here!]

This binding is cut 2″ wide and folded and pressed lengthwise, wrong sides together. Layer the binding on top of the BACK of the mug rug along the edge. Notice that the edge of the mug rug peeks out from under the binding strip just slightly. This will allow a slightly wider strip on the front for finishing.

turning the corner

Sew the binding strip using a 1/4″ seam allowance and turn the corners as you would any binding. Stop sewing 1/4″ before the corner. Fold the strip to the right at a 90-degree angle and finger press the crease. Now fold the binding down along the next edge, creating a folded flap in the corner as shown.

topstitching the binding

Once you have completed sewing the binding to the back of the mug rug, fold it over to the front. Pressing this step may be helpful. Topstitch with a straight stitch, zigzag or decorative stitch with a generous 1/4″ seam allowance from the edge. Notice how close to the edge of the binding this is being stitched in the same manner the selvages were sewn together. This will secure the binding on the front without sewing through the binding on the back.

finished binding from the back

This is what the finished mug rug binding will look like from the back. Notice the binding top stitch seam is very close to but not on top of the binding. This method can be used on any size quilt!

the finished mug rug

Now admire your little selvage mug rug! This makes a great gift for a friend, or a fun and useful gift for yourself. I use mine in my sewing room, of course! Don’t forget to share your finished mug rugs in our project gallery. We love to see your creativity!

Missed the last months’ mug rugs?

It’s not too late to make them! Read Diane’s tutorials and download the patterns below:



Your June mug rug idea is absolutely adorable. Practically a free project and just that much less to go into the landfill. Thanks.


Wonderful idea!!!!! Especially for beginners!

Debbie Day

This little mug rug is super cute. I’ve got to add that our guild always has a bazaar table where we sell hand made items to help raise money. At our last show we had several items that were made with selvages….mug rugs, potholders, and pin cushions. They all sold very well. Here’s a little tip when working with selvages: using this mug rug as an example, cut a piece of light weight fusible fleece (Pellon’s 911FF) 6″x9″ or a little larger and place glue side up on your ironing surface. Mark your starting diagonal line and begin arranging your selvages until the entire rectangle is covered. When you are pleased with the arrangement press with a hot iron. Trim away excess selvages from edges. Layer with your batting and backing and pin in place. Now you can continuously sew the edges down and travel back and forth in what would be the outer seam allowance of the mug rug. With either method, I would use your walking foot because you are machine quilting. When quilting is completed, square up your layered mug rug and you are ready for binding. Hope you try this on your next salvage edge project.

Debbie Day

Hi again…. I need to make a correction to my earlier comment. I meant to say fusible “interfacing” not fleece. (Pellon’s 911FF) I always tell myself “proof read your comment before you hit that send button” but do I listen to myself…. no. Thanks Craftsy for all your free sharing of tips and projects that keep us quilter’s inspired. I love your site.

Rita Davis

I am a true beginner. Just bought a machine, etc. Any suggestions for classes to watch and projects to do. Thanks for suggestions. I love the mug rugs and will probably start with them.

Cherie Wilson

Yes I love the selvage idea makes an interesting change and lots of fun – thanks for all your ideas


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