By Sharon Duncan
The quiet gray days of the winter months can lull our senses to a state of hibernation. Without the cheery sounds of birds singing in the trees or the warmth of the sun on this Southern girl’s skin, I can easily slip into complacency. The days seem to slip by so quickly when the darkness arrives before supper is on the table. The truth, though, is that this is the perfect opportunity to accomplish those projects that have been piling up for “when there is time.” Life seems to slow down just a little bit after the hectic rush of the holidays, and the perspective of a fresh new year motivates us.
Many people are prone to the winter blues, and I can think of no better therapy than the sense of achievement one gains from a finished home or craft project. I’m a huge fan of Pinterest, but I can fall into the trap of spending more time “pinning” my future aspirations and less time working on them! Instead of admiring the plethora of things that you could be making, pull out the sewing machine or the paint and get busy making one of them a reality.
The two mug craft ideas below are fun and simple and require few materials. The first is a mug cozy — a sort of Koozy but for your cup of hot tea. The second is a mug rug, which is a cute fabric coaster that your mug can sit on. Here are both of those crafts broken down.
How to Make a Mug Cozy
Do you have an old sweater that you no longer wear? Snip one of the sleeves to make a sweet mug cozy.
Cut a slit in the side seam of the sleeve to go over the handle and attach a pretty little button to hold it in place. One sweater will give you a matched set, and the rest of the sweater can be upcycled into a pillow cover. I have already used the rest of my particular sweater to make a cute pumpkin back in the fall.
Make sure you leave a space at the top rim where your lip will rest. Sweater fuzz in your mouth would ruin the moment with your piping hot cuppa. You can leave your cozy plain or add some detail. I chose a simple heart button to sew to the front of mine. Alternatively, a small felt heart or embroidery would also add a nice touch.
How to Make a Mug Rug
I’m kind of like that famous mouse with his cookie when it comes to things like this. If you have a cute mug, you really should have a “mug rug” to go with it. Off to the scrap bag for this one! You will only need a couple of squares and a strip to go around the edges. And a square of quilt batting. Now that I think about it, you might also have a piece of that sweater that would work in the place of quilt batting. You may not just have batting lying around, but I did because I am borderline hoarding with craft supplies. And stuff like this only reinforces that behavior. This project is also quick and easy. Ready?
- Cut the two squares and the quilt batting to match.
- Make a little sandwich out of the whole thing by placing the batting between the two fabric squares with the right sides facing out. Baste them together on the sewing machine.
- Now take your strip for binding, and fold one long edge under. Lay it along the edge of your square, and start sewing with a top stitch.
- Continue to do this all the way around your little tiny quilt.
- Then flip it over, fold the edge under again, and lay it flat against the other side. Repeat the top stitch just like you did before.
Now for the fun part. Using your sewing machine, just make whatever fun stitches you want to all over the top of the mug rug. I did a series of waves side-by-side, starting from one corner and traveling diagonally across the whole thing. This will allow your adorable little coaster to keep your mug steady by ensuring that it is flat.
Winter at the homestead just got a little warmer! Now that you know how to make a mug rug, you are ready to pour your favorite hot drink and go sit it on the coffee table, safe from the heat thanks to your new mug rug.
Sharon Duncan lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, Tony, two sons who are now college guys, and her last homeschooler, a daughter. She is a homeschool veteran of twelve years as well as a Registered Nurse who works weekends and loves to read, write, sew, and travel. Visit her at http://elephantsfordinner.wordpress.com/.