How to make a mug rug and embroider it!

Learn how to sew cable chain stitch and how to make a mug rug in time for tea with Mollie Johanson’s tutorial.

embroidery patterns for beginners

If you want your embroidered lines to look super-neat, then you should check out how to do the cable chain stitch! Your loops are locked into place so your stitches are not only uniform but nice and sturdy too. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to do the cable chain stitch, as well as showing you how to make a mug rug with your newly learnt skills!

You will need

  • Linen fabric: 25x35cm (10x14in)
  • Cotton backing fabric: 16x21cm (63/8×81/4in)
  • 2oz wadding: 16x21cm (63/8×81/4in)
  • Stranded cotton
  • Basic sewing kit


You will need to download and print the Free cable chain stitch mug rug pattern template

Use a 1cm (3/8in) seam allowance.

How to do cable chain stitch


You Will Need

  • Linen fabric
  • Backing fabric
  • Wadding
  • DMC stranded cotton
  • Basic sewing kit

Step 1

Bring the needle up through the fabric and wrap the working thread over and under the needle.


Step 2

Insert the needle a short distance from where the thread came up, then bring it back up through the fabric a stitch distance away. Pull the working thread taut and then hold it under the needle.


Step 3

Pull the needle through the fabric, making sure that the working thread is inside the loop of thread that forms.


How to make a mug rug


Making the mug rug

Step one

Place the linen fabric centrally on top of the template and trace over it lightly in pencil or erasable pen.

Step two

Embroider the concentric circle design on linen, following the traced lines and the stitch guide above. Use three strands of stranded cotton to work cable chain stitch, as well as running stitch and back stitch.

Step three

Trim the linen to 16x21cm (63/8×81/4in), with the design central.


Step four

Place the linen and backing fabric right sides (RS) together with the wadding between them.

Step five

Pin and then sew together all the way around but leaving a 6cm (23/8in) turning gap in the centre of one side.

Step six

Trim the corners and turn RS out.


Step seven

Fold the turning gap to the inside.

Step eight

Work a running stitch around the edge using three strands of stranded cotton.