Binding Methods

 Here you will find the three main binding methods that I use in my patterns – single fold, double fold and mitred corners.  
I have created a PDF version which can be downloaded and printed off

I normally use 1” binding strips but you may find 1¼” easier to work with especially when using scrapping binding.

1.          Cut four binding strips each measuring 2" longer than the sides of the mug rug i.e. if your mug rug is 6" x 9" cut two 1" x 8" strips and two 1" x 11" strips.

2.          With RIGHT sides together stitch a binding strip to the top and bottom of the front of the mug rug.  Trim excess binding to match width of mug rug. Press the binding away from the rug.
3.         Repeat to sew the two remaining binding strips to the sides of the mug rug.  Trim excess binding and press as before.
4.         You will now turn the binding to the back of your mug rug and secure it in place as follows .....  Starting with the top and bottom edges, fold the binding round to the back of the rug.  Turn under ¼” on the outside edge of the binding before slip stitching the binding in place.  Be careful not to stitch through to the front of the rug.
Tip:  Pick a thread that matches the backing of your mug rug rather than a thread that matches the binding.  This will help to keep the stitches invisible.
2” wide binding strips should be large enough for a small quilt, wall hanging or table runner.

1.         Cut four binding strips each measuring 2” longer than the sides of your quilt i.e. if your quilt is 12” x 8” cut two 2” x 14” strips and two 2” x 10” strips.  Fold each strip in half lengthwise, with WRONG sides together and press.
2.         Keeping binding strips folded align the raw edges of the binding with the quilt edge at the top and bottom of the quilt so that binding and quilt top are RIGHT sides together.  Stitch the binding in place using a ¼” seam.  Trim excess binding to match width of quilt and press binding away from quilt top.
 3.           Repeat this process with the remaining two binding strips, stitching them to the sides of the quilt.  Trim binding to length of quilt and press as before.
4.         Beginning with the top and bottom, fold the binding round to the back of the quilt and slip stitch it in place over the line of machine stitching. Repeat for the sides.
This method creates a mitred corner finish.
Note:  You will need one continuous length of binding.  For most mug rugs 1 yd (36”) should be sufficient.  This can be constructed by joining sections of 1" or 1¼” wide cotton strips together. 

1.    Fold the short end of your binding strip into a triangle and align to your mug rug, RIGHT sides together, as shown (this will create a neat start/finish to your binding).  Stitch the binding to the side of your mug rug but stop when you are ½” away from the first corner.  Cut the thread and take the rug out of the machine.
2.         Now fold the binding up and away from the mug rug as shown.  This will create a triangular fold in the binding at the corner. 

 3.         Hold the triangular fold (or pin it) before folding the binding down over it, aligning the edge of the binding with the side of the mug rug.  Pin to secure in place.  Stitch the binding along the side from top to bottom, stopping once again when you are ½” away from the next corner. 
 4.         Repeat this process for all four corners.  Continue stitching the binding until you are 1” past the beginning. 
5.         Fold binding to the back of the mug rug.  Turn under ¼” on the raw edge and slip-stitch in place. 


  1. Thank you for these directions. I am just finishing my mug rugs for the swap and want to make sure I put the binding on correctly.

  2. these instructions are fabulous. I get failing marks for reading through Mug Rug directions first. On all counts! LOL!

  3. Okay Amanda, for Single fold binding (first one), I folded over the "top and bottom" then I do the same with the sides? How do I do the corners? Sorry! This is a new way for me. LOL

    1. Fold over the top and bottom binding along the length and pin to secure. Then fold over the sides along the length. You will have a double-folded thickness at the corners but this will press and does not affect the functioning of the mug rug. Hope this helps.

  4. Hi there,
    It is not a stupid question - it is a very good one.
    I machine stitch the binding to the front of the mug rug (binding and mug rug are right-sides together). The binding is then folded round to the back and I slip-stitch the binding in place on the back. Hope this helps but feel free to post any other questions you may have.

    1. Thank you for your quick reply. I am doing this by hand so therefore would i use slip stitch at the front as well as at the back

    2. If stitching by hand I would use a back-stitch or small running stitch when sewing the binding to the front of the mug rug (right sides together). Try to keep to a 1/4" seam (you can mark this onto the wrong side of the binding to help you keep the stitching straight, if you prefer). A back-stitch or running stitch should be stronger and will also be quite quick to do.

  5. okay that's great thank you i will let you know how i get on... Thanks again for your help.

  6. I just used your mitered binding technique on a mug rug and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. Thank you for your help. I am making mug rugs for the first time and wasn't sure how to do the binding.