I took my mug rug production to the next level by developing an embroidery template that allows me to make them In-the-Hoop. Apart from turning inside out and top-stitching, the rest is completed using embroidery.
The base file consists of the fabric outline stitching for placement, the tack-down stitching, and the backing stitching. I decreased the seam allowance to 1/4″ so I could utilize layer cakes (10″ x 10″ squares) while keeping the mug rugs the same size as the previous ones I’ve created (because they work well!).
Minor updates (e.g., changing thread/fabric colors) to these templates can be made in a matter of minutes to tailor for a particular embroidery design. Designs that are 4″ (100mm) in height work the best and can be easily added on the left. See below for the cute alien from UrbanThreads.com that I added to the heart mug rug template.