I mentioned the other day that I've been looking for projects that keep Ben and me busy for a few days' worth of activity this winter, and here's another one.
I forget how exactly I came up with the idea of a mug rug involving a hand drawn panel by Ben. I'd been wanting to use fabric scraps to make mug rugs (aka coasters for your coffee or tea), a fun quick-and-easy project to get back in tune with my sewing machine. I'm thinking the inclusion of a drawing on fabric was probably inspired by SouleMama's books. To entice Ben to participate, I told him these would be gifts for whomever he chose.
The first step was getting him to draw some pictures on fabric. I started by taping some white cotton fabric scraps to a large piece of oil cloth-covered cardboard. My local fabric shop didn't have any fabric markers when I called but she suggested either trying one of the other fabric shops in town or using permanent markers -- which I could get at the drugstore that is walking distance from my house. We went with permanent markers (much easier than loading both kids in the car for a trip to a further fabric store!). Plus, permanent markers now come in a great array of colors!
Ben had so much fun drawing these panels. A couple of them tell a very convoluted story (one is an under the sea adventure, the other one is a Christmas story), and others are more abstract (a part of a rainbow, a pink box).
Drawing took a couple of days. 3-year-olds have the attention span of a flea. The day after that, I gave Ben my fabric scrap box and asked that he pick 4 pieces to frame each picture and 1 piece for the back of each mug rug. It was hilarious to listen to his commentary on the fabrics he recognized ("Dis one is from Henwy's burpcloth!" "Dis one is from dat thing on our dining woom table!") and to hear his very specific and opinionated choices for each mug rug ("Dis one will have polka dot", "Dis bee fabwic is great for the back of dis one" "Dis yooks POH-fect!"). Good times.
While he was napping the other day, I sewed the scraps onto the drawings in a simple log-cabin fashion and squared them off as best as I could.
Ben then helped me sew the layers together, flip them around and poke the corners with a chopstick (apparently a super cool trick!) then sew them shut and quilt them with a couple of squares. Needless to say, the stitching is quite a bit off-kilter on these little things but it adds to the kid-made charm!
Here's the front:
And here's the back:
Now, I need to get to the post office and mail these off (along with our Valentine thank you cards, ahem). In the meantime, I am loving my own little mug rug! When it's not in use, I've found it makes great art on my bulletin board, hung with a clip.
Jenny I love this project, especially how involved Ben was in the whole process! They really turned out great.