3-Step Mug Rugs on a Potholder Loom

Did you know you could weave mug rugs using a potholder loom? Read more to learn the 3-step technique!

Christina Garton Mar 14, 2023 - 4 min read

3-Step Mug Rugs on a Potholder Loom Primary Image

A standard-sized loop potholder next to a mug rug woven on the same loom. Photos by Christina Garton

As a young child, I spent hours with a small plastic potholder loom, carefully weaving brightly colored loops, fastening the sides with a tiny plastic crochet hook, and then unweaving so I could weave again. While the potholders were nonfunctional, thanks to the nylon loops used in kits at the time, what I ended up gaining was the spark that eventually became a fiery passion for weaving. Recently I revisited potholder weaving, this time with a solid metal loom and functional cotton loops, and found even more to love.

After lurking on a few potholder loom groups online and reading the fabulous In the Loop: Radical Potholder Patterns & Techniques, I purchased a loom kit and an extra bag of multicolored loops. The loom came in the mail right before I had to supervise a photoshoot—perfect timing!

Christina wove the mug rug on the right following a color-and-weave pattern and the one on the left by randomly picking and placing loops.

As soon as the metal loom and bright-colored loops were in front of me, it all came back. I happily plotted out color-and-weave patterns and played with mostly random designs. I wove and unwove until the designs were just right. After finishing 3 potholders, I had just enough loops for one more potholder with about 20 loops leftover after. I remembered seeing on the online group that it was possible to weave a mug rug using a potholder loom, so I decided to give that a try.

Here’s the 3-step process I used to weave up mug rugs on a potholder loom:

To start the mug rug, warp loops are placed on every other tooth.

  1. I warped the loom dutifully skipping every other tooth. (I did not take photos of the process when I wove the actual mug rugs so these photos show the loom with a random assortment of leftover loops.)

The weft of the mug rug is spaced similarly to the warp.

  1. I finger wove the weft, once again skipping every other tooth. On the loom, the fabric looks disconcertingly loose, I know, but you’ve got to trust the process.

Though this mug rug is only partially finished, you can see how much the fabric draws in during the finishing process.

  1. I finished the sides using a crochet hook by putting a corner loop onto the hook and then pulling the next loop through the first loop. I repeated this process with the loop on my hook and the next loop on the loom and continued until all the loops were finished. You can see a mug rug partially finished above. Instead of leaving the final loop in the corner as I would for a potholder, I wove it back into the fabric. As you can see from the finished mug rug at top, the draw-in was enough to fill all the empty space between warp and weft.

Voilà! Just 3 simple steps to create a fun mug rug. They’re just the right size, and the thick cotton easily absorbs stray drips and drops. Now that I know how easy it is, I’m planning to buy more loops to match my favorite mugs—and to weave a few more potholders as well.

Happy Weaving!