Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY Faux Sheepskin Rug or Pelt

This definitely qualifies as one of those super easy DIYs that anyone can do.
A couple of weeks ago John and I were cruising through Costco eating free samples  grocery shopping like responsible adults when we stumbled upon the most gorgeous sheepskin rug.
No really. It was beautiful. Ivory, with shades of white and yellow and cream running through it- long fur, incredibly soft.
I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I actually put my face on to the rug. It was that fantastic. I couldn't resist.
To match it's incredible appearance and feel, it also came with a hefty price tag. Well, it was actually a really good deal ($119) but more than we're looking to pay right now. Also, I have this thing about leather and pelts (etc.). I'm a big fan of using *every* part of the animal if we're going to use it at all, but I also want to know that it was ethically sourced. My aunt actually has a farm and does a great job of this. I would buy one of her pelts any day, but her sheep aren't often dying which means there isn't exactly an abundance of pelts. Therefore, I like to go faux. Also it's much cheaper, and given that we want to put it on the wood floors of our new bedroom during the winter (cold feet!), I didn't want to spend a ton of money. For the same reason, we also opted to go with a darker shade to avoid any staining from all of the traffic.
I purchased one yard of this FAUX FUR from amazon (seller is Fabric Empire) for about $25 including shipping. It measures 60 inches long, so it's rather big and perfect for a rug. I really like that it comes in multiple colors (so you can get white if you'd like!) and different lengths. This was supposed to be about 2 inches long, but the "fur" measures closer to 3 inches. The shorter lengths are much less expensive, and perhaps would have been a better idea for foot traffic.
If you'd like to make a little pelt to throw over a chair instead of a rug, you can get 1/2 of a yard and probably get two pelts out of it. If you haven't thrown a pelt over your chair in the winter, you're missing out. Or you don't live in a frigid climate. But you should try it anyway.
 Here it is out of the box. You could leave it just like this if you want a rectangular rug shape, or you can cut it following one of the patterns below.
 I made mine as rectangle with rounded edges. I folded it in half and cut along the sides, leaving the sides straight.
You can also make an oval rug by rounding all the way across the sides. 

And of course, the classic pelt shape. This looks very attractive on a rug,  and is definitely necessary if you're making a little one to go over a chair or couch.
 After you have your shape, you will want to run it through a sewing machine. The edges will be raw and will shed like crazy if you don't. Also it won't stay nice as long if you neglect to treat the edges. Sew as close as possible to the edge using a tight straight stitch.
 Here's a close up to show you how close to the edge you should get. Also- make sure to use a thread that matches your faux fur. This is extremely important, I just used black so that you can see it in the photographs.
 When you're done sewing and flip the rug back over, you will see that you have sewn over the fur.

Grab along the edges and just gently tug the fur out from the stitch, laying it back over to cover it up. Do this all along the edges.
Lastly, I wanted to make it a little more sturdy than just a piece of fabric on the ground. You can starch the bottom with a spray starch to make it super strong if you'd like. Additionally, you can add something to the bottom to make it less slippery. I'm sure you've seen the tip about using caulk on the bottom. I tried hot glue to see about a similar effect that costs less and is possibly already in your home. I did 5 lines of glue, and as soon as we get this baby on wood floors I'll let you know about the staying power or if you should stick with caulk.
That's it! So easy, right? The total cost was less than any area rug I've ever seen and provides a nice luxurious resting spot for cold feet. I know my DIYs are few and far between these days, but after the move I should have more time. I hope you're all doing well!
All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. About using caulk for non-stick rugs - we did this with several rugs in our house and it worked great for about three months, then the rugs started sliding again and it started peeling off. So I'm actually interested to know if the hot glue works better!

    1. Thanks for telling me, Sarah! I'll skip the caulk for sure. I'll update with hot glue results in a few months, hopefully it's better! If not, I have some other ideas too :)


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