WHEN shopping for home decor, we like to gravitate to the minimalist items that can upgrade our home while still not making it feels like we’re adding too much. That’s why when we grabbed these faux sheepskin rugs from Ikea, we knew there was potential to step them up a notch and customize them just to the mood of our own home. See how we dyed these affordable faux sheepskin rugs three ways for a quick and easy room upgrade!
So, this may seem obvious but let’s start off by saying: DO NOT wear clothes you care about while doing any project that involves dye. Similarly, do it in a place that’s easy to clean up (outdoors, a garage, or laundry room and maybe not your beautiful white-carpeted living room.)
Just a heads up.
Start dyeing your rugs by pre-treating them with soda ash, which is what makes the dye stay put. Mix 1/2 cup of soda ash with 1-gallon warm water. Soak your rug in this mixture for at least 5-10 minutes before dyeing.
Pro Tip: Get 2 buckets/storage boxes/some sort of waterproof container for each rug; one to mix and apply the dye, and one for transferring the wet rug to your drying surface.
Solid Dusty Rose
Step 1: This was by far the easiest of the three versions we made. Begin by pre-treating the rug in your soda ash soak.
Step 2: Next, use a large storage bin (or another kind of waterproof container) to mix up your dye to your color preference. You can follow the package instructions for mixing the dye, but we got creative and mixed two colors, pink and gray, to create this softer, cotton-candy-like rose color. Pro Tip: Keep in mind when mixing color – if you’re dyeing a synthetic fabric like polyester or acrylic (like these faux-fur rugs), the dye comes out MUCH lighter and more muted than if you were dyeing a natural fabric like cotton or silk (or real sheepskin). See our tutorial on ice dyed shirts to see a side by side comparison!
Step 3: Submerge the entire rug in your dye mixture, making sure the color evenly soaks across the entire rug. Leave it in there for a few minutes so it absorbs as much color as possible.
Step 4: Remove the rug from the dye, gently squeezing out excess liquid. Lay flat to dry overnight. Use that handy-dandy second bucket to transfer the rug to your drying area to avoid pesky drips!
Step 5: Let dry overnight! You definitely don’t want to bring the rug into the house while it has any residual dampness because it could accidentally dye your floor.
Step 1: You guessed it! Pre-treat the rug in your soda ash wash.
Step 2: Carefully, fill a spray bottle with about a tablespoon of powder dye, and about 2 cups warm water. This dye is much more concentrated than for the first rug. Pro Tip: Be sure to use a spray bottle that sprays liquid in a big diffused cloud rather than in a direct shot or stream. We had to switch bottle tops halfway through because we weren’t getting the even look we wanted at first.
Step 3: With gloves, use your fingers to gently blend the dye into the rug as you go. Start with the most concentrated area at the bottom, then gradually use less and less spray as you go towards the other end. Remember to leave an untouched part at the end to give it that true dip-dyed, ombré look!
Step 4: This step was the key to keeping the rug the way we wanted it to look! Lift the white, untouched edge with a clean glove, then wring out the excess dye by gently squeezing and moving your hand in a downward motion towards the most color-concentrated area. If you don’t hold the rug upright, the dye might seep into the part you want to keep clean and white!
Step 5: Keep the rug vertical as you transfer it to your drying surface. When you do finally lay it flat, it should keep the ombré look you’ve created.
Navy to Gray Gradient
Okay, we have to admit this one was a bit of a headache. The reason being, we had to figure out how to effectively do TWO ombré effects, one with navy dye on one side, and one with gray dye on the other side. We couldn’t let the rug touch the dye color from the other side the whole time we were making it. It was definitely a learning experience!
Step 1: You know what to do. (Hint: soda ash.)
Step 2: We started with the navy dye first and repeated the exact process as the ombre teal rug above. So far so good.
Step 3: Then came the tricky part; we had to do the same thing on the other side with a different color dye while not letting it touch any of the navy dye that was already in the bucket. We ended up holding the gray side up vertically and just going really REALLY slowly as we added spray and dye. Looking back, we should have just had another bucket handy for the gray side and it would have made our lives a LOT easier. Hindsight is 20/20!
Step 4: This rug took a full 12 hours longer to dry because it was holding more liquid than the other rugs. But, even after all the extra time and effort, it really did turn out beautifully!
With these rugs, we saw that it was a perfect way to decorate your furniture, or even customize a little cozy nook in your home to read, chill, and drink some morning tea. This project is a perfect way to customize your decor to be exactly what you want and make it completely unique to your own aesthetic and your home’s color palette!