Feeling Sheepish: Making A Faux Sheepskin Rug (Part 2)

So we’re back with our second faux sheepskin DIY undertaking (after sharing the first one this morning). For this project we actually visited the biggest most insane fabric store that we’d ever seen while on a recent trip to Charlotte to visit some friends. It’s called Mary Jo’s Cloth Store and it’s basically a gigantic 32,000 square foot warehouse full of about a million bolts of fabric (we’re talking about a football-stadium-sized holy grail of textiles). And it’s located right outside of Charlotte (just off of 1-85 at exit 21).

All I can say is that if they don’t have it there, nobody does. Plus their prices are fantastic. We saw designer prints marked down to $10 a yard that go for $19 a yard here at fabric stores in Richmond. Yes please. Here I am among the rows and rows (and rows) of stacked fabric bolts with my cute friend Kristin who showed us around the town (remember we crashed her house for you a while back?).

And here’s John doing what he does best. Finding the weirdest thing he can and taking an ironic picture with it (yes that’s dental themed fabric with teeth, floss, toothbrushes, and sayings like “smile!” on it). Like I said, if you’re looking for something specific they have it at Mary Jo’s.

Anyway, we ended up bypassing all the quirky patterns (cats with yarn? check. dogs in baskets? check) and picked up a yard and a half of gorgeous nursery fabric to make a modified crib skirt (to obscure the space between our crib mattress and the top of our slide out drawer- stay tuned for those details) along with one yard of fluffy ivory faux fur. We looked through dozens of faux fur options to find the densest, most creamy colored version that looked and felt the most like sheepskin. And the cost? $14.99 for the yard that we grabbed.

The best thing is that it was on one of those super long bolts so even though it was only 3 feet wide, our big rectangle of fluffiness was nearly six feet long which meant we could get three faux sheepskin throws out of it, making them just $5 a pop (which is a heckova deal when you consider that Ikea’s cheap-o real ones are around $25 each). Of course we just whipped out our homemade paper sheepskin template (see how we made that in this morning’s post) and used a thin sharpie to trace the pattern from our template onto the back of our fabric three times.

Then I did a test cut on the edge of the fabric to be sure fluff wouldn’t fly everywhere and the faux fur wouldn’t completely unwind or come loose when it was trimmed down to size. Happily just a few fluffs were freed with each snip (it was sort of like giving the large shaggy fabric a haircut) but nothing too major was released, and even when I tugged on the fur around the edge of my test cut it held steady and didn’t unravel. Whew. This meant that I could then go ahead and cut along me three sharpie outlines to create three fast and easy faux sheepskin throws in a matter of minutes without worrying about binding the edges. Easy.

Things were a bit floofy when I was done (picture my black shirt covered in matted sheepdog-like hair) so I tossed all three of our new throws into the dryer on “extra low heat” and let them spin a bit to shake out any and all remaining fuzz. It worked like a charm and when I pulled out our three surprisingly realistic looking $5 faux sheepskins they looked pretty darn good. Definitely good enough to be used around the base of my Christmas tree, draped over chairs and the back of my couch, tossed over an ottoman or two, etc. And this dryer de-floofing process seemed to really be effective since I was no longer covered with white hair every time I brushed up against them. Which is nice because that would seriously get annoying.

Now just as we mentioned that this morning’s DIY sheepskin project yielded more structured “rug-like” versions, this approach makes for much floppier and flexible “throw-like” accents. So they’re great for tossing over pieces of furniture to add some nice lightness and softness but probably couldn’t hold up on the floor (without creating death-trap slipping scenarios) like our rug counterparts could from this morning. So here’s one of our three new furry guys living it up on the storage bench in our dining area (pardon the bluish-white cast, the sky was reflecting through the window- for a more true indication of the real color check out the picture of them in the dryer above).

Here’s a close up so you can see how the edges look nice and fluffy just like the real deal. We honestly don’t know if anyone would be able to tell that we switched out our real sheepskin for this faux one since they look so eerily similar. Which was totally the goal. Score.

We tossed the second one over the back of a nearby living room chair (we love the layered tone on tone texture that it adds).

And draped the third one over the back of another slipper chair in our den. Doesn’t it look soft and inviting? Who knew three $5 upgrades could add so much to three different seating areas in our house?

So that’s our second faux sheepskin DIY tutorial for ya. It really was as simple as hunting down some wooly white fabric (or even a white furry blanket if you see one of those at TJ Maxx, Home Goods or Target), whipping up a free homemade paper sheepskin template, tracing it onto the back of the fabric (or blanket if you go that route) and cutting it out. And don’t forget that a quick low-heat spin through the dryer should de-lint it for you. Easy peasy.

Or should we say easy fleecey? Sorry that was terrible. I’m cringing over here. Maybe we’re just a little too excited about our cheap-o $5 furry friends (I can’t wait to move them around our house like I used to do with our Ikea ones- they’re so flexible and fun). Plus these are WASHABLE (our Ikea versions never were) since they’re made of fabric, so that’s the icing on the cake. But now it’s time to ask you guys what you’ve been making lately. Have you picked up any discount fabric and used it to recover a chair or whip up a quick pillow? Have you made your own faux-fur throws, pillows, or blankets? Do tell.

Psst- Wanna check out our first DIY sheepskin tutorial from this morning? Here’s a shortcut.

Comments

  1. Lauren says

    I love your dining room and the simplicity of your whole house! Where did you get those gorgeous white shelves? We’ve been looking for some in a darker wood that are that long, but are having trouble. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Ikea! And they come in dark brown so you’re in luck. Just search “lack” and look for the long floating shelves (we think ours are 72″ long but they come in different finishes and lengths). Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  2. natasha says

    WOW! Great job you two! I LOVE IT! Quick Question for ya: Do they have anything like Mary Jo’s on the West Coast… say….in San Diego!?
    I’m new to this whole fabric thing,and would like to sew some pillows, curtains and a table cloth/runner. The fabric stores I go to seem to have plenty of the “weird patterns” (ie: the man in the moon, bunnies, etc.)
    Can you pass along some suggestions as to where to find designer-type of fabrics (like they have at Mary Jo’s)either online or in-store?
    Thanks for any tips! :)

    • says

      Just let your fingers do the walking. Try googling your zip code or your city’s name and “fabric store” or “fabric outlet” and see what comes up. Sites like yelp.com can also help by providing reviews and recommendations from people in your area. We also use the yellow pages and just look things up there too. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  3. Kelly w/ a Y says

    I needed a window treatment in my bathroom and when I saw the pretty trim John installed around your bathroom window, I thought, I can do that. Well, I can’t. My window actually butts up against the plastic shower stall. Weird, I know. I’d only be able to install 3 sides of trim(top, left side and bottom.) So, I decided to finally hang my curtain rod above the window and I’ve had these lovely beige cotton/satiny napkins with beaded edges laying around for years from Marshall’s. ($1/piece, can’t beat it! I originally bought them to make a throw pillow.) I hung two of them side by side over the curtain rod and plan to finish them down the middle where they meet with pretty ribbon to tie in the stripes in my white shower curtain. I’m quite happy with the project! Simple and inexpensive.

    Another item of the DIY list!

  4. Barbara says

    Natasha – I don’t know about San Diego, but in Los Angeles proper there are several stores like that in the Garment District (downtown). Diamond Foam and Fabrics is one.

  5. says

    I live near Mary Jo’s and I just love it! I have always been curious if you two even knew about that place. In fact if I were to see you there I would probably wet my pants since I’m such a huge fan. Glad you enjoyed it and were able to get great stuff! Looks fabulous!

  6. says

    What a super cute and seemingly simple project to do! The easier the project, the better, for me! I love the sheepskin on the grey chair… oh my I love that grey chair!!

  7. says

    I’m with Rebekah and Michelle – good to see Mary Jo’s and Charlotte get a shout-out! I’m from Charlotte (living just outside Raleigh now) and have been to Mary Jo’s several times. It’s very impressive indeed.

    I lived in North Charlotte so going to Mary Jo’s wasn’t something to be taken lightly (and this was way before gas prices were more than $2/gallon). I’ll never forget the time my mom and I planned to go down there one evening after work. It was summer and I was working in my mom’s office before heading back to college (and to my first apartment, thus the need for fabric) in the fall. I’d gone out with friends the night before and, well, let’s just say I wasn’t feeling too good the next day. But I wasn’t about to let a little hangover impede our plans to go to the legendary Mary Jo’s, nosiree! I might have been a little green around the gills, but we got the fabric we needed for the curtains my mom was making for me.

  8. says

    Love the fake sheepskin. Burger looks so cute and cozy laying on the one in the nursery. I’m a little nervous that my dog moose would like them a little too much…show them a little doggy love if you know what I mean.

    On another note, I recovered our dining room chairs with a great duvet cover I found at Target. A couple hours, $20 and some scotch guard and here is the result:
    http://thishomebelongsto.com/dining-room-chairs/

  9. Alina says

    Just saw you guys in the February Skirt issue – so cute! My husband and I love your blog! Best wishes with “the beanette!” :)

    ~Alina and Nathan, fellow Richmonders