DIY Faux Cowhide Rug

DIY Cowhide rug after

My recent move landed me in much larger office slash guest bedroom, and instead of replacing the my beloved 5′ x 8′ West Elm rug, I decided to DIY a faux cowhide rug for the office half of the room. I love using area rugs to define spaces, which is especially helpful in cities like New York, where you often have a combined living room / dining room etc. I was inspired by these:

     Cowhide rug bathroomvia House of Mosely


via Desert Domicile


via House of Mosely


via The Nester

Wanna make your own faux cowhide rug?

You’ll need:
1 Yard of low pile faux fur fabric (or more depending on how large you want it)
1 Pair of fabric scissors
1 Brown or black fabric paint marker (or both, I used Tee Juice)
1 Rug pad the size of the rug you’re making (optional)
1 Bottle of liquid stitch (optional)


1. Measure your floor space before heading to the fabric store. I found the best fabric and price at Joe’s on Orchard. Lay your fabric down on the floor and use your pen or pencil to draw the shape of the rug. The picture above is a great guide if you’re going for the classic hide look, but it can really be any shape you like. Give yourself some space so that you can cut inside of the lines to avoid having to remove pencil or pen marks later.

DIY Cowhide rug

2. Cut along the inside of the lines you made. Don’t worry if it’s not straight and perfect: any “mistakes” only add to the natural look.

DIY Cow hide rug tutorial

3. Lay your fabric down on a surface that won’t be ruined by the fabric paint, like a glasstop table. If that’s not available, lay down garbage bags or another material that paint won’t leak through. Begin painting your pattern using side strokes that go with the grain of the “calf hair.”

DIY Cowhide rug pattern

4. Keep going until you’re happy with the coverage. I wanted a more minimal look, but the best thing about going that route to start with is that you can always add more spots later if desired.

DIY Cowhide Rug after

5. Let it dry. If you’re using a rug pad, cut it to fit the shape of the hide and adhere it using dots of the liquid stitch.

You’re done! Would you put a cowhide rug in your home?

xo BB

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  • Reply
    03/02/2017 at 8:00 pm

    What did u use to paint the spots on?

  • Reply
    Cowhide Rug
    06/29/2014 at 2:39 pm

    Nice post and great pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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