Oh, Faux You Didn’t: How to Dye Almost Any Synthetic Material (Like a $13 Faux Sheepskin)

How to Dye Almost Any Synthetic Material (Like a $13 Faux Sheepskin from Ikea)

I’ve been known to dye pretty much anything that isn’t nailed down, but there’s one project I’ve been wanting to try for a while that I’m only just now getting around to. Why? Because I totally wasn’t sure that it would work.

I’ve dyed everything from napkins, to shoes, to baskets, even hangers. So what the heck was my DIY dyeing mountain that I was scared to summit?! A $13 faux sheepskin rug from Ikea. I know, I know…pretty anti-climatic. Why was I stressing over this?

In all honestly, I couldn’t tell ya. It was just one of those things that seemed simple, but I knew deep down it could be a total failure. ANYWAY, long story short, I finally rolled the dice on this thing a couple of weeks ago (remember that orange bucket mess on Snapchat?) and am sharing the tutorial today.

Ikea Hack // How to dye a $13 faux fur rug from Ikea

Since this Ikea rug is made of a synthetic material, you won’t be able to use a standard dye, but it’s still super easy! Pinkie promise.

Ikea Hack // How to dye a $13 faux fur rug from Ikea

FYI – It’s recommended that you use the stovetop method for synthetic materials, but I wanted to try it my tried and true way to see if it would work. And it did! So, that’s the way I’ll show you how to dye this puppy.


  • TEJN faux sheepskin mini rug from Ikea
  • fabric dye that works with synthetic materials (I used Rit synthetic)
  • large bucket
  • rubber gloves
  • dowel rod or similar to continue pushing rug into dye


1. Start by submerging the faux sheepskin in water. Then, wring out the excess water and set aside.

2. Pour a full bottle of synthetic fabric dye into a bucket filled with 3 gallons of hot water. The hottest water you can get (just from your sink is fine – as long as it is hot).

3. Stir the dye bath thoroughly with a dowel rod or large spoon.

4. Lower the rug into the dye bath, all the way, making sure that the rug is fully submerged in the dye. Keep the rug submerged in the dye bath for 60-90 minutes. And stir every few minutes with dowel rod to ensure that the dye adheres properly. This is a lot longer than I would normally keep items in a dye bath, but I found that in this case, it needed to be in for that length of time, with the bucket method that I used.

5. Remove the rug from the dye, as you squeeze out any remaining water/dye from the rug. Lay flat until dry. Heat set in the dryer and its ready to use.

NOTE: Running the rug through the dryer did change the texture of the rug a little bit (made it fluffier) and I kind of with I wouldn’t have done it. So, keep that in mind… If you like the texture of the rug when it air dries, you may want to just leave it as is, without heat setting.

Ikea Hack // How to dye a faux fur rug from Ikea

Ikea Hack // How to dye a $13 faux fur rug from Ikea

How to Dye Almost Any Synthetic Material (Like a $13 Faux Sheepskin from Ikea)

Photography by Rachel Brewer and Amelia Tatnall
Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Curious to know… Have you ever had a project that you put off starting for pretty much no reason at all? Really wondering if I’m a lone ranger on this one.

P.S. I just saw that Sweet Paul did an overdyed rug project with a regular rug, using a different method that looks pretty cool too, if you want to give that one a try.

63 comments | Click here to reply

Glad you overcame your fear of starting/ trying! Who hasn’t procrastinated a project in fear of failure? Kim is just writing a series of blog post about the fear of starting something new:



This is such an adorable idea! I must try it! Also, that pillow is to die for, where is that from?


My irrational procrastination project…hypertufa planters. Have all of the stuff but I never make the time as I’m sure it’s going to be a big fail. But you’ve inspired me, it’s on the list for tomorrow.

I LOVE this project, I just ordered the dye. I have had 2 of these rugs for a few years and my 3 dogs and 1 catnot Now they look like matted dirty sheep after a heavy rain, the 4-leggers them. #nothingtolose

Mikki Anderson

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Love the minty green idea, Abigail. I was also thinking about a deeper blue or rich teal. I actually have one more of these things that hasn’t been dyed yet. So, I’ll probably try one of those colors.


That’s such a great idea and I absolutely love the color you chose. I would also try a cute baby blue or minty green and just make a set, so lovely! Thanks for the idea!

Abigail Smycken

Thanks Laura and Charlie! Appreciate that. 🙂


That rug is so chic, love the colour

Laura Mitbrodt

I’ll definitely have to try it out, thanks for sharing:)


Awesome Krissy. Isn’t it the best when projects turn out better than you thought they would?!


I actually have put off dyeing a jacket I’ve had for year but never wore (because it was white). Anyone that knows me knows I’m too messy for white. So I decided to dye it dark green. After a year or so I finally dyed it 2 weeks ago and it turned out better than I thought it would! I’m thinking about dyeing sneakers next thanks to another post of yours you linked 😀 Can’t wait to see what you do next!


There’s ALWAYS next Christmas, Alex. 🙂 That’s happened to me quite a few times too. So you’re not alone.


Great post! This looks like it turned out great! I’ve only experimented a very small bit in dying things, but it opens a whole other area of creativity & experimentation!
I’ve had some clear christmas ball ornaments and some goldleaf foil sitting around since last Christmas from a DIY I had planned to do, and for some reason, could never get in the mood to actually work on! *sigh…* Maybe next Christmas!


Oh yeah? I hadn’t seen that Marwa. I imagine a larger rug, throw, etc would be interesting to try too, though you may have to use a different method if it gets to be too large. Anyway, glad you liked this project.


Yours turned out well! I had seen a hot pink shaggy fur previously in a magazine and wanted to try, this post will come of help 🙂

Marwa | Enthralling Gumption

Aw, thanks Rachel. Glad to hear that.


Love the end result! It looks like it cost way more than $13 too!

Rachel | The Crafted Life

Thanks! What color would you use, Michelle?


How pretty and easy! Wouldn’t use that colour, but the technique is surely helpful!

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