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

Hi Catie! Love the innovation LOL….That might work! I can’t be certain because I haven’t tried it myself. But in theory, that could work! Maybe test it out on a similar material scrap first so you can be sure? And please let me know how it goes!


Thank you so much! Do you think a curling iron would work to set the dye? That I could get in the shoe- and have an old one- trying to be innovative lol!


Hi Catie. The only thing I can think would be to use a paint brush and textile paint like this one, which acts like a dye: https://www.dickblick.com/products/jacquard-dye-na-flow-fabric-colors/?clickTracking=true&wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=01218-1009&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI28-Dsd-m5wIVk5OzCh059Q2BEAQYAiABEgILUvD_BwE . It does require a heat set though, which means if you can’t get an iron into the inside of the shoe or run it through a clothes dryer, it can’t be set and probably shouldn’t be used. I wish I could be more helpful, but I don’t know what else I would suggest in this instance.



Hi Rachel- I need your help! I own these boots in the same black color, but my fur is black- a product they no longer sell (trust me I have even requested a special order!). This may seem extra, but I want to try to dye the faux fur on the inside of these black- I don’t know how to do this without submerging the boot- which will damage the leather. I’m thinking about using cotton ball application- but please help! You are the expert and this is a project I am scared to attempt but really want to have the black fur!


I’m currently dying a cream colored faux fur jacket *hopefully* mustard yellow! fingers crossed it turns out as lovely as this!


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This looks like a cool way of doing it. I’m going to have to try it! When I wash and dry my faux fur, I machine wash in cold and put the item in a pillowcase and dry on low in the dryer. It will keep the end of the fur from melting and changing the texture. Now…what color am I going to try? Lol


Hi Alexander.cI think bleach would be your only option there. But sometimes bleach doesn’t work either, depending on the coating on the fur.


What would you suggest if I want to take a pale pink fur to white? Any ideas?


Hi Evenlyn. I don’t have any experience with doing this with a darker faux fur. BUT if the fur is dark to begin with, you will probably have a harder time with the dye. My guess would be that it would probably add a sheen of color over the dark, but it’s possible that it wouldn’t be very noticeable. You could try bleaching the darker material first before dyeing with a color to see if that helps?


I was wondering if I can dye dark color fur as well with any shade of synthetic dye. If any of you know please let me know thank you.


Hi Theresa. Each material will dye differently and dye times can be important too. For example, if you bought a fuchsia dye but it came out light pink, that would would mean that you either needed to leave the material in the dye much longer before rinsing OR the material that you are dyeing is not accepting the dye very well (it could have a coating on it that keeps it from dyeing effectively, etc).


I read how u dyed ur faux rug, my faux material is for a piñata I’m making for my niece, and I’m running out of time. I used a whole box of rit dye fushia bit it came out light pink & I really need it to be dk pink so it looks like the little girl poppy from the troll movie, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!


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Hi Lindsey. You need to be able to wash the dye out of the material and then heat set it, as outlined in the tutorial. So if it’s a slipcover, that can be removed, washed, and dried – great. If not, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable recommending the dying. Hope that helps. Wishing you the best with your project.


Does the fabric dye transfer to other materials? I want to dye a synthetic chair and I don’t want it to get on my clothes.


Hi Vicky. If there is not a sealant on the fabric that stops it from absorbing dye, it should work. Hope that helps.


Hi Pam. Yes, the end will result with typically wash and dry lighter than what you see while still in the dyeing process. As for microfiber being dyed – I’m not 100% sure since I’ve not dyed microfiber before, but my guess would be using the dye specifically for synthetic fabric will work, just like it did for me.


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Hi Rose. I did rinse the rug, to make sure all of the dye that had not fully adhered was completely gone. You can submerge it in a bucket of clean water or rinse underneath the sink. And then I put it in the dryer to heat set it, once it was all ringed out. But I didn’t wash it in the washing machine. Hope that helps.


You didn’t rinse the rug when removed from the dye?? Only squeezed excess water and dried it? Just want to make sure I don’t make a mistake!!

Rose D'Angelo Designs

This looks great! Do you think it would work dying a faux fur coat from grey to black? Thanks!


Did you use pink dye to get this color pink in the end? Or did the rug come out lighter than the official color on the bottle?

Do you wait until the fabric (in my case an INCREDIBLY soft lap rug) is darker than the final color you want before removing it from the tub? (i.e. is it darker when it is wet than the final color when it is dry?)

I want to dye this throw rug navy blue. Can dye change a microfiber from white to navy or will the rug end up a wishy-washy blue??

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge,

Pam Mahony

Pam Mahony

Hi Audrey. I would recommend washing thoroughly and then heat setting the rug somehow or color could rub off or wear poorly. Hope that helps.


Thank you for this great tutorial! What happens if you don’t heat set the fabric using the dryer? Will it rub off everywhere? Thanks!


I have a cream colored faux fur coat I want to dye a few different pastel colors, to get a tie dye look. Any recommendations on how to do it? I was going to use kool-aid cuz I’m cheap.


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Hi Victoria. The shoes are from Urban Outfitters (they’re Jeffrey Campbell). But I’ve had them a while, so I don’t know if they’re available anymore.


Love this idea, but more importantly, Where did you get those shoes??


Hi Anna. The pillow is from Confetti Riot. If you go to this post you’ll find the pillows and the exact source link where they can be purchased… http://www.papernstitchblog.com/2016/02/17/take-seat-make-budget-friendly-bench-hour/


Glad it worked out, Lexi, aside from the dryer cleaning. Whoops! 🙂


Lovin’ this idea (and the decision to choose pink !) Also I have to know where the throw pillow in the shot is from..


Gave this project a try a few days ago worked like a charm. One caveat, if you don’t fully let it dry before throwing it in the dryer, it will turn your dryer pink. Oops. Took a bit of effort to clean but the new rug was worth the hassle.


Hi Whitney. The pillow is from Confetti Riot. If you go to this post you’ll find the pillows and the exact source link where they can be purchased… http://www.papernstitchblog.com/2016/02/17/take-seat-make-budget-friendly-bench-hour/


What about the pillow? Where’s it from?


I like this. I am thinking of all kinds of springy colors to use.


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Thanks Nancy. The shoes are Jeffrey Campbell. I got them from Urban Outfitters last year, so I’m not sure if they’re still available. But I’ll cross my fingers for ya. 🙂


Beautiful rug! And a random question: where are those shoes from? They need to be mine.


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Thanks Ali. The pillow is Confetti Riot. I got it from swenyo.com.


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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