Crafty: DIY Blush Sheepskin

Do you remember the model apartment I decorated in the Troy Boston last spring? I posted the artwork I curated (all by local female artists) and inspiration photos of charcoal & blush palettes.

I borrowed the main furniture from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (thank you Andrew Terrat) and filled in with IKEA, and added accessories from H&M Home, Target, and my own closet. There were a few DIY projects too, including dying an IKEA sheepskin rug.  I wanted a pale pink blush shade. You can see I ended up with a darker rose tone. Not the end of the world; you should have seen it initially. (And you will since there’s a photo below.)

I’m not at all a DIY-er. I could be if I had more time, but I don’t, which means I also lack the patience. However I really really wanted a blush sheepskin rug and the only ones I found online were in Australia and/or were too pricey. So I looked at a couple of DIY blog posts and figured it wouldn’t be hard to dye a sheepskin rug. Did I mention I’m short on patience? The Jenny Komenda’s DIY post on Little Green Notebook that I followed was simple and straightforward. And her results were really pretty.


Here’s the finished product. Not bad, especially at a distance. Komenda used an acrylic sheepskin. I neglected to notice that. Of course I bought the real thing.


Komenda recommended Rit liquid dye in Petal Pink and Lemon Yellow. (There’s also powder dye; not sure how that works.) Who knew Rit dye was hard to come by in the city? I had to trek out to Michael’s Arts & Crafts in Porter Square for these colors. I called the independent hardware store in Beacon Hill first, but they didn’t have these colors.


After soaking the sheepskin in plain water, she used three parts pink to one part yellow to achieve the lovely pale pink. Since I wanted something a little stronger, I amped up the recipe. Too. Much. Probably I let it soak too long as well.


I pulled it out of its bath. already you can see that the long outside strands are REALLY dark and hideously pink, while the underside is pale and even white. And yes, I stirred and swished it.


Lovely! Not.


Eventually I toned it down to this shade. I rinsed it incessantly, and bleached it. Yes, I bleached my sheep(skin rug). Twice. The result? frazzled, fried split ends. Yup. Ironically, I just this minute discovered Rit Color Remover. That would have been nice to know about.


So then I gave it a trim. Not kidding. A blowdry and a trim. And a vigorous brushing.


The final result is a sufficiently fluffy(ish) sheepskin rug in an uneven—but paler!—shade of pink.


Yes, it shrunk. Here it is layered atop a large synthetic sheepskin rug, smartly untouched.