Make a Faux Cowhide Rug for Under $50

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I seriously used to DESPISE cowhide rugs, but somehow they slowly knocked at my brain until I started liking them just a little bit. Then, I kept seeing them in home decor spaces that I loved, and my like for them grew into love. Now, I simply couldn’t wait to have one for our sitting room that I’m working on! I don’t know – there’s just something about throwing in a modern & unexpected element into a room that I just think is so very fun. A cowhide rug in a formal sitting room says “this room isn’t as serious as it looks“!

As much as I would have loved to run to the store and buy a real cowhide rug, our “dual-self-employed income” doesn’t justify that right now. I’ve got to be super thrifty and creative these days to get the looks that I’m dreaming about enter our current reality. When I saw some realistic looking cow fabric online and read some reviews on it, I had an idea to make a fake cowhide rug just for kicks and see how it turned out. I did just that, and I totally love the result! This fabric is fantastic, and the rug looks really cute. Let me share with you how I made a faux cowhide rug for our sitting room for less than 50 dollars and in under an hour.

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!


DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!


This fabric is a heavy-weight upholstery fabric that has a velvety texture to it. It also has some ridging stamped in it, which makes it look and feel quite realistic. 2 1/2 yards of this fabric makes a rug that’s about 5 x 7 feet in size. The above photo is the 2 1/2 yards of fabric in its original state.

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

Draw a grid on one half of your printed cowhide photo as shown above. I just divided the half of my photo into quarters, but you could make your grid smaller if you want your faux cowhide to be a more accurate shape.

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

Turn your fabric in half vertically, right sides together, and divide it up the same as you’ve divided the paper. Draw grid lines. In my case, I drew a line at the halfway mark, and then two more at the quarter marks.

Baby B was a good little helper and drew some marks on the fabric for me.

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

Using your photo + gridlines as a guide, draw the cowhide shape on the wrong side of your fabric. Then, cut along your marked line with sharp fabric scissors, cutting through both layers.

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

Open up the fabric, and then to finish the raw edges you can sear them with a lighter. This was my mom’s idea, and it worked just perfectly! (I used this technique to sear the edges on my fabric flowers.)

In a safe place with good ventilation, hold a lit lighter close to the edge of the fabric and move it around the perimeter of your rug to seal the edges so that they don’t fray. The edges will melt slightly and harden a little. Please be careful as you do this!

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

Now, you’re already done! Can you believe it?!

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

You could throw an underlay beneath the rug to give it some cushion, or an anti-slip mat, but I’ve left mine as-is right now and it works well.

DIY faux cowhide rug for under $50!

You can also see a sneak peek here of some vintage chairs that my mom reupholstered for me. I can’t wait to share them with you soon!

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    1. Just signed up, I love everything I see, and this will get me enthused enough to get back to sewing/crafting/painting etc. I am so young at heart but now a senior. So happy I found you!!
      Rosie Morgan, Nixburg, Alabama; formerly from Great Britain. Please keep my e-mail address sacred, I get so much junk already. Thanks so much.

  1. I can attest to the fact that this rug looks good in person, too, not just in the photos! It really is very realistic, and I never would’ve guessed that it wasn’t a genuine cow hide if I hadn’t already known.

    Great job, Christina!

  2. This is SO smart! I love. The way it looks–I never could have thought up something this clever and thrifty. Great job!
    I also love your logo.

  3. This is awesome! Definitely doing this for my living room, thank you so much for posting this!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. That is a really gorgeous looking cowhide rug. My dad used to have one of those when I was growing up. His was from a brownish red Holstein cow. I’d love to find another one just like his.

  5. Omg! So glad I found this. I was cruising and saw this same fabric and wondered if there was anyone who had already tried it as a rug!! Question — how does it hold up? It looks like it is in a well trafficked area what with the living room furniture…my husband is skeptical of the durability, and I really want to make it so I gotta know haha Thank you!

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