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The Faux Cowhide Rug

I am a subscriber to both House and Home and Style At Home magazines.  And I lust for many of the looks and stylized rooms.  Alas, my house has been "house and home-d" thoroughly after 3 plus years, so I must now turn to the dollhouse to fulfill my design fantasies.  Plus I have expensive taste, so this is a lot cheaper for everyone.

I really liked the look of a cowhide rug.  It goes without saying, unless you had a 1:12 sized cow, the hide look might be a tad, well, hairy.  The wheels turned, lubricated with coffee, and Kitty's afternoon nap let my mind wander.

The Inspiration
  • Design magazines
  • Living beyond my means
  • I needed a rug

  • Adhesive backed fabric (DCWV brand "The Adhesive Fabric Stack").  I got it at HomeSense but Michael's sells this brand too
  • Craft paint (black, tan and antique white)
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors 
  • Aleene's Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue (came in a 3 pack of mini glues for $3 at Walmart)
  • Black card stock 
  • A Googled image of a cowhide rug you like

If you Google "cowhide rug" you get great images.  I got this one from Pure Rugs.  It's clear and not too splotchy of a pattern.

I then stared at the picture on my iPad and let my pencil wander on the page. The rug I drew was 5 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/4 inches long.  It works nicely with my sofa and coffee table.

Press lightly and be careful because I found eraser marks tough to fully remove.

I base coated the whole rug in the antique white craft paint.  While it was still a bit wet I painted on the black portions free hand (I didn't pencil them in for fear of pencil marks).  

The white blended with the black and made for a more realistic look rather then a high contrast black and white.

I let it dry for 30ish minutes.  Then I peeled the backing paper off and adhered it to black card stock, which I then trimmed away the excess. It gave it a firm backing. Unintended awesomeness moment! The black showed through slightly as grey on the front of the rug.  It made it look more realistic, because what cow isn't blotchy!

Then I applied 2 coats of Aleene's Flexible Stretchable Glue to seal it.  I 
figured it would be stretching and flexing, so why not? Plus it needed
protection and a sheen for appeal.

I made sure it was really, really dry then pressed it overnight between heavy books.  2 weeks later it is still laying flat and looking awesome!