5 Ways to Use an Ikea Sheepskin

It took all the restraint I had to NOT buy more than 3 Ikea sheepskins when I was redoing my house a few years ago.  I didn’t even know what I was going to use them for, I just knew I had to have them.

I thought about a Meandering Goat costume but couldn’t find any really believable horns.  Plus there’s the whole fear of being milked thing.

Turns out even without the goat costume … I have a lot of uses for my Ikea sheepskins.

Which can be annoying.  I move them from here to there.  Change things up, ya know?  Which the fella complains about.  The fella likes structure.  And sameness.  And the convertor always to be in the exact same place without moving a millimetre because apparently if it’s moved a millimetre he can’t see it anymore because he is … at times … an asshead.  Wait no.  That’s not right.  He’s a blind asshead.  Who complains about things being moved.

I endure the complaining though because …  I LOVE MY IKEA SHEEPSKINS EVERYWHERE.

And truth be told, even though I normally like you to follow my instructions *exactly* (see Sweet Potato Fry recipe and all the comments in it), in this case … you don’t have to use an actual “Ikea” Sheepskin.  You can use a sheepskin you got from any number of places.  I just titled this post “5 Ways to Use an Ikea Sheepskin” because I got mine at Ikea.  Plus, I was kind of hoping that the God of Ikea would see my post and offer me all kinds of free furniture.  A new kitchen maybe.  Or even just a retweet.  Whatever.

So grab your sheepskin and let’s going get through the options!


table runner copy


Yup!  A table runner.  2 of them together for a large table, just 1 for a smaller.




Throw it over the back of any hard chair to soften it up.




Pile 1, 2, or 3 as a rug.




Drape over wood benches for bum comfort and good looks.



Throw over the arm of a couch for texture, warmth and interest in a room.

And yes Cleo … we all see you.



Where they go depends on my mood and the season.  In the winter I usually have 2 on the bench in my dining room and one over the arm of the couch.  Springtime sees me moving the bench ones upstairs to beside the bed as a rug, with one leftover for the wire chair in my dining room.  And sometimes, I just go nuts and start throwing them willy nilly wherever I want.

Put them  in a kid’s sled, or by the fireplace for the cats to curl up on, or on the foot of the bed. Oh! And outside!  If you’re having a party or people coming over, they look great on wicker furniture or a rocking chair on the front porch in the middle of winter.   Wherever you want.  They’re good like that, Ikea sheepskins.

They – unlike blind assheads – hardly ever complain.

Heh.  I’m just kidding.  I don’t really think the fella’s a blind asshead.  I’m just trying to get his goat.




  1. Kim says:

    I love how you decorated with the sheepskin! You inspired me and I just ordered some to use as my Christmas tree skirt and will later utilize them in other places in my home thank you!

  2. Donald Nelson says:

    I purchased a long hair sheepskin and was cut in strips which were sewn to my Santa suit coat. There is a slight yellow color to the fur now which I was told is a lanolin secretion. With the skin strips sewn in place and not removable on my velvet Santa coat, how do I proceed to clean the yellow out and make it white again?


    • Karen says:

      Hi Santa. I’ve always had good luck with Oxiclean when it comes to cleaning any natural product (linen etc.) that has yellowed. If it were me, I would soak that small portion of the skin in a strong solution of Oxiclean (1 very large scoop in a basin of hot water). You have to be careful that the water doesn’t seep up to the velvet though because the water and Oxiclean will discolour/mark the velvet. On the other hand, if the velvet is washable and can go in the washing machine, so can the sheepskin. I’ve washed all of my Ikea sheepskins in the washing machine and they came out great. ~ karen!

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  4. Pearl says:

    Does anyone know how to whiten a yellowed sheepskin?? I bought this exact fleece at Ikea, and used it for several months draped over a chair. Loved that thing. But it started to get yellower, and now it’s to the point where it’s VERY yellow, almost an orange-yellow. I can’t even use it anymore! I want it to be white again! I can’t figure out why it yellowed either, I was very careful with, it didn’t get used heavily or anything, it was only a decoration. PLEASE if anyone knows how to wash one to make it white again without damaging it, please tell me!! Thanks!

  5. Mike says:

    Thanks!! They look really good I figured they were, but the Ike’s website photos don’t do them as much justice… I think the IKEA gods do owe you props for making them look good ;)

  6. Mike says:

    Curious if you use the real sheepskin or the faux ones from IKEA?

  7. Jae says:

    I love my Ikea sheepskin too. I have one real and 3 faux. I want them everywhere!

  8. Jeni says:

    Hi Karen! The Bowers are awesome and the Homies are too because I found you through your nomination. I love your writing and look forward to digging in to “TADS” as you are labeled in my faves. :)

  9. Rose says:

    Sheepskin is the best to lay sleeping babies on! It is cozy, unlike cold sheets, and less likely to startle them awake.

  10. CT says:

    Karen —
    Found you through the homies and love the humor! Oh and the sheepskins. Everytime I make the 5 hour trek to our nearest Ikea, I bring home some sheepy friends to roam about the house. Cheers – CT

  11. Leslie says:

    This is truly innovative. I never would of thought of this. I especially like the table decor. Quite imaginative. I also love the one on the chair. Heading to Ikea today to get a few!!

  12. Marilyn says:

    I use a 5 inch round of sheepskin (sheared to an even level) as a ever so soft powder puff. Washable and fluffs right back up after combing.

    • Karen says:

      That’s a good idea! Actually taking the time to use a powder puff I mean. I really need to indulge in things like that. Sometimes just having the time to bathe seems like an indulgence. ~ karen!

  13. Janey says:

    Sooo wish I would have bought one of those wire chairs when I had the chance. There aren’t too many items that I pass by that I truly regret later. This is one of them. You are a lucky wire-chair-haver.

  14. dana says:

    My batty mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) called it a wand but thought in order to change channels you used it like a calculator. If she was on channel 2 and wanted to watch channel 11, she would press “+9”, cause you know there are + and – buttons on the thing.
    When my daughter was about 15mos old, she called it a ‘mote. My husband said she became very useful when he could loll on the couch and ask Anna to fetch the ‘mote for him.

  15. The Belvedere-Alyssa says:

    How do your cats like them? My cats attack anything fur, like chew it, lick it, bathe it- kind of a problem when you want to keep them nice! Did you cats end up ignoring the sheepskin?

    • Karen says:

      Alyssa – When the skins are on the floor, no matter where they fall asleep on them. They don’t chew or bathe or bother them otherwise. ~ k!

  16. Hi Karen, Where did you get the wire chair… I love it…

    • Karen says:

      HI – It’s a copy of a “Bertoia” chair. If you google it, you should find all kinds of places that carry the copies. ~ karen!

  17. Coming from the country of Ikea I can say sheepskins are da bomb during long, cold Swedish winters and we often use the Ikea sheepskins in the children’s toboggans to warm their bums.

    I’m fortunate enough to have PILs with sheep – dark grey curly-curly sheep – so we have a truckload of those sheepskins all over the house. We have them on chairs and stools and the floors and what not… but I’ve never had them as a table-runner!! *doh* How clever is that? As my resident asshead don’t like things to move 1 millimetre either (as things apparently becomes invisible then) a sheepskin on the dinner table would totally mess him up. *evil grin*

    Heheheh…gotta go try that now.


  18. I am lust-lust-lusting after Mongolian lamb fleece, but not only is it expensive but there seem to be some odd cheats out there (“genuine Mongolian fleece on a knitted base!”) as well as sites which also offer whole yaks…

  19. I tried to vote for you again and again, and clearly the vote police are waaaay ahead of me. Do you know any hackers so I can sneak my way back in again?
    P>S> looks like you are #1 in the list today. What do you win? A trip to Barbados or something funky? If so, I travel light.

    • Karen says:

      Lynne – NO! No cheating. :) And here’s the funny part … this is only the preliminaries to get the top 10. NEXT week is the actual voting AND … win nothing. I win $50 if I win. BUT … the real reason I’m doing this is to get more people introduced to my blog. It’s great exposure to the kind of people who would probably enjoy The Art of Doing Stuff. :) ~ karen

  20. Bobbie says:


    thanks for the laughs…. and DIY stuff ;-)

  21. Karin says:

    I’ve voted for you, Karen, what else!!!
    Greetings from the german kitchen drawer queen!

  22. Nancy says:

    I would so much love at least one of these sheepskin..I am afraid though that it would be taken over by “The Wild Bunch”..which is a term of endearment for my kitties..Sure looks like that’s what Cleo has in mind there..I really like the way it looks on your awesome table Karen..Also all men are “Assheads” when it comes to the remote..or converter..or whatever you call it..

  23. kris says:

    love all the pictures of your sheepskin uses, your house is beautiful. One that I am curious about is the picture from your house in Style at Home magazine, where your chair is covered in sheepskin. Is that one big one, or a couple sewn together, it looks so luxurious! By the way, I voted, please remind us next week to vote again!

  24. Barbie says:

    We don’t have a Ikea here in Spokane :( I really miss that place.

    I also am keeping track of the voting…..so we can vote “again” next week?

    Sorry….at the risk of sounding “mean” I don’t see the big hoopla about Bower Power……a bit boring if you ask me….can’t imagine how it is second to you….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbie. Yes. Once this week is over, the top 10 nominees will officially be announced. Votes will be reset to 0 and the voting will take place on the top 10 blogs again next week, with the voting ending Thursday night and the winner announced Friday I believe. ~ karen

  25. Magpiebird says:

    My favourite use for mine is on an ottoman. I also love them draped on a chair, as you have done. I use one as a bathmat in the bathroom!

    So obviously, I wash that one regularly. Castile soap on gentle in the washer hang to dry. Not out in the sun with the back up–that WILL make it crispy! OK otherwise though. I know a lady that used one as a diaper changing pad for years–she’s the one who convinced me they were ok to wash.

  26. Roxanne Lucchesi says:

    In my home we call it “The Knob” — which cames from my daughter’s father’s family. If you follow …

  27. kelliblue says:

    Cleo had the right idea: kitty comforter. I have a friend who bought a gorgeous large sheepskin to drape luxuriously throughout her home…NOPE. Kitty confiscated it, ‘owned’ it, and turned it into her own bed/boudoir/bordello…anything but what it was intended for originally. Of course she loooves to ‘make biscuits’ on it too. :)

    Maybe I’ll get a couple to wrap around my ‘man pillow’ to make him extra snuggly…. :)

  28. Kat says:

    Our first was was super-tiny with no room for a changing table for our newborn. I used an Ikea sheepskin covered with a little flannel blankie or two as a changing table. I’d also put my daughter straight on the fleece–totally nudie-patootie–to air her bum out. She loved the fleece, and she never had a diaper rash. It would also calm her down at times when nothing else would.

  29. Christine says:

    I love the Bowers, but I love the Art of Doing Stuff more. Voted and will continue to vote for you Karen.

    Anyone know where to get a good faux sheepskin? Or 3. Or 5?

    In our house the device to change channels is known as the following: changer, clicker, clickie, remote, commander tom and of course the doohickey.

  30. Gayla T says:

    I’d given up that anyone besides me had freaked over the wide board flooring and then Deanna spoke up! That floor is awesome. Is the whole upstairs like that? Are they original to the house? That would even make them better. Did you refinish them? Wow! Now on to the rest. I’m so glad this is the prelim part as I was going to have to log in under all my screen names and maybe create a few more. Yahoo lets you have several but I mostly use my dog’s name. I’ll do that if the heat is on next round. You put up with a lot from us and deserve to win. Speaking of putting up with a lot…….channel changer and you better not have kids with a guy who can’t stand for things to move. Raising mine I sometimes wondered what they had done with the sofa. But really it’s never knowing where a comb or the nail clippers have disappeared to that kills you. Back in the 1970’s when sheep skins were last “in” I had one but the hair was longer. I sent it to be cleaned like you do with a good leather coat and it came back stiff as a board and with a cleaning bill that would have bought several leather coats. I had a hissy fit and they bought me a new one. When it got too groudy I sold it at a garage sale and ended my adventures with skins. I’m all about velvet throws right now so maybe I won’t have to buy one this go round. But I do love the look. I kept mine over the loft rail which was groovy then. LOL Now, to ass head. My mother’s line carries a gene that comes out only in the men in the family as a chin dimple. For generations it has been a highly prized item on a baby boy. Just recently I heard that same chin called an ass chin! As horrified as I was I asked them if they didn’t think Robert Mitchum was the hottest man in history and this person didn’t know who he was. Obviously that would be the reason they could use such a term. There are some very strange people in your generation but thankfully they are balanced out with people like you and my gorgeous grandchildren. Did I miss any of the conversation? I hope not!

    • Karen says:

      Gayla – The pine floors are original to the house, they are in the entire upstairs, and yes I had them refinished. When I moved in, they were the subfloor under the carpeting. They had never been finished in 160 years. They run about 18″ wide. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go hide the couch on the fella. ~ karen

  31. deanna says:

    In Iowa it is a great compliment to have a song dedicated to you in which you are declared a “Horses Ass”! Just had to throw that in.
    I am absolutely in total envy of your wide plank floor in the bedroom – stunning!!

  32. Stephanie says:

    Just voted for you too …. love that site! True Canadian here and in my home and in my parents homes – it has always been a “convertor”. Maybe it goes back to the day when it was still hooked to the TV by that long cord that you followed to find the “convertor” under the couch cushion? Guess the name stuck.

  33. Lisa says:

    I often worry about my over-use of antlers in decorating and from your pics I can see that I am in good company. I actually have a few in storage because I thought I was overdoing it…

    For the record, I grew up saying “converter” as well.

    Also, “Asshead” is a favourite insult of mine, second only to “Asshat”.

  34. Jackie B says:

    It takes ALOT to get me to chuckle. And a whole lot more to get me to chuckle OUT LOUD. Well you, my dear, have accomplished both while I’ve perused your blog this morning. Now in my “favorites” under Ass Head. ;)

    • Karen says:

      Jackie B – In that case, have you heard the one about the priest and the rabbi who walk into a …. nevermind. Thanks! ~ karen

  35. Melanie says:

    I was vote #507. Cheers!

  36. Karena says:

    I have wanted one or more of these for the longest time. I wish we had IKEA here in Kansas City!

    Art by Karena

  37. Andrea @ 101 Life Lessons says:

    Favorite Memory: Austria Christmas 2010 Sitting at an outside cafe sipping a gluwein sitting on a chair draped with a sheepskin and covered with a wool blanket. Never been warmer on a bitter cold day. So drape a sheep skin over your lawn chairs, start a fire, make a little gluwein and head outside!

  38. Tandy says:

    I wash mine on the gentle cycle with Eucalan, a wool cleanser. Stretch the hide out, lay flat to dry and brush with a dog brush. It’ll shrink up a bit, and the hide does stiffen a little, but in my house it is unavoidable. I have five kids and a dog. Things need to be washed around here. A lot.

  39. Rebecca says:

    I use mine on the “throne” I created for our cat, Tuck. Put a piece of foam on an old “halacious” mosaic coffee table, covered it with fabric and put the Ikea Sheepskin on top . . . the old boy loves it and it looks good too!

  40. Brenda says:

    Mine are on my 2 Windsor chairs for the `cats`comfort and vacuumed often…my husband uses one to prevent `chafing`on long motorcycle trips, he is beyond the stage of wanting to be one of the cool bikers…. I want a black one.

  41. Cindy Marlow says:

    Congratulations for currently being in first place! I wish I could vote again…one point isn’t nearly enough margin for my comfort.

    • Karen says:

      Cindy – Don’t worry about it … you’ll have plenty of time to vote next week. THis is just the preliminaries to narrow down the top 10. Next week is the “real” voting. So … you’ll all have to do it again. ~ karen

  42. Mary says:

    font for “Sheepskin” in the title? Enquiring ass-heads want to know.

  43. it makes a great groundsheet if you’re camping or got people on a sleepover and short of beds (for kids)

  44. Anemone says:

    #473…wow…the pictures look lovely. I just love your house. O boy…cats that think they are perfectly hidden. Cute. Cleo really does snuggle with that doesn’t he…haha

  45. lori says:

    lol we call it a “tv box” go figure.not even sure how we came up with that. but a converter? lol

  46. Susan says:

    Voted yesterday for you Karen! Yes people, it’s neck and neck – go vote: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/best-diy-blog-nominations-the-homies-2012-166618

  47. Meg says:

    #461! Finally voted, ’cause ya made it eeeeasy. booya. You’re #2 now by 7 votes… zomg!

    Who are those bower jerks? Honestly who has to replace a gfci outlet for another gfci outlet. And drywall? I only want to see DIY stuff on HARD to do things. Or interesting things. Or things covered in plaster, lath, or sheepskins.

  48. Cindy says:

    I love mine too! I sleep on it. It’s in my bed. Nice and cozy. Winter AND summer.
    My old one drapes over my ottoman.
    Baaaaa. Baaaaa.

  49. Marti says:

    I had one of those, not from Ikea, for several years. I never answered the question “how does one keep this clean?”

    How do you answer that question, Karen?
    Btw, “ass-head” is totally Canook, you know that, right?

    • Karen says:

      Marti – If by “Canook” you mean, funny, then yes.

      • Marti says:

        I mean I have never heard an American or anyone else for that matter, call someone an Ass-head. It’s entirely a Canadian put-down… er, endearment. You meant it as an endearment, right?

        And don’t avoid the question:How do you keep a white sheepskin white, if you use them as rugs? Your feet are clean but they have natural oils and the Ass-head… is he really that spotless/pure?

        • Karen says:

          Firstly – I’ve only ever heard one other person use the word asshead and he was my boss. He was also Canadian. And therefore funny. I don’t clean the sheepskins. I vacuum them the odd time and that’s about it. You could possibly have them dry cleaned? Since mine aren’t down as rugs very often, it’s not much of an issue. Plus I’m pure, the fella is pure, the cats are pure and we don’t let the chickens in the upstairs.

        • AmieM says:

          This made me giggle. On my mom’s side, Jack-ass is a term of endearment, and how we say I love you.

    • Laura says:

      Throw ’em in a washing machine & hang dry.

      • Karen says:

        Seriously? That frightens me. I .. I … that frightens me. Maybe I could find a miniature sheepskin at the dollar store to try. I have washed my suede chaps before though … ~ karen

        • Laura says:

          I won’t point out the obvious (it’s a sheepskin that spent it’s early life standing in the rain) but will say that I wash mine all the time and they look brand new.

        • Karen says:

          LOL. I know! But you can’t wash a fur coat in the washing machine! Also the suede does get a bit crispy. Doesn’t stay soft and drapey. At least that’s what I’ve found with chamois and my chaps, but I’m very VERY tempted to try it. I ruined a silk top this way you know! ~ karen

        • Laura says:

          Well, the backs do get a bit stiff.

        • Hey Karen,
          Since you are a horse person I won’t explain all the details here. Having had real sheepskin fuzzies for my horse’s grazing muzzle and girth cover, I can tell you they do wash and yes the leather gets crusty – but it took several washings. You could try saddle soap/conditioner on the leather part. Do it before the leather actually dries out though – supposedly at the time the suppleness is at the point you’d want it to be. Or maybe just a touch drier.

          Halter fuzzy leather parts are not all that accessible, so I didn’t do that but it’s worth a shot. A single washing should not wreck it but several, without conditioning will. The fur part stays nice and you can comb it or work it with your fingers.

        • Karen says:

          Hmm. Well, it’s been confirmed by Laura that the sheepskin underside will get a bit crispy, and since I like how they drape on things (as I don’t normally use them as a rug) I’m not gonna risk it. No need for me anyway. They’re really just acting as an armrest and a bum cushion. ~ karen

        • su says:

          best to hand wash or on gentle in washing machine with eucalyptus based soap or detergent anything aimed at woolen clothing then air dry for a day or two it is great baby gift here the babies sleep so soundly on them in australia

        • Karen says:

          Hi Su – I took the plunge a few months ago and threw them in the washing machine on hand wash. I pulled them out and laid them down to air dry. They turned out perfectly! The one thing I did do was to pull and squish the leather underneath as it was drying to prevent it from going stiff. Worked like a charm. I was shocked. ~ karen!

        • Tracey says:

          Yes, Karen don’t do it. I put one of my ikea sheepskins in the washer on super gentle (front load)and it shredded to bits. my hubby has a washable suede shirt, so I thought the sheepskin would be alright. My dogs claimed the sheepskins as their own personal bed, so the ended up getting Bloodhound drool on them. Kinda yucky. They looked so damn cute with all their wrinkly goodness all snuggled up, I didn’t have the heart to get them off. So, I just bought a few more.
          Thanks for the tips!

  50. Jamieson says:

    You have opened the floodgates for comments about the term “converter”. I’m calling it now!
    My house: remote.
    My parents: gadget, channel changer

    • Karen says:

      OMG. Didn’t even *think* of that. You’re right. I should go delete that word right now so as not to distract from the day long photoshoot of Ikea Sheepskins I did.

      • Caroline says:

        Didn’t even know wtf that was when you said it!

        I call it a “clicker” which I’ve gotten a lot of grief for.

        • Christi says:

          I grew up calling it a “wand.”
          It sort of makes sense seeing as it must have seemed pretty magical at first!

        • Tinga says:

          Thanks Jamieson! I didn’t know what it was either. We call it the “tv thingy” and my blind asshead loses it all the time instead of keeping it where it belongs. (hmmm, maybe I’m the asshead!)

          Great post! I love my Ikea sheepskin and I think I have to get some more.

        • Cyn says:

          Didn’t know what the hell a converter was either bahahahah. I call it a remote control. And yeah, my guy complains because I always put it on the tv console. He says that him getting up from the couch to get it is like living in the past when people had to get up to turn the tv on.

        • Jeanette says:

          In our house it’s called “the remote of power!”

      • Tracey says:

        Hi Karen,
        This post was hilarious. “IKEA hotdog is my spirit animal”. I see a post called ode the the ikea hotdog…will read that next.
        I think “converter” is a Canadian thing? We’ve always called it that. I did however get teased really badly by a neighbour last week who is around 30, (I’m 51). I was visiting and asked for the converter – “Converter…what the hell…are you still living in 1975”!!!! I’ll always call it that I guess. Remember when the first “Converter” came out. A box on top of the TV that you could slide a little thingy to change the channel….then they add the wired “converter” so you could stay in your chair and change the channel. You just had to make sure you tucked the wire under the rug so no one would trip. Thanks for the chuckles this morning! I blame you for always being late for work now.

      • Janet says:

        I have just bought two Ikea sheepskins and they smell awful. How to get rid of their odor?

        • Karen says:

          Really? Are they natural or dyed? I’d just leave them outside for a bit and if that doesn’t work you can wash them in the washing machine. Use cold water and a detergent for natural products. The only problem with washing the is the suede back gets a bit crispy so you have to bend it and work at it to soften it up a bit once it’s dried out. ~ karen!

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