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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. Karen says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. Laura says:

    Throw ’em in a washing machine & hang dry.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Laura says:

    Well, the backs do get a bit stiff.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. lori says:

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

  17. 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

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

  19. Mary says:

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. cred says:

    this is a close race and I don’t like it. Everytime I’ve looked, Karen has been no. 1 but Bower Power is always close. I don’t like those assheads!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Karen says:

    Mary – Edwardian Script! Assshead. ~ karen

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. Karen says:

    Now, now. Let’s play nice folks. The fella’s the only asshead around here today. ~ karen

  31. 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!

  32. 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

  33. Melanie says:

    I was vote #507. Cheers!

  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. 😉

  35. 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

  36. 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”.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!!

  39. 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!

  40. 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

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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…. 🙂

  44. Roxanne Lucchesi says:

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

  45. 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.

  46. 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….

  47. 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

  48. 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!

  49. 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..

  50. Karin says:

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

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