The Infamous Faux Zebra Rug DIY

I’m incredibly cruel and teased you with peeks of a metallic zebra rug that I DIY’d when helping my girlfriend redesign her home office, back in August! I feel bad for holding out so long, but I originally had wanted to make a few more and host a giveaway (which I still might do), but time got away from me.  So, today I’ll share the tutorial so you can make your own!

I was quite fond of the faux zebra rugs crafted from drop cloths that hit the DIY stages a while ago.  I  thought about making my own but decided against it since I figured they would dirty easily, not to mention drop cloth fabric isn’t heavy and wouldn’t lay flat like a true rug would.

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes

When deciding to make this rug I knew the only way for it to be a success if it met these two criteria: heavy in weight and easy to clean.  The perfect medium hit me as I was browsing the fabric store – vinyl! It was perfect, a fabric that is wipe-able, durable, and heavy enough to lay flat like a true rug.  The quality of vinyl these days is very impressive.  For this rug in particular I chose some vinyl with the color and texture of linen, but I’ve also made one for myself from smooth white vinyl, so any vinyl of your fancy would work perfectly!

Materials Needed:

  • 2 yards of Kraft paper
  • Scissors
  • 2 yards of upholstery width vinyl (54″ wide)
  • 2 Krylon gold leaf pens

STEP 1 Sketch out the outline of your zebra rug on your Kraft paper.  You really only need to do this for one side of the rug since you can flip over and use for the other side.  I used this image when sketching out my zebra rug, as well as for the stripes.

STEP 2 Flip your vinyl over wrong side up, lay your Kraft paper stencil down and trace the zebra outline.  Flip the Kraft stencil over to the opposite side of the vinyl and trace.  Then, cut out the zebra form.

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes


STEP 3 Flip your vinyl right side up.  Lay your zebra stencil on top of the vinyl and begin drawing the outlines of the zebra’s stripes with the gold leaf pen on the opposite side, mirroring the stencil.  You can fill in the stripes as you go, or outline first then fill in after. I worked a hybrid method as I drew the stripes.

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes

Don’t worry one bit about being perfect, the great thing about zebra stripes is they are unpredictable and weird, so you really can’t mess up.

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes

STEP 4 Now that you have the left side complete, remove the Kraft stencil and freehand the stripes on the right side.

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes


Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes

The gold leaf pen dries quickly and is permanent as far as I’ve experienced, but if you want you can seal the rug by spraying a coat of clear acrylic spray paint as a protectant.

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes

The options are endless for this rug! If gold isn’t your thing, try a black Sharpie or a Montana Cans paint pens, which comes in all colors of the rainbow including gold and copper (and are CRAZY permanent, ask my husband what happened to our brand new sheets when I accidentally shook the pen too hard.  Oops!)

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes

And there you have it! Who would have thought the secret to a killer faux zebra rug is vinyl?

Faux Zebra Rug DIY | brittanyMakes


  • Ceci Bean

    That is pretty rad! I assumed you had screen printed it or something.

    • brittanymakes

      I would love to learn how to screen print just so i can produce more of these bad boys!

  • Cassie Bustamante

    that is such an awesome idea!!!! looks fab!

    • brittanymakes


  • Jennifer@TheChroniclesofHome

    Love this so much!! I’ve been eyeing vinyl lately for a few projects, you’re right that there are so many great-quality ones available now!

  • Momista Beginnings

    AMAZING! I really do love this. Thanks so much for sharing. Yours looks oh so lovely 🙂

  • Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

    Love this & your use of products are really unique. The weight of the drop cloth is what worried me about the idea in the past & I know you have to use poly on it to protect it. Would love to try this version!
    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  • Comfy Cozy Couture

    This is genius!! It turned out so great, looks beautiful!!

    • brittanymakes

      thank you!

  • girl….you are absolutely amazing! I LOVE this!!!!

    • brittanymakes

      Thanks lauren!

  • Julia @cuckoo4design

    I think I might have to add this to my list. You know I’ve been obsessed with this rug. So good!

  • Tara

    Have been waiting for this tutorial…and it was worth it! Excellent faux zebra rug and I’m definitely going to try it.

  • This is fantastic Brittany! A stroke of creative genius!

    I’m wondering where you found the vinyl and how much it cost? The possibilities really are endless and I might try making a runner with the vinyl since I can’t find the right size anywhere…

    Thanks for sharing!
    Annie XO

  • I would never have thought to use vinyl, I think I need to use my copper montana cans paint pen to make one of these! 🙂

    • brittanymakes

      oh you definitely should! I didn’t have the montana pens at the time of the DIY, but i’m using them next for sure

      • fiorela

        Hola brittany quisiera saber que textura de vinyl as usado para hacer esta alfombra de ánimal prints metálico y si podrías darme el enlace del vinyl en concreto Muchas gracias y espero que me puedas responder mi mail es

  • sarah m dorsey

    Brilliant to use vinyl!! Looks SO good!! I’d love to try this sometime!

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  • Cindy @Made2style

    This is just DIY at its best!

  • Kris {Driven by Décor}

    Unbelievable! Looks amazing!

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  • That looks amazing!! How long does it take?

  • I stayed up until midnight Last night making this for a “Luxe Safari” baby shower I’m designing. I used suede backed with felt and ended up painting it with gold craft paint. It’s so gorgeous that I don’t want to give it to my client!!! Thanks for posting such a great DIY, Brittany.

    • brittanyMakes

      That sounds amazing! I’m happy to hear suede works just as well, now you have to make yourself one 🙂

    • Drea

      Where did you get the black suede backed w felt?

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