A leftover carpet remnant that matches or complements home decor can be turned into an attractive area rug. The edges of a remnant will ravel and fray unless bound. Professional carpet binding can be expensive, but you can bind the edges yourself with supplies from a hardware or home improvement store.
Trim the Carpet Remnant
Cut the remnant with a sharp utility knife so the carpet piece has straight, clean edges. Use a long straightedge to help cut straight lines, slicing along the edge of the carpet piece. Remove any frays or loose fibers. Use a T-square to plot out 90-degree corners. Cut the remnant atop layers of corrugated cardboard to protect any surface beneath the project area.
Apply the Binding Tape
Cut the end of the carpet binding tape straight. Pull back about 6 inches of the protective paper from the adhesive area on the roll of carpet binding. Start in the middle of one side of the remnant. Slide the exposed sticky side of the binding strip the edge of the carpet and press the carpet firmly onto the flange. The edge of the carpet should be flush against the raised part of the carpet binding material.
Continue removing the protective paper from the sticky binding tape in 6-inch increments, pressing the carpet to the adhesive flange and working your way around the carpet piece.
Dealing With Corners
Bind outside and inside corners by extending the binding tape past the corner. Remove about 2 inches of the protective tape. Cut the adhesive flange up to the raised border using the unbound edge of the carpet as a guide. Bend the binding around the corner and press the exposed adhesive onto the back of the carpet. Make a series of cuts every inch in the adhesive strip to ease the binding onto curves in the carpet.
Finishing the Binding
Finish the binding when you've worked all the way around the carpet remnant. Cut the end of the binding material so it is flush with the beginning section already in place on the remnant. Remove the rest of the protective tape and press the carpet in place. Put a small dab of hot glue on the end and press it into the beginning to seal the ends together.
Some binding material is braided and may unravel where cut. Before cutting it, wrap a piece of cellophane tape around the rope and cut through the binding in the middle of the tape to keep it together. Do this at both ends. When the hot glue is cool, remove the cellophane tape.
Hot glue can burn skin, so avoid touching it. Work gloves protect hands from hot glue, which can be messy. Avoid touching other areas if glue gets on your gloves or hands, until the glue hardens.
Adding Hot Glue
Place a 1/8-inch bead of hot glue between the edge of the carpet and the raised part of the binding. Use a scrap of 2-by-4 wood to press the binding into the carpet until the glue cools. Work your way around the carpet with the glue until your carpet edges are completely bound.
Karren Doll Tolliver
Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.