If you have a remnant of carpet that matches or complements your home décor, you can make an attractive area rug out of it. The edges of a remnant will ravel and fray unless you finish it with a procedure called binding. Professional carpet binders are expensive and may not be worth the expense for a small piece. However, you can bind the edges yourself with carpet binding found at hardware stores and home improvement centers. In addition, you will have complete control over the size and shape of your new area rug.
Cut your carpet to have straight, clean edges with a sharp carpet knife. Remove any frays or raveling. Use a T-square for 90-degree corners. If you have curves, make them as gradual as possible.
Cut the end of the carpet binding straight. Pull back about 6 inches of the protective tape from the adhesive flange on the roll of carpet binding. Start in the middle of one side of your carpet. Slide the exposed adhesive strip of the binding under 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.
Continue removing the protective tape in 6-inch increments, pressing the carpet to the adhesive flange and working your way around the carpet.
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 your 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.
Finish the binding when you reach the beginning by extending the end past the beginning before you remove the protective tape. Cut the end of the binding flush with the beginning. 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.
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.