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How to bind the ends of a carpet remnant

Updated February 21, 2017

Nothing warms a room like the look of carpet; and nothing warms a homeowner's heart like a bargain. Binding the ends of a carpet remnant add good looks to your floor at only part of the cost of wall-to-wall or prefabricated area rugs. Many carpet retailers and home centres offer professional binding, usually priced by the foot. To save even more money, learn about the methods and materials available to those who have only a single rug to bind. Methods are ranked from easy to somewhat strenuous, and your choice should be based on how much traffic and wear you can anticipate for your rug.

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  1. Unroll your remnant and trim any loose threads with scissors.

  2. Lay your remnant face down on your work surface.

  3. Run a bead of hot glue all the way across the cut ends of the remnant. Let glue cool and dry completely, and lay the rug. This quick method works well in areas of very light traffic or with very inexpensive carpet you may be using for a year or two. With time, a few threads may fray; if so, trim them and anchor the ends with a dot of hot glue.

  4. Measure either just the cut ends of your remnant or, for a more finished and permanent look, all four sides of the carpet. Record your measurements in inches, and add 6 inches as insurance that you have enough. This will allow you to curve binding around corners if you wish.

  5. Apply self-adhesive binding, following package directoins. Essentially, what you are doing is attaching the self-adhesive part of the binding to the back of your rug. That will leave a rim of edging right next to the edges of your carpet.

  6. Attach the right-side binding strip to the edge of your rug with small dots of hot glue. The results will look as though you sewn a binding on the rug, although the process is much quicker than sewing and easier on your hands. This method should be effective for moderate and heavy foot traffic, so long as you check occasionally and reglue any places where carpet and binding have parted.

  7. Measure either just the cut sides or all four sides of the rug, depending on how you want it to look. A four-sided binding will look more finished. Allow an extra 6 inches of binding in case of unforeseen problems. Rug binding usually comes in a number of colours. Thread a large-eyed needle with heavyweight cotton; linen or jute thread are most frequently used to sew rug binding.

  8. Apply a coat of carpenter's or all-purpose glue to the cut edges of the remnant with your paintbrush. Working slowly, turn under the edge of your carpet tape and use the needle and thread to whipstitch it to the right side of the rug canvas, creating a border of 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.

  9. Turn your rug face down. Fold and trim extra and overlapping pieces of tape at the corners. Using your large-eyed needle and the sane thread, anchor the edges of the tape to the back of the canvas with large criss-crossing stitches or any other stitch that will hide your work once the rug is laid face up. This binding method is the most time-consuming of the three and hardest on your hands, but it is known for its durability.

  10. Tip

    In case jute or linen thread is hard to find in the colour you need, experiment with clear nylon sewing filament or, in a pinch, light nylon fishing line.


    Allow plenty of time to do an old-fashioned sewn binding. Home sewing machines are only very seldom able to handle the weight and other demands of this project, and hand-sewing binding on a large remnant can be very hard on your hands.

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Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Adhesive rug binding
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Carpenter's or all-purpose glue (not washable school glue)
  • 1/2 inch paint brush
  • Fabric carpet tape
  • Large needle
  • Linen or jute thread

About the Author

Janet Beal has written for various websites, covering a variety of topics, including gardening, home, child development and cultural issues. Her work has appeared on early childhood education and consumer education websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harvard University and a Master of Science in early childhood education from the College of New Rochelle.

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