How to Finish Carpet Rug Ends

Creating an area rug out of a carpet remnant is well within the reach of most home owners. Perhaps you have had carpet installed recently and now you have several large pieces that seem like such a waste, but you can't really use them with the raw edges. Products are available to finish the raw edges and allow you to use your extra carpet fully. This is a way to keep new materials out of the landfill and to acquire attractive area rugs.

Trim Carpet With Binding Tape

A small area carpet with bound edges
  1. Trim the sides of the carpet so that each side is straight and clean. Select a binding tape in the color that matches the carpet. Binding tape is more expensive to purchase and looks more professional when finished compared to standard carpet tape. Binding tape has a piping edge attached to a flat tape with one side covered with adhesive.

  2. Cut the edge of the binding tape perpendicular to the tape. Peel back the paper edging about 2 inches. Slide the flat fabric side of the tape under the carpet edge half way along the side of the rug. The adhesive should be face up when the carpet is face up. Press the piping snug against the side of the carpet and press the bottom of the carpet into the adhesive.

  3. Peel the backing and glue the binding tape to the carpet until you reach the corner. Cut perpendicular to the edge but do not cut through the piping. Turn the corner with the tape. The piping will bend around the corner. Continue until you reach where you started. Cut the tape to fit and apply hot glue to the ends to press and glue the ends together.

  4. Apply a bead of hot glue between the edge of the carpet and the piping and hold the piping against the carpet until they are stuck together. Continue around the entire carpet.

Trim Carpet With Carpet Tape

  1. Trim the sides of the carpet so that each side is straight and clean. Select a carpet tape in the color and width that matches the carpet. Carpet tapes are no-fray tapes that are designed to edge carpets.

  2. Turn the rug face down. Glue half of the width of the carpet tape evenly along the edge of the carpet. Start half way along one side of the carpet. The excess half should be to the outside, beyond the edge of the carpet. Cut the half of the tape that you are gluing perpendicular to the rug edge at the corners. Turn the corner and continue gluing.

  3. Cut the end when you reach where you started so that the tape overlaps just slightly (less than 1/32 inch). Turn the rug face up.

  4. Hot glue the seam where the beginning and ending of the tape touch. Apply a bead of hot glue along the top, outer half of the tape. Fold the tape over. This should create a bead. Continue around the entire rug. Hot glue the tape where it touches the side of the rug and press the two together. Continue around the entire rug.

  5. Cover the bottom of the rug with muslin if you don't like the rough finish of the existing rug. Use a spray fabric adhesive or carpet glue. Turn the edges of the muslin under or sew the edges before you glue for a clean edge.

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.