Carpet remnants are available aplenty at carpet shops, often for a fair price for the size. A remnant offers an inexpensive alternative to a store-bought area rug. If rolled out on its own, a remnant may look acceptable at first, but its edges may unfurl or shed bits of fiber from time to time. Stick-on carpet binding tape with a roped edge and a few tools are all you will need to turn that remnant into a usable area rug.
Unroll the carpet remnant bottom side up on the floor. Look for a straight factory edge along at least one or two edges of the remnant.
Hold a carpenter's square along one corner of the remnant to see if the corner is square. If not, make a line as near the non-straight edge as possible with a marker, indicating where to slice the remnant to make it square.
Repeat Step 2 along the other corners of the carpet, again using one of the straight sides of the remnant as a starting point. Draw a marker line indicating where to cut the remnant to square it, if not already square.
Place a large sheet of corrugated cardboard or a flattened box on the floor next to the remnant. Slide one of the remnant edges that needs trimming over the cardboard.
Slice the remnant along the line or lines you drew, using the carpenter's square or a straightedge as a guide for the utility knife. Repeat the process as needed on other corners and edges that require squaring and trimming.
Trim stray fibers from the edges of the remnant with scissors. Pull loose fibers from the remnant edges using your hands.
Flip the remnant right-side up. Unroll a portion of the carpet binding tape along the middle of one of the sides of the remnant, finished or rolled edge abutted to the carpet's edge in position to adhere to the remnant.
Remove the sticky backing from several feet of the tape, or long enough to go beyond the edge of one side. Lift the edge of the carpet and slide the tape under it until the roped edge or finished portion of the tape bumps up against the edge of the carpet. Smooth the edge of the carpet down along the edge with your hands to stick it to the binding tape.
Slice through part of the sticky backing and bottom, but not the roping portion, of the tape to wrap it around the corner of the remnant. Remove the sticky backing from the tape and continue along the second edge of the carpet, again leaving enough tape to extend beyond the edge.
Repeat Step 9 until the entire carpet remnant is bound. Cut away excess roping and binding tape so it lines up perfectly with the starting point along the middle of one side, using either scissors or the utility knife.
Apply a dab of hot glue to the edges of the starting and finishing points of the roping or bound edge of the tape to connect them, using care not to get the glue onto the top of the roping or finished edge.
Apply a thin string of hot glue between the roping or finished edge of the carpet tape and the edges of the remnant to adhere the two together from the top. Allow glue to dry completely.