It’s time to hang up lights, garlands, and stockings with care, but if you’re renting or simply don’t want to leave lasting holes, knowing how to decorate for the holidays without damage you’ll regret can take a little consideration beforehand. No matter what decorations you’re putting up, we’ve got tips and tricks to ensure that you can deck the halls without wrecking them.
Hang Things From Existing Railings & Banisters
Whether you’re decorating your front porch, the kitchen, stairs or wherever you want to bring some holiday joy, you have plenty of existing items that you can easily wrap things around, so take advantage of them! Many garlands include existing lights, or you can wrap strands around garlands, hang ornaments from it directly, or more.
To keep it in place, try:
- gear ties
- cable organizer ties
- reusable zip ties
- paper clips or binder clips
Hang from the Curtain Rod with EXTREME Care
When it comes to curtain rods, weight is an important factor. Ribbons and lights aren’t heavy, but sometimes garland strands can be, so be careful. Select lightweight decor if you go this route, and if it even looks like it’s slightly bending, that’s way too much weight and should be removed immediately. If at all possible, only put weight on brackets secured to the wall… or maybe instead, try this:
Use Tension Instead of Holes for Decorations
Add a temporary tension rod inside the window frame, doorway or arch! This allows you to add your own horizontal surfaces to hang things from without adding a single hole to the wall or risking damage to rods.
There are even beautiful and decorative tension rods designed just for this purpose that have padded ends to protect your walls and door frames.
Utilize Flat Surfaces and Heavy Things
On fireplace mantles, we’re used to putting down lighted garlands, but that technique can work in many places, and you can even use it to your advantage to hang things from it.
My favorite spot for a lighted garland is actually across the top of my kitchen cabinets, but this could work across bookshelves, sideboards, windowsills or more. If you want to hang ornaments or even stockings from it, you absolutely can. Just tie a decorative ribbon at intervals across the garland, pull them back and set heavier decor on top of them to hold it entire garland and hanging elements in place.
Many hardware stores sell hooks designed for mantles that have a long, flat top. All it takes is a little weight on top and that’s secured for your hanging needs.
Use Command Hooks & Suction Cups
There is a wide variety of temporary hanging options and you may find that your needs are well-met simply with some adhesive Command Hooks or even suction cups with hooks. While you obviously want to be careful not to remove paint or wallpaper with sticky backings, and some very textured (or newly painted) walls may not hold them, it’s certainly worth checking out if you have an area lacking any room for other solutions.
Use Clips on Gutters, Siding and Bricks
When hanging decor outside, fortunately there are already plenty of options for securing lights. Between plastic gutter clips that just slide on and off, or even brick and siding clips, you can secure anything you want, practically wherever you want without any nail holes.
Really, the biggest risk to these is falling off a ladder (please don’t).
Or Skip Hanging Things Outside Altogether
Modern decor has gotten so much cooler for those who want to avoid complicated lights.
Light projectors shine on your house with everything from snowmen with cute messages, falling snow, and sparkling lights. There’s a wide variety available, including yard stakes, tripods and they’re REALLY affordable.
Yard decor is obviously another simple way to get a lot out of your holiday decor without causing any damage. Simply set them up, and plug them in! Inflatables have gained a lot of popularity as well and many have their own effects and even lights. Just exercise caution and don’t overload your circuits and never ever “daisy chain” extension cords (plugging extension into extension).
Get an Over-the-Door Wreath Hanger or Use a Ribbon
Wreaths look beautiful on doors, and fortunately there are so many options for wreath hangers that simply go over the top of a doorframe (and still allow it to close on most). If you just can’t find one you like (or don’t want to buy one), you can also simply attach a Command Hook upside-down on the other side of the door, hook a ribbon around it and put that up and over the top of the door for a beautiful and functional way to hang your wreath, sign or other decorations.
Use Fake Candles for Flickering & Colorful Lights
Aside from traditional light strings, there are so many options for fake lights that look beautiful. Fire is a huge risk this time of year, and fake candles are a wonderful way to add lots of color, light, ambiance and not risk your home. There are even beautiful bubbling light ornaments much like when we were younger that don’t get hot but look amazing.
Anywhere you have a flat surface, consider fake candles that often don’t even require a cord for power!
Swap Out Light Bulbs for Colors & Cool Effects
On the same note, anywhere you have a light (especially your front porch), you can add in a special holiday lightbulb! I’m sure you’ve seen porch lights in green, red, or maybe black lights for Halloween. There are even beautiful bulbs that play music via Bluetooth and have effects timed to the music!
Make Sure Your Decorations are Kid & Pet Safe Too
While not exactly the same thing as causing property damage, there are a lot of hidden hazards with decorations for your children and pets, so while we encourage do you some reading if you have either to make sure they’re safe, here’s some quick tips to making sure you’re not accidentally risking hurting family members, furry and otherwise.
Be Aware of Lead
Certain colored giftwraps, foiled wrapping paper and many holiday light strings contain lead or have a lead coating. Wash your hands after touching any lights, and don’t let small children chew on or play with them. If you have to have that photo of the animal or baby with lights, be extra careful to choose ones that have no lead.
Don’t Use Tinsel Around Small Children or Pets
If swallowed, it can cause an emergency situation in the intestines and if you ever see it sticking out after being ingested, never ever pull but seek emergency medical help.
Watch Out For Small Batteries & Other Things That Can Be Swallowed
Many flameless candles and musical cards contain tiny button batteries, which require a call to 911 if swallowed. Many other items we use in decoration, such as tiny metal hooks, glass ornaments, gift tags and tape can be incredibly dangerous if swallowed as well. If you’ve got little mouths around, just exercise extreme caution and watch out for anything potentially hazardous.