Inside: How to attach holiday decorations like garland, wreaths, ornaments, and lights to the mantel, staircase, doors, windows, and more with the least frustration and damage! ➡
There’s nothing like putting the time and care into making sure your Christmas decor looks just right just to hear that sickening crash. And finding all that work on the ground halfway through the holiday season.
Make sure you’re prepared with the right tools and tricks to attach all of your Christmas decor with the least amount of damage to your walls, doors, and trim. Decorating will be easier, faster, and less frustrating!
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With very few products in your hall-decking toolkit you can hang almost any of your holiday decor (I’m looking at you zip ties and Command hooks). Romy may have wished she invented Post-Its but I wish I had come up with Command hooks. This is not even a sponsored post – just a shout out to a little innovation that saves my walls from a ton of nail holes.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to easily find links for any of the products mentioned that you’ll need for your holiday hanging.🧰
How to hang garland.
Garland is so easy to put almost anywhere. Hang it directly by its main trunk or stem or fashion a hanger by attaching a zip tie, a loop of twine, or floral wire to it.
On a mantel.
The secret to hanging garland on a mantel without damage or nail holes is those wonderful Command Hooks.
First, choose the right size Command hook for your job. And the correct ones will depend on how large and heavy your garland is.
My faux garland is multiple strands of different greens and is fairly bulky. So for these, I use medium Command Hooks. If you have a thin, lightweight garland, you might want to use clear Command wire toggle hooks that are easier to camouflage.
Next, place a Command hook on each end of the fireplace mantel, with the hook facing away from you. (If you were looking down at the mantle, it would be in its normal direction.) Follow the directions on the box for attaching the hook to the surface. And make sure you don’t skip its full “curing” time to get good adhesion!
Then securely place the main branch of the garland into the hooks. Fluff and arrange the greens to cover the Command hook.
The placement of the garland on the hooks will depend on the look you want:
- A garland swag or one big swoop like the photo above
- Straight across the mantel
- Two swoops with a third Command hook in the middle
SH&H Tip: If you’d like the garland to be more on the front of the mantel or you think it might pop out of the hook, make a loop hanger around the main branch with floral wire, twine, zip tie, or a large paper clip, and hook it onto the Command hook.
On a staircase.
There are lots of available products out there to attach garland to a staircase railing without damage or scratching. Which product is best for you will depend on how big and heavy your garland is and where you want to hang it on the stairs.
The most common garland hangers for the staircase are:
- Greenery garland ties
- Zip ties, clear cable ties, or clear Tie-It-Alls
- Clear medium Command hooks
- Pipe cleaners
- Decorative garland ties
The only tools that look semi-attractive are the ribbon and the garland ties, so after attaching the garland with any of the other products, go back and hide the hangers by bending and fluffing branches over them. Or cover them with beautiful ribbon and a bow and they’ll fade into the background!
Any of the ties or pipe cleaners on the list will work for these different ways to hang a garland on the staircase:
- Straight on top of the banister rail. Secure it with a tie about every three feet.
- Swagged and attached to the banister rail at the points.
- Right underneath the banister rail and attached to it every three feet.
- At the bottom and attached around the spindles.
My preferred method is using good old zip ties. We always have a big bag on hand in the garage because we use them for so many things. And in my experience, they’ve never scratched our stained wood railing.
Over the front door.
For hanging garland over and around a door on wood or a smooth surface, the job is easy with some outdoor Command hooks.
On brick, hang up the garland with some of these brick clips.
Or invest in a tension rod garland hanger which are good for any house, even brick or stucco. These adjust to any size door frame, inside the house or out, and the garland can be draped over it.
On a wall or vent hood.
How do you hang garland easily on those vertical surfaces without making holes – especially the vent hood that you paid so much for or that’s made of metal?
Those trusty Command hooks to the rescue again!
I hang two medium Command hooks on each side of my vent hood, where I definitely don’t want to see nails or nail holes the rest of the year. My lightweight garland made from greenery picks sits in the hooks perfectly. Then the adhesive peels right off come January.
On a round mirror.
Round mirrors are having a moment. And they are one of the best places to add some lightweight greenery above a fireplace or an entry table. Simply use either double-sided adhesive grip tape or picture hanging Command strips on the wall around the section of the mirror where you want the garland and stick it on.
Or place these Command cable bundlers onto the wall and wrap them around the Christmas garland.
How to hang wreaths.
On a door.
Hang a wreath straight onto the door with a Command hook (a nail wouldn’t even be an option on our glass doors). For the front door an outdoor Command Hook will stand up to the weather better.
Or use a decorative wreath hanger that hooks over the door.
We really wreath up the exterior for the holidays with one hung on every French door on the front of the house (with a Command hook):
You can see all of our outdoor Christmas decor from last year here.
Do you want to hang a wreath with a ribbon? Place a Command hook upside down on the inside of the door up by the top. Then loop a ribbon around the wreath, bring it over the door, and hook it over the interior hook. Add a special finishing touch by making a bow to pretty up the hook inside! (This is also a great way to hang a wreath on a screen door.)
For interior doors, use a staple gun to attach the ribbon to the top of the door. No one will ever see the holes way up there!
To hang wreaths on outdoor windows, use an outdoor clear command hook directly on the glass.
And on interior windows, you can hang wreaths on the glass in the same way as outside. But it looks so much more festive to hang wreaths by ribbon to dress up those views!
The easiest way does involve making a small hole but it’s not in a noticeable location and quickly fixed with some paint. Loop the ribbon around the wreath and attach it to the top of the window underneath the ribbon with a small thumbtack. If you look closely above, you can see the tack, but I bet you didn’t notice it before!
You can see all of my family room and kitchen decked out for a cozy Christmas here.
To hang a wreath on the mirror glass, I use a Command hook. It’s hidden behind the wreath and doing the heavy lifting. This ribbon’s job is just to look pretty.
On chair backs or bar stools.
For open chair backs, attach the wreath with floral wire or hang it with ribbon. On upholstered chairs, loop a pretty ribbon through the wreath and attach it to the chair fabric with a couple of straight pins near the chair seam where they won’t be noticeable.
On cabinet doors.
Make your kitchen cabinets Pinterest-worthy by dressing up the doors with mini wreaths and ribbon. Hang a small Command hook inside the cabinet door upside down to hook the wreath ribbon on. It’s totally hidden!
Or if your wreaths are light enough, there’s another easy way. Forgo the command hook and attach the ribbon ends to the inside of the door with several pieces of easily removable painter’s tape.
Floating in the air.
Suspend a lightweight Christmas wreath in the air by hanging it with some clear fishing line. Either tie it to something or attach it to the ceiling with a thumbtack or adhesive hook (mind the recommended weight and surface guidelines).
How to hang Christmas ornaments.
On the Christmas tree.
The best way to hang ornaments (and the way the pros do it) on either a real or artificial Christmas tree is to ditch the string or ornament hook that they come with and use floral wire ornament hangers. Loop the hanger through the top of the ornament and then wire it directly up against the branch for a designer-decorated tree look.
For large and heavy ornaments, choose sturdy branches and/or wire the ornament to the branch closer to the trunk.
SH&H Tip: Want a great idea to save your back? Attach the tree topper bow to the top section with zip ties before putting it on the tree. It keeps you from having to reach overhead to the top of the tree to secure it afterward.
From the ceiling or chandelier.
Get out the fishing line again for this stunning holiday look. Tie the fishing line to the chandelier or use adhesive light clips on the ceiling to hang a beautiful collection of Christmas tree ornaments from.
How to hang stockings.
You have unlimited choices in decorative stocking hangers. But if you want to hang the stocking by the chimney with care (pun intended) without those, try one of these ways:
Tie a ribbon that matches your decor on some of the stockings for a pretty designer look!
How to hang lights.
Around a door, mantel, or window.
Easily add the twinkle of string lights to these features or anywhere you want to add some holiday magic by hanging them with these adhesive light clips.
On the house.
To hang outdoor Christmas lights on the house roofline, either use outdoor adhesive light clips under the gutter or gutter clips. If you have a gutter guard, make sure you use all-purpose gutter light clips to hang lights from the shingles or under the gutter.
You can hang lights on brick! Hang a light strand here with some brick clips.
Or many swear by hanging the C9 type of lights on brick with the help of a hot glue gun. Apply a little bit to each light bulb base and stick to the brick. The best part is the glue will peel right off the brick when you’re done! (Don’t try this method on painted brick or stucco).
On posts, pillars, and columns.
Attach the strings of lights as you wrap them at the top, bottom, and anywhere in between with those handy dandy outdoor adhesive light clips – they seem to be one of the must-haves for your holiday toolkit!
On a front porch, balcony, or deck railing.
For iron fencing, zip ties make it so easy. We attach icicle lights on our fence and balconies with them and it’s the easiest light installation we’ve ever had (and with the biggest impact)!
If you have wide railing that a zip-tie won’t fit around, there’s a tool for that – try these plastic deck clips.
In the yard.
And if you’d like to bring your outdoor decor to the yard, line the edges or the flower beds in lights, with some of these yard stakes.
The holiday hanging toolkit.
This time of year is so busy, nobody has time to redo what they’ve already done by having to rehang decorations (cue an unhinged Clark Griswold cutting down a tree in the yard after theirs meets its demise).
Stay in the holiday spirit by being prepared with these:
Happy Holiday Decorating!
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