From wreaths to string lights, indoors and out, holiday decorations can be a hassle to put up—and they can damage your walls, siding, and doors with unnecessary (and permanent) hardware. Instead, here’s how to decorate easily and breezily without the added holes and permanent hooks, while also better protecting the decorations themselves from the elements.
Use removable hooks
Rather than using nails or permanent hooks that will leave holes in the wall, try a removable, stick-on hook. There are a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles that are made for both indoors and outdoors and have varying weight limits. If you’re finding it challenging to get that decor in just the right spot, adjustable hooks can be repositioned up to three times in the first 20 minutes to help you achieve the perfect placement.
In addition to adhesive hooks, there are some clever ways to hang decorations without poking any actual holes: You can get temporary hooks for bricks that are spring loaded and completely removable. And for a door wreath, consider an over-the-door hanger, eliminating the need for putting a hook on the surface of your door at all.
For railings, branches, and poles, many people find zip ties or twist ties helpful. If you’re wrapping an object with lights or garland (or both), clear Tie-It-Alls are the best option. They’re easy to hide, you can string multiple ties together for longer length, they’re soft and won’t scratch surfaces, they’re easy to use, and they’re reusable. These ties can help make installation and removal less of a hassle because they require no tools and will help prevent tangling.
Use fishing line
For Christmas trees, clear fishing line can be a life saver. Create a stable tree indoors by stretching some fishing line between the trunk of your tree and a removable hook on the wall in at least two places, forming a triangle. For an outdoor display, creating guy-wires with fishing line and tent stakes can help keep your decorations upright. Attach the fishing line to a stable point as high as possible on your decoration, and then loop it to a tent stake in the ground a few feet from the base of your decor, pull tight, and tie off. Repeat this step at least three times for a stable, wind-resistant effect.
You can also use fishing line in a similar fashion to stabilize wreaths by attaching fishing line on both sides of the wreath and attaching to an outdoor removable hook on each side of the wreath.
Protect your paint
To prevent damage to your paint, you can attach ground cloth, burlap, or felt to the backs of your wreaths and other decor before you hang them. This will help prevent the sharp parts of the wreath from poking or scratching your paint, and it will also cut down on the transfer of sap to your surfaces. Use the clear tie wraps mentioned earlier to attach fabric for simple installation and removal. If you’re using a ladder against the side of your house, you can use foam pool noodles slit down the middle to avoid scraping the paint with the ladder.
Prevent water damage
To keep Christmas trees from leaking water onto your floors, you can lay down a tarp before setting up your stand. Once your tree is up and the tree skirt is in place, trim the tarp back so it is hidden under the skirt. Using a watering can or a funnel to water your tree will make it easier to aim, eliminating spills. The tarp will also help catch needles, so it will make cleanup easier as well.
Remember that with electric lighting, there is always a risk of fire. Make sure to read the packages on your lights to avoid overloading circuits, and don’t exceed the number of strings per single outlet advised in the directions. Check your cords for wear and tear, and always discard any items with damaged wiring (or have it repaired by a professional). Don’t use indoor lights outside, and always make sure your plugs are snugged together tightly. Keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case so you can keep the fire in the hearth where it belongs, and enjoy all the warmest tidings of the season.