Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to hang holiday decor without damaging your walls

holiday wreath on a black door

The holidays are coming and you may be starting to feel the spirit. But with holiday decor comes installing nails and screws that you’ll have to have to repair in January. Or maybe your rental agreement forbids alterations to the drywall altogether. So how can you deck the halls without wrecking your walls? With alternative fasteners and creative display techniques, you can turn your home into the wonderland of your dreams without causing a holiday hangover. Follow along as we share our top tips and tricks to hang holiday decorations without nails.

Temporary adhesives

For anyone struggling to hang holiday decor, temporary adhesives may be the most versatile option in your toolbox. Durable, temporary adhesives, like 3M Command hooks, strips, and clips have been the go-to products for short-term displays for decades. They are easy to install on most surfaces, securely hold a decent amount of weight, come off cleanly, and are available in a variety of sizes and styles for both indoor and outdoor applications. With so many choices available, be sure to read labels and buy an appropriate type for your project.

Suction hooks

Like temporary adhesives, suction hooks are a quick and easy way to hang lighter pieces of holiday decor. Use them on windows or other impermeable surfaces such as tile or even the side of the fridge to hold wreaths and other holiday decorations. 

Decorative hardware

Decorative, holiday-themed hangers offer another excellent solution to bypass nails. For door wreaths, try an over-the-door wreath hanger. For stockings, check out these chrome stocking holders. Are you managing door-mounted wreaths? Specially designed wreath hangers simply hook over the top of the door to hold the wreath securely in place without fasteners or adhesives. Be sure to choose the appropriate size for your door and wreath so it stays securely in place.

holiday candles and ribbon

Ribbon, string, or wire ties

Attach wreaths and garlands over doors, beneath light fixtures, around columns, or on chair backs with either decorative or hidden ties. Use festive ribbon to tie greenery on indoor fixtures with bows. Garland ties are an easy-to-use, double-duty option for indoor decor. They’re strong enough to hold your garland together, and they blend in to make the connected pieces look seamless. For outdoor decor, use strong plastic cable ties, garden twist ties, or floral wire for added strength and durability against the weather.

A monofilament fishing line is especially useful for hanging decor indoors since it becomes nearly invisible but holds a significant amount of weight. Use it to hang baubles from overhead light fixtures or tree branches.

Tension rods

Tension rods are for more than hanging curtains. Use them to support holiday decor in windows, doorways, and narrow passageways. Tension rods are convenient, temporary supports for stringing lights, hanging a few baubles, or displaying the mistletoe, all without using nails.

Other ways to hang holiday decorations without nails

Picture rail molding is a common fixture in older homes with plaster walls before the days of drywall. This type of crown molding supports specially designed hangers with adjustable-height hooks at the bottom to hold artwork at eye level. If your home has a picture rail, these hangers could make an excellent display tool for holiday decor.

A fireplace mantel often displays stockings, greenery, sculptures, religious elements, and other “tabletop” decor. The same is true of a sparsely populated bookcase or a wall shelf. No hooks, nails, or adhesives are needed.

Display larger pieces, such as framed artwork, on an entertainment center or credenza and simply lean them against the wall. If floor space allows, you can also use an easel to display any large, prominent pieces.

Sometimes only a nail will do

While there are many ways to hang holiday decor without nails, some situations, such as textured or resistant surfaces, heavy decor, or permanent display fixtures, call for nails, wall anchors, or masonry screws. These heavy-duty options are required when, for example, hanging pegboard, corkboard displays, or any mounting where the backing remains but the decor is changeable. When properly installed, permanent hardware can provide a secure connection without defacing the wall. 

For solid brick walls, pre-drill into the mortar lines (never the brick) with a masonry drill bit and install masonry hardware such as Tapcon screws. Hollow walls, such as drywall, paneling, or concrete blocks, require wall anchors with the appropriate weight rating.

While there are certain situations that require traditional fasteners, it is possible to create a festive and unique holiday atmosphere without depending on any hardware.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Wolfe
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mark Wolfe is a freelance writer who specializes in garden, landscaping, and home improvement. After two decades in the…
Sanding, primer, or both? This is how to prepare a wall for painting
Don't skip these important steps before you start your next paint job
Two people painting an interior wall

Painting is the easiest way to transform any room in your home. A simple coat of paint is all it takes to make a drab space become a vibrant, bright room that everyone will love hanging out in. However, when it comes to actually getting the painting job done, there are some preparation steps that you need to consider.

Painting requires a bit of prep work, regardless of what condition your walls are in. Walls with holes and dents may take longer to prep than walls that just need a coat of paint. Additionally, you may need to consider sanding, priming, and other prepping methods that'll help your painting project go smoothly and ultimately result in a stunning, finished look.

Read more
The November home maintenance checklist everyone needs
Fall home maintenance checklist for your interior, exterior, and landscape
White two-story house with autumn leaves in the front yard

Another hot summer has passed, and the temperatures are dropping. As winter draws near, don’t be caught off guard by an early freeze. During the fall, it's important to devote some time to quick home maintenance to prepare you and your home for the colder season.

November home maintenance will keep you on track and ahead of the changing weather, not to mention the fast-approaching holiday season. If you have that nagging feeling there's something you’ve forgotten about, we can help. Use this fall home maintenance checklist to get organized and get it done.

Read more
Ranked: The 7 best indoor plants to decorate your home with in November
Brighten your space with these indoor houseplants this winter
Christmas cactus

In the summer, we naturally get lots of healthy exposure to nature and all of its greenery. Luckily, when the weather starts to cool off, you don't have to wait until the next year's bloom to enjoy some nature again. Keeping houseplants in the winter is a great way to maintain a piece of the outdoors in your life, even when it's too cold to venture outside.

Benefits of winter houseplants
Houseplants certainly spruce up the decor of any indoor space, but there are also plenty of other benefits. In fact, indoor plants can boost your physical and mental health when you're hunkering down for winter.
Increased humidity
Winter months produce dry air indoors due to forced, heated air, and this can lead to uncomfortable dryness in the skin, nose, and throat. Indoor plants can increase the humidity levels in your home through their transpiration process, which expels excess moisture that eventually evaporates into the air.
Air purification
Through the process of photosynthesis, houseplants can purify the air. They absorb carbon dioxide, allergens, and other airborne toxins, and expel that beneficial oxygen. You may find yourself feeling much healthier during the winter months thanks to these plants.
Mood elevation
Many people across the nation find themselves plagued with the winter blues. As the weather cools and daylight becomes a rarity, our moods take a hit. Luckily, houseplants can give your mood a boost. Plants are soothing and can relieve stress and even increase productivity. This makes them a welcome addition to any home or office space.

Read more