Looking to hang lights around windows? With so many experts at our fingertips, we’ve got all of the information you could need to add some sparkle to your home this Christmas.
After all, hanging Christmas lights is one of our favourite Christmas window decorating ideas, but doing so is easier said than done. For starters, you need to know where to buy Christmas lights, and then you need to know how to hang these lights around your windows without them falling off. This is especially difficult if you don’t want to start drilling holes or hammering nails into your home.
That's why we’ve asked the experts for their advice on the best nail-free ways to hang lights around windows, and they’re all incredibly easy to do.
How to hang lights around your windows
‘Fairy lights are such a nice touch to the home (inside and outside) during the festive period and really help add a magical look when it is dark - perfect for when hosting a Christmas dinner party in the evening,’ says Lauren Goodman, Events Expert and Founder of Bluebird Creative. But if you don’t want to use a hammer or nails or do any permanent damage to your house, you’ll be happy to know that there are so many other ways to hang lights around your windows.
1. Use Command hooks
We love Command hooks at Ideal Home, and most of the team has at least one packet of hooks on hand at all times. And while they’re perfect for hanging a garland or hanging a wreath on your front door, they’re also a great tool to have if you want to hang lights around your windows.
‘Command offers adhesive hooks made specifically for hanging outdoor lights so there is no need to stress about durability during the harsh winter months,’ explains Margaret Larson, home decor expert from Sustainable Furniture.
All you have to do is follow the instructions in the packet, stick them onto your exterior window frames, and then attach your lights. There are various different types, too - including Command clips specifically designed for hanging lights. Just be cautious when you’re removing them.
‘Although command hooks offer a damage-free removal, they are known to sometimes leave behind a sticky residue on surfaces,’ says Margaret. ‘Remaining adhesive can be easily removed by using warm, soapy water and a bit of elbow grease. Just remember to use a soft sponge on windows to avoid scratching the glass.’
2. Use gutter hooks
If you’re looking to hang lights around windows that are directly below gutters, it might work in your favour to take advantage of this handy placement. In fact, that’s exactly why gutter hooks were invented.
These hooks clip onto your gutters with no drilling or nails required and then let you clip your Christmas lights onto the other end of the hook. They’re extremely simple to use and will let you hang up your lights in seconds.
And while they’re not technically around your window frames, they’ll still be pretty close and give you the scope to get more creative with the lights you choose. While you’re up there, why don’t you clean your gutters, too?
3. Use a hot glue gun
Are you a sucker for a hot glue gun? Do you plan on hanging your Christmas lights on the brickwork surrounding your windows? Well, you might want to listen up, as you can use your love of hot glue to ensure your Christmas lights stay up throughout the festive period.
To do this, you should apply a small amount of hot glue to the base of your Christmas light bulbs. You don’t need to do this for every bulb, but the more you glue, the stronger the hold will be.
You can then stick the bulbs onto the brickwork and hold it there until the glue hardens and you’re confident it’s stuck to the surface. Simply continue this until you’ve successfully hung lights around your windows.
When if comes to removing them all you need to do is soften the glue and then scrape the remanents off with a putty knife.
4. Use suction hooks
If you don’t have gutters above your windows or you’re a little wary of using hot glue or Command strips on your window frames, suction hooks could be your new best friend.
‘Suction hooks can be placed onto glass or the perimeter of your window as a secure and damage-free method for hanging Christmas lights,’ says Margaret. ‘The silicone cups should be pushed onto the surface and held down for 30 seconds to allow maximum suction.’
However, Margaret has also issued a warning about this - especially if you have wooden windows. ‘These cups are most effective when placed on non-porous surfaces. It is therefore important to remember if you are attaching them to window frames you may see better results on plastic or metal surfaces, rather than wood.’
5. Hang them inside
We know that it’s not always possible to hang lights around the exterior of your windows. Perhaps you don’t have the means to reach the outside of your windows (for example, if you live in a flat that’s not on the ground floor), maybe you’ve accidentally bought indoor lights that can’t be used outside, or maybe you made a rookie mistake - like I did recently.
Although my plan was to use Command hooks to hang my Christmas lights around the outside of my windows, I foolishly decided that I didn’t need to read the instructions. If I had read them, I would have known not to use chemical cleaners to clean the surface of my window frames before attaching the hooks!
Using cleaning wipes made it impossible for me to hang the lights outside, and in my eagerness to add some Christmas cheer to the outside of my house, I opted to hang the lights around the inside of my windows instead.
At first, I simply used a small amount of sellotape to stick the lights around the inside of the window frame. And while this did the job well and would be a viable option for those who don’t have Command hooks, I eventually swapped the sellotape for the Command fairy light clips instead for a more streamlined look.
All in all, it worked a treat and I actually love the soft glow it adds to my dining room, too.
How do you hang string lights around a window?
Of course, the best way to hang string lights around a window is to nail them into the brickwork surrounding your window frames. However, this isn’t always possible. If you don’t want to do any permanent damage to the exterior of your house, consider hanging Christmas lights with Command hooks, suction hooks, hot glue, or gutter hooks.
How do you hang Christmas lights around windows without nails?
From using Command hooks to suction hooks, there are so many ways to hang Christmas lights around windows without nails. Ultimately, you need to find an option that works best for you. If you have wooden windows, it’s probably best to use Command hooks. If you have uPVC windows, you may find Command hooks to be the easiest option for you.
However, gutter hooks are also a viable option if you have gutters above your windows. But you may also find that you prefer the aesthetic of hanging Christmas lights around the inside of your windows rather than on the outside.
So, how will you be hanging your lights around your windows this Christmas?
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Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.
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