Nails are one of the most popular options for hanging Christmas lights during the holiday season. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However, they damage the surfaces on which you use them, and for this reason, some people would rather not use them. If you are looking to hang Christmas lights outside without using nails but are unsure of how to go about it, we’ve got you. This guide explains how to hang Christmas lights outside without nails. So, read on for the details.
1. Use Tape
An easy alternative to hanging lights with nails is to use tape. For the best outcome, transparent tape or this clear double-sided tape would be the most ideal option.
Using tape to install Christmas lights outside is pretty straightforward. In the spots you would have used nails, just attach the string lights with the tape.
When using tape in place of nails, ensure you buy durable sticky tape. Else, the tape will readily peel off, and the light strings will fall off.
Note that no matter how durable and sticky your tape is, it may lose its adhesiveness after a while. So, tapes are not a permanent option.
2. Use Hooks
S-Shaped Gutter Hooks
One of the best types of hooks for hanging outdoor lights are these S-shaped gutter hooks. Since they curve inwards, they hold light strings in position, leaving no chance of them dropping off. That aside, S-shaped gutter hooks are pretty easy to hang.
On the flip side, if your gutter surface is too smooth, S-shaped hooks may not be the best option as they readily slide along such surfaces.
Adhesive Hooks and Clips
For smooth gutters, adhesive hooks like these (adhesive clips)re the better option. Since they stick to the surface, the chances of sliding are pretty low.
Like S-shaped hooks, adhesive gutter hooks/clips are easy to install. But then, they are not suitable for rough surfaces.
Adhesive hooks and adhesive clips are a more permanent analog of tape. They are stickier and harder to peel off. They also leave marks on your wall paint. But if you leave them and keep reusing them, you wouldn’t have to worry about any of these.
If you want to hang lights on your shingled roof, gutter hooks may not work. So, you will have to get shingles tabs.
One thing about light-hanging shingle tabs is that they have a hole that readily fits C7 and C9 bulbs. This makes things even easier.
Things to Note When You Want to Use Hooks to Hang Christmas Lights
- Before you buy your hooks, ensure you measure the total distance you want to cover. This way, you can get enough hooks for your outdoor Christmas decorations.
- When calculating the number of hooks you need to hang your outdoor lights, factor in the space you intend to leave between each hook. The typical recommendation is to leave 6 to 8 inches between each hook. But you may adjust the distance depending on your decoration and the type of lights you are using. Still, you should avoid muddling the bulbs together.
3. Use Hot Glue Gun
A hot glue gun is a perfect option for textured surfaces (as we said before, adhesive hooks will not work for such surfaces).
Of course, like any strong adhesive, hot glue will leave a residue when you remove it. But with time, the residue will wash off.
When hanging Christmas lights with hot glue, the primary process involves adding hot glue to the side of each bulb socket and then pressing the side with the glue in position for about 8 to 10 seconds. But then, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process simpler.
Things to note when hanging Christmas lights with hot glue gun
- Before using hot glue, ensure there isn’t Styrofoam beneath your stucco wall.
- When using hot glue to hang Christmas lights, do so with the bulbs unscrewed. If you leave the bulbs in, you may smear gum on them, and this would affect their brightness.
- Ensure you buy enough light strings to cover the entire perimeter of the surface you want to decorate. To ensure the string is long enough, measure the total distance before you set out to buy the string lights.
- You will need an outdoor extension cord to allow you to move around and climb a ladder with the hot glue gun. So, get one if you don’t have one already. When buying an extension cord, pay attention to the length. The extension cord you buy must be long enough for the distance you intend to cover.
- Ensure you buy weather-resistant glue, or else the glue will not hang your Christmas lights for a long time.
- Do not apply too much glue to the sockets, or else you may end up with a sticky mess. A teeny bit of glue – the size of a pea – should do.
4. Use Staples
Staples are another way to hang Christmas lights without nails. They are easy to use and fast, and they could even be a part of your decoration. But then, like nails, staples can leave holes in the surfaces on which they are used. However, the holes they create are typically smaller than nail holes.
Since staples can create holes, you should not use them on your roof. However, you may use them on a wooden Christmas tree trunk, wooden fence, or any other surface that will not be affected by water leaks.
If you intend to use staples to hang your Christmas lights on a wooden surface, ensure you buy a staple gun that can work for such surfaces. Regular staple guns and staple pins may not be durable enough for such surfaces.
Amongst the options so far, using a staple gun is one of the easiest to remove.
5. Drape the Lights
When decorating bushes, hedges, walkways, driveways, and outdoor Christmas trees, you can drape lights on them.
Draping lights is pretty easy, and of course, you can do it without having to drill holes with nails.
Bushes and Hedges
If you are looking to hang Christmas lights on bushes or hedges without too much fuss, net lights are your best bet. For the most part, all you have to do is drape the lights over the bush and tuck the edges.
The downside of net lighting is the inflexible appearance. The arrangement of the bulbs is fixed. So, you cannot readily create patterns with them.
If you want some flexibility, you could attach string lights to the front of the bushes in a wave-like pattern by twisting them through the shrubbery. Doing this will give a feel of randomly dispersed lights. Of course, you can try creating any pattern you like as long as it works for you.
You want to ensure the light strings are not weak or old because if they are, they could get damaged while passing them through the bushes.
Driveways and walkways
You can drape small LED lights along the edges of your driveway and walkways in a wave-like pattern. But in some cases, you may have to glue the lights to the edges, or else they fall.
Wrapping lights around outdoor trees is an easy way to get Christmas lights on them. To pull this off, you have to wind the lights around the trunk until you go past a branch. Once the string has gone above a branch, wind the string downward – to the base of the tree – the same way you wound it up.
At the tree’s base, tuck the end of the string into the strands around the tree. To get power to your lights, you may need an extension cord.
Alternatively, you could wind the lights around the trunk and then around the first branch. Then wind the string downward the same way you wound it up. Then when you get back to the base of the tree, you could tuck the string into the strands around the tree.
6. Use Brick Clips
If your outdoor lights are going on brick walls, and you are wondering how to hang Christmas lights outside without nails, brick clips are the answer.
Brick clips are pretty sturdy and easy to use.
Besides using them on outdoor brick walls, you can also use brick wall clips for indoor areas.
7. Use a Projector
This might be the easiest way to hang Christmas lights outside without nails. To pull this off, all you need is a projector and a perfect spot onto which you can project.
The projector method is relatively stress-free as you will not be installing clips, drilling holes, or applying glue. You basically just need a projector, a screen or screen-like surface, and a power outlet.
From the projector, you can project beautiful Christmas lights images/decors, and they will serve as your Christmas light decoration.
8. Use Trees
If you have multiple trees in your front yard, the trees could serve as anchor points for your Christmas lights.
To do this, wind the lights around the trunk or branches of the first tree 1-2 times. Then pass the string to the next tree and repeat the same thing. Keep passing and winding the string around the trees/branches until you get to the last tree. Then at the last tree, tuck the string into the loop around the tree.
9. Use Your Railings
Railings can come in handy when you are trying to hang Christmas lights around your front porch without nails. This is especially true if there is a gap between the balusters of the railing.
If your railings have a gap between their balusters, all you have to do is loop the string between those gaps. Then tie the beginning and end of the string to the newel posts.
Leave a Reply