How Do You Hang Garland Around a Door?

Pre-Drill to Avoid Damaging Your House

Evergreen garland hung over a door (ornamented with a cornucopia) as a Christmas decoration.
Evergreen garlands can be used to decorate a doorway for Christmas. David Beaulieu

When the holidays come and the urge to decorate is heightened, a natural question to arise in the minds of homeowners is, How do I hang garland around a door (or on porch columns, etc.) without damaging my house in any way?

Here is an example. A reader hanging garland around a door to decorate for Christmas wrote in to ask, "Can you tell me what is supposed to be used to hold garlands to the columns on a house?

I have beautiful strands of natural evergreen roping with outdoor Christmas tree lights intertwined in it, but I can't find a way to use it, because I do not know how to attach it, and I am afraid that I will damage the columns in some way."

Hanging Garlands Without Damaging Walls, Etc.

What a great idea this is to decorate for the holidays, especially if you are the type of homeowner who likes outdoor Christmas decorations using greenery. In fact, many people shun ornamentation dripping with glitz and glitter in favor of more Christmas yard decorations that are more tasteful. Evergreen roping is restrained, compared to most other holiday ornamentation, but it can still bring a festive mood to your winter landscaping.

The best way to hang garland around a door frame, make it stick to a wooden column, or attach it to a house wall is to do so in a manner that does as little damage as possible to your structure.

Holiday seasons come and go, but you have to live in this home after the decorations come down. So like a responsible doctor, your first objective is, "Do no harm."

How do people typically "do harm" when they hang garland around a door? Here is the main culprit: driving in fasteners (that is, nails, large staples, etc.) with a hammer.

This practice can easily leave you with split wood. Split wood allows moisture in, at which point you are well on your way to experiencing that bane of homeowners, rot.

A better first step to take to hang a garland around a door or column is to pre-drill, making a pilot hole. You can then screw in screw-eyes or large ceiling hooks. In the case of columns, one screw eye at the top and one at the bottom may be sufficient, since you have gravity working with you (wrap the garland tightly as you go, starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom, in a spiral).

For a door frame, you will probably want to install more screw-eyes or ceiling hooks (it will depend, in part, on how heavy your Christmas garlands are). In the example in the picture on this page, the center of the garland is raised to form a peak, so anchoring had to take place at three points, at least (in this case, at the two ends, the garland could have been tied to each of the downspouts).

If you will be using screw eyes, then you will need pieces of wire (or twist ties, etc.) to finish securing your garlands. Just thread the wire through each screw eye, then tie the wire around the Christmas garland.

If you go the ceiling-hooks route, you can simply hang garland right over the hook part.

There is less work involved this way. The trade-off, however, is that the garlands will not be quite as secure. To hang garlands from a column in this fashion, you will need several ceiling hooks, which means making more holes in your wood (something that is generally to be avoided if you can help it).

Should You Staple the Garland On?

Some people use a staple gun to affix garlands to wood using small staples. This practice is especially common along the railings of extensive decks. It is a method that is feasible with certain kinds of garland, but not with others. Of course, one worries less about causing damage (via stapling) to a deck railing than to one's house. Looking for some other spots in the yard where you can be somewhat more "free and easy" about hanging garlands for the holidays?

Consider:

  1. Wooden arbors.
  2. Wooden fences .