6 Ways to Hang Christmas Lights Without Nails

One of the best ways to decorate outside during the holiday season, or any time of year, is with lights. Christmas lights are bright, fun, sometimes classy, plus everyone loves to look at them. Done right, your house could be the talk of the neighborhood. But how do you put up Christmas lights without using nails?

Although nails are relatively inexpensive, they can cause damage to the siding of your house, the shingles on your roof, and are often a permanent addition to the outside of your home. Luckily, there are many ways to hang lights without having to use nails. You can use tape, hooks, glue, or get more creative by wrapping them or draping them. And the lights will look just as amazing as they would have with nails.

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Using tape to hang lights outside is a very common, and inexpensive option. It’s also very effective. It can still be aesthetically pleasing by using masking tape since it is clear. At night, masking tape won’t be noticeable at all. You simply put a strip of tape every few inches over the cord to secure it in place. If you want the lights to hang down a bit, simply put the tape further apart. However, the tape can ruin the walls of your home, taking off the paint when you pull it off. Masking tape specifically may not hold up well under certain weather conditions, mainly if you live in a place that gets lots of rain or snow.


Hooks are another great option for hanging lights outdoors. Hardware stores have many different options and sizes. This makes it important to know what kind of lights you are hanging because the size of them can vary. An s-shaped hook can have one part hung on the gutter while the other can hold the lights. You will have to put the hooks an inch or so apart, once again depending on if you want them to hang down or not. Adhesive hooks can be put on the side of the house and not be noticeable if you purchase a pack of clear ones. However, they can leave a residue after they are removed, and they can also remove paint when pulled off your house.

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Shingle Tabs

When people think about decorating their house with Christmas lights, the roof comes to mind very quickly. It can be a hassle to climb onto the roof, and nails can cause damage to the shingles. Which is where shingle tabs come in. Shaped like an L, they have an adhesive part that slides underneath the shingles, that you then secure the lights to. These are amazing nailless and can be found at many hardware stores. Also, once in place, you can not see them because of their small size. They are easy and quick to put on, making your time on the roof much shorter.

Another use for shingle tabs is using them on the walls. It’s a very similar idea, you just do in on the side of the house instead of the roof. Leaving the L shape sticking out, the lights can then be hung from them. It’s also a fast and easy way to hang the fun Christmas lights.


Hot glue is yet another option for hanging lights outside. It’s important that the glue is outdoor safe though so that it will hold up under any weather conditions. If you choose to use hot glue, remove the bulbs first. If glue gets on the bulbs the light will appear duller. This is a great option for brick or stucco houses. It’s important to be careful when using a hot glue gun because the tip and the glue itself can burn you. However, there are some drawbacks to using hot glue. Not only is it hard to take the lights off, in can hurt the sides of your house in the process. Scraping it off can scrape paint off of bricks and damage stucco walls. Because of how difficult it is to remove the hot glue, it is a more permanent choice. It is more for someone who wants lights up all year, not just during the holidays.

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Wrapping the lights around something outside is very popular and for good reason. It is quick, not hard to do, and looks beautiful. Many people wrap lights around small trees in their yards. Small trees are really ideal to wrap lights around because you can cover the entirety of the tree if you wish to. To do this, you wrap the lights around the trunk, keeping the strand taught as you do so they will be more secure. You can also wrap them around the branches. You will most likely need an extension cord, which is true with most outdoor lights. It is especially true here, depending on where the tree is. If the extension cord crosses the sidewalk to get to the tree, consider putting tape over the cord to keep it secured to the ground so others don’t trip over it.

Another thing you can wrap lights around is fence posts or columns on your porch. Wrapping lights up fence posts is something you can also do with draping lights along the fence. Columns may need to still be secured at the top, using tape or a hook, but it should only need one strip of tape or hook. They can be hidden from site by putting them on the side of the column that faces towards your house. It’s also something not many people do, so it will make your lights stand out more.


Draping lights is great if you have lots of shrubbery in your yard. The bushes will need to be very leafy and strong so the lights don’t sink into it and get tangled in the branches, making it hard to untangle them. One nice thing about draping is that you can arrange the lights in patterns on the bushes. If you want lots of lights, you can go side to side to make lines, picking how far apart you want the lights to be. Another option is doing an S shape or a wave shape. If the stand of lights is smaller or you don’t want a ton of lights but still want something, this is a fun way to arrange them. If you don’t want to deal with getting the lights to look nice, you can purchase net lights that are made to be draped over bushes and leafy trees.

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Bushes aren’t the only things you can drape lights from. If you have a picket fence, the lights can be draped along the posts. You can weave the strand between the posts to get fun lights in your yard quickly. It’s also something you can do that’s decorating without really decorating.It doesn’t take much effort or time to do but it still adds a little something to your yard.