How To Decorate Your Windows Without Damaging Them

The DIY-filled days of spring and summer may be fading into memories, but in autumn and winter, a whole new set of decorating habits begins. Between the draped cobwebs and dancing ghouls of Halloween, and the trailing tinsel and twinkling fairy lights of Christmas, at some point this season you are probably going to give your home a holiday makeover. 

Of course, when it comes to these decorations you’re looking for temporary options. Short-term additions that will create a festive feel to suit the season. Even if you replace your spooky selection with a Christmas one, those decorations will be taken down in only a few weeks.

Temporary decorations can be difficult. You don’t want any holes, marks or dents to be left on display all year until your boxes come back out of the loft and you decorate again. 

And nowhere is more important to avoid damaging than your windows. Unlike wooden doors or walls, you can’t smear some putty or splash a new coat of paint onto glass panes. 

Accidentally scratch or chip your window pane and the surface is permanently scarred. Even worse it will be weakened, reducing the lifespan of your windows considerably.  Either way, it will set you on a short path to replacing your window which, in the case of a replacement double-glazed window unit, can be expensive.

But fear of damage shouldn’t stop you from adding a dash of holiday fun to your windows. We’ve already explored damage-free window decoration ideas for Christmas, so in this post we’re broadening our focus to methods that could be used for Halloween, Christmas or any other time of year. Read on to find out 5 methods you can use to decorate your windows temporarily, without worrying about what will happen when the decorations come down.

5 Ways to Decorate Your Windows Without Damaging Them

Specialist Window Decorations

The easiest way to temporarily decorate your window is to find a set of cute ‘window clings’. These are specifically designed to be used on windows and are made of a material that creates its own adhesive force – usually static electricity or a ‘gummy’ sticky surface.

The benefit of window clings is that they only lightly grip the surface of the glass. This means they won’t damage or mark the surface, but should still stay put until you remove them. They’re also adjustable, so if you decide you want to shift them around you can. As they create their own adhesive force you can even reuse them. 

Best of all, because the whole surface of the design is connected directly to the glass, they’ll look almost as good through the window as they do from the inside. They aren’t particularly costly either!

The downside is that you have limited design options to choose from. They are very popular so you will find plenty of shapes, colours and designs on offer – particularly during peak seasons like Halloween or Christmas. However, you won’t have complete creative freedom with your decorations and some people may find this limiting.

Glue dots

Self-adhesive glue dots or sticky dots are another great option for temporarily decorating your windows.

They are designed to leave no residue on the surface after they’re removed. Even on glass.

Another benefit is that they are quite small and transparent, so they won’t interfere with the look of your decorations. They’re not quite as good as ‘clings’ for that double-sided look, but they’re still good – you’ll probably not even notice it from a distance.

The main downside of sticky dots is how weak they are. They won’t grip glass as well as they do with rougher surfaces so they might drop heavier decorations. The glue will degrade over time too, so you won’t be able to reuse them or rely on them long-term. 

They’re fine for paper decorations or anything lightweight but don’t use them to hold up anything fragile.

Depending on the brand, they may leave a little residue behind too, though this should be easy to clean off. 

A window being decorated for halloween with cobwebs and plastic spiders.CommandTM Hooks/Strips

Much like glue dots, CommandTM strips are made to be easily removable if you decide you want to take your decorations down. They are also designed to work on all surfaces including glass, and are available in a variety of sizes – this gives you the freedom to use heavier decorations safely.

Using them on windows isn’t straightforward though. You will need to make sure to buy the correct type, as not all CommandTM strips can withstand direct sunlight. They may also struggle with dampness, so if you tend to get condensation on your windows that might be an issue (though you should stop condensation whenever possible anyway!).

However, get the relevant type of strips and you’ll have plenty of freedom to hang any decorative items you want, without worrying about weight restrictions. They’re great for winding garlands, fairy lights and other string-based decorations.

Suction Cups

Suction cups make a fantastic choice for decorating your windows. They are usually reasonably priced and are reusable so even more cost-effective. This also means they’re adjustable so you can reposition them as many times as you want – great for people who like to fiddle with their arrangements till they’re perfect.

Suction cups are also available in a range of sizes so you can find some that are suitable, whatever size you’re decorations are. They’re also versatile because you can add various attachments to them such as hooks, hoops or line to hold your decorations.

This makes them equally good for winding garlands on or dangling 3D decorations from. This range of size options means you can even use them to hang heavier items too.

One of the main drawbacks of suction cups is that they are quite big and bulky which can affect the look of your decorations. Even smaller ones will stick out slightly, and they won’t work particularly well with small or flat decorations.

Make Use of the Window Frame

Don’t want to touch the surface of your windows at all? You can still decorate by hanging your decorations from the window frame instead.

While we wouldn’t recommend hammering nails into the frame itself, small pins could be used in the brickwork around them. Even better, CommandTM strips will create a much stronger bond on brickwork than glass but will be just as easy to remove so they won’t cause damage there either.

The window sill is a safe, secure setting for any bigger, heavier or more delicate decorative items 

Finally, if you want to use dangling decorations like a curtain of fairy lights, a garland or even a lightweight wreath, you can always attach them to your curtain rail or pole and artfully trail them down.

What shouldn’t you use to decorate your windows?

If you want to make sure your decorations don’t make a permanent mark on your glass, make sure to stay away from blue tack, sellotape and glue. Although you will be able to remove them, all three are likely to leave some kind of residue that will be difficult to clean off.

You should never a strong adhesive like super glue or Gorilla GlueTM. These aren’t strong enough to make a permanent decoration on your window, but it is also impossible to completely clear the residue off at a later date when you remove the decorations.

How do you stick something to a window without damaging it?

If you’re looking to decorate your windows without damaging them there are a number of options open to you, it’s just a case of finding the one that works best for you. 

But if the worst does happen and your windows do end up getting damaged, you don’t need to worry about replacing your whole window and frame. Here at KLG Glass, we can make bespoke double-glazing units to fit inside an existing frame to help you keep waste (and costs) to a minimum. Speak to us today to find out more.

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