Garage Door Christmas Decorations: A How-To Guide
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around your neighborhood. Wreaths are on the doors, reindeer are in the yard and the guy across the street just spent three days outlining his house in little white lights. Nothing says “holidays” like decorating your home, but let’s be honest — these days, most people don’t have the time or money to put into elaborate displays.
Don’t let that stop you! Even if you don’t have the time or money to deck every door or window, you still have a great option — your garage door!
That’s right. No matter what size garage door you have, there’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to decorate. Here are six places to start.
1. Apply Vinyl Stickers and Decorative Magnets
Vinyl stickers and decorative magnets are two easy ways to get into the holiday spirit. The one you choose may depend on the material your door is made out of. If you aren’t sure, test your door to see if magnets will stick before you purchase them. If they stick to your door, magnets are a great option because you can move them around until you get the look you want, and you can re-use them year after year. If magnets don’t stay on the door, opt for vinyl stickers — sometimes called “decals” — which are designed to be durable and last for a long time.
Both options are weather-resistant, don’t make a mess and require no tools to put up! Not only that, but you can get super creative with them. Buy red and green letters to spell out a holiday greeting. Or, purchase a scene with Santa and his reindeer to pay visual homage to the season. With many varieties available, you can have a lot of fun here.
Decorator’s Note: When you’re placing the magnets or stickers, be careful to make sure they’re not set along seams in the door. If you do this, then they might get broken or bent when the door is going up and down.
Take It Farther: If your garage door has windows in it, consider extending your design into the windows, as well. Obviously, magnets won’t adhere to the glass, but consider purchasing decals to stick to the windows and expand your design.
2. Set up a Projector
Projecting decorations onto your house isn’t a new concept, but it’s becoming an increasingly trendy way to decorate without the hassle of hanging lights and wreaths and altering the exterior of your house. This is an excellent option for people who rent or are otherwise opposed to making permanent changes to the outside of their home. The only downside to this kind of decorating is that you most likely won’t see it during the day, and you’ll be spending some money up front to purchase the projector.
Decorator’s Note: Make sure you purchase a holiday light projector that is safe to use outdoors — i.e., weatherproof. Some are actually designed for interior use, and that’s not what you need if you’re using it for the garage door. You’ll need to spend some time playing around with placement to determine the best location for the projector.
Take It Farther: You can purchase a projector with specific Christmas scenes or, if you already have one that can stand up to the elements, consider creating your own personal holiday images to project onto your garage door, such as the family Christmas card or a snowy photo you took on last year’s skiing trip.
3. Paint a Mural
If you’re a talented artist and really into the holidays, show off your artistic side, and paint a holiday mural for your garage door. You can paint on a sheet or something else you can remove after the holidays. Or, if you’re really committed, you can even paint directly on the door itself. However, we only recommend the latter option if you opt for an image that’s more of a general winter theme rather than specific to Christmas. Otherwise, you’ll be out in the driveway on New Year’s Day wielding a paintbrush and covering up Santa’s Sleigh.
If you don’t want to put the time into painting a mural of your own, consider purchasing a garage door mural to celebrate the season. They can be purchased in a variety of sizes and are even designed to follow the movement of your garage door as it opens and closes. They are also reusable!
Decorator’s Note: If you purchase a pre-designed holiday banner, it should come with simple installation instructions on how to secure it to your door without interfering with its movement or damaging its surface. A high-quality banner won’t require nails or screws or anything that could damage your door or the frame around it.
Take It Farther: Consider purchasing coordinating murals for your front and back doors to carry the theme across the exterior of your home.
4. Hang Holiday Lights
We’ve all put lights on our house at one time or another, but have you considered using them to decorate your garage door?
While you can certainly attempt to place your Christmas lights on the garage door, we’ve found the best way to do this is actually to incorporate lights around your garage door. This is an excellent option because it includes lights and looks beautiful, but you don’t run the risk of damaging the door or interfering with its movements.
If you’re using lights to frame your garage door, avoid using nails or staples to fasten the lights to the trim. Metal fasteners can damage the insulation around the wiring, turning your beautiful display into a fire hazard. Instead, try to use clips or hooks to hold everything in place. Try using roof or gutter clips that you can nail or press into the exterior of your home, rather than the trim itself.
Avoid nailing anything into the actual panels of your garage door, too. This can damage the door and compromise its integrity. At the end of the holiday, you’ll find yourself with a damaged door and a hefty repair bill. Instead, if you decide to put lights on the door itself, select an adhesive that won’t damage the door. You’ll also want to make sure you run the wires to a safe, out-of-the-way location.
You should also make sure you keep the cords out of the way of the door and its sensors. Also, make sure they are plugged in safely and not hanging down where a small child could get to them.
Decorator’s Note: If you’ve been looking around at pictures online, you’ve probably come across light displays ON the garage door itself. While it does seem unique to create a light display on the door, remember that if you use your garage door to enter and exit your home, then framing your door in lights may be the more logical option. If you try to design a display on the door itself, look for adhesive clips that won’t damage the surface of the door and measure to allow space for the door to move as it opens and closes. To avoid this, we recommend sticking with lights around the trim or incorporating decorations that aren’t lights on the surface of the door.
Take It Farther: Consider coordinating with lights on other areas of your home’s exterior for an impressive lighting display that highlights the beauty of your home.
5. Wrap It Up
This is a play on the classic idea of wrapping up your front door to look like a present — just on a bigger scale. But, don’t worry! Bigger doesn’t have to mean more expensive. To keep costs at a minimum, consider buying paper in bulk from your local craft store or sew sheets together. Unless you live in the desert, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some precipitation in December — rain or snow — so you’ll want to account for this when deciding which materials to use.
Consider using weather-resistant materials like fabric or plastic to create your bow instead. If you do opt for paper, make sure you purchase extra, so you’ll have it on-hand to repair your bow during the season.
You can do this by stretching either a horizontal or vertical bow stretched across the door. If you choose a horizontal bow, you can measure the width of the door and then cut your materials to extend across a section of the door, making sure to stay clear of the seams of the door, so your bow won’t get caught in the door’s movements.
There’s a little more involved with hanging vertical bows, but believe it or not, you can opt for a vertical bow without losing the functionality of your garage door. Just follow these three steps:
- Before you start decorating, disengage the door from its motorized pulley system. Often, you can do this using the red handle that typically hangs down from the door when it’s raised, but consult with your owner’s manual to figure out how your door works. Pulling gently on the handle should disengage the door, which will make it easier to decorate.
- Between each section of a garage door is a tiny gap. While the door is up, you can see these gaps as the sections of the door bend. Cut pieces of ribbon, paper or fabric to feed through the gap and wrap around each section vertically — either with one large bow going up and down in the middle or two parallel ribbons with bows on either side of the door. Use a stapler to secure each section of the ribbon. If your garage door is heavy, you may need someone to help you move it up and down as you do each section.
- Once you’ve secured the sections and they look like one cohesive ribbon, you can add a bow. Be sure to measure the space you have for a bow carefully. You want it big enough to be seen from the road, but small enough that it will move easily with the door when it goes up and down.
Decorator’s Note: You’ll want to measure carefully for this decoration, whether you opt for the horizontal or vertical bows. Also, if you’re careful when you remove the ribbons after the holidays, you can save them to use again next year!
Take It Farther: Consider carrying the wrapping theme over to other parts of your house. Adding a coordinating — but smaller — wrapped display or bow at your front or side entrance is a great option. Or, consider wrapping fake “presents” and setting them on your porch next to a small Christmas tree to carry the theme through.
6. Frame It Up
If you have an especially gorgeous garage door, you may not want to cover it up with bows or stickers. Consider decorating around its edges to create a frame for your beautiful door. You can do this with garland, bows, or whatever you’d like.
Decorator’s Note: Make sure you select items that are weather-resistant.
Take It Farther: Consider a gingerbread house theme and carry the outline past the garage to the other doors and windows around your house. Incorporate garland and lights for an even more elaborate display.
As with any home decorating project, you want to make sure your decorating doesn’t do damage to your home itself. A month’s worth of beautiful holiday decorations isn’t worth the headache of home repair in the new year. Whatever decorations you opt for, you’ll want to keep these four tips in mind:
- Don’t hang things in the way of the door’s track or mechanical elements. If you use your garage door on a regular basis, measure and place decorations in such a way that they won’t interfere with your door’s ability to go up and down. If you are going to incorporate 3-D elements like bows, measure carefully to make sure they won’t interfere with your door’s movement.
- Use adhesives or decorations that won’t destroy the surface of the door or its trim. Damaging the trim around your garage door can interfere with your insulation.
- Always clean your garage door before decorating to make sure the surface is clean and able to receive decorations.
- Consider functionality before you start decorating. Do you use your garage door every day or only once in a while? If your garage door goes up and down several times a day, then an elaborate display of lights and 3D objects may not be very practical. If your garage door doesn’t get much use, then you may have more options.
Is It Time for a New Garage Door?
Do all these creative ideas have you lamenting the condition of your garage door? There’s no time like the present to invest in a new garage door. Serving Tampa and surrounding areas since 1984, Banko Overhead Doors Inc. is dedicated to offering reliable, high-quality garage doors for homes and businesses of all kinds. Proudly selling high-quality Clopay doors, we are confident our selection will include the door you’ve been dreaming of.
Post Updated on 10/19/18