TikTok's Hot Glue Hack Makes Hanging Christmas Lights A Breeze

Do you jump into holiday decorating on the day after Halloween? Or shun the neighbors who put out Rudolph before Turkey Day? In a survey of nearly 4,000 people conducted by Today's Homeowner, most believed December 1 was the earliest appropriate day to hang festive holiday lights. While certain individuals can't wait to see those twinkling bulbs lining the neighborhood, others procrastinate as much as possible. After all, hanging string lights outdoors is a unanimously chilly, time-consuming, and frustrating affair, especially when outlining windows, archways, rooflines, and other details. How do the professionals do it so fast and tidy? 

In a TikTok video, Nick Glassett (@nick_o_glass), a light installation supply business co-owner, reveals that hot glue is "the industry standard" for hanging lights in tricky places! A big dot of hot glue on the back of each bulb is all you need to stick string lights around your home and keep them looking merry and bright all season long. Plus, it's safe for brick, stone, concrete, metal, and many other exterior surfaces. With this simple hack, you can finish your outdoor holiday decorating faster, ring in the holiday spirit sooner, and get down from that rooftop click-click-click.

Dot, stick, and you're done

To use this hack, you'll need a low-temperature hot glue gun, plenty of glue sticks, and a tool belt with a large pocket to free your hands and keep the glue gun from burning you as you're hanging the lights. Before climbing any ladders, plug in the lights to ensure they work and leave them plugged in. This way, you can use the "female" end of the string lights to plug in your hot glue gun and keep it warm as you work.

Starting with the first bulb on the string, cover the bulb socket's flat backside with a generous hot glue dot. You can also put a line of glue on the side of the socket if you prefer to hang the bulbs horizontally. Next, press and hold it onto the wall until the glue dries completely. In cold weather, this can happen relatively quickly, so move fast!

Most people have no issue with the glue causing damage, but if you're concerned, avoid sticking the lights onto old paint, wood, stucco, or other delicate surfaces. Zip cords and clips can limit the glue needed and add extra security. When you're ready to remove the lights, tilt and peel each bulb away from the surface. It should be easy to pop off hard glue in cold weather, but any leftover residue can be removed with rubbing alcohol and a plastic scraper.