Need to stick stuff to brick without drilling
December 17, 2017 6:24 PM   Subscribe

I have fake Christmas garland with lights, and I need to stick it to brick without drilling. The methods I've tried so far are failing me.

After my a previous question, I have attempted to create a two-dimensional Christmas tree out of fake pre-lit garland that looks something like this. I have a brick wall where I have hung it, and I cannot drill into it (renter). Methods I have tried thus far:

1) Sticky velcro--worked for a little while but has since failed.

2) Various command hooks, but those are even worse.

3) Fluted masonry nails, which wouldn't go in at all and probably would have caused just as much damage as drilling.

4) Tacks. Just no. Epic fail.

The bricks are mostly flush with the mortar so I cannot use brick clips.

What the hell else can I do to keep this hung up without drilling?
posted by greta simone to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Assuming it's not too heavy, how about sticky modelling clay type stuff (sold in Canada under the name Blu Tac among others)? See here.
posted by rpfields at 6:31 PM on December 17, 2017

Art supply stores might have good suggestions, especially if there's one close to a university.
posted by vignettist at 6:34 PM on December 17, 2017

Can you buy some type of grid/mesh screen, attach your garlands to that, and lean it against the wall/hang from ceiling?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:42 PM on December 17, 2017 [7 favorites]

Have you tried hot glue? I just saw that trick on Pinterest this morning.
posted by Marinara at 6:50 PM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would try putting some small patches of a 'construction adhesive' or silicon onto the brick and then once it is dry, pressing tacks/another adhesive into that. It could leave a discoloured mark behind but how visible it would be would depend on the condition of the brick/adhesive you used, you could always scrub the brick after so it blended in. Otherwise suspending a small hook from the ceiling (way easier to hide a small hole after the fact with even white toothpaste and running two wires down to a weighted base would probably work, although might not sit totally flush with the wall. I have also just discovered 'Bondi' (UV light cured adhesive, Canadian Tire had it on wicked sale last week if you are in Canada) and I might give that a try as it seems pretty robust and is clear. And dries near instantly with the UV light wand.
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 6:51 PM on December 17, 2017

Seconding hot glue. I put holiday lights on my brick window trim and it works a treat. Use big globs (not smears) and it should pop off when you're ready to take them down.
posted by arrmatie at 7:02 PM on December 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For those suggesting hot glue--did you just stick the light cords directly to the glue or did you hot glue a hook onto the wall first? I think because of the fact that there are little garland 'needles' all around the light wires, sticking directly to the glue seems like it might not be the best idea? If you glued a hook to the wall, what kind of hook?
posted by greta simone at 7:09 PM on December 17, 2017

Thirding hot glue.
I think for this purpose it is probably better if you get low temp glue gun from a craft store with the small sticks as opposed to a high temp one with the big sticks. You might have to re-load more, but it's easier to keep the hotglue in big globs so it will easier to pop off as opposed to oozing into the bricks. maybe even apply the hot glue to whatever you are trying to mount, and letting it chill for an instant before pressing it onto the brick would help with that too.
posted by wowenthusiast at 7:11 PM on December 17, 2017

Hang command hooks from ceiling. Get some that can hold a bit of weight. String fishing line to garland. Should give it a cool floating effect too!
posted by Crystalinne at 8:08 PM on December 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Sugru, make little hooks/clips or attach hooks/paperclips. Pick a colour close to your brick in case, maybe test somewhere if it’s raw/porous.
posted by Iteki at 10:52 PM on December 17, 2017

duct/duck tape sticks to brick very well and can be removed fairly easily. it also comes in various colors now so it would be easier to hide.
posted by simplethings at 10:53 PM on December 17, 2017

If the brick surface is rough, I think hot glue or Blu Tac will work well. Basically you want it to flow into the crevasses in the brick to help hold it in place. Hot glue has the advantage that when it comes time to take it down, you can use a hair dryer to soften it and pull it off in one piece, without leaving anything visible behind on the brick.

If the brick surface is smooth, those might not work. I like simplethings' suggestion to use colored duct tape. You could pick a color that complements your garland and apply it to the brick in a pattern in a way that doesn't look like you just stuck it there to make the garland work. E.g., use green duct tape to make the outline of a Christmas tree, or pick something more subtle if you like. Then stick your garland to the duct tape using Command strips, which should stick to the duct tape well enough.
posted by biogeo at 11:00 PM on December 17, 2017

Brick red duct tape did the trick for us. Hardware stores also sell a kind of double sided tape for outdoor use that should work.
posted by boo_radley at 7:15 AM on December 18, 2017

I hung our wreath on our brick fireplace using these brick hangers. I'm sure a hardware store would carry these. I purchased them from the catalog. Very sturdy--no slips.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:25 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

My freshman dorm walls were brick, and I used that blu tac stuff to hang things on them.
posted by radioamy at 8:56 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

A tube of PL is my solution to every situation where sticky is required.
posted by some loser at 11:01 PM on December 18, 2017

Response by poster: Ok, so for those interested, I hot-glued small clear command hooks (instead of using the strips) to the brick and that seems to be holding (for now). Fingers crossed and thanks for everyone's help.
posted by greta simone at 7:01 AM on December 19, 2017

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