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Create Your Own Christmas Window Display

Christmas Window Display Tips

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An example of a Christmas window painting.

An example of a Christmas window painting.

© Kim Furey

If you have a window and a storefront, you should definitely bother to put together a Christmas window display. An attractive window display can be a real customer draw, luring customers into your store who might not have stopped otherwise - customers who are in a festive, spending mood.

And don't think that a Christmas window display needs to be ostentatious. A marine supply store here in town has a much visited Christmas window which basically consists of a festively trimmed window with a miniature house in it. The house sports Christmas decor and characters such as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, reindeer and elves. That's it. One set piece, and a bit of window painting. Voila! A window display that draws a crowd.

The point I'm making is that creating your own Christmas window display isn't hard. And once you have one put together, you can use the same display or variations on the theme for years.

Keep these tips to mind to make creating your own Christmas window display even easier:

1. Displays need unity.

A bunch of things sitting in a window is just a bunch of things, not a display. The easiest way to create unity is pick and stick to a theme. And the best theme for your display is one that relates to your products or services. A shoe store might choose a theme showing a group of elves getting new shoes; a fireplace and patio store might choose a theme related to Santa bringing gifts down the chimney.

2. A display needs a focal point.

Just as in a painting or in a room, your Christmas window display needs one central object or feature that draws the eye in. Everything else is an accompaniment that needs to harmonize with the focal point, not compete with it. In the two examples I gave in point 1, Santa could be the focal point of the display.

3. Less is more.

What's more effective? A single backlit mannequin in a red velvet gown or a window crammed with mannequins dressed in red gowns? Remember that your window display is not just composed of objects but of light and space. A colored spotlight is a simple touch that can have a huge effect.

4. Draw/sketch your display first.

Getting it down on paper will help you work out positioning and other details – and help you avoid mistakes. It's a whole lot easier to move things around or substitute other things on paper than it is to physically move the components of an actual display around.

5. Use window painting in place of a free-standing display.

Face it; finding a free-standing life-sized figure of Santa or any other Christmas-related character can be difficult. But there's no such difficulty with window painting; you can have anything you can imagine painted on your window.

You can either do the window painting yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, you can work from a pattern or create your own design. These FAQ's on Window Painting from the Window Woman provide information on paints, brushes and how to clean the windows before and after.

Remember, you don’t have to create a Christmas window display that rivals the Ogilvy Christmas window or Holiday Window Displays at New York City Department Stores (although that’s certainly a worthy goal)! All you have to do is come up with an idea for a display that's going to be eye-catching and capture the unique nature of your business. So haul out the lights and holly and put together a display that will put your customers into a festive, spending mood.

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