The holiday season is around the corner, and that means it’s time to get creative. Every store wants to grab shoppers’ attention, and one of the best ways is with a standout Christmas window display.
But where to start? Whether you’ve got a small shop or a bigger store, the right Christmas window display ideas can turn heads and bring more customers through your door. You don’t need a huge budget either. With some creativity and holiday spirit, you can create a window that shines.
Check out our examples from the 2022 holiday season and tips to inspire your shop’s Christmas décor.
9 Christmas window display ideas
- Use your products to decorate
- Make it interactive for customers
- Tie it to a new release
- Show some personality
- Put your product front and center
- Lead with tradition
- Keep it natural
- Get creative with recycled materials
- Go beyond the window with a magical in-store experience
1. Use your products to decorate
Type Books, an independent bookstore chain in Toronto, Canada, has made a name for itself with its selection of books and gifts and its in-store literary programming.
It’s a trailblazer in its community involvement and political and cultural discussions with influencers and authors.
During the holidays, Type used fairy lights in its large square storefront window to decorate memorable book-themed displays. It incorporated titles that represent a cross-section of its book inventory, based on a decided theme. It also used books in creative ways to make hanging trees, and completed the scene with, of course, paper snowflakes.
You may want to design a spectacular holiday wonderland, but you can use the products you’ve got to create a festive display. Think about how products can be transformed, repurposed, showcased, or organized into festive scenes. Even grouping products by color can help give off a festive spirit. It might be all it takes to create something that draws your customers inside to shop.
2. Make it interactive for customers
Peggy Porschen is famous for its delicious cakes and captivating seasonal window displays. Every Christmas, it sets up a fun and colorful window that customers look forward to.
It’s usually full of bright colors, big wreaths, and seasonal flowers.
Passersby are tempted not only by the promise of a delicious cupcake inside—they also get to see a delightful visual representation of the bakery’s dedication to craft and elegance.
The 2022 Christmas window decorations featured a “sit in” pink santa sleigh. Visitors were encouraged to hop in, take a picture, and tag the shop in social media posts, as part of Peggy Porschen’s holiday marketing campaign.
3. Tie it to a new release
The shop invited the book’s illustrator, Fiona Woodcock, to draw inspiration from the book’s story and create a painted window display. The end result was an illustrated, frosty winter wonderland. Each element was thoughtfully curated and fairy lights brightened up the background.
For shoppers, the window was eye-catching and encouraged them to get into the holiday spirit, as well as check out other recent releases.
4. Show some personality
Marby & Elm, known for its wit and style in the world of stationery, never fails to infuse a dose of cheeky charm into its Christmas window display—a blend of artisanal and modern flair, reflecting the brand’s identity.
Among the usual festive décor, shoppers might catch a glimpse of a not-so-traditional holiday greeting card or a piece of stationery with a playful innuendo.
Marby & Elm’s 2022 window display, decked with quirky window decorations and tongue-in-cheek humor, was a fun contrast with other displays. It was a festive, on-brand testament to keeping the holiday season light-hearted and a bit irreverent.
5. Put your product front and center
Missoma, known for its contemporary and elegant jewelry designs, unveiled a sleek pop-up shop along with a Christmas window display that put its products at the forefront. Glistening golds and shimmering silvers, reminiscent of their signature pieces, decorated the display, showing off the sparkle of the holiday season.
The window was also an invitation into Missoma’s world of festive luxury.
Stepping in, the store itself was a visual delight, designed to resemble a gift-wrapped present. Staff draped the walls in mint green wallpaper and accented them with black and white ribbons giving visitors the feeling of walking into an oversized holiday gift.
Sticking to a simple color palette captured the essence of the holiday season while staying true to the brand’s refined elegance.
6. Lead with tradition
Taking inspiration from traditional festive habits, the window was a scene of timeless holiday memories, complete with hand-painted dummy boards, gift-wrapped presents, and traditional Christmas trees.
This display captured the magic of past Christmases and reflected the shop’s commitment to preserving the age-old art of writing letters. For shoppers, the window was a charming reminder of beloved holiday traditions.
7. Keep it natural
Home and gifts store Closet & Botts is known for classic designs and natural materials, so it makes sense that its window display was filled with greenery and wood in many forms. Pine boughs framed the window and simple wooden shelves, while logs, skates, and a sleigh full of presents filled out the holiday scene. The decoration continued outside, with plants, flowers and more greenery complementing the window display.
It was a calm and pretty holiday display that made people think of the good things nature gives us during Christmas.
8. Get creative with recycled materials
Rothy’s, a shop famous for shoes made from recycled materials, really knows how to catch your eye during the holidays. In 2022, the brand lit the window with brightly colored hanging decorations that dance and twirl, creating a festive vibe.
These colorful decorations make a great backdrop for its own collection of eco-friendly shoes. The whole display, from the recycled shoes to the vibrant ornaments, showed how fashion and sustainable business practices can be mixed in a fun way for Christmas.
9. Go beyond the window with a magical in-store experience
The holiday transformation at Magnolia in the Silos in Waco, Texas, is a long process. Preparation for the winter season begins in the fall, when the market settles on a theme and decides on the materials and ideas it will carry out throughout the store.
The amount of preparation Magnolia’s onsite team undertakes is significant, from laser-cut paper snowflakes sewn together to create a snowfall effect to the hand-crafted miniature log cabins that give a nostalgic feeling.
The Magnolia window display is just the start. It led into a foyer that opens onto a larger storewide installation. This created a magical holiday shopping experience that stirred up emotions, anticipation, and, ultimately, a desire to buy into the experience it’s selling.
Following Magnolia, the items you use can make a retail holiday window display transformative. A unique combination of old, new, recycled, and hand-crafted items can be used to create a nostalgic, yet modern holiday feel. The materials you use influence the customer experience and can set your business and products apart during the holidays.
10 tips for Christmas window display decorating
There are lots of different directions you can take in decorating your retail store window display for the holidays. Use these 10 tips to help you incorporate holiday elements into your displays.
1. Choose a color scheme
Pick two to three main colors for a united, stylish look. Classic choices like red, green, and gold always stand out. But don’t be afraid to try modern combos like icy blues with silver or chic white paired with gold. A balanced color scheme can guide a viewer’s attention and evoke specific moods.
2. Promote your products
Spotlight special products or those available for a limited time. Position them so they stand out and are instantly noticeable. If your store offers items with personal touches, like customizable Christmas stockings or unique ornaments, flaunt them. Personalized gifts can attract customers seeking that special touch.
3. Evoke emotion and tell a story
Craft a story for your display. Be it the hustle and bustle inside Santa’s workshop, the serene beauty of a winter wonderland, or the warmth of a festive fireside gathering, a captivating theme can draw in onlookers. Engaging tales resonate and make your display memorable.
4. Prioritize good lighting
Lighting is crucial. Invest in top-notch light options like twinkling fairy lights, focused LED spotlights, or retro-chic vintage lamps. Proper illumination not only showcases products but also adds a sprinkle of festive enchantment.
5. Layer your display to create depth
Play with dimensions. By positioning items at varying heights and different depths—some upfront, some centered, and some toward the rear—you craft a multi-layered scene. These arrangements pique curiosity and invite a closer look.
6. Keep your shop windows clean
A pristine window ensures undistracted viewing. Regular cleaning enhances the overall appeal and ensures every detail of your display shines through.
7. Put the focus point at the shopper’s eyeline
Strategically place key items where they’ll easily catch the eye. By aligning focal points with the average shopper’s eyeline, you maximize engagement and interest in featured products.
Champion eco-consciousness. Opt for green materials and sustainable decorations to proudly communicate your commitment to the environment. Today’s discerning shoppers often resonate with and rally behind eco-friendly endeavors.
9. Incorporate movement
Moving elements, even if subtle, can catch people’s eyes. Consider gently spinning decorations, a miniature model train circling a snowy village, or a faux snow globe effect with drifting snowflakes. Movement, even if subtle, draws attention and adds dynamism to your display.
10. Add an interactive element
Introducing interactive components can captivate passersby on a different level. Whether it’s a touch-sensitive panel that plays festive music or QR codes that lead to exclusive online deals, interactive displays offer a memorable experience that sets your display apart.
Make your retail Christmas window displays shine
As the holiday season approaches, your shop window becomes more than just a display. It’s a direct reflection of your brand’s holiday spirit and a welcome sign to potential customers. When people walk by, you want them to see your window and think, “I want to shop there!” This year, try these Christmas window display ideas and tips to draw customers into your shop.
Christmas window display ideas FAQ
How do you put decorations on windows?
Here are some tips and suggestions for putting decorations on shop windows:
- Suction cups. Useful for hanging small things, they come with hooks for items like lights and ornaments.
- Window clings. Made of vinyl and stick easily, they peel off without any mess.
- Double-sided tape. Good for light items, make sure it won’t leave a sticky mess.
- Window markers. Use them to draw or write on the window; they’re easy to wash off.
- Spray snow. Makes windows look frosty, you can also make cool shapes.
- String lights. Hang them with suction cup hooks, they’re a great way of outlining the window or making patterns.
What can you use to decorate your shop windows for Christmas?
Here are some items you could use to decorate your shop window for Christmas:
- Christmas trees. Miniature or full-sized, with lights and ornaments.
- Wreaths. Traditional green ones or made from materials that match your shop’s theme.
- Garlands. Draped along the top or sides of the window.
- Fairy lights. String them around your display or use them to highlight products.
- LED spotlights. Illuminate specific areas or products.
- Neon signs. Festive messages or motifs.
- Window clings. Snowflakes, Santa Claus, reindeer, or custom designs.
- Spray snow. Create a frosty edge or stencil snowy patterns.
- Window paint. Temporary, washable paints to create festive designs.
- Sleighs. Vintage or modern designs.
- Gift boxes. Wrapped and tied with ribbons.
- Stockings. Hung in a row or filled with products.
- Ornaments. Large, decorative baubles can create visual interest.
- Nutcrackers. Classic figures that resonate with Christmas.
How do I make my shop window stand out?
Here are some ideas for making your holiday season shop window stand out:
- Tell a story. Create a narrative or theme that resonates with your brand and engages potential customers. For example, a vintage store might depict a scene from another era.
- Use lighting creatively. Good lighting can draw attention, highlight products, and set the mood. Play with different light sources, colors, and brightness levels. Dynamic lights, like twinkling or fading effects, can also catch people’s eyes.
- Add movement. Add moving elements such as rotating displays, mechanical props, or even digital screens with changing images or videos.
- Play with depth. Instead of just lining up products, layer them. Create depth by placing items at varying distances from the window, using elevated platforms, or creating a 3D scene.
- Bold colors and contrasts. Use a color palette that stands out, especially when contrasted with the surroundings. Bold, unexpected color combinations can be especially effective.
- Interactive elements. Incorporate QR codes for special deals, augmented reality experiences, or touch-sensitive areas that react when customers engage.