Hallmark Movie Set Designers Share Their Best Tricks for Getting That Magical Christmas Look at Home

Have you ever watched a Hallmark Christmas movie and wished you could recreate the look at home? We have. All. The. Time.

Hallmark Christmas movies are magical for multiple reasons. First, they’re family friendly, so we don’t have to worry about the kids watching them. Second, they always have a happy ending and give us that warm fuzzy feeling we love, especially around the holidays. Third, the town and homes in the town are always decorated in a super Christmasy way. We would say over-the-top Christmasy, but they seem to hold back just enough before being over-the-top. It’s actually perfection.

It seems like decorating for Christmas is straight-forward enough. You buy a Christmas tree, hang some lights on the house, put stockings over the fireplace. Hallmark proves to us that it’s not that simple. The decorations in the movies look so perfect that we wish we could click “add to cart” while watching a movie.

The Strategist spoke to three Hallmark movie set decorators to find out which decorations they have bought for their Christmas movies, and now we know exactly what to buy and where to buy it.

First of all, it’s important to note that each Hallmark movie has slightly different decorations, but the same tricks are used to create each look. For example, want the look of perfectly frosted windows? You’ll need Arrid aerosol spray deodorant. When it dries, it looks just like frosted glass. 

Another great tip is that no matter what type of Christmasy look you’re going for (farmhouse, glam, etc), you’ll probably need more decorations than you think. Overbuying is recommended.

If you need new stockings, the Hallmark go-to is personalized red velvet stockings from Pottery Barn. They have the classic Christmas look, and you can choose from multiple sizes and personalization options.

Another Hallmark secret is that they don’t make their own paper snowflakes. If you’ve ever noticed too perfect looking paper snowflakes in Hallmark movies, someone on set was not cutting them out by hand. They ordered them from Amazon.

When it comes to the centerpiece of your holiday decor, the Christmas tree, Hallmark’s set designers have a couple secrets. While they use both real and artificial trees on-set, they have a couple favorite artificial trees, and they sometimes even use them in outdoor scenes. If you like the look of a flocked Christmas tree (meaning, it looks like it’s covered in snow), they recommend this one from Michael’s.

If you like the look of a classic green Christmas tree, the set decorators are partial to Balsam Hill.

When it comes to other decorations, like ornaments, lights and garland, what you choose really depends on what style you like. For a festive yet natural look, go with this garland from Michaels.

For more of a traditional Christmas look, you can’t go wrong with candy canes, and this ribbon, also from Michaels, is right on point.

How do you usually decorate for Christmas? Are you going to use these tips from Hallmark set decorators?