Enhancing your windows does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming ordeal. With a little imagination, you can really make your front window stand out. Use this monthly planner with plenty of practical tips to get you going.
Whether your salon has a large picture window or just a little pane of glass, you can get tired of the same old seasonal decorations — and so can your clients. In my salon, I have two huge display windows facing the street. I change my displays frequently and get great comments on them. Read on for ideas for year-round decor and for money- and energy-saving tips.
Keep your snowmen hidden until after your Christmas holiday decorations have been put away. Place white fabric in the base of the window and arrange the snowmen. For small windows, paint snowflakes on the glass. [See “A Few Words About Paint.”]
Tip: After each holiday is over, place your decorations in a marked box so they will be easier to find next year. As you take out each new box and replace the previous month’s, rotate the boxes so you will not have to dig around the next month.
Anything red or pink will do. I found silk roses deeply discounted at a craft and fabric store. You can “litter” your salon window with them or place them in vases throughout the salon.
Tip: "Pick” a rose for every gift certificate sold. Significant others will love getting a little extra with their gift certificates. For small windows, paint hearts.
It’s time to go green for St. Paddy’s Day. Do you know any Irish step dancers? Ask them if they have old shoes or dresses they would like to display in your window. I have some Irish dancing shoes from when my daughter took lessons and I place them in the window with a folded scarf and a harp pin. I found green plastic shot mugs at the craft store for about $2.
Tip: Paint three- or four-leaf clovers on windows. Painting clovers is easy if you make each leaf heart-shaped and then add a stem.
Use plenty of pastel colors this month and save those plastic eggs! Toss them on the floor of your window and add some stuffed bunnies from your kids’ rooms. If you do not celebrate Easter, you can do an “April showers” or spring theme. Arrange small silk flowers to appear as if they are sprouting from the floor. Use a small piece of indoor/outdoor carpet and slice holes with a utility knife and pull the silks through.
Tip: Use a TV tray to display items if you are short on space.
Continue the spring theme or opt for a prom or wedding theme. I recently displayed prom and bridesmaid dresses from the 1930s through 2004. Clients started bringing their gowns in for me to display. I also put shoes, purses, and hats in the window and added old silk bouquets. For small windows, commemorate prom time with school letters and colors.
Tip: If you have a hard time displaying the dresses, stuff the arms and bodies with tissue paper. Use plastic hangers and hang on a line across the window. This also works inside the salon.
Keep the theme going with bridal gowns or go for a graduation theme. Do you have any old mortarboards around? A graduation gown? Make faux diplomas by rolling sheets of paper and tying them with ribbon, then hang them in the window. Run a special for graduation.
Tip: Make your gift certificates for grads look like rolled diplomas. Paint your high school’s letters in the school colors on the window. Or paint “Congrats to the Class of 2006!”
Fill your windows with flags. If you use a genuine American flag, keep a light on it overnight, since we respect the flag by illuminating it at night. Go to a dollar store and pick up red, white, and blue trimmings. I found a tri-color garland and hung it over a divider in my salon. For smaller windows, paint small flags.
Tip: No need to do 13 stripes and 50 stars. Clients and passersby will love to look at your creations regardless of accuracy.
How about a picnic theme or a beach theme? Place an old tablecloth or a red and white gingham throw in the window and set up paper plates and utensils. If you have room for a kid-size picnic table, set that up in a mini picnic grove. Going for a beach theme? Use an old shower curtain and pick up some sand at the craft store or at the beach. Sprinkle sand on the plastic, prop an umbrella and a beach chair, and you have the tone set for a hot summer day.
Tip: Display sunscreen if you retail that item in your salon.
Back-to-school designs make for great conversation in the salon, especially for clients who are looking forward to their children going back! Find an old desk and put some school books from your attic around the desk.
Tip: Set up a football-themed window by using college or pro ball pennants and of course, some footballs. Even the men will enjoy looking at your window display this time of year.
Fall decorating, Halloween, and Breast Cancer Awareness month make for a busy window-decorating time. I decorate for fall at the beginning of October and carry this theme through until the third week of November. I disperse gourds on the floor of the window. Small bales of hay from the craft store, a scarecrow, and colorful leaves will make the salon look fall-ready.
Tip: To observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, paint pink ribbons on your window and hold a fundraiser for the Susan G. Koman Foundation.
Put away the Halloween decor, but leave the other fall items in the window. You can add a horn of plenty or string cranberries around the window. Paint a turkey on a small window and write “Happy Turkey Day!” around the bird.
Tip: Your local high school can be a great resource if you’re looking for talented artists to paint your windows.
Whether or not you put up a tree, try a multicultural theme. Ask your clients if they have an extra menorah, Kwanzaa candle, or any decoration they may want to lend you for your window. Hang snowflakes from the ceiling (and leave them up for January), wrap empty boxes and make a gift window.
Tip: Wait until the week of Christmas when stores start marking down items and find holiday items for half price or less. Paint candy canes and holiday trees on smaller windows.
A Few Words About Paint
Paint is a great way to decorate if you have only small windows. When painting on windows, use water-based acrylic paint. When you are finished with a particular holiday or season, use a razor scraper to remove the paint. If you have an airbrush you can use it with larger stencils to enhance your windows. It’s inexpensive and so easy to take off after each holiday. Be sure to not paint when you have full sun or the paint will dry fast and not set correctly. It is best to paint windows when the sun is down.
Where the Deals Are
Get your window decorations at a discount, wait until each holiday or season has passed and head to your local craft store. You will find deep discounts on all holiday items. Oriental Trading Company (www.orientaltrading.com) is another great place to find bargains for enhancing your windows. Check out their online catalog and put yourself on the mailing list. Craft Store Sites:
• A.C. Moore - online at www.acmoore.com
• Cut Outz - online at www.cutoutz.com
• Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts - online at www.joann.com
• Michaels - online at www.michaelscrafts.com
• Terry’s Village - online at www.terrysvillage.com