How To Decorate The Top Of Your Piano for Christmas

Green garland with pinecones, and white candles on a wooden piano

Ah the sounds of the holiday season. If you have a piano in your home the sounds of your season are likely more festive than most.

A piano adds so much joy and emotion into a space throughout the year. However, the Christmas season is my favorite time to have a piano. Not only to listen to beautiful carols and hymns, but to decorate of course. 

It all depends on the type of piano you own, but most can handle some small or large decorations during the festive season.

Before you buy anything new or repurpose something you already own, read through our Decorator’s Guide below. Then browse our collection of the top decoration inspiration from around the internet followed by some FAQs. 

Decorator’s Guide 

As you prepare to decorate your piano there are definitely several things you want to consider before getting straight to it. 

Piano Use

First, think about the use of your piano. Does someone in your house play it daily, weekly or less? You will want to make sure you do not block any part of the piano that the pianist will need. For example, don’t block the music stand etc. 

Cleaning

Second, make sure to clean the piano before decorating. A festive and useful trick to protect the wood of your piano is to add a decorative tray.

Place your decorations on the tray to avoid unnecessary scratching or damage. If you don’t have a tray you can use a wooden cutting board or a shallow flat basket. 

Size 

Next up, measure the top of your piano to see how much space you have. Also measure vertically and think about how tall you want your decorations to extend. Take into consideration any art work or windows in the background that you do not want to be covered. 

If you have ample space it’s always fun to add a small vignette or collection of decorations to the top of your piano. I recommend one large item, one medium item and a few smaller filler pieces.

Items to consider are lanterns with flameless candles, heirloom decorations, antique holiday hymnals or song books, miniature Christmas trees, faux poinsettias or garland. 

Be extra careful if you place a live plant on top of the piano. The water can cause excessive damage to the instrument. I recommend using faux whenever possible. 

Weight

After you know the size of your space, you will want to keep the weight of each decor piece top of mind. You want to avoid anything too heavy that can damage your piano such as heavy metal or oversized wood. 

Now that you have cleaned your instrument, measured the amount of space available and decided on the appropriate size decorations, you are ready to go. For some style inspiration take a look at our top favorites below. 

Stick with us and you’ll be all set to decorate your piano for Christmas in no time. 

Christmas Decorations For Your Piano – Our Top 10 Picks 

Get inspired with these real life examples of Christmas decor. Which is your favorite?

Pretty in Pastels

This painted piano looks gorgeous in holiday pastels. I love how the garland is draped across the front, leaving room for sheet music, and affixed with long ribbons.

The candelabras add height and the cherry on top is a runner that looks as if it’s made from sheet music. You could use this as your inspiration and change the style to traditional, modern, Scandinavian, or minimalist, by simply changing the ribbons or candle holders. 

Photo and  inspiration courtesy of Welch House 1900

Music Inspired

Music Inspired

Wow! Calling all music lovers this one’s for you! Vintage sheet music is the star of the show as it’s used in the banners and several of the decorative pieces.

The mirror helps to bring light into the space, while the frame adds depth. My favorite hidden gem is the vintage Christmas Carols book tucked away but still visible.

This is a fun one if you want to go with a lot of items or you could adjust to your own personal style. Whichever way you go, always take your cue from music. Bonus points if you add a bust of a famous composer in a scarf! 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Follow The Yellow Brick Home

Minimalist Magic

Minimalist Magic

Who says you have to go big or go home? You can still be festive with a less is more style. This piano is highlighted with a simple pom-pom garland draped across the front.

The small vignette of decorations on top immediately draws the eye. There’s a lot of holiday spirit here in fun and understated way. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Kristina Lynne

Natural Elegance

Natural Elegance

If you decorate with natural greens consider a real bay leaf garland like the one shown here. It lays nicely allowing other items plenty of space to shine as well.

This designer layered her real garland with a handmade nativity set and framed nativity drawing. This gives the entire piece a niced lived-in and collected feel. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Shades of Blue Interiors

Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian Style

This one stands out for it’s understated style that packs a big punch. Each piece is a stand out in it’s own way, but the way they are paired together keeps the look balanced.

The lamp blends in nicely with the wall and piano, but adds height. The lantern contrasts with the wood of the piano adding interest. The cheery wreath and bright red garland berries spark all the Christmas vibes. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Shades of Blue Interiors

Holiday Grand-eur

Holiday Grand-eur

If you have a Grand piano you will have lots of potential space to decorate. This example is no stranger to drama and brings the Grand to Grand-eur. (You see what I did there?!)

I love the enormous swag draped over and around the candle holders. The large bow with long draping ribbons is the cherry on top. This general inspiration would be easy to copy or adjust to your own style. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Flourish & Knot

Past Meets Present

Past Meets Present

This one is full of pieces both new and old. It also feels slightly rustic. The stand out here is the layering of the decorations.

Working from the wall forward you can see how each piece was added in to complete the final collected and lived-in look. It’s relaxed and inviting without all the fuss. Bonus inspiration- this designer used different types of miniature trees to add interest! 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of At Home Arkansas

Modern Traditional

Modern Traditional

Wow-this one is practically begging you to come sit down and play. That inviting atmosphere was achieved with the large asymmetrical garland, twinkle lights and candles and lovely french horns.

Who wouldn’t want to sing carols here? I love the staggered height of the candles with the off-center garland for a modern twist. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of In Honor of Design

Miniature Tree Farm

Miniature Tree Farm

This one would be easy and fun to recreate! All you need are some miniature faux trees, in pots or containers of your choosing, and a festive holiday gnome.

Could that gnome be any cuter with the legs draping down? You can keep the asymmetrical style and add a lamp at one side or take your small tree farm across the entirety of the instrument. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Wrinkled Grace

Rustic Stockings

What a great idea-hanging decorative stockings across the top. Of course this only works with certain styles of pianos.

However, you can find stockings in a variety of sizes and shapes, so I am sure a quick Google search would help you find some that fit.

The pinecone garland and layered decorations across the top add lots of holiday spirit as well. This one is fun and unexpected. 

Photo and inspiration courtesy of Cherished Bliss

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Decorate The Top Of Your Piano For Christmas?

Absolutely! A piano is almost like having a second mantle or entry table with it’s ample linear space and many decor options. Keep in mind you don’t want to interfere with playing, so keep items out of the way as needed. 

What Types Of Christmas Decorations Are Best For The Top Of The Piano? 

This all depends on your personal style, your piano, and your space. Popular items include garlands, flameless candles, wreaths, candelabras, picture frames, artwork, lanterns, and Christmas villages. 

Is Decorating Your Piano Safe?

Decorating your piano is as safe as decorating any other piece of furniture in your home. If you have small children or pets in the home, avoid items that hang down to their level.

Curious children and pets may pull on the decorations causing them to come crashing down and injuring the child or pet. It is also best to avoid real candles or incense to steer clear of any potential fire hazards. 

Can You Damage Your Piano With Christmas Decorations?

If you are careful and use caution while decorating your piano should be fine. However, there is always a chance you can damage your instrument. Here are a few things to keep in mind to protect your piano. 

Do not display food or drinks on a piano during a party. Do not encourage guests to use it for this purpose either, so be sure you don’t leave coasters on top.

Find another home for that pretty poinsettia. Do not display live plants that need water. The containers may spill or leak therefore damaging your piano. Avoid real candles as they can be a potential fire hazard. 

Can Decorations On Top Of The Piano Alter The Sound?

The short answer is yes. Technically anything on the piano can affect the vibrations made by the instrument and alter the sound.

It will all depend on your individual instrument and decorations. Decorate your piano top and then practice a few tunes and see what you think. Make adjustments as needed. 

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