Lit Faux Tree

Lit Faux Tree – Want to make your own? Make a special edition to your outdoor Christmas display


Lit Faux Tree

When I was putting up the Christmas lights last week, I realized that I needed a little something to add to my outdoor Christmas display. For a while now, I’ve been seeing lit faux trees on Pinterest.  This was just what I needed, and I decided to make my own.  Using a basic galvanized tomato cage, some duct tape, and a string of lights I created the perfect lit faux tree for my outdoor Christmas display.  Read on for a super-quick tutorial to make a lit faux tree for your outdoor display.

Staying on an Even Keel

Ever since I dug my way out of a deep depression, I try to do as much as possible to keep myself on an even keel.  I use my planner to lessen my anxiety, I DIY and create because making pretty things makes me happy, I volunteer weekly to feel like I can still make a difference in other people’s lives, and I cuddle with my dog daily to relax.

Lit Faux Tree

However, life is not all sunshine and rainbows

Of course, I have chores like cleaning and laundry that do not make me happy.  But, I have a system for everything – and I mean everything – that makes those chores as painless as possible.

Only one thing I do on a weekly basis threatens my “even-keelness”.  Every Tuesday morning, I visit my grandmother at her retirement community.  I have written about my grandmother before in other posts. She has dementia and the disease has taken everything away from her.  Most of the time we have good visits, but every week I cannot help but leave heartbroken and just plain sad.

So, being the nerd that I am, I have a system for trying to get through these visits without resorting to old, bad habits like going directly home to my couch and tv and spending the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself.

Lit Faux Tree

Use Music to Prepare

Music really speaks to me.  I love to listen, I mean really listen to the lyrics and look for the meaning behind the words.  So, on my way to visit my grandmother, I prepare with some upbeat music.  Right now, two of my favorite songs are The Script’s Superheroes and Katy Perry’s Firework.  I love to sing along to music, so I usually know most of the lyrics.

When I listen to The Script’s Superheroes, I feel that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.  I have struggled through many ordeals in my life (including depression, the loss of my sister, and bullying in high school).  Knowing that someone else out there “gets it” makes a huge impact on me.  This song makes me feel like I am a superhero.  I recently read a quote from The Script’s band member Danny.  “Sometimes your superheroes aren’t born but sometimes they’re made… If you’re going through hell, just keep going because you will get out on the other side and I think you’ll be stronger for it.”

Lit Faux Tree

I also love Katy Perry’s Firework.   She “…dedicated the video to the “It Gets Better” campaign … {and it has become} a beacon of hope for everyone who’s battled bullies or struggled to find themselves” (MTV News). Although I have not written about it yet, I was bullied in high school and therefore had a terrible experience.  I have also had a difficult time “finding myself” since I have stopped working full time.  So, this song hits home with me as well and reminds me that I too have a spark in me and can let my true self shine.  Those two songs, coupled with a few others get me ready for my visit.

Lit Faux Tree

Listen to Music to Lift Your Spirits

Then, when I leave my grandmother’s, I have a few songs that get me back up to par.  I often start with Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (I mean really, when can’t Bruno Mars put you in a good mood?)

I also love Andy Grammer.  His music is upbeat and positive.  And Keep Your Head Up is just a great, dancing in the car song that affirms that life truly is a journey.  I really need that reminder often.

Lit Faux Tree

I started listening to Imagine Dragons after Skater Boy added it to our shared music and then somehow I added it to my playlist.  Some things do happen for a reason…  Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons’ front-man, wrote Believer mainly about his physical pain from a serious physical disease, but he has also battled depression and writes about emotional pain as well.

Lit Faux Tree

Listening to Believer prompts me to look back on the pain and struggles I have conquered.  Overcoming obstacles has made me a believer in myself. But again, I can always use that reminder.

Music has a huge impact on my life (you already got that, huh?).  Do you have any songs that speak to you?  What are they?  Share them with me in the comments below.  I can always use a great song to add to my playlist.

Okay, so now that you know some of my favorite songs and what they mean to me…

Let’s get started and make a Lit Faux Tree


Lit Faux Tree

When I was putting up the Christmas lights last week, I realized that I needed a little something to add to my outdoor Christmas display. For a while now, I’ve been seeing lit faux trees on Pinterest.  This was just what I needed.  So, me being me, I decided to make my own.

Creating a Lit Faux Tree is so easy (about 15 minutes of work) and inexpensive (less than $8).  And, they make a great addition to an outdoor Christmas display.

Gather Your Supplies

  • 42” galvanized tomato cage (less than $3 at Lowes)
  • A string of lights ($2-$4)
  • A few inches of duct tape

Lit Faux Tree

  1. Tape top ends together. Be careful – the metal points can be sharp. I made sure to cover the sharp ends as well.
  2. Tape the end of your light string to the bottom of tomato cage. make sure you have enough cord to reach a power source.
  3. Working your way up, wrap lights around each level of the tomato cage. I used an over-under system to keep the light sting in place.
  4. Once you reach the top, work your way back down.  Secure the end of the string.

Yep, that’s it.  So simple and so shimmery.

Lit Faux Tree

If I do this project again (which I probably will next year) I will do 2 things differently.  First, I will use 2 strands of lights.  When I finished wrapping the lights to the top, I only had enough light left to get back down to the uppermost level.  Another strand will allow me to wrap the lights all the way back to the bottom. And, I can always use some more shimmer in my outdoor display!  Secondly, I will use some chicken wire to wrap around the tomato cage.  This will give it a bit more stability and something to attach the lights to in between the circular levels.

Have you DIY’ed a new addition to your outdoor Christmas display this year?  Let me know how you decorate your outdoors for the Christmas season in the comments below.  I’ve already started my DIY Christmas list for next year – I can always use more ideas!

Add a Little Shimmer to your life today with a Lit Faux Tree.

Nicole Warren-Missimer

And – If you like what you are reading on Adding Shimmer to Life, take a minute to subscribe to my blog via email (below). As a subscriber, you will get an email when I post, add a page, or share content just for email subscribers (coming soon). I also appreciate you sharing Adding Shimmer to Life with other people who may enjoy my content.  Or, if you like Facebook and Pinterest you can follow me there, too.


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Lit Faux Tree


For the past few weeks, I have been planning a round-up of some easy and inexpensive handmade gifts.  Next week, I will share my top picks with you.  Keep and eye out for that post.


Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.


All contents – text and images – belong to Nicole Warren-Missimer of Adding Shimmer to Life (unless otherwise noted).

Copyright 2017 Adding Shimmer to Life



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Pumpkin Bucket Planter – Make it Yourself! DIY Outdoor Décor for Thanksgiving

What’s inside: Need some new DIY outdoor décor for the Thanksgiving season?  I’ve got it right here – a Pumpkin Bucket Planter.  This is so easy to make (I don’t even feel right calling this a tutorial) and looks great outside.  Read on to see how to make your own.

An Unexpected Road Trip

I always like to start a post off with a story.  And usually the story relates to the post.  Well, when sitting down to write this post today, I was stumped.  What story would mesh with my Pumpkin Bucket Planter?  So I thought about the time my parents, my sister, and I went on an impromptu road trip and ended up at a corn maze. I clearly remember how much fun we had and could even see the pictures we took in my mind, but I could not remember the details.  So, of course, I called my mom. And then I searched in the coat closet through all of the photo albums and scrapbooks for the scrapbook page I made to commemorate that day. Now, I made this scrapbook page 20 years (gah!) ago when the “Scrapbook” aisle at AC Moore consisted of only some funky-edge scissors and a few rows of patterned paper.

Picture this – Pennsylvania, November 1997.  I was 20 and home for the weekend from college.  My sister Michelle was also home for the weekend from her job in New York City.

Insert Scooby Doo squiggly lines here. I couldn’t find the Scooby Doo flashback squiggly lines, but this will do:

It All Started with Lunch

It was a lovely day and my mom wanted to eat at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.  We did not have one close at the time, so we had to drive to a different county to get to one.  We ate and after our very nice lunch, my mom decided that we needed to buy some pumpkins.  We must have been planning some outdoor Thanksgiving décor.  That is the point where everything fell apart.

A Trip to Buy Pumpkins Turns into an Excursion to…

My dad, in his infinite wisdom (which is usually spot-on), “knew” where we could buy some pumpkin, so we headed out and proceeded to get lost – I mean really lost.  Now, when my sister and I were together (after I grew up), we had a blast together and one of our favorite things to do was make fun of our parents.  And this road trip was no exception.  My parents were in the front of the car and we were in the back.  I don’t remember exactly what we said, but I do remember laughing – a lot.  I’m sure we gave my dad a hard time for getting us lost and probably gave my mom a hard time for getting us into the situation in the first place.  Of course, it was all in good fun.

As we continued to look for the fantasy pumpkin patch, we found a corn maze and decided to stop.  Now, remember, this was 20 years ago and at that time, we had never even heard of a corn maze.  So, we thought, “what the heck? Let’s give it a try.”  This was the epitome of all corn mazes.  When we entered, the staff gave us poles with flags on the end for us to use to signal the employees if we were too lost.  And along our way through the maze we saw numerous “lifeguard towers” overlooking the maze to make sure all were safe.  Certainly, I do not remember how long we were in that maze but at the time it felt like a lifetime.  We were lost for the second time that day.  Obviously, we found our way out of the maze and eventually returned home safely.  But, needless to say, we never bought those pumpkins!

Now, On With The Show

Pumpkin Bucket Planter - How To

I saw a couple of different types of these planters over the internet in the last few weeks.  I had made a single Pumpkin Bucket Planter a few years ago, so I decided to just add-on to it.  I pulled it down from the attic, luckily found the same spray paint I had used, and picked up 2 additional pumpkin buckets.  This is a super simple project – the hardest part is waiting for the paint to dry.


3 Pumpkin buckets

Spray paint – primer, color, and sealer

Thanksgiving–themed flowers, leaves, picks, etc.

Sand or rocks to fill the bottom bucket

Pumpkin bucket planter - materials

Prepare Pumpkin Buckets and Then Paint

Since I already had one pumpkin bucket painted, I only had to prep and paint 2.  I started by removing the handle, then sanding the outside just enough for the paint to adhere.

Pumpkin bucket planter - sanding

Now, I planned to prime, then paint, then seal my pumpkin buckets. But, all 3 cans of primer I had did not work.  I really did not feel like running out to get a new can of primer, so I scratched that step (I will probably regret that decision next year).  Remember – do as I say, not as I do!

As a result, I just sprayed 2 coats of my color and then coated with a sealer.  Since I was not able to prime my buckets, my paint peeled a little when putting everything together.  The peeling was not drastic but I still recommend you prime your buckets first – they will probably last longer that way.

Pumpkin bucket planter - spray painting

Once my pumpkin buckets were dry, I put them together.  However, before you put them together I suggest you fill the bottom bucket with sand or rocks.  This will make the planter more stable and, if you are putting it outside, less likely to blow away.  I did not do this – please learn from my mistake (the second one in this project).

I realized that I should have done this after the planter was completely finished.  It was so light and tipped over easily.  Although I really hate to admit I was wrong and also ask for help, I called Hubby and he came to the rescue.  He brought home some sand from work.  We drilled a hole in the back and filled the bottom bucket with sand using a funnel.  I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS METHOD!  This was time-consuming and a true pain-in-the-neck.

Assembling The Planter

The nice feature on these buckets is the bottom – it has a sort-of ledge that fits right into the top hole of the other bucket.  This makes them so easy to put together.

Pumpkin bucket planner

Consequently, I glued the buckets together matching the top of the bottom bucket with the bottom ledge of the top bucket. Did I say that right?

Pumpkin bucket planter - gluing together

When I had the buckets glued together, I filled in the gaps with hot glue to make sure that I had a secure bond.

Pumpkin bucket planter - filling in the gaps

Make Your Pumpkin Bucket Planter Pretty

After your pumpkin bucket planter is together, you can fill the top and decorate it any way you want.  I had a fake mum in the original bucket from a few years ago so I used that as a starting point.  To fill in the holes, I added some floral picks, dried baby’s breath, and leaves.  I also tied some raffia where the buckets are attached to cover the glue and the peeling paint.  And lastly, I took it outside to my Thanksgiving display (can you see my kids’ basketballs and super-huge Frisbee in the background? I guess I need to start putting all of those things away for the winter!)

Pumpkin Bucket Planter - Outdoor Decor

Pumpkin bucket planter filled with harvest goodies

That’s it – easy peasy!  I put this together in an afternoon (not counting the extra time I needed to add the sand) and I think it really adds some shimmer to my outdoor Thanksgiving display.

How are you planning to decorate your outdoor areas for the Thanksgiving season?  Do you have a favorite item from seasons past or are you going to DIY a new one?  Let me know in the comments below.

Make a pumpkin bucket planter to Add a Little Shimmer to your life today.

Nicole Warren-Missimer

And – If you like what you are reading on Adding Shimmer to Life, take a minute to subscribe to my blog via email (below). As a subscriber, you will get an email when I post, add a page, or share content just for email subscribers (coming soon). You can also follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Add a Little Shimmer to your life - Subscribe today!


Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.


All contents – text and pictures – belong to Nicole Warren-Missimer of Adding Shimmer to Life.

Copyright 2017 Adding Shimmer to Life

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