What I Found Under the Christmas Tree

What I Found Under the Christmas Tree


book page projects diy ideas

Over Christmas break I bought a pair of velvet red pants.

I know….right?

I’m kind of all about myself.

Oh….and I said “I Do” again to the same set of twinkling brown eyes.

And was on Channel 8 News in Dallas.

And as thrilling and amazing as all that was…..

….nothing compared to the excitement of the annual family handmade present exchange.

book page projects make a sculpture

You see….these are books.



Books a little rough and worn around the edges and a little water damaged….

….that my sister rescued.

book page projects ideas diy

She took these castaway books and made them into a thing of beauty….

…..and created one-of-a-kind book sculptures.

Each one different and unique created just for us.

Here’s my brother’s.

book page projects diy ideas for projects For my brother she created an ocean scene.

With paper waves and tiny paper fish on wires leaping off the waves.

And a giant tale of a fish diving into the paper ocean.

book page projects ideas for projects

For my other brother, who is a seminary professor, she created the word “pray” leaping from the pages of the book.

Each page folded perfectly to create a three-dimensional word.

When the book is closed it looks like an ordinary book you could find on any bookshelf.

book page projects diys But when you open it….you see this.

It’s amazing.

Each page by itself is meaningless.

But together they create a masterpiece.

book page projects And for me?

She made a thistle.

A wonderful, incredible thistle sculpture that winds around the edges of the book.

book page projects ideas It looks like this.

And the best part?

The book is a vintage organic gardening book.

book page projects diy

When she gave them to us on Christmas morning we all just sat and stared in amazement.

Later I asked her if she could tell me how she made them so I could write a tutorial and feature them on the blog.

She said she didn’t really have a tutorial.

She had googled how to make paper sculptures on books and couldn’t find anything that really showed how to do it….

….so she just made it up as she went along.


My sister is officially a rock star.

Maybe I should give her the red velvet pants. 🙂

PS  Here’s the video from Channel 8.

Just in case you have a few shopping bags laying around. 🙂

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  1. You are a celebrity!! It is so cool to hear the voice and see the person behind one of my favorite blogs!! You look great too Karianne! Have a wonderful Monday! Cheers from Alberta today, where it is a chilly one!!

  2. I am in awe of talent that pours forth from her brain into her fingers. Unbelievable! I am wondering if there is a market for this very unique and unusual craft on the Internet. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. THAT is amazing. What treasures!

  4. Fantastic!!! Your sister’s gifts are incredible and all the more so for being self taught!!!!

  5. Great job on tv! I have thought so many of those store bags were cute! I will never look at them the same way again. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Miz karianne, you are my favorite Rock Star…..but wow, your sister is trying to move in on you, girl! Your family simply never fails to amaze me. I can hardly wait until your next gift exchange!

  7. Your sister is amazingly talented! Such cool gifts! Your video didn’t come through on my iPad…I’ll find another way hopefully! 😉

  8. Your family gene pool was double dipped in the creative department. Amazing books, amazing family.
    Happy New Year.

  9. I couldn’t see the video. Is there a link I’m just not seeing? By the way, absolutely wonderful gifts by your sister.

  10. Your sister is as gifted as you are, and that’s saying a lot!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  11. Loved the video and the books. What a talented family!

  12. Tina Matteson :

    Wow, the book sculptures are great, and so special! I loved watching the video, too… and your curls are so beautiful, KariAnne! Would you please share how you get them to look so good? I curl my hair sometimes but don’t get such nice curls. Happy day to you!

    • Tina,

      I use the curling wand! It’s so easy….all you do is wind the hair around the wand. 🙂 You can just google curling wand and there’s a million tutorials on how to curl your hair with the wand!


  13. Those creations are amazing; thoughtful and perfect for each one of you ;-). Your sister IS a rock star.

  14. Those book sculptures are just amazing! Your TV spot was great too -you’re a natural, Karianne!

  15. When is HGTV going to give you your own show? You are a Rock Star! Thank you for teaching and entertaining us.

  16. So it’s Koooori Ann? I’ve been calling you Kaaaaari Ann… I loved getting to SEE you in action. And your family is amazing! Love the book sculptures! Happy New Year!

  17. Her book sculptures are wonderful…I love your tradition! The video was too fun…YOU are the rockstar, KariAnne! Great job and wonderful idea!


    • I’ll tell her she gets the “Red Velvet Pants” Award….LOL!
      She’s going to laugh when I tell her. 🙂


  19. Love the handmade gifts you share, maybe we will see more? Like your brother’s fantastic wood creations and maybe what you made. Thanks for your inspirational and delightful blog posts.
    Love, Pat

  20. Your sister is truly the epitome of an artist! One who can see and create beauty out of the ordinary! I would be jumping for joy too!

  21. Your entire family is blessed with amazing talent! What a unique idea! What amazing thing did you create for them this year?

  22. That ‘Rock Star’ thing runs in your family! : )

  23. Creative Award for these amazing sculptures – and what I really, really love is her custom twist to honor each soul! She created the HOLY GRAIL on gift-giving from the heart (creative, upcycle, soulful).

  24. Wow, your sister is talented too! I think your whole family must be:) I bet ya’ll can’t wait til Christmas every year to see the treasures given- they are wonderful!

  25. I swear, you are cute as a bug! (I like bugs!) No wonder Mr. Twinkly Brown Eyes said “I DO” again! Keep up the good work.

  26. I am simply speechless — and that is saying a LOT!! I mean I’ve just had a Starbucks and that means with all that octane I could run on and on forever! You have a talented family and those book sculptures are priceless. What did you give them?? And I would love to see you in your red velvet pants — did you wear them New Years Eve?? Being the fashionista that you are — you need to post a picture. Perhaps you should have a weekly post that says — my favorite outfit for the week. That’s what they do on the fashion blogs — including earrings 🙂 lipstick, shoes, jewelry etc. And if you got it for a song and a dance – you can post that too. Big hugs to you Rock Star!!

  27. You have a very creative and talented sister! I love that she used old books (my favorite) and created something very unique for each of you.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  28. Correction….”internationally known”. 🙂
    And your sister’s masterpieces… no words…. awestruck.

  29. The book sculptures are so awesome. I think your family tradition of creating homemade~from~the~heart gifts is simply beautiful!

    Jane x

  30. You’ve got too much talent in one family!! Paper sculpture from an old book, who’d have thought…

  31. Where do I begin? What AMAZING gifts from your sister!! I sat speechless and stared at the pics for a good while myself. Absolutely beautiful and so unique for each person. :’)
    Loved the video…you are so inspirational. (I follow you on all kinds of social media so I won’t miss anything you post. ♥♥♥) The shopping bag to cushion is a great idea! I’m going to get me a couple of bags w/TEXAS on them and have at it.
    Thanks for sharing…

  32. Love the books. What a gift of the heart.
    Could not get the video though

  33. Karianne — I had no idea that you were from McKinney, Texas. I spend a lot of time there because our son and his family live there and I also love shopping in McKinney. Oh how I wish you were still in McKinney. I just know we would be great friends. :^) My daughter and my daughter-in-law are both very creative so we all have great fun together. My Christmas gift from my husband this year was a mitre saw which my DIL quickly borrowed and she made me a wonderful gift with it…….a gorgeous long board with pictures of our seven grandchildren hanging from it. We all sew, craft and decorate so there’s a lot of fun happening in our family.

    I truly enjoy your site and read it daily !! Does your sister have a blog ??? Keep up all the wonderful creativity. I look forward to seeing what you have for 2015.

    Abundant blessings to you, Betsy

  34. Hopefully you will show us the others handmade gifts too? How amazing you and your siblings are. I’d be intimidated to belong but sure would enjoy the gifts.

  35. Your Mom must be the real rock star to have raised such a family of talented and amazing folks

  36. Your sister’s sculptures are amazing! What a talented family!

  37. Those paper creations are really amazing!

  38. Lady Delores LeBoeuf :

    Those book sculptures, WOW, are amazing – I wanna try, but not that talented, WOW, what a wonderful and unique surprise.

  39. Those are nothing short of amazing. What a talented family !

  40. How fun was that to see you show us how to make a pillow out of a shopping bag (many received this Christmas) and your sister shares your creativity, those were lovely, thanks for sharing with us.

  41. What wonderful treasures! And Congratulations on the renewal of your wedding vows.

    Blessings to you and yours,

  42. Karianne, looks like talent runs rampant in your family. The books. . . . Oh, my. . . . WOW! I am speechless. That happens like never!

  43. The book sculptures are outstanding!! how darn creative? I can’t even imagine dreaming up a path of DIY to that beauty, as your sister did!!

  44. I’ve been waiting to hear about the hand made Christmas gifts!!!! That’s AMAZING!!!!

  45. What a creative family! Beautiful books! You look great, I know you must feel wonderful, too! I’m hoping this is the year I lose 90 pounds . . .

  46. I have seen and read about your talented family….these paper projects are so totally magnificent!….to be able to create something like this without any type of guide or tutorial is truly amazing….I would take that gift over an expensive store bought item any day….such a very special gift that you will treasure forever.
    Loved watching the video Kari….you are a natural!…

  47. Wow talk about nice you do have some talented people in your family

  48. Love the paper book sculptures. Amazing.
    And the video is FAB!
    One thing I noticed…the man with you in the video pronounced your name “Car-rianne” and I’ve been pronouncing it “Care-rianne”. So which is it?

  49. WOW! Just WOW!

    Can I be a long-lost sister who you have never met but are dying to get to know and give a super cool book gift?

  50. WOW! Your sister takes book page crafting to a whole other level. I think she needs to write a book on how to make them. They look like something Anthropologie would display in their store.

  51. That is so awesome. So.Awesome. I can’t even find words to say how awesome. She needs a shop full of these to sell.

  52. Wow! Your sister is a rockstar and you and your siblings are incredibly talented! Marvel in your gift and thank-you for your willingness to share it.


  53. Your video spot was great and your sisters gifts all I can say is WOW ! You are a very lucky lady.

  54. Speechless!!!!

  55. I cannot fathom the time invested in the planning and creation of those sculptures. Way beyond “measure twice, cut once”. Just awesome.

  56. Is there a picture of you in those red velvet pants? They sound amazing! You are amazing!

  57. Truly Over The Top And Amazing You All Are!!
    Wishing You One Terrific Tuesday!

  58. You are loved KariAnne! I had tears flowing when I saw those sculptures! Your sister is a true rockstar and has amazing talent. WOW. And, I will never look at shopping bags the same! Totally cool project! It would be great to have in a home with little ones….the crayon and sticky finger marks will wipe right off!

  59. What an artist! Just beautiful!

  60. There’s a lot of creativity in your family! love it all! {tv star!}-aimee

  61. Woo-hoo…the pillows are adorable and the book art is outstanding. Creativity runs in the family.

  62. Book sculptures are incredible! Shopping bag pillows to die for! Quite obvious you and your family are very creative! Love your blog!

  63. KariAnne I knew those were waves before you even said it!!!! Those are really cool!!
    Happy New Year!!

  64. These sculptures are amazing. I think a few of us will be tinkering with some old books trying to figure out the process.
    Oh and this reader loves my jingle bell wreath my daughter bought at the Market. I just cannot bring myself to put it away.
    So thanks of being such an inspiration to us all.
    Your BFF … you have yet to meet. giggle

  65. What priceless, heartfelt gifts. There’s nothing more meaningful than a gift made by a loved one’s hands 😉

  66. Congrats!!! Your rocket ship is definitely headed to higher places. Enjoy the ride.

  67. Wow! Your sister is amazing. All of you are so talented!

  68. For the record, your sister has a fan! I would loveto know how to do that. What a super crative idea. Your thistle is no easy feat. Thank you for sharing these amaing gifts!!!!