I’m sitting here on the first day of 2024 writing this post and counting my blessings and my sips of coffee and watching the national playoff games and hoping with all my heart and crossed fingers and toes that Texas wins.

But I digress.

If you have been reading this blog for more than a hot minute you already know what I’m about to post.


You guessed it (I can see you nodding).

It’s handmade present week.

If you are new to the blog, here’s Reader’s Digest version of our yearly handmade present exchange. I have a big family of brothers and sisters and we all made handmade gifts for each other every year. But before you think simple, quaint, ordinary handmade gifts.

Please think again.

These are over-the-top, one-of-a-kind, truly-unique-never-been-created-before kind of gifts. Like the lampshade made from my father’s slides and the handmade boxes that look like people and the thistle artwork created from the first 750 words of my blog and the Christmas tree made from silver sugar bowl lids.

And on and on and handmade Christmas present on.

But this year? Maybe it was that we almost lost my brother to Malaria, or that there were a lot of challenges this year, or maybe we all just felt extra creative….


So much so that I had to devote the rest of the week to the handmade presents of Christmas 2023.

Starting with this.


Before we discuss the gift that my sister created it out of a few random scraps of cardstock and a few drops of glue and a whole lot of imagination? This was the sister who helped me find the mini houses in the back of the vintage shop and gave me the idea to make my own house.

You can read that entire full-circle story here.

I feel the need to repeat what my niece told me this Christmas.

I feel like you are in your tiny house era, Aunt Kari,” she said.

And she’s not wrong.

I have tiny houses and glitter houses just like this one all over the house. My sister came at Thanksgiving and I was showing her all these glitter houses and how much I loved them. I have an entire village of them with a bakery and a pet shop and a hotel and a restaurant.

And that discussion?

Inspired her to make this.


She made an exact glitter house replica of the house we both grew up in.

The shutters.

The wreaths.

The porch.

The columns.

The railings.

The poinsettias.

Here’s my house this Christmas.

And here’s my glitter house.

Here’s my front porch.

Here’s my glitter house’s front porch.

I may or may not currently be up to 55 tiny Christmas houses.

But don’t tell the other houses?

There’s a new favorite on the block.

She knows the house inside and out and the attention to detail is amazing.

There’s a bay window on the side of the house and she added it to the glitter house.

It extends from the side and she added the glitter roof to the house.

We got a new roof a while back and here’s the paper roof.

In all of it’s glitter glory.

She even mimicked the roof line.

She added the porch and the railing to the front of the house.

And added columns to the front.

And even wrote out our house number like on our real house.

There are green wreaths on all the windows.

And the front door.

And the wreaths have red ribbon just like the wreaths on my house.

She even added poinsettia to the front porch steps.

And a railing to the front of the house.

Just like the railing on my real house.

But just when the house couldn’t get any cuter?


She recreated the back of the house, too.


A mini porch with a wreath on the door just like our house.

But the best part?

She even added the little dutch door on the back of the house.

Our favorite door.

The door that we have walked through wearing generations of outfits. From stirrup pants and Aqua Net hair to yoga pants and messy buns.

All the chapters.

All the history.

All the stories.

Held together with glitter paper and glue…

….and the bond between sisters.

Happy New Year.

It’s going to be an amazing one.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Oh my goodness!!! Can you explain what your sister used for the house body? Is it wood? You are a family of creators!

  2. Image for Kim Kim

    I cant believe it. Karianne that is soooooooooo beautiful. That must of taken months to make. I dont think anything can beat out that house so I will stay tuned all week to see the rest. Happy New year, Kim XOXO

  3. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    Simply amazing. When I see this wonderful creation I truly feel the love between you and your sister. How blessed you both are.

  4. Image for JC JC

    This is the best glitter house for you EVER! What a thoughtful gift! I hope you have a special box to put it in to protect it for years and years to come. So cute!

  5. Image for Joanne McNevin Joanne McNevin

    So you’re not the only talent in your family? Incredible! Sisters are a gift and she is a real treasure. What a special gift indeed !

  6. Image for Alice Alice

    This house is amazing. You have such a wonderfully talented family. There is nothing so precious as a hand made gift. I still have a couple that my girls made for me the year before they were married.

  7. Image for Diana Diana

    This is so precise it must have taken hours to build. Good news you now have 2 houses to put out that looks like yours. You are very blessed and have a talented family. I can't wait for the other reveals. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    What a wonderfully creative gift! Is it made of wood? I love the attention to all the little details. I can feel the sisterly love that was put into its creation! Happy New Year!

  9. Image for Harper Harper

    OMG... Must have list of materials used for this house. It is just so special from sister to sister. LOVE IT. Looks like the talent runs in all the family....

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Oh, my goodness! What amazing gift. It is lovely. She did a beautiful job. what talent and grat love went into this creation.

  11. Image for Karins Kottage Karins Kottage

    Now that is a Christmas gift! What a precious gift from your sister… that you will always treasure. I love it! Years ago when my girls were younger we would draw names and have to make gifts for each other for Christmas. It was awesome! I need to bring that back for next year! Love this post KariAnne! Hugs, Karin

  12. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Your sister, what a loving heart she has. You just hear the return love in your words of excitement. Sisters...I have 6. You are shown her love and what an amazing gift.

  13. Image for Karen Karen

    Your fam is so talented! Can't wait to see what your brother did. I actually look forward to these gift posts.

  14. Image for va in NC va in NC

    What a wonderful creative gift...maybe later show all the other gifts as I,m sure they were all amazing. Wonderful post and very best to you and yours for a wonderful 2024.

  15. Image for Carrie Carrie

    While I love and learn from every post, your handmade Christmas gifts are always my extra favorites!!! Happy New Year!!

  16. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so stinkin cute and perfect and thoughtful and awesome and I am grinning so much it hurts, KA! What an gift, just wow. And happiest of new years to you and yours!

  17. Image for Lori Lori

    I’m speechless- this is incredible and I can’t wait for the rest of the week. I LOVE reading the email posts I get from you each day. You are a ray of sunshine in my Inbox. Thanks for the inspiration and the laughs. And for keeping it all real. Lori

  18. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Such a wonderful, open heart your sister has. Your family is blessed. Not many people spend time handcrafting gifts in this day and age. Enjoy these special moments. Happy New Year. Big Hugs,

  19. Image for Laura Wells Laura Wells

    I hope you really, really know what a blessing it is to have a sister! And what a sweet gift!!! Thank you for sharing.

  20. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Your sister did a great job and you can tell all the love she poured into it. You are so blessed and I know a blessing to each other. Have a wonderfully Happy Year 2024.

    1. Image for Mary Lou Mary Lou

      Your sister’s gift inspired me to make glitter houses of our home for our three daughters next year. I better get started today, maybe tomorrow. LOL.

  21. Image for Judy Young Judy Young

    Oh my goodness! I can just see your excitement on Christmas morning opening this most beautiful gift from your sister! You must have been ecstatic!! I would have been too! Truly the best gift ever. I can’t wait to see what other handmade treasures you made and received. Happy New Year beautiful lady!

  22. Image for Karyn Stouffer Karyn Stouffer

    This is AMAZING! I can't even. Your sister is so creative and sweet and talented... And everything else a sister should be.

  23. Image for Liz Shivel Liz Shivel

    Hi KariAnne, that house from your sister is simply amazing! I cannot fathom how long it took her to draw it, cut it, glue it, and then decorate it! Amazing! 😳 I thought of a “handmade” item that you could do, as I was reading your blog just now! It’s not exactly “handmade”, as with glue & sparkling snow…but it would be your creation for sure! 📙📖 Are you familiar with Word Search books, you search for the listed words and circle them, I’m sure you’ve seen them… well, you take a selection of your blogs, with a lot of your photos of blog subjects, to sprinkle in each word search game page to make them took spiffy… then put it altogether into a “Thistlewood Word Search” book! You’ll get an opportunity to republish your many great ideas and projects plus the “words” that go with them! Another book authored by you! 😁. There you go! And please Hug Buddy for me!


    KariAnne, how blessed you are to have such a wonderful sister -- and family! Your gift is wonderful. Your dear sis has done such a great job of creating your house for you! I know this is something you will treasure forever. She has captured every detail. How unique that your family spends time making their special gifts. HAPPY NEW YEAR and may God richly bless you and your precious family this year. How we thank God for you! YOU, KARIANNE, ARE OUR SPECIAL GIFT!

  25. Image for Kathy Kathy

    This is beyond awesome! Priceless! She’s very talented & creative. I know you have some very talented siblings so could you share more of the gifts? Truly blessed!

  26. Image for Lois Lois

    What a gift of love!!!! I know this will be something you treasure and will enjoy for entire winter. I cannot wait to see the other creative gifts you received. Handmade gifts are always my favorite! Thank you for sharing!

  27. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    KariAnne, I look forward to the creativity of your family each year! Sister did a fantastic job! So much fun! Looking forward to the week of ‘funnest’ ! Smiles, alice

  28. Image for Jan Robins Jan Robins

    I love your latest addition to your tiny houses. Your sister is very talented and must have lots of patience. Wishing you and your family a Blessed New Year🥳

  29. Image for Kris Kris

    I also love little houses and this is amazing. Do you have a good way to store it to keep it safe, and are you willing to share your information 😉?

  30. Image for Janice Paschal Janice Paschal

    She did an amazing job created with lots of hours of love. I’m sure you’ll cherish this forever.

  31. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    Well, that is a keeper, and so is your sister! Such a thoughtful gift. Your family is amazing. Happy New Year. 😘

  32. Image for Jan Kinman Jan Kinman

    Amazing! I can’t wait to see what else your talented family created with love. So happy you share them every year!

  33. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    Happy New Year, Keri Anne, You have the most incredibly talented family. I absolutely love the glitter covered copy of your home. Your sister is so artistic. I remember something your brother made for you from wood pallets some time ago, so I'm seeing a talent trend here. 😉❤️ What a treasure this house is. Karen B.

  34. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    What a fabulous gift! I always look forward to the sibling gift reveals! Always astounding filled with thought and creativity!

  35. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Oh, wow! Sooo cute! What a great and thoughtful gift! Always love seeing those family handmade gifts! 🥰

  36. Image for . .

    Absolutely amazing!! love every bit of it.. But inquiring mind like mine need to know---I'm wondering how many times she had to drive by, look around, etc to get it just so perfect and down to every detail.. I bet it took her months. I nominate her for sister of the year..

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