How to Make Matryoshka Dolls


Matryoshka dolls, also known as nesting dolls, are a popular element of Russian folk art. They are usually a set of dolls that fit within each other, hence "nesting dolls." Russian Matryoshka dolls are similar to Japanese Kokeshi dolls in their physical appearance, although Kokeshi dolls cannot nest within one another. However, unlike Kokeshi dolls, Matryoshka dolls are made from one form upon which all the features of the doll are painted. A circle is usually painted in the top center of the doll to denote the face.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Exact-o knife
  • 3 paper cups of varying sizes
  • Paint
  • Fine-tipped paintbrush
  • Paint pens
  • Spray polyurethane
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon

How to Make Matryoshka Dolls

  • Cut three circles of painter's tape using the exact-o knife. Ensure that you size the circles the size you would like the faces of your dolls to be.

  • Press the pieces of tape firmly against each paper cup. This tape will prevent the faces from getting the paint of the body on them.

  • Paint the bodies of the dolls onto the paper cups, and allow the paint to dry for about an hour.

  • Remove the painter's tape from the cups when the paint is completely dried. Use the fine-tipped paintbrush to paint the faces of the dolls within the circles.

  • Use paints to add embellishments to the dolls, such as swirls, dots and any other designs you can create.

  • Spray the dolls with spray polyurethane to give them a glossy shine.

  • Cut three pieces of ribbon and tie each around a doll to complete your Matryoshka dolls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add glitter, buttons and other craft items to your dolls for more personalization.
  • Do not set your Matryoshka dolls within each other until they are each completely dried to avoid sticking or damaging your dolls.

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