Matryoshka: Crafty Russian Dolls To Make

These sweet dolls are loved by both young and old with design themes ranging from folk art to fabulous.

Matryoshka are sometimes called “Babushka” dolls, but essentially they are the same thing.

They are of Russian origin and represent “Mother” or “Little Matron” who nestles her family safely inside, one by one with the littlest (the baby) in a single, solid piece.

They were originally designed around the Peasant mother (in traditional costume with peasant dress & shawl) which symbolized family and fertility, but today’s themes are unlimited from peasants to royalty to politicians and even animals.

The online crafting community has come up with some really creative projects for fans and I had a lot of fun researching for this collection.

I found some great nesting/stacking projects using blank wooden pieces that you can purchase in craft stores or online, but I’ve also included everything from charming printables to bookmarks and ornaments…even a beautiful baked cake!

Lots here for fans and as usual on Tipnut…I only include the best of the best…but it has to be free! I’ll be adding more to this collection as I find new goodies, have fun!
Eggs: So much love for these wooden darlings! You’ll need to have basic artistic skills for hand painting them, but she shares lots of pics to help you.

Painted Wood Eggs: These feature sweet little fabric scarves and bottoms (held in place with spray adhesive).
Crocheted Bookmark: Instructions in both English and Spanish, includes both pattern and stitch chart graphic.

Cuddly Softy: Made with fabric (felt for the face) and stuffed, there’s no pattern to download but an example is shown so you can make it yourself (simple shapes/elements).
Paper Set: Adorable! Three dolls each with different expressions, free pdf download.

Minis: Measures 2 1/2″ inches, made from felt and lightly stuffed, hang with yarn if you like. Includes a pdf to download.
Bookends: Filled with rice or something similar to make them heavy. Basic instructions are provided but no pattern pieces. Can also be made into a doorstop.

Polymer Clay: Use small assorted colors/pieces of clay to shape over a tab (from soda can) then make charms, keychains, whatever you like!
Crocheted: A sweet little crochet project trimmed with bits of lace & pretty fabric.

Sewing Helper: My goodness, some people are so creative, this even holds a tape measure! You’ll need a pre-made blank wooden piece (large).
Printable Toys Set: The site isn’t in English, but just press the green button above the graphic design & you’ll be able to access the pdf at no charge.

Charm Tutorial: Wow, these are darling! Made with polymer clay in various colors and craft wire. The full tutorial is free via a pdf download.
Fairy-Tale Creation in Felt: All handmade with pieces of assorted pastel felt, fabric, assorted beads and embroidery thread. Step-by-step instructions & free pattern piece included.

Sweet Brooch: Another little crochet project, this one is for a wee brooch.
Finger Puppets: There’s a file link for the tutorial/pattern, design includes 3 different Hair Styles & Head Scarf styles.

How To Draw: Here’s a good tutorial showing you how to draw & create your own doll.
DIY Nesting: You’ll need a set of blank Matryoshka nesters (she includes a source link in the tutorial).

Nesting Eggs: Plastic eggs are first covered in pretty paper using the japanese washi technique.
Knitting Pattern: Their is a free pdf with instructions, body is knit but face is a piece of felt with basic embroidery.

Instructions for Painting: A few helpful design ideas & techniques for painting a blank set.
Wall Plaque: Use photos from an old magazine to create your Matryoshka (using a template), then adhere to a plank with Mod Podge.

Cake Design: Wow! So lovely! Scroll down the page a bit and you’ll find step-by-step directions for how to make this.
Russian-Style: Several different designs in this set. This is a printable, when you visit the page just click on the image then right click and “Save As” to save to your computer.

Three Designs: (see notes above), this set includes a Male Russian doll.
Ornament: A lovely hand-stitched project that includes a free image file to grab, stuffed lightly with cotton or polyester stuffing.

Needlecase: Made from pretty fabric, felt and stiffened with Iron-on interfacing. (you need to be a Scribd member which is free), if not just print the screen shot since all pieces are visible.
Fabric Key Cover: Such a sweet little project, this can be used as an ornament or attach a key ring at the bottom to hold a couple keys.

Tags: Three different ones to choose from: “Thank You”, “Belongs To” and the other is blank so you can personalize.

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    • Charlotte Massey-Crouch

    Thank you for all these darlin’ Matryoshka doll references! I love these sweet dollies, and they are so appealing when sewn into soft, squishy and huggable dolls for the little ones. My favorite project is the adorable Matryoshka needle book. Who would not love seeing this pretty little Matryoshka whenever one sought a sewing needle? I had purchased a tiny vinyl zippered Matryoshka sewing kit some years ago that I have carried in my purse for little sewing mishaps. But I would love to make one or two of them as gifts. Handmade things are so much more beautiful than things that are mass produced. It warms my heart when someone takes the time to make a special gift for me. ? Thanks so much again for the Matryoshkas and for every tip that you offer to the world on your site! It is incredibly helpful. Many blessings to you and yours. ?

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