ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Crafts & Handiwork

Buy Russian Dolls Online

Updated on February 26, 2014

Buy Russian Dolls Online For Great Gifts!

If you’re looking to buy Russian dolls online, this article explains the different types of Russian dolls available, from Matryoshka dolls (nesting dolls and stacking dolls – also known as Babushka dolls) to paint-your-own Russian dolls and modern and retro Russian dolls that make a unique gift.

Russian dolls are colourful, ornamental wooden or plastic dolls that can add sparkle to your home. Both adults and children love to play with Russian dolls - for centuries they have fascinated crafters with their beautiful, intricate floral designs and character.

History Of Russian Dolls

Russian nesting dolls are the most popular Russian national souvenir and have a hundred-year history. The first matryoshka was created in a “Children’s Education” workshop in Abramtsevo near Moscow. The creator was Sava Mamontov, an industrialist and art patron.

The first nesting Russian doll set was made in 1890 near Moscow by artist Sergei Maliutin and turner Vassiliy Zviozdochkin. These nested Russian dolls contained 2-24 pieces, but the more popular dolls of 3, 8 and 12 pieces became the norm.

The first Russian dolls were known as "Russian peasant toys" due to their origination as toys for peasant children.

Throughout history, Russian dolls have been used to portray political figures, noblemen, historical figures, legendary heroes and prominent families. Modern interpretations also include Santa, sports teams, fairytale characters, prominent people, American Presidents, the Beatles, Disney characters, The Simpsons and so on.

Matryoshka Russian Dolls

Matryoshka Russian dolls, stacking Russian dolls and nesting Russian dolls are Russian dolls that fit inside each other and come in a set of many pieces. They are also called Babushka dolls. They are often carved out of wood and painted in bright colours with Russian folklore and flower motifs.

Traditionally, the main (largest size) matryoshka doll is known as a “mother” doll who is in charge of a large peasant family and has a healthy disposition and rounded figure. This is a reflection of the matriachal society in Russia in the past century. Occasionally, other artistic “families” such as political figurehead collections may be captured by artists of matryoshka sets and these may include a father as the head of the Russian doll family. Early matryoshka were known as Boyar Woman, Girl Wearing Red Polks-Dot Kerchief, The Peoples Of Russia, The Gypsy and Girl With Buckets.

Did you know?

Before they made Russian dolls, Russian peasant craftsmen in the region used to make nested wooden eggs for Easter.

Make Your Own Russian Dolls

Paint-your-own Russian dolls have become increasingly popular with artists and people looking for a great homemade gift idea. Unpainted Russian dolls come in many different materials, including wood, plastic and plaster. By painting your own Russian dolls, you can give a unique homemade gift that will brighten up a loved one’s home. You can even paint your own Russian doll in your family’s likeness for a unique family heirloom!

Handy Hint: Use toothpicks or the flat ends of kebab sticks with acrylic paint to form the small dots, flowers and eyes on the doll for painting. Seal the acrylic paint with a lacquer or matte clear varnish for waterproof protection.

For painting on plastic, use enamel paint, similar to that used in decorating miniature plastic and metal figurines. You can find enamel and acrylic paints at your local art shop and appropriate varnish at hardware stores.

Where To Buy Russian Dolls

There are a large variety of Russian dolls for sale you can buy online at Amazon, from measuring cup Russian dolls and ninja Russian dolls to unpainted Russian dolls and matryoshka Russian dolls.

Look out for traditional types of painted Russian dolls carved out of woodwith intricate handpainted folkloric designs or for the more modern sculptured styles representing famous people, including The Wizard Of Oz, Harry Potter, Baby Jesus, Michael Jackson or Santa Claus. Since matryoshka dolls are so well known around the world and are such a cheerful addition to home décor, many novelty items using the image of the matryoshka doll make popular gifts and keepsakes.

Did you know?

Russian dolls were traditionally carved from one block of wood and were made from birch or lime trees.

It's Been My Pleasure...

Thank you for reading my article on Russian dolls. For a unique gift idea, paint your own Russian nesting dolls using Russian folkloric motifs in the likenesses of your family and wow them with a handmade generational keepsake.

I have always been interested in Russian dolls - whether as thimbles, patchworked Russian dolls, or handpainted and sculptured sets. They add to any room, are fun to make and can be made in thousands of different artistic styles.

If this article was useful to you, don't forget to vote it up below!

© 2013 Suzanne Day


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      These dolls looks so cute. I would love to buy them. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      so cute. These dolls are great for decorations

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 4 years ago from Olney

      Very good hub. Very interesting.