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Custom Russian Nesting Dolls

Updated on February 10, 2011

Great Arts & Crafts Gift Idea!

I was watching Nightmare Before Christmas a few months ago and during the "Making Christmas" scene I was inspired by the part where the Three Mr. Hydes kill a scorpion and put it inside creepy looking Russian nesting dolls. I thought to myself "I want creepy Russian nesting dolls" so I went online in search of blank ones I could paint myself.  For those unfamiliar, Russian nesting dolls (also called Matryoshka or Babushka dolls) are hollow wooden figures which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, and so on. I found a store on amazon.com which sold them at a reasonable price. Mine were $25 for a set of 7. They come in different sizes and quantities. Mine started at 8" tall and went down from there, the smallest was about 1.5". It was a fun process which required a lot of planning and deciding which character to paint on which size since the smaller the go the less detail they can have. It was a challenge painting the smaller ones but I really enjoyed the process. 

The completed dolls make great gifts and can sell for a lot (I saw some on etsy.com for up to $150 for a set of 5) and have limitless possibilities. I plan to buy and paint more in the near future since I have so many ideas for them and I can't wait to see them come to life. 

If you need any ideas you can search deviantart.com or etsy.com and see what other people have done. Let me know if anyone else has tried this and how they came out!

Happy Crafting :)

This is how mine came out.  I drew inspiration from Tim Burton, The Haunted Mansion and Edgar Allen Poe.
This is how mine came out. I drew inspiration from Tim Burton, The Haunted Mansion and Edgar Allen Poe.

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      GreatRussianGifts 5 years ago from AZ, USA

      I absolutely love your nesting dolls. I tried to paint a set myself - it is a lot harder than it looks. We have quite a variety of nesting dolls on our site including the newest additions for 2011. Check it out if interested in new ideas:

      Russian Nesting Dolls by Great Russian Gifts

    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Oh man, these are really awesome nesting dolls. I have a few, but they are in the traditional design. Have any more ideas for Russian doll design? I am trying to think of something, but am drawing a blank. Great hub -- I'd never thought of custom making my own nesting dolls. :)

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      Antonio 6 years ago

      These are bomb! I'm diggin' the bride, would have been cool if you would have put her beating heart as well :) I'm a huge horror movie/halloween buff myself.