Make Your Own Holiday Nesting Dolls

Christmas is just over a month away (ack!) If you’re like me, this year you put out the Christmas tree on November 1st. Normally I don’t decorate that soon, but 2020 called for it!

If you’re already sitting back, wishing you hadn’t blown through your Christmas Decor to-do list during the stress of election week, this is the tutorial for you.

Below you’ll learn how to paint your own holiday nesting dolls. This project is sure to fill plenty of your anxious hours when you need to keep your hands busy.

You’ll Need:

Today we’re bringing you our first Christmas DIY of the season—holiday nesting dolls. This project is reminiscent of our popular hand-painted nativity and DIY dala horse. Like those, these holiday nesting dolls start from natural wood shapes and turn into colorful heirlooms by the time you’re done. It’s the perfect type of Christmas craft!

What Are Nesting Dolls?

Though nesting dolls we know today came from Russia, the original nesting dolls actually date back to ancient China. Both Russian and Chinese nesting dolls rely on the same concept—one large doll (often representing the mother or maternal figure) encompasses a set of smaller dolls. However, the smallest of the Chinese nesting dolls held a grain of rice (that’s a tiny doll!). 

Before the traditional dolls made their way to Russia, they caught on in Japan. It was there that a Russian woman noticed the dolls and took them with her to Russia. Her husband, Savva Mamontov, was a patron of the arts particularly interested in Russian folk art.

The first Russian dolls appeared in the late 1800s, where they were referred to as “Matroyshka,” which comes from the Latin root “mater,” or mother. We love the symbol of the nesting dolls as much as the dolls themselves—as it represents creation and new life (something we all hope for at the end of this tumultuous year!). 

Now we’ll show you how to make your very own holiday nesting dolls you can pass down for generations to come.

How to paint your own nesting dolls

This project was heavily influenced by our mid-century heirloom nativity set. You can see that project here.

Materials

Instructions

  1. You can either start out by painting each one a solid color like I did. OR you can pencil in your design.
  2. Pencil in your design or continue painting in the design.
  3. That’s it!

It’s a simple method that produces big results!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Once you do, tag us with #HolidaysWithLars or #LarsMakes.

If you liked this, you might also like

How to make a holiday leaf crown
Advent Candle
DIY Christmas Traditions from Around The World

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is such a cute idea! I can’t wait to try this for Christmas. I plan on painting a doll that looks like each member of my family and then put little treats in each one for them!

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