Art Around the World- Russian Nesting Dolls


As I said, I am fascinated with learning about different cultures and their art. Originally made from wood, Russian Nesting Dolls are very symbolic and are still treasured today. Read more of the fascinating history here.

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As you may know, I have three young children, so this post is something I created for them. If I were still teaching art (or if you want your child to make this at home) I would suggest creating this with either the 3rd or 4th-grade student. However, my children still have fun playing with the Russian Nesting Dolls and helped as much as possible.

Classified: Difficult due to time, and knowing how to paint in details of the face. I suggest children 8 and up would be able to do this entirely on their own.

What you need:

  • Plastic or paper cups of various sizes
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Papier Mache Paste (see recipe below)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Permanent or paint Marker (optional)

What you do:

1. Prep- make papier mache paste and tear up strips of newspaper. You may have to trim down a cup or two to make the sizes go from largest to smallest. Also, make certain that each cup fits into another.
Papier Mache Recipe:

  • 1 part flour to one part water. For a stronger mold add some white glue.

2. Papier-mache the inside and outside of each cup- carefully; especially if it is a paper cup. Allow 24 plus hours to dry.

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3. I sketched out what each Russian Nesting Doll would look like before I painted. If you teach this to a group of students, or at home, I strongly urge them to do the same.

4. Paint in the figures accordingly. I used acrylic paint. Allow to dry and add details.

5. When all dry, the Russian Nesting Dolls should fit nicely into one another!

6. Don’t forget to get your passport and mark off Russia!

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