Matryoshka (Russian Nesting Dolls) Card

I love the folk-art look of these Matryoshka or Russian Nesting Dolls, and I’ve been noticing them everywhere lately. I saw a cute Matryoshka card on Pinterest and decided to make my own version of this colorful, cheerful design.

In fact, this isn’t my first Matryoshka project.  A few years ago I made this little needle-felted set out of wool.

But today I want to show you this Matryoshka card set. The largest figure in this little set has a pocket inside to hold the other dolls. The three smaller figures aren’t cards but you can write a message on the back of each one before you tuck them into the pocket.

Before I show you how to make this card, here is a look at some of the many Matryoshka-themed items you can find on a quick visit to Etsy.

From a Google definition of Etsy:

Etsy is a social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies.

Click on any of the headings below to go the the Etsy site for that particular item.

  1. Wristlet Kindle Cover
  2. Russian Nesting Dolls Rubber Stamp Set
  3. Matryoshka Nesting Dolls Tote Bags
  4. Russian Nesting Doll Bracelet
  5. Vintage Altered Pages/Matryoshka
  6. Little Women Mug

I’m sure you’ve seen a picture of the traditional dolls and many variations including beautifully painted, collectible dolls depicting Russian fairy tales, architecture of Russian churches,animals, holidays, political leaders and more.

These days you can find everything from Matryoshka ABBA to Matryoshka Zombies.  Matryoshka Hello Kitty, anyone?

I’m not even sure why I find them so appealing, but I do.  There is something about opening one doll and finding successively smaller ones inside that is sweet.

Though this card will take a little time to make, it is really cute, very satisfying and not hard at all.  Sometimes I really enjoy a project with pretty paper and embellishments.

I’ve also made a template for you to use that you can find here.

Matryoshka or Russian Nesting Dolls Card


Card Stock – 4 different colors plus pale pink for the faces

Patterned Paper (I used 4.5″ x 6.5″ printed card stock sets for this project that I found on sale at Joann Fabric and Craft)



Fancy Scissors (optional) I used these on one of these sets of cards and not on the other

Double-sided adhesive (My favorite is Tombo permanent)

Sticky Tape or other stronger adhesive for the interior pocket

Small Flower Punch or Flower Embellishments

Small Hole Punch (1/8″)

Glue Pen

Bone Folder

Colored Markers for facial features and hair


Print out two copies of the template (here).  Cut out each doll pattern from one template.

Use the pencil to trace the outline of each doll on a different color of card stock.

Fold the mama doll card on the dotted line.  I realized after I used the template myself that I didn’t quite get the shape matching on the two sides.  I’m sorry, but I did my best.  Go ahead and trim the card so the front and back pieces match.

Now take the second template and cut out the headscarves or babushkas, and aprons.

Cut one apron and one headscarf for each doll out of different printed paper.  If desired, use fancy wavy-edged or scalloped scissors for the edge of the apron and bottom of the scarves as you can see I used on this set.

On the first set of Matryoshka I made, I used all one color-family for each doll.  In the other, I mixed up the colors which I think I prefer.  You decide what you like (or make both!)

I made a stack of all the pieces for each doll just to keep them straight.

Cut out the pocket for the mama doll.  Please note, it goes on the inside of the card, not on the back.  I just put it on the back on the template to save space.

Take the pattern pieces that have the heads, (one for each doll) and trace over the circle , pressing firmly with your pencil (you don’t really need to cut out the face circle from the template) onto the pink card stock.  Cut out the four circles for the faces.

Using the markers, draw on hair and facial features.  I had to turn over one of the circles and make a second face because I didn’t like how the first one was looking.  The faces I drew are not very traditional – you get to decide how you want yours to look.

Now assemble the dolls.  I use Tombow adhesive and add the apron than the headscarf and finally the face.

Using stronger sticky tape or small, strong adhesive dots, adhere the pocket inside the mama Matryoshka card.

With a flower punch, small hole punch for little dots, and scissors, punch out flowers, cutting some into smaller hearts or leaves.  With a glue pen, adhere these embellishments.

If desired, cut small ties for the headscarves out of matching paper, and adhere under the chin of each doll.  On one set I used a marker to outline some of the details, in the other set I left it off.  Again – the choice is yours.

Add a greeting and your signature on the back and your little Matryoshka card family is ready to give to someone you love.  Or someone you like a lot anyway.

Спасибо. Spasiba. Thank you.


Filed under Crafts

17 responses to “Matryoshka (Russian Nesting Dolls) Card

  1. This post blew my mind, you are stepping it up Queen of Craft!

  2. Thanks for the awesome compliment! I’ve been working on this one for a bit – it’s been awhile since I did a post with a template. I saw the article you pinned on Pinterest about putting text on pictures for pinning and this seemed like the right post to do that with – so thanks for pinning that great article. It won’t be an every-post thing for me. I also had great help from Shook on that. Yay for all my creative and supportive friends.

  3. Kathleen Faw

    I like these. Looks like something it would be fun to do with Ariel (if I ever see her again for more than a hour or two a week).

  4. Wow this is so cool!! Wanted to say thank you for including a link to our matryoshka tote bags. I can’t wait to try out the card template. Your card looks great!

    • Hi, Sarah – Thanks, I hope you do try out the card. Your tote bags are really adorable (I also like the Dia de los Meurtos skull image). In fact, I think matryoshka’s are a great graphic image which is probably why they’re so darn popular. Thanks for checking out my post.

  5. Pingback: Mother’s Day Roundup | dianne faw

  6. Brigitte

    J’aime et c’est très jolies !

  7. Thank you for sharing. Very helpful instructions and illustrations.

  8. Pingback: T is for Tiger, C is for Craft | dianne faw

  9. hanane

    It was my first time to see this nice dolls all my life it is very nice.

  10. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i
    am really happy to read all at one place.

  11. Pingback: Craft - papusi Matrioska - Stilul meu de viata

  12. Pingback: Calatorim in jurul lumii - Rusia - Stilul meu de viata

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