Beyond the Pale

Nesting for Spring: Chanel Russian ‘Matryoshka’ Dolls

I have always loved Russian nesting [also known as Matryoshka or babushka] dolls, but can’t quite pinpoint why, exactly.

Many designers have seemingly gone Russian Doll crazy, too, and I am currently lusting after Chanel’s range of Matryoshka accessories. Particularly this darling little necklace…

Chanel Russian Doll Necklace

…but the price is most distinctly not darling, and so, with a heavy heart yet a skip in our step, we shall seek out other darling designs we may actually be able to indulge in!

Matryoshka (Nesting Doll) Card by Letterpress: $4

Those be-rouged faces are certainly a popular theme this Spring/Summer – in fashions, homewares, stationary and art – all over the place…

Lavender bags, Matryoshka style by Beaky: $10 each (you choose the colour)

Perhaps it’s the naive folk-art cheeriness of their smiling faces that appeals so much to designers, or maybe the incredibly satisfying sensation or image of opening one to find another, smaller, nestling inside.

Russian Doll Alphabet Poster by Creative Neesh: $40

There is even a distinct childhood memory I have of the smell of the wood, the sound the tops made when you took them apart, the feeling that you had found a kind of secret treasure when you came to the smallest of the dolls.

Laptop Bag (custom sizing) by Track and Field Designs: $48

These Matryoshka dolls are very like the ones I had as a child, with their distinctive red lips (ha, maybe that’s where I get my love of bright red lipstick from?)

Matryoshka Dolls by Merchant of Kismet: $24

They can take many forms, however, and in recent history the design has also been used as a political or philosophical metaphor.

Darling Matryoshka Doll T-Shirt by Handmade Bliss: $34

I’m going to stick with the traditional, though, as it’s just so cheering and both the image and colours feel very suitable for Spring somehow.

Matryoshka Nesting Doll Fabric, 1 Yard, from Spice Berry Cottage: $14

I do hope you will enjoy browsing the rest of my hand-picked selection below, dear hearts!

Direct links to items shown, left to right:

1st Row: 1) Track and Field Designs, 2) Beaky, 3) Handmade Bliss

2nd Row: 1) Juju Treasures, 2) Letterpress, 3) Merchant of Kismet

3rd Row: 1) Mew Paper Arts, 2) Chickadee Supplies, 3) Paper Pumpkin

4th Row: 1) Spice Berry Cottage, 2) Naked Tile, 3) Creative Neesh


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great feature! I love Russian dolls, thanks so much for including my brooch! 🙂

Comment by natalie

Wow…what a wonderful blog post! And I am honored to have our Matryoshka doll fabric posted here. I am half Ukrainian and we grew up loving these. I would love to find some nesting doll ornaments for our Christmas tree. Thanks so much for including us!

Comment by Spice Berry Cottage

I have collected Russian Nesting Dolls for years. I love them, so this is a treat! Thank you for introducing me to new Matryoshka items, for supporting etsy and handmade, and for feeaturing our own Matryoshka fabric and paper Gift Set! ♥ Kathy

Comment by Kathy

I love it! Thay are so cheerful. I am honoured to be among such lovely ladies. xx

Comment by Bonita

Thanks for picking my poster to feature!! Love your collection!

Comment by Nisha

What a wonderful set of treasures. I’d love to have one of each. Thanks for including our work!

Comment by Letterpress Delicacies

Your article is lovely.Thanks for including my girls.

Comment by Merchantofkismet

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