Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Matryoshka Pirates

Matryoshka PiratesAs promised here is the first week of a summer of crafts for kids.

Now don't panic, I'm not going to try and tell you that my child painted these dolls but the activity is terrific for any age.

Did you realize you can get a set of blank wooden nesting dolls (also called matryoshka dolls) for decorating on your own? Well I'm telling you now and I made this set with my wood burner and paints while the boys and I were reading Treasure Island a couple months ago.

You've got big ol' Long John Silver (notice his parrot on his shoulder) with an eye patch and red scarf on his head, then you've got Doctor Livsey (or it could be Squire Trelawney or Captain Smollett in a pinch) with the yellow cravat and tri-cornered hat (I have to explain what he's wearing because heaven knows my painting certainly doesn't give much of a clue).

Matryoshka PiratesThen there are a couple assorted pirates in baby blue (because pirates always wear baby blue puffy shirts--my pirates are enlightened) and stripes then tiny little itty bitty Jim Hawkins. Cute huh?

Though upon completion I'm suspicious that some of my pirates are strangely reminiscent of Larry the Cucumber . . . maybe I've been forced to sit through that movie too many times and it's seeping into my subconscious.

Anyway, the dolls are fairly inexpensive (you can find a huge selection here) and it's fun for younger children and older children alike to decorate their own set of dolls. Plain old craft acrylic paint works well and if you want to give them a coat of shellac for protection it's not a bad idea (though I haven't).

Some possible ideas for the dolls:

  • Favorite fairy tale characters such as The Princess and the Pea, Sleeping Beauty, The Three Bears, Cinderella or Red Riding Hood.

  • Family members (different sets come with varying numbers of dolls)

  • Book characters such as Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

  • Movie characters-Star Wars is the obvious choice here but you could go with Spiderman or Batman or superheroes too.

  • Animals of any kind.

  • Plain old stock characters like knights, cowboys, aliens, princesses, ninjas, fairies, whatever.

  • Or just let them decorate in an abstract way. Nothing says it has to look like a person does it?

  • Or you could have small children paint them each a different color then play a game of collecting things that are that color to hide inside each doll.
And you know what matroyshka pirates say don't you? "Ahoy! Comrade!" You can see more pictures of the set at my Flickr page.

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Congratulations to April of We Are the Duvalls for winning this weekend's Itty Bitty Bookworm and Corner Stork Baby Gifts giveaway!

Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions with the Serena and Lily Bedding Collection for children.

20 comments:

Edi said...

I've always loved those nesting dolls - what a cool idea to have blank ones that can be designed. Your pirates look great!

Bee said...

I'm always amazed that anybody can get a woodburner to do things like that. I really, really stink at it. Your pirates are great and make me a wee bit jealous!

I think nesting dolls are so much fun. I saw somebody drill holes into the top and make salt and pepper shaker, too.

Jennifer said...

I can already tell you are going to make my mailbox overflow with creative and clever crafts this summer!

One Mom said...

My grandkids love our Matryoshka dolls (we actually bought them in Alaska!)and I never knew that you could buy a "paint-it-yourself" set until now! What a great treat this will be for them!

Heather said...

Wow. I'm pretty sure mine would look no where near as great as yours.

Patricia Linehan said...

Very nice painting & woodburning. You could've told me they were store-bought and I would've believed you.

Maddy said...

No I didn't. That is superb although I already know who will paint which ones in which themes as some things are all too predictable. So yes, three sets already sold to the lady with no elastic on her purse.
Cheers

jacjewelry said...

Cute and fun, and a great activity for the kids!

Keeling said...

those are so cute! You're very talented.

Kim said...

What a cool idea! I'm going to order some—you're right, they're really not that expensive. My girls are going to love these!

MoziEsmé said...

Aww - these are so cute! My girlie LOVES nesting dolls - specially the itsy bitsy baby ones in the middle. Maybe we should make a set that look like her cousins. Or Disney princesses - that would be a huge hit!

Melissa said...

I've been looking forward to the summer crafts and I love this idea! I didn't know you could get plain ones, but I think my boys would love doing this!

skyesofblue said...

Thanks for the information. They are so cute. What a great suggestion.

Marielle said...

I love the family member suggestion. Alas no woodburner or woodburning skills but I might break out the paints.

Angela said...

Clever! Thank you for sharing this. We love nesting dolls and love to craft...I would have never thought of this on my own.

Madeline said...

Those are so cute! This is the second batch of handpainted ones I've seen lately, and I'm so tempted to do my own.

jubilee said...

So creative. And don't downplay your painting skills - these are awesome.

kawaii crafter said...

You're getting really good with that wood burning tool. And your nesting dolls look so professional, seriously. I don't think I'm even close to this level yet. But if I was to make a set, I think it would be a kokeshi doll version.

Michele said...

Wow, you have a lot of talent! They look beautiful!

Damselfly said...

What a fun idea! I'd love to find some plain dolls like this to decorate.