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Chalkboard Matryoshka Dolls

August 2, 2012

Clear back in January my sister sent me this link of a project from Rubyellen Bratcher at Cakies.  And I wanted to make one immediately!  But you know, a lot of times in my world immediately equals “in the next year or two”.  Unless chocolate or ice cream is involved.  Then it is immediately, like right now.  Like 5 minutes ago.  Moving on.

chalkboard matryoshkas

I love how they turned out.  Like, a lot.  And Creamie loves them too, which I suppose is more important.  I suppose.  I’ve got a few Matryoshka dolls on display in our home.  I lived in Moscow for a year 10 years ago and I came home with a lot of different kinds.  Some painted and some blank.  I used one of my unfinished sets for this project, but a quick etsy search turned up a lot of sellers who have blank dolls.

blank slate

I sanded my dolls first and then wiped them down with a damp cloth.  Then I sanded again after the first coat of paint was dry.  I think I even sanded a few rough spots after the second coat of paint too.  I did four coats of paint, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  It took a whole day between drying times and sanding and whatnot.  My paints instructions said to let it set for 24 hours before drawing on it, so I did that too.  Rubyellen didn’t mention this in her post, but I also cured the chalkboard paint by rubbing each doll all over with chalk and then wiping it off with a dry cloth.  (This picture above was taken before I did that though.  I think the shiny black is really pretty.)

blue ombre

And then because I’m kind of awesome and my daughters favorite color is blue I painted the insides of the dolls in a blue ombre rainbow.  I had originally planned to use rainbow colors, but decided she’d probably like them all blue instead.  And as soon as she saw what I had done she asked me “Why didn’t you paint a rainbow Mom?” I can’t win.

phone pics copy

But, it’s safe to say that she loves them.  She had so much fun decorating each one.  Her chalk drawing on curves skills need, uh, improvement.  But I love her version of little people.  She could point out the eyes and the dresses and the person holding a cupcake for you if you’d like.

her version

Maybe next time she colors them I’ll take notes and post an annotated picture.  It’s pretty hilarious to listen to her talk through her chalkboard ideas.

my version

I need help drawing on curves with chalk too.  I think these look pretty, um, rustic?  Especially compared to the beautiful handpainted dolls I brought home from the MotherLand.  But, it was really fun and we’ll be doing this again.  It was fun to sit with her and listen to her chatter on about it.  It’s going to be a great little art project to do over and over.


And I really love the insides!  I’m sure they will quickly fill up with all sorts of her treasures.  Looking forward to that actually.  She is hilarious in the things she tucks away.  Rocks and sticks are among her favorites.  Also, pennies.  She LOVES pennies.

chalkboard nails 2

Anyway, this was the project I was working on a few weeks ago when I ended up with a chalkboard manicure.  Thanks Rubyellen for such a great idea!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2012 4:48 pm

    Score for Mom!
    Those are cute… what a great idea!

  2. August 3, 2012 9:04 am

    Cute, cutey McCute.



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