How To Open Your Nesting Dolls

A step-by-step guide with video

So, you’ve acquired a Russian Nesting Doll, hopefully from The Russian Store, and you’ve brought it home, only to pose the question to yourself, "How exactly do I open this thing?" Well we’re here to help you out, with this guide to opening up your new Russian Nesting Dolls.

Opening a normal to large sized nesting doll

Video on Opening Large Nesting Dolls Click to see video on opening large nesting dolls

Follow these steps:

  1. To avoid any damaged to the doll, due to accidentally dropping it, you...
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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Arina Anashkina

How Much is My Nesting Doll Worth?

It is a popular question… but a hard one to answer specifically. Many people will ask something like, "well I have this really old nesting doll that I acquired through my Russian grandmother and it sort of looks like this…" Unfortunately, with just a description, and even with more information like a date range and signature, it is still an almost impossible question to answer easily. One must seek the advice of an art appraiser who specializes in Russian art and/or history. If you would like ju...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Arina Anashkina

How to Find Your Ushanka Hat Size

During the harsh Winter season there’s no bigger priority than warmth, and when it comes to keeping warm there’s nothing better than an authentic Russian ushanka hat. However, your whimsical hat with ear flaps isn’t going to be much help if it’s not the right size.

Don't worry, we got you covered. Just follow these 4 easy steps and your hat will fit just right!

Step 1

Find yourself a simple measuring tape.

Step 2

Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your head -- just above the ears and ...

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Posted in Russian Clothing by Arina Anashkina

(Russian: Маша и Медведь, Masha i Medved)

Once upon a time there lived an old man and woman who had a granddaughter named Masha. One day some friends of Masha’s decided to go to the forest to gather mushrooms and berries and they came to Masha’s house to ask her to go with them.

"Please, Granny and Grandpa," said Masha, "do let me go to the forest."

"You may go but see that you keep close to the others and do not lose sight of them or you might get lost," the two old people replied.

Masha and The Bear Book Image Masha and ...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

(Russian: Жар-птица и Василиса-царевна, Zhar-ptitsa i Vasilisa-tsarevna)

In a certain kingdom, in a thrice-ten realm that lay far away, beyond the thrice-nine lands, there once lived a mighty king. The king had an archer who was as brave as he was strong, and the archer had a horse that was as strong as it was fleet of foot. One day the archer got on his horse and rode off to the forest to hunt.

He rode along a road, and a wide road it was, and he saw a fire-bird’s feather lying there and flaming ...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Wooden Toys from Russia

Russian children’s toys have been made in the village of Bogorodskoe (near Moscow) for over 600 years. A great piece of folk art, and a mesmerizing toy, each one was handmade using traditions passed down through time. And in a time when technology runs rampant, and your kids understand more about your computer than you do, and video games are blurring the lines between reality and entertainment, the idea of a of a tactile, simple, wooden toy only becomes more charming.

Location of Bogorodskoye District on a map of Moscow Location of Bogorods...
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Posted in Russian Souvenirs by Arina Anashkina

As nesting dolls grow more popular every day, crafters, artists and even non-artists are starting to make matryoshki out of all sorts of things! We decided to compile some of the more interesting ones here, even though we are definitely partial to the traditional, wooden nesting dolls from Russia.

1. Hama Midi Beads Babushka

Hama Midi Beads Nesting Doll Hama Beads matryoshka

What are hama beads? You might know just by looking at the picture… if not, here is a quick history… They were first made in 1971 by Malte Haanin...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Lindsey Mae

The Other Russian Dolls

When someone says "Russian Dolls" do you automatically think of nesting dolls? Well, there are more Russian dolls out there that don’t nest, stack, or come apart at the middle.

Porcelain Princesses

Take a look at these Russian porcelain dolls. They are made with porcelain hands and a hand-painted porcelain face. Their traditional Russian dress was all hand crafted in with excellent detail. They wear a kokoshnik, or headpiece that is inspired by what Russian royalty wore throughout history. These l...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

Russian Fashion!

You have got to check out these amazing Russian looks on the runway and in the magazines!

Russian Fashion Model Xenia Shipilova Xenia Shipilova, competitor in "Miss World 2009"

Pavlovo Posad Shawl Inspired Russian Fashion

Traditional Russian shawls have evolved over the years… not in the way they are made (because they are made the same way they have been since the beginning, over 200 years ago), but in the way they are worn. Traditionally, smaller scarves were worn around the head (just as the typical Russian grandmother, or...

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Posted in Russian Clothing by Lindsey Mae

Shawls, scarves, wraps, throws, and kerchiefs have all been a traditional article of clothing, as well as an ornamental piece of art, for an innumerable amount of cultures spanning across the globe and throughout time. The multi-purpose clothing, accessories, and decorations have only gained more popularity as time goes on. The word shawl is actually native to Persian culture, and is derived from the word Shal (quite a stretch, huh?) The use of the word, and the shawls importance in Persian cult...

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Posted in Russian Clothing by Arina Anashkina

How to Spot Fake Amber

3 tests that can identify if your amber is real

Ah amber, it’s in such high demand that often people will try to sell fakes! The nerve of some people. There are even cases of people drilling holes in the fake amber, putting an insect, or in some cases even a frog or a lizard in the replica stone, and then filling it back up, and claiming its a rare piece of amber with a wonderful specimen trapped inside it. It’s not easy to distinguish real amber from fakes, but we have some tests you can preform...

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Posted in Amber Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

Russian Fairytale: The Golden Fish

Russian: Золотая рыбка, Zolotaya rybka

Once upon a time an old man and his wife lived on the shore of the blue sea. They were poor and lived in an old mud hut. He made a living by fishing, while his wife spun cloth. One day he caught a small golden fish in his net. The fish begged him, "Let me go, old man. I will reward you for my freedom by giving you anything you desire." The fisherman was astonished and frightened because he had never before heard a fish speak. He let the fish go and said kind...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

A Trinket Box For Every Occasion

Many unique trinket boxes for various occasions and different people…
When you don’t know what to gift someone (friend, family, teacher, associate, etc…) I always recommend Faberge style trinket boxes because you can always find something for somebody when it comes to these… even when you didn’t originally think so. For example, an elephant with its trunk in the air is a symbol of good luck, so you could gift this to anyone, because we all need a ‘lil luck in our homes, right?

Another cool thing a...

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Posted in Jewelry Boxes by Arina Anashkina

About Glass Figurines

Decorative Art Glass Decor History and Process

Unique glass figurines at The Russian Store! Since each of these figurines is hand-blown, and handcrafted one at a time, each piece of glass winds up having it's own distinct personality with no two being alike! In a time when mass production leaves most things feeling a little soulless, we're proud that our gaffers in St. Petersburg do things the old fashioned way. We believe it gives our glass figurines their own character, and adds a sort of charm...

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Posted in Glass Figurines by Arina Anashkina

Nesting Doll Cartoon Comics

Nesting Dolls Just Want You to Open Up

Nesting Dolls always want to share their feelings, and talk, and sometimes that causes relationship problems when they’re with other dolls.

Comic Illustration: Nesting Doll and Rag Doll Fight


Tell me about your Matryoshka

Nesting Dolls occasionally need some psychological assistance.

Comic Illustration: Nesting Doll Psychology


Consider the impact of Nesting Dolls on Philosophy

The Tao of Matryoshka

Comic Illustration: Nesting Doll Philosophy


Nesting Dolls in Space: Ground Control to Matryoshka Tom

Everyone knows that Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong was the f...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Fun & Quick Facts About Russia

On Russia being the biggest country in the world:

Russia highlighted on a globe
  • Russia is so big, it spans 9 time zones. (reduced from 12)
  • There are 80 nightclubs in Moscow alone.
  • Vodka accounts for 10% of the government’s income.
  • Russia has 12 seas!
  • Russia covers 1/7th of the total land of planet Earth.

Russian Factoids about arts & culture:

  • Many famous writers come from Russia. Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Nikolai Gogol, just to name a few.
  • Does the name Anna Pavlova mean anything to you? She was one of the most famous ballet dancers of her time.
  • Russia launched the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
  • Religious icons are very important to Russian people; many houses have at least one.
  • Tea and bread are always offered to guests… Russians are #1 for hospitality!

More "facts" and "toids" on Russia:

  • Russia has the most beautiful women in the world.
  • Tetris was...
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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Teaching with Babushkas

Nesting Dolls are not limited to only decorative or entertainment purposes, in fact the only limit to their use is your own creativity. We’ve gotten many calls, and emails from teachers, telling us how they use Nesting Dolls in their lesson plans…

Nesting Doll Math 101:

The obvious educational use of these dolls would be teaching young children the basics of counting; open one doll, open two dolls, open three, and so on, and so forth. In fact we have a series of dolls called counting dolls for jus...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Arina Anashkina


The matryoshka doll is known for her chubby and cheerful cheeks, her perfectly shaped and smiling lips, and her big and bright eyes. She almost always wears a traditional Russian scarf or shawl around her head, neck, and/or shoulders. She holds at least two more smaller and similar matryoshki inside of her.

She is famous. She is Mother Russia.

But what about the men? They can be hard to find, but here are some manly matryoshkas for you!

Sporty Mantryoshkas

Sports-themed nesting dolls do not have to ...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Lindsey Mae

(Russian: Баба Яга и Гуси-Лебеди, Baba Yaga i Gusi-Lebedi)

Once upon a time, there lived a man and his wife. They had a daughter and a little son. One day the mother said to her daughter: "Darling, your father and I are going to work. Take care of your brother, keep an eye on him and don’t leave the house. Be a good girl and we will bring you a present."

After parents left the house, the girl forgot her mother’s instructions, and left her little brother in the garden near the house so she could pl...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Moscow Zoo Reveiw

If you are planning a visit to Moscow (with your children), there are quite a few opportunities both for you and for your children. And Moscow Zoo is one of them.

The Moscow Zoological garden was founded by the All-Russia Emperor Society for Acclimatization of Plants and Animals in the middle of XIX century. Throughout its more than 100-year history the zoo experienced its ups and downs, it was almost destroyed after the Revolution, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic crisis o...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina
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