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Matrioshka Doll Tree Ornament

This hanging ornament is inspired by the familiar Russian matrioshka dolls—a set of increasingly smaller wooden dolls, each one fitting inside another.

Materials: Compass, colored paper, pencil, colored yarn, glitter, colored sequins, crayons, markers, poster paints, transparent tape, scissors, and yarn needle.
Optional: a jingle bell, photos of family members.

  1. With a compass, draw a circle for each member of your family on paper of different colors. The smallest circle should be 6 inches in diameter; the next, 7 ˝ inches, and so on, in 1 ˝-inch increments. Fold each circle and cut into even half-circles. Use a half-circle of each color to represent a family member.
  2. Holding each half-circle straight edge up, draw a smaller circle in the center for a face. Glue on yarn for hair, or draw on hair and features using crayons or markers. For a touch of realism, glue on faces from family photos. Next, draw arms and an upper body or cut them out from colored paper. Draw on clothing and decorate the background, using paints, markers, glitter, sequins, etc. (Don’t decorate the straight-edge area, which will overlap when you make a cone.)
  3. To make cones, place glue along one-half of the straight edge. Overlap the straight ends of the half-circle, and press tightly together. Repeat with each doll. Then bend the tip of each cone over to the undecorated side of the cone. Secure the tip with tape.
  4. Thread the yarn needle with a 30-inch piece of colored yarn. Tie a double knot 4 inches from the end. Placing the needle inside the smallest doll, pierce the bent-over tip of the cone. Draw the thread through the cone until you reach the knot. Tie another knot in the yarn, 4 ˝ inches from the top of the first doll. Pierce the tip of the next-smallest doll and draw the yarn through until you reach the double knot. Repeat this step until you have connected all the dolls.

After connecting the dolls, loop the top end of the yarn and knot it close to the tip of the top doll. If you wish, tie a jingle bell to the yarn at the bottom of the smallest cone.

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