For the fourth day of A Gift a Day, I made felt Matryoshka doll (nesting dolls) puppet for Ivory. My other children have seen me making these, and all of them think they are really neat (even my 8-year-old son!) so I think these could be made for any age.
These turned out to be a lot more time-consuming of a gift than I had planned. Had I left them just as they were in the pattern, I probably would have completed them in 2 hours. Instead, I spent about 6 hours researching pictures of real nesting dolls, picking my favorites, and designing the embroidery. I tried a few things that didn’t quite work which meant time tearing them out and trying again.
And then I spent many, many more hours embroidering them.
In the end, though, I think it was worth it.
If I wanted to make these again, I would be able to significantly cut down my time, because I could copy the embroidery design that I did on these. If you like my embroidery, you can copy it too!
Matryoshka Doll Felt Finger Puppets
wool felt (search on Etsy for suppliers)
embroidery thread in colors to match what you choose
white pearl cotton in size 8 (optional, you could use white embroidery thread instead, which is also less expensive. I bought mine at Joann’s with a 40% off coupon).
free pdf pattern
sewing needle with a large eye for embroidery
Actual cutting, sewing and embroidery time: about 14 hours. If you don’t do the extra embroidery like I did, 3 hours (allowing time for a few mistakes).
A few notes on the embroidery:
All colored stitching was done with 2 strands of embroidery thread. All white stitching was done with one strand of size 8 pearl cotton. If using white embroidery thread, I would use two strands.
The tops of eyes/eyelashes and mouth were worked in backstitch.
The flowers are lazy daisy stitch, except for the blue flowers, which are just straight stitches.
All lines were worked in stem stitch/backstitch.
For the French knots, I wrapped the thread twice, except for the eyes, which I wrapped three times.
For the leaves on the thistle, I sewed them using the leaf stitch. The stems were sewn using the backstitch.
If you’re new to embroidering, don’t be afraid! Check out my embroidery links here on my website for more information.
These used very little felt and thread. If you don’t already have felt and thread, you’ll need to spend more to have these supplies. I bought supplies last to make felt paper dolls, so no out of pocket for this year. Calculating the actual amount of felt and thread used, these cost less than $1 for all three.