Russian Doll Matryoshka Tattoos

Russian Dolls
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Russian Matryoshka Dolls

Popular throughout Russia are matryoshka nesting dolls. These whimsical and folkloric wooden collectibles are just sweet to look at. Russian doll matryoshka tattoos add a playful and usually colorful storybook theme to body art. You don't have to have cultural roots to appreciate the kitsch of these dolls.

Russian Doll Tattoo Meaning

Although often referred to as the grandmother doll which is actually named a Babushka, a true matryoshka doll is a wooden set of rounded dolls with painted bodies and faces that stack within one another by size.

Hand-painted in a beautiful array of colors, usually a woman doll is depicted wearing a peasant frock, leading the way for the colorful nesting pieces within her. Lots of pretty dainty flowers and Russian artwork scroll the dolls making them such a lovely choice for an art style tattoo.

In addition to mother and child sets, some matryoshka dolls represent global leaders, industry professions, and ever-popular fairy tales.

Design Ideas

The best part of a Russian doll tattoo is perhaps all the varied colors and palettes you can use when designing the piece. Don't limit yourself, but do try to stay within a limit of three to four colors for the most impact. Some color themes to consider are black, pink, ivory and blue, red, yellow, blue and white, or purple, green and red paired with yellow. If you need inspiration, find a Russian doll. If you can't get to Russia, go to the library or the Internet for images and do your research.

If you have an heirloom set of matryoshka dolls, all the better. You can create a tattoo with meaning while displaying a family treasure.

Sisters Tattoos

Do you want a colorful and cultured tattoo design that represents sisterhood? Russian doll Matryoshka tattoos are the perfect design idea for a family tattoo.

Going in order of age, with the oldest child bearing the largest Russian doll of the set, the remaining siblings can wear the next size doll that fits their birth order. This unique sisters tattoo idea will even work for just the two of you, simply make the initial doll a decent size smaller so that when placed side by side, the difference is evident.

Placement Suggestions

Place your dolls where you can see their cute little faces often and you'll experience the joy they bring. The inner forearm, bicep and upper leg make pleasant places to stack a set of Russian doll tattoos. You can also opt for a side of the body tattoo and place a single doll at your waistline for something different and unique. While you can depict the family in a row or just the largest doll of the group, size is of consideration. You'd be better off opting for a larger matryoshka tattoo than sacrificing small details for a petite one. Part of the lure in Russian dolls is their intricacies.

Russian doll tattoos can represent friendship, family, next of kin, fairy tales, story books, travel, and culture. In lieu of a best friendship tattoo or to Honor thy Mother, a Russian doll makes a fitting choice.