DIY Family Matryoshka Costumes

I don’t see this as humiliation. Not at all. I see this as a way to announce to the world that the family that costumes together, simply has pictures in those costumes together for eternity.

DIY matryoshka dolls, DIY family matryoshka costumes, halloween

Yes, that’s a positive thing.  

There’s something so endearing, so lovable, so kissable about a human face poking out of something. (Unless, of course, that face is poking out from a hole in the bus station bathroom floor.) I love those plywood “face-in-holes” you see at carnivals. I go ga-ga over babies in furry hoodies. Old Catholic nuns in tight white wimples? I get weak in the knees! So every year at this time I brainstorm ideas for Halloween costumes that can be constructed around our big, round, generally happy faces.

DIY matryoshka doll costume, DIY family matryoshka doll costume, Halloween

My husband let us do this to him. I mean, come on. KEEPER!


When Smalls was born Bigs became interested in matryoshka dolls– Russian nesting dolls– after reading The Littlest Matryoshka. In the story, the eldest (and largest) “holds her sisters safe inside her.” Can you stand the yumminess in that concept? I don’t have siblings so I’m big on the sister mush-mush. First we went to a Russian gift shop and bought these:

matryoshka dolls

But at some point I wanted us to become these.

After scouring the webs I found Me Sew Crazy‘s awesome tutorial. Five yards of felt well-cloaked our family of four. We even had some left over to make treat bags. Bigs did a great job cutting and helping me sew while sitting on my lap.

DIY matryoshka family costumes, matryoshka treat bags

OK, fine. This is just how I sew. Because why? Because Halloween happens at night, that’s why.

DIY family matryoshka doll costume, halloween

To make the costumes you fold the felt in half, draw half a matryoshka shape and cut. These are the measurements I followed to chalk our lines. It may help you make yours:

Large (6’1″ person) 58inches long, 14 inches from top of head to neck, head 9 inches wide, neck 7 inches wide

Medium (5’4″ person) 48 inches long, 13 inches top of head to neck, head 8 1/2 inches wide, neck 6 1/2 inches wide

Small ( 4-5 year old), 39 inches long, , 11 inches top of head to neck, head 8 inches, neck 6 1/2 inches wide

Extra small (1-2 year old), 31 inches long, 11 1/2 inches to neck, head 7 inches neck 5 inches wide


Before sewing the fronts and backs together we personalized them for each family member with scrap fabric.

DIY matryoshka costumes, DIY family matryoshka costumes, halloween

I do crazy things when I’m home nesting. Like, make, um yeah…

matryoshka dolls, DIY family matryoshka doll costumes

Our family will not be this size forever. The girls will likely grow. I will likely shrink. Jonathan might get a hunchback– who knows? But today, right now, we fit perfectly inside one another.

matryoshka doll costumes, DIY family matryoshka doll costumes, halloween

DIY family matryoshka doll costumes



  • October 10, 2013 - 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I cannot take the cuteness and the hilarity of this post. LOVE IT!

    • October 17, 2013 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      Thank you Jean! I really appreciate your reading my posts. It’s been hard to keep up with everything. I’m so inspired by how prolific you are! I just keep hoping more time will fall from the sky…

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  • October 13, 2013 - 11:19 pm | Permalink

    You guys are absolutely adorable–great work!

  • October 22, 2013 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

    This is seriously adorable! I LOVE this idea. I only wish I could get my husband to get excited and dress up with us too–he does so but certainly not willingly–your hubby is definitely a keeper!

    • October 22, 2013 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Kayla. Oh it wasn’t as easy as it looks getting him into that getup. There was a lot of bribery involved…

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  • October 27, 2013 - 6:08 am | Permalink

    These are so great, I absolutely love that you made them for the WHOLE family!!! I have those same dolls, my husband picks them up for me every time he visits Russia. I love it!!!

  • October 27, 2013 - 6:22 am | Permalink

    These are awesome and wonderful and oh such a special family memory! TFS.

  • LalaV
    October 27, 2013 - 6:45 am | Permalink

    Absolutely too cute….love it! Great idea! :)

  • October 27, 2013 - 7:27 am | Permalink

    This is adorable!! I love the costumes!

  • Hildy
    October 27, 2013 - 3:50 pm | Permalink

    These are so adorable. Your husband is a good sport.

  • October 29, 2013 - 7:58 pm | Permalink

    You guys are too cute! And your husband, what a man to play along!

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