Russia is the largest country in the world, and it's ranked ninth in population. Russian culture is centuries old and rich in may areas, including art, food, crafts, dance and literature. Russian art is very intricate, with close attention to details. With modifications and some adult supervision, many Russian-style arts and crafts can be excellent craft projects for young children to teens.
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Russian Wax Eggs
Pysankas, or wax-covered dyed eggs, are an Easter tradition in Russia and the Ukraine. Make your own version using a hard-boiled egg and wax crayons. Colour the egg with the wax crayons by making patterns, writing your name, or just drawing stripes and polka dots. Be careful not to press too hard with the crayons, or you might crack the eggshell.
Dip the egg into a dark, cold dye bath. Allow the egg to dry thoroughly. An adult should supervise removing the wax by wiping the egg with a very warm towel. Dip the egg into a lighter colour, cold dye bath or leave the revealed pattern white.
Russian Nesting Dolls
A traditional Russian matryoshka, or nesting doll, is made of wood and painted. It starts with a hollow doll and has successively smaller hollow dolls inside, until the smallest solid doll. You can make a paper version of Russian nesting dolls by using paper doll patterns. These paper dolls can stand independently or nest inside each other for a more traditional doll. Simply print, colour and embellish with stickers. You can also glue the paper dolls to plastic cups, starting with the largest doll on the largest cup. Smaller cups can be stacked inside the largest cup.
Russian Star Ornaments
Russian Christmas trees have historically been decorated with homemade paper ornaments, paper chains, fruit and foil-wrapped nuts. An elaborate homemade star usually topped the tree. Make a Russian star similar to those traditionally used in Russian homes by tracing a star pattern onto card stock or thin cardboard. Use markers, stickers, glitter and plastic gemstones to decorate the star. Attach the finished star to small wooden or plastic dowel rod. Decorate with curled ribbons attached to the back of the star or tied onto the dowel. Place on the tree by pushing the rod into the branches.
Russian Jewelry Boxes
Russian lacquer jewellery boxes have a rich history dating from the 17th century. Traditionally painted on paper mache, you can make your version with plain craft boxes available from craft supply stores. Paint the box with a dark background colour. Either glue a greeting card or piece of clip art on the top with a thin layer of craft glue or paint on the top of the box. Coat the entire box with a non-toxic découpage medium, such as Mod Podge, for a shiny finish. Allow each découpage coat to dry thoroughly, before adding extra coats to achieve the desired finish. You can also paint the box gold and embellish with stick-on gemstones, glitter and painted macaroni shapes.
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