DIY Mid-Century Modern Halloween Putz Houses

Halloween is already in two weeks and I’m just now putting some finishing touches on my decorating! It really snuck up on me this year! Better late than never I guess…

While thinking of crafts and decorations I wanted to make this year, I thought about the mid-century inspired Christmas putz houses I made a few years ago and figured it would be cute to switch it up and make some Halloween versions!

I used the same patterns and method as the Christmas ones, but instead of leaving the windows open, I printed out some mid-century modern inspired Halloween artwork I found by the artist Shag to place in the windows for more detail. Shag is a super popular in Palm Springs so it seemed perfect that I use his art for my mid-mod putz houses. I don’t own any rights to Shag’s work, so I’m not going to link or post the images I used since this was for my own personal at-home use. You can use any Halloween art you’d like, just made sure to scale it down to about 2 inches in height to fit the house patterns.  Remember to scale them to around 2 inches in height.

DIY Midcentury Modern Halloween Putz House PatternCut out any window openings and place the printed art behind, using scotch tape or a glue stick to affix it. You can mix and match images, or just stick to one theme.DIY Midcentury Modern Halloween Putz House Pattern

Then just assemble the houses and decorate around them using Halloween miniatures you can find at any hobby store! I used mini pumpkins and tombstones. I also added more Shag art between the houses to give it more of a background. I couldn’t pass up some of the outdoor party scenes I found!

Here’s what I came up with.

DIY Halloween Mid Century Modern Putz Houses featuring ShagDIY Mid Century Modern Halloween Putz Houses featuring art by ShagHalloween DIY Mid Mod Putz Houses featuring art by ShagMid century Mod Putz Houses featuring Halloween artwork by ShagMid Mod DIY Halloween Putz Houses featuring ShagPalm Springs style Halloween putz houses featuring art by Shag

And I displayed them on my credenza under my TV!

Mid Century Mod Putz HousesMid-Century Modern Halloween Putz Houses

Tada! Mid – century modern putz house Halloween village!

Make sure you tag me @melodrama or use the hashtag #melodramaween on Instagram if you make your own version!

 

All artwork by the amazing artist Shag

Advertisements

How I Fixed Up My 1950s Refrigerator

A couple of months ago I found a busted down vintage GE refrigerator freezer combination with original ice tray online for about $100. The owner told me it didn’t work but that it should be an easy fix, so I took the risk and drove a couple of hours to San Diego to pick it up. It was in muchhhh filthier condition than the pictures lead on, and had some old wires sticking out of the back, but I figured I’d already invested the time and money to rent a pickup truck and drive out, I might as well just lug it home and see if I could bring it back to life. It’s hard to find the right sized vintage appliances to fit apartment kitchens, and this one was the PERFECT size for mine so I didn’t want to give up. I should note I also drove to Newport Beach, another couple of hours from San Diego, on the same day to pick up a 1950s gas stove that didn’t end up fitting my kitchen. More on that later, but I was extra determined to make the fridge work after that defeat.

Here’s what I was working with.

1950s GE refrigerator Refurb before

Rust, scratches, dirt, grime, and slightly corroded chrome. Not terrible.

But inside was much worse. Rust, mildew, a weird smell, so much grime. What did I get myself into?

1950s refrigerator before

Since this was going to be the place I stored our food I wanted to be cautious about what I used to clean the inside. I didn’t want to use anything that would leave a lingering chemical smell or residue so I turned to the following products and methods, and used A LOT of elbow grease.

First, I removed all of the shelves and drawers and soaked them in my sink and scrubbed the hell out of them. Then I did a whole general scrub down with Simply Green and let it air out with the doors open. I did this a total of four or five times until it was clean enough to move on to the rust and mildew.

For the mildew and rust I used a mixture of good old baking soda and vinegar, a Scrub Daddy sponge, and a toothbrush. The gaskets were still supple and the seal on the doors were good (test with a sheet of paper, if it slides out get new gaskets), so I just I applied the baking soda and vinegar paste and scrubbed over and over until the mildew was completely gone. Some of the rust spots corroded the paint, but I was able to use extra-fine sandpaper to buff it smooth and applied appliance touchup paint over the smaller chipped spots as needed. On the bottom the rust was too extreme so I used a couple of coats of white automotive spray paint. I wouldn’t recommend painting the whole thing that way, but it worked for this small part.

1950s refrigerator Refurb After inside

Now onto the outside! The original paint was mostly in ok condition, so I just wanted to fill in a couple of scratches and bring some lustre and shine back to it. For this I used automotive detailing supplies. I applied several layers of a buffing cream and car wax with an electric orbital buffer. Just as you would detail an old car. I used a chrome polish and superfine steel wool to bring as much shine to the chrome as possible. 1950s Refrigerator Refurb After

And there it is! The only thing was it still had a lingering smell. Not a horrible smell, just that general old freezer smell. The only thing that worked was these miracle Arm and Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer Packs. They’re super cheap so we replaced them every couple days until the smell was completely gone. That took about a week and now we replace it as needed.

The last thing I needed to tackle was the mechanics. After all of that cleaning the damn thing didn’t work. I consulted a few vintage message boards, and spoke to a repair shop, and was confident it just needed a new relay. The problem is the replacement relay for this model is long gone so I had to rewire it with a new universal relay. This was way easier than it sounds, you literally just follow the directions on the package. Definitely consult with a repair shop or the manufacturer if you have questions though.

As soon as I plugged it in the compressor kicked on and I jumped up and down and ran around in circles because WOW WHAT A PAY OFF! IT WORKS!

I know old refrigerators have a reputation of being energy suckers, but our bill and usage hasn’t gone up at all compared to our modern fridge. From my understanding the high energy consumption comes from older models that incorporate an automatic defrost system. This model needs to be defrosted every couple of months, but I simply use a blow dryer and old towel and it takes me about 15 minutes. Another issue of concern for some people is size. It is smaller inside than a modern refrigerator, but we don’t store very much food at once, so that hasn’t been a problem for us.

Here it is living happily in our kitchen! Perfect fit. I love it.

1950s GE refrigerator in modernized kitchen.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Century Resort Inspired Flamingo Bathroom Refresh

Around this time of year I always get the urge to change my decor up in at least one room. Chalk it up to spring fever I guess. Anyway, after having such a successful attempt at wallpapering a focal wall in my bathroom with Tempaper’s tropical print, I decided I was confident enough to go wild and do new look and wallpaper the entire bathroom. As soon as I saw Tempaper’s new peel and stick flamingo print I knew it was meant to be and immediately jumped on the chance.

To quickly jog your memory, this is what my bathroom looked like before. 

Peel and Stick Wallpaper in Krys Melo's Apartment Bathroom.jpg And here’s the new new!

Retro Inspired Flamingo Bathroom.jpgIt’s kind of crazy how it makes the room feel bigger. I thought it might feel closed in with so much pattern on the walls, but nope! It works. The print is so lovely. It’s a lovely mix of soft pink and reddish pink that looks amazing against white and gold. As always it was easy to work with and very forgiving. You can refer to my previous post for installation tips that work for me. Bold Flamingo WallpaperI also added a few new accessories.Flamingo Wallpaper and Hanging PlantI got this hanging planter on Amazon and changed out the original chain with one from the jewelry making section at Jo-Ann.Flamingo Wallpaper and Fringe Window ValanceI kept the original window valance and shortened it in order to let more light in. I loved the fringe on the new towels and rug so I added some chainette fringe to tie it all together.Vintage Inspired Flamingo BathroomAbove the toilet I removed a badly installed towel rack and replaced it with a cute framed vintage Camay Soap ad.Flamingo Mid-Century BathroomI replaced the light fixture with a new mid-century inspired two orb vanity light from Lucent Lightshop. Flamingo Wallpaper from TempaperI personally like mixing metals so I went with brass, of course. Mid-century inspired two orb light from Lucent LightshopFlamingo bathroom with gold and fringe Over on the other wall I picked up a brass mirror/shelf from Target’s Project 62 line and a new metallic gold and white geometric shower curtain from Project 62 as well.Flamingo Bathroom MakeoverThe new “fancy towels” (you know, the kind you’re not allowed to use), are from Target’s Opalhouse line. I love the texture and fringe.Flamingo peel and stick wallpaperI followed the wallpaper all the way around the room, meeting the last seam in the most inconspicuous corner. Everything is reflected in the mirrors so it’s all pretty much visible from every view point, which was intentional and I’m glad it worked out.

Retro Flamingo bathroom makeoverThere it is! This year’s new bathroom look. I looooove the way it all came together. Yay!

Next up, the guest room and patio. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Spring Wardrobe Update with Rit Dye

Hey, fam. I’ve been busy at updating some rooms and my back patio for spring and thought it would be a good idea to update some of my wardrobe too! While going through my closet I found this white dress I got last year from Tatyana that I haven’t worn in foreverrrr. Rather than giving it away I decided to try to dye it using Rit’s new coral color. I love that they came out with this color because I used to have to custom mix a few different shades together to make color, but now it’s ready to use! I figured if it didn’t work out I could just use Rit’s color remover, which I’ve had a ton of luck with in the past.

Coral Dress Before.jpg

The cool thing about this dress is that the fabric has an iridescent sheen and a subtle retro bubble pattern. My hope was that the dye would bring out the bubble pattern and leave some of the sheen.

Rit Coral Dye.jpg

The fabric is mostly polyester so I was worried it wouldn’t take the dye, but as soon as I dunked it into the dye bath it soaked it right up and I was not disappointed.

The way I like to dye everything, including synthetics, is to make a very hot dye bath in my sink with hot, hot water and a few drops of liquid soap. I let the garment soak for about an hour, stirring and shifting the fabric every 15 minutes or so for an even dye. Then I rinse with cold water and Rit’s color fixative. Then I line dry.

Coral Dress.jpgSee how the fabric took the dye and made the pattern pop? I love the way it turned out!

Spring Wardrobe Makeover Coral Dress.jpg

Now I have a spring-y new dress to wear while pretending I’m good at gardening.

 

This post was sponsored by Rit but all ideas, opinions, and words are my own. 

Custom Printed Lemon Peel And Stick Wallpaper From Tempaper

Melodrama's Vintage Inspired Custom Printed Lemon Wallpaper from Tempaper.jpgHello, there! I just wanted to share a little wallpaper update I made to our kitchen recently and talk about the process of ordering custom printed wallpaper through Tempaper.  Lemon Kitchen Wallpaper.jpg

Here’s the scoop. I already had lemon wallpaper in here from a different company, but it didn’t stand up to the demands of our kitchen. Any time we would wipe a food splatter or try to clean the walls the ink would smear or come right off, often times leaving behind a stain from the splatter. Our kitchen also gets a lot of sunshine and in the summers gets very hot. This caused the paper to yellow and lift at the creases. No bueno!

I already had a hard enough time finding a lemon wallpaper with the vintage look I had in mind, now I had to start all over again! I used Tempaper in my bathroom and bedroom and had no problems whatsoever, so I decided to contact them about printing something custom for me.

Vintage Lemon Kitchen.jpg

I had a repeating image of lemons that I had saved from a stock image website and was able to purchase the license to have it printed for my own use. I sent it off to Tempaper and worked with their graphic designer to customize the print to fit the exact dimensions of my kitchen walls. They sent a sample right away and I put it through vigorous testing. I poured coffee, pasta sauce, and grease on it. I wiped, scrubbed, and sprayed cleaner on it. I left it in direct sunlight for a week, kept it by the hot stove and oven, and even applied heat with a blow dryer. I did it all! And it passed each test.

Custom Printing Removeable Wallpaper from TempaperWhen the final product arrived it was pre-cut into manageable panels to fit each section of my walls. They sent over a little map and labeled each one. I barely even had to trim anything! It fit like a glove. Custom Lemon Kitchen Wallpaper.jpgSeriously, those pre-cut panels made getting around all these nooks and cabinets a breeze. And you can barely see the overlapping seams unless you’re super up-close! I’m so picky about that and it doesn’t bother me at all. Overall the entire custom printing process was a breeze.Melodrama's Custom Printed Lemon Wallpaper from Tempaper.jpgLOVEEE! Now I have exactly what I had in mind to begin with! Cute Vintage Lemon Kitchen

Thank you Tempaper!

 

 

 

Product was provided by Tempaper, but all views and opinions are true and my own.

 

 

 

 

Mid-Century Inspired Custom Dyed Dining Room Accessories| Rit’s 100 Year Celebration

If you’ve been following the blog over the years you will know that I LOOOOVE to use dye to transform home decor. I’ve dyed curtains, rugs, bedding, and even my sofa! My go-to dye has always been Rit because it’s inexpensive and easily accessible. Luckily Rit heard about what a fan I am and asked me to be one of this year’s brand ambassadors so stay tuned for more projects!

This year is special because it’s Rit’s 100 year anniversary! To celebrate we teamed up to recreate one of their adorable vintage ads from 1962. This project was especially fun for me since I’m obsessed with mid-century advertisements and even keep a collection of them for inspiration.RitDye62

I picked this one because the dining room set up reminded me a lot of my own, particularly the top right corner version. I already planned on dyeing curtains to match my artwork, so I went all-in and dyed a tablecloth and cloth napkins as well. Mid-century Inpired Dye Projects.jpg

For the vibrant pink tablecloth and curtain I used a 50/50 mix of Rose Quartz and Petal Pink, and for the orange napkins I used a 50/50 mixture of Tangerine and Golden Yellow. Custom dyed tablecloth and napkins with Rit products.jpgI just mixed those up with hot water and a little dish soap right in my sink basin. I then soaked them in Rit’s dye fixative and rinsed with cold water. Easy peasy!

Mid-century inspired dining room accessores custom dyed with Rit dyesI love how everything ties together with the artwork and my vintage Burke chair pads. Now I just need to throw a little dinner party with a Jell-o salad and few cocktails ;).

 

 

DIY Vintage Christmas Ornament Throw Pillow

If you don’t know by now, I’m totally obsessed with vintage Christmas ornaments.

IMG_6860.jpgMy favorites are the ones with the indented reflectors in the middle. I just love how unique each one is and how they sparkle and reflect colors when hanging on a lit up tree. It’s magical! You might remember that Ornament Tree Skirt I made a couple of years ago, but this year I wanted to bring that theme to life as a throw pillow.

What you’ll need:

DIY Ornament Throw Pillow.jpg-Fabric. (The amount depends on the size of pillow you want to make. I used fleece, but you can use any non-stretchy fabric you want. I got two 18″ pillows out of 2 yards of 45″ wide fleece.)
Metal Christmas light reflector cups
-1” Silver buttons
-Snowfake shaped crafting buttons
Metallic Braid Trim
-Ribbons, rickrack, and felt/fabric to decorate
-Embroidery thread and long needle
-Fabric glue
-Sewing Machine and thread (or you can glue the edges for a no-sew attempt)

What you do:

First draw a circle. The best way to do this is to use a tape measure or ruler and the compass method. Remember the way we learned in math class? HA I bet you thought you’d never need that. Then sketch out a little top piece (about 5″ wide), like an ornament would have. Then cut it out!Ornament Throw Pillow DIYOrnament Throw Pillow Tutorial.jpg

Sew the edges together leaving an opening at the top. Turn it right side out and iron. Stuff with polyfill through the top and then close the opening using a slipstitch. (You can try gluing all of these edges for a no-sew attempt, but the results won’t be as clean.)

In order to make the indented middle you need to tuft. Use a silver button and a light reflector to do this. Put the silver button in the middle of the reflector and use embroidery thread and a long needle to pull the button and reflector through the middle of the pillow. Pull it tight to make the indent, and use a triple knot to make it stay. Trim the excess thread. You can also use another button on the other side to keep it all in place if the triple knot isn’t enough. Do it yourself ornament throw pillow.jpg

 

Now you can have fun decorating it! Glue the snowflake buttons around the indent for extra sparkle. Use the metallic trim around the top to make it look like the ornament cap. Use rickrack, ribbons, and fabric scraps to create lines and shapes.

Vintage Ornament Throw Pillow DIY.jpgAnd voila! A cute little ornament throw pillow!DIY Vintage Ornament Throw Pillow.jpg