Easy Peasy Vintage Valentine Wreath

Happy Valentine’s Day, sweeties! I’ve teamed up with Treetopia to make this cute and colorful vintage valentine wreath and I think you’ll love it.

All you need is a wreath in the color of your choice (I used Treetopia’s Pretty in Pink wreath) and a few vintage valentines. If you don’t have any true vintage valentines, you can find images of some to print online.

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Just use some double sided tape to stick them directly onto the wreath. Add a bow and voila! Easy peasy.

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Speaking of Treetopia, they’re having a giveaway where contestants can get a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from Treetopia. Visit their Facebook page or Instagram to find out how to enter!

 

 

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DIY Mid-Century Inspired Felt No-Sew Tree Skirt

One of my favorite things to do each year is make new no-sew felt tree skirts. They’re super easy and fun to make and don’t require any skills except being able to use scissors and glue.

You can see past tutorials with measurements and instructions here and here, and my latest space age themed one here.

For my main tree (the pink tree) I wanted to bring in colorful shapes based on a vintage Christmas cards I fell in love with. DIY No-Sew Felt Mid-Century Inspired Tree Skirttreeskirt.png

I used the images to create templates and then used my Cricut to cut out the shapes, but you can totally use scissors!

DIY No-Sew Mid-Century Inspired Felt Tree Skirt

And there it is! Go ahead and play with sizing and adding some other little embellishments to make it your own design!

Be sure to tag @melodrama or #krysmasgram on Instagram to show me what you made!

 

 

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.

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Featured in Atomic Ranch Magazine!

I am so excited to be featured in one of my favorite magazines everrrr — Atomic Ranch! Atomic Ranch Spring 2018The Spring 2018 issue is all about Palm Springs and I’m honored to be included with the other beautiful mid-century homes featured.

So happy to be featured in Atomic Ranch magazine!.jpg

The 11 page spread features my own photography and styling with a lovely write up by Leslie Thompson. Atomic Ranch.jpg

Be sure to pick up a copy to see all the midcentury eye candy!

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Huge thank you to Atomic Ranch for this opportunity!

Xx

 

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 ;).

 

 

Melodrama’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

OK, this gift guide is totally last minute, like my shopping. My gifts always arrive late, but to me that just extends Christmas a little more and you end up with a little New Years gift. Right??? I am who I am.

If you’re like me and still need gift ideas for the hip and happening people in your life here’s a list of some of my favorites!

Cone Vase by Baigelman Glass

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Flamingo Tiki Glasses by Love and Victory

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Hand Painted Plaques from Everyday is a Holiday

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Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann ChenBadGirlsThroughoutHistory3DCover_large.jpg

Subscription to Atomic Ranch Magazinear_win17_us_c1.jpg

Betty Boomerang Subscription Box0a65c9667aff446fbb3447e4d2d45a6c_600.png

Eliot Sunglasses from Hello Holiday5D3_6177_49acd2ab-58aa-4193-893c-7f1f6e58f3da_2048x2048

 

Ban.do Rose 17 Month Agendabando-il-agenda-17_month_medium-rose_parade-02_1024x1024For the kids…

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Star Diner Restaurant

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For the pet lover…

Modern Pet Feeder by modernmews il_570xN.371960753_iki5.jpg

The splurge…

Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven

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What’s on your list? Tell me some of your favorite things in the comments below!

How to Restore Vintage Brass Fixtures

Have you ever found a vintage piece and hesitated to buy it because the brass or metal looks scratched, discolored, or tarnished? We all have! But don’t hesitate. Cleaning vintage metals is actually fairly easy, and totally worth it. In fact, you can save a lot of money by buying the more junky pieces and restoring them yourself at home.

I’ve seen some people just take a can of spray paint to pieces, and that’s fine if your metal is beyond repair but you still cant live without it, but most of the time that isn’t the case. Besides, you’ll never get a true shine like you would with real metal. Instead of reaching for the spray paint, reach for a rag and some polish and see what you reveal.

I got this set of 50s drawer pulls on Etsy for a really great price. At first glance they’re junk, but if you’ve ever restored metals you’d see the treasure underneath that tarnish and “scratches” immediately.

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What you need is a metal polish product, like Brasso, and an old rag or two. Oh and some gloves.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsCover the brass in metal polish and rub into the metal.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsThen use a soft cloth to buff and massage the metal, you’ll notice black and green residue coming off on your cloth. That’s the tarnish! Keep going.How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsKeep polishing until there is no more residue coming off on to your cloth and the metal is sparkling new. Reapply more product if needed. This can take awhile depending on how tarnished your pieces are, but be patient.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsOnce all the tarnish is removed, give it a nice little polish with a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue or product.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsTada!! Good as new. Now put down the paint and pick up the polish!