Retro Summer BBQ Bash: Mid-Century Essentials

Summer’s here, and it’s time to fire for a retro barbecue and up the grill, slip into our favorite vintage summer outfits, and let the good times roll! If you’re like me, you can’t wait to dust off your mid-century treasures and infuse your backyard gatherings with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Let’s dive into some kitschy must-haves that will make your summer BBQ the talk of the neighborhood.

Hot Diggity Dog!

Vintage Lefton Hotdog Head and Hamburger Head Pixieare Condiment Jars
Vintage Lefton Hotdog Head and Hamburger Head Pixieare Condiment Jars

No backyard BBQ is complete without hot dogs and hamburgers, and what better way to serve up your favorite condiments than in those darling Lefton Pixieware mustard jars? These adorable anthropomorphic ceramics, shaped like hot dogs and hamburgers with whimsical expressions, will bring a smile to everyone’s face and add a touch of kitschy charm to your table setting.

Holt Howard Mustard Jar MCM Starburst Franciscan Plate
Holt Howard Mustard Jar MCM Starburst Franciscan Plate

Shake It Up, Baby!

Salt and pepper shakers are a must-have for any BBQ, but why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? Anthropomorphic salt and pepper shakers are where it’s at! Think cute corn cob couples, smiling strawberries, and even cute corn cob plates with matching skewers! These quirky characters will bring a smile to your guests’ faces and add a touch of kitsch to your table.

Retro Fashion and Summer Memories:

And let’s not forget about backyard BBQ fashion! A fun 1950s novelty border print dress adorned with cheerful oranges perfectly complements the summery vibe, while a stylish harlequin print circle skirt makes a statement as you arrive in your classic 1956 Nash Metropolitan. More summer fashion here.

Let’s Get This Party Started!

With your retro treasures in place, you’re ready to host a summer BBQ that will transport your guests back in time. So put on some swingin’ tunes, break out the hula hoops, and let the good times roll! Remember, it’s not just about the food – it’s about creating an experience that’s fun, festive, and full of vintage charm.

Bonus Tip: Of course, no retro gathering is complete without a vintage Polaroid camera to capture those picture-perfect moments of laughter, delicious food, and unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to snap some photos of your kitschy BBQ spread! Share them on social media with the hash tag #retrobbq and let’s spread the mid-century love!

Let’s Get Kitsch-y Together!

Do you have any favorite mid-century collectibles that you love to showcase at your summer BBQs? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below! Let’s inspire each other to create unforgettable retro gatherings.

Happy Summer, Kitsch-Lovers!


Vintage 1950s Kitschy Kitchen Collectibles

When talking about vintage ceramic kitchen collectibles from the 1950s-1960s, a popular theme is ‘Anthropomorphic’ and it refers to ‘uniquely human characteristics and expressions’ and these ceramic are usually very colorful and animated – kind of like cartoon characters with big eyes and smiles.  These vintage ceramics were mostly imports from Japan and made by the eras top manufacturers Holt Howard, PY, Miyao, Coronet, Napco, and Lefton.

You can find Anthropomorphic collectibles in the forms of: Condiment Jars, Salt and Pepper Shakers, Cruet Sets, Jam and Jelly Jars, Planters, Vases, Wall Pockets, Cake Stands, Dinner Ware Sets, Serving Bowls, Serving Trays, Butter Dishes, Teapots, Pitchers and more.

Today these kitschy anthropomorphic collectibles can be found online, on EBay, Etsy, Rubylane, and in antique and collectibles shops all over the country but in small quantities. Collectors tend to collect based on manufacturer or theme – say all red apple items or only the lemon heads. Be prepared however to pay top dollar on these items as they are very collectible today and can rage from $29.99  – $3,500 (for the rare Lefton Hot Dog Head condiment jar and Holt Howard Honey jar). I was at a flea market recently and spotted a pair of vintage 1950s anthropomorphic fruit head salt and pepper shakers in horrible condition with lots of crazing and paint wear and the seller was asking $40 for them and when I attempted to negotiate he just looked at me and said “Do you know what these are? They are from 50s and very collectible today” and he was not going to budge on price.

Collecting vintage anthropomorphic kitchen ceramics are a REALLY fun type of collectible as their bright colors and big smiles and expressive faces are so darn cute and charming so they appeal to lots of folks. Today, finding pieces to complete a set or add to a growing collection are getting more and more difficult and prices are climbing.  Do you collect vintage anthropomorphic kitchen ceramics? Send us a note and let us know about your collection.