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Collecting Vintage Melmac & Melamine Dinnerware

Updated on August 16, 2012

Collecting Vintage Melmac 101

Collecting vintage melmac can be fun and inexpensive. Putting together a set piece by piece can be a challange and viewed as a "treasure hunt." Thrift stores, yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, Etsy, Ebay and online sites can prove to be good sources to assemble your set.

I started out 20 years ago putting together 10 cent pieces to assemble a pink set. I soon found out that none of my pinks matched due to the fact there were so many molders and different lines and hues available. It was then after my first glimpse of Russel Wright's melmac that I tailored my collecting only to that. Now I have a whole website about Melmac history! history!

Expect to pay higher prices for designers or hard to find pieces. Start small and simple and assemble what you can for less, then pay more only for pieces to complete your set.

Vintage melamine dinnerware makes a nice modern display in your home or colorful addition to your china cabinet. Dishes can go well at a summertime cookout or special picnic but should not be microwaved.

Melmac is Colorful!

As you can see, Melmac can be a gorgeous collectible. These are in my office and as a designer they inspire my every move due to the bright colors and funky designs. I strongly recommend a glass faced cabinet, as these are a real pain to dust.

Colors Provide Option for Collectors

Colors Provide Option for Collectors
Colors Provide Option for Collectors

Designers of Yester Year took Pride in Making their Melmac as shown in Russel Wright's Residential (Good Design Awards at MOMA)

Designers of Yester Year took Pride in Making their Melmac as shown in Russel Wright's Residential (Good Design Awards at MOMA)
Designers of Yester Year took Pride in Making their Melmac as shown in Russel Wright's Residential (Good Design Awards at MOMA)

Ira Mency's Russel Wright Melmac Shelves

Ira Mency's Russel Wright Melmac Shelves
Ira Mency's Russel Wright Melmac Shelves

Free Melmac Information Site, Click Here!

Free Melmac Information Site, Click Here!
Free Melmac Information Site, Click Here!

Care and Cleaning - Ira Mency's Secrets after 20 Years of Collecting

I have now created a whole new Lens on Squidoo with just care and cleaning tips. I've decided to tell all , so be sure when you are done reading this, to read my care and cleaning tips HERE on my other lens!

What do you like?

IraMencyMelmac
IraMencyMelmac

What is your Favorite Brand of Vintage Melmac?

See results

New Melmac : Don't be Fooled Thinking It is Vintage

Marimekko Zak Designs Plate is New and Lovely.
Marimekko Zak Designs Plate is New and Lovely.

Do your research before buying melmac. Most melmac now is made in China, and this is a clue it's newer and not vintage. There are some great newer makers such as Zak Designs, you can see my video and read my information that I wrote about Zak Designs and their confetti mixing bowls here on my blog. Note the pretty black and white "Learning to fly" plate that sold out quickly by marimekko for Zak Designs.

American companies like Prolon, Carlisle, and even Halsey are still manufacturing melamine in the United States. Most are used for restaurants, school cafeterias, and the military. Some have plants as well in Mexico, or Puerto Rico.

Read Melmac Articles By Manufacturer!

Find your favorite brand of Melmac and read the attached articles! I will be adding more periodically!

Melmac Collecting

melmac fantastic plastic
melmac fantastic plastic

Melmac collecting can be fun and inexpensive. Flea markets, thrift shops, estate sales, Etsy and Ebay can help you build sets of your favorite kind.Sometimes finding completer pieces will be hard -- I view it like a treasure hunt--it may be difficult to complete a set, but in the process you may accumulate extras you don't need. Sell the extras to pay for those hard to find pieces!

Melmac Identification By Mr. Melmac

Melmac  Identification By Mr. Melmac
Melmac Identification By Mr. Melmac

Leave me a Message or Comments!

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    • profile image

      Joan 2 years ago

      I enjoyed this lens and wanted to k is if http://melmaccental.com yours? I collect texasware !

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Howdy! Just purchased a set of four beautiful red, yellow, and teal blue confetti melamine "school lunch" trays today at a flea market; the manufacturer is "King-Line". Can you tell me if this is vintage or a more modern product? They are super fun so regardless I adore them, but would like to learn what I can. Thanks for your insights! :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, I have a Brookpark 1520 turkey platter with the Kellogg's Corn Flakes Sunshine Taste on the outer rim and Cornelius in the center. Could you tell me some information about it especially what it is worth? I love it and am not interested in selling it. Thanks so much. I have some platters and other misc. items that I have collected over the years. Thea

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      good job

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Thank you for such an informative lens.

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Thank you for such an informative lens.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey, are you related to this site http://retrochalet.blogspot.com ?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I don't have any melmac dishes, but I do like them. This is a colorful display of them.

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      rayray131 5 years ago

      Very nice lens.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love this lens! Do you also do the http://iramencydesigns.blogspot.com site? If so I got some great graphics off there and wanted to say thanks.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens and I'm trying to remember how much of the melamine you show we had when I was a kid. I definitely remember some of it.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow! I remember melamine, so well, but never was a big fan, I do think this is a great Lens though!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      My father passed last Valentines day and my grandmother's Boontonware had been in his barn attic, for at least 30 years. Rats and squirrels had lived in and near the crate so I had to bleach them all. I'm overwhelmed with all this items I have to research. Thank you for your info.

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      Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 6 years ago from Hedgesville, WV

      @anonymous: Glad it worked! A bit time consuming but , what can you do?

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      Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 6 years ago from Hedgesville, WV

      @anonymous: LOVE THE MELMAC!

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      Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 6 years ago from Hedgesville, WV

      @Retro Loco: awesome Vicki love the vintage apron lens!

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      Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 6 years ago from Hedgesville, WV

      @anonymous: Oh my! Boontonware in the attic! Hope it turned out okay for you! That brand is fun and lots of pieces still easy to acquire

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      Vicki 6 years ago from USA

      I love the pretty colors and simplicity of Melmac dishes! I only have a few pieces, but I hope to collect more as I find them and the price is right. Great lens -- I enjoyed looking at your collection. I gave you a thumbs up and a lensroll to my Vintage Aprons lens. ~Vicki~

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I collect melamine as well. Glad to see others are also into this hobby. I haven't made a lens on it yet though.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love the vintage melmac dinnerware. I did not know your trick for getting the stains out, clever.