Vintage Blow Molds

Give things 70 years and suddenly they’re cool again! Blow molds are no exception. You may have seen them at yard sales or vintage stores, or even new. But first, what exactly is a blow mold?

According to Wikipedia, it’s described as a manufacturing process for forming hollow plastic parts. And apparently there are three ways of making blow molds. The original process was made in the late 1930’s and was a spinoff of the glass blowing process, but for plastic. Decorative blow molds most always have a space for a small light bulb inside so they illuminate the plastic and their glow can be seen from a distance, but not always. A classic example of a blow mold are those plastic orange jack-o-lanterns with the black handles that kids carry around to collect candy on halloween.

I think that the reason they’re so popular is that they remind us of our childhood, and perhaps a simpler time. Another appealing aspect is that they look great both during the day and at night.

My earliest memory of blow molds are the Christmas candles that were about 3 feet tall and had the word “NOEL” written on them in yellow or white letters. I loved those! People who had two of them framing their front door were the very classy in my 8-year-old mind. The vintage ones from the 50’s and 60’s are plentiful on places like Facebook Marketplace, but they can be kind of pricey. The really good news is that they’re still available today as brand new items, and I think they may be safer with their new wiring and plugs. I just found these on Walmart’s website:

I’d pick up some for my own house, but I try to limit my outdoor Christmas decorations, and my manger scene is the centerpiece with just a few white lights. More about that at Christmas.

But my really big (in more ways than one) purchase this year was my jack-o-lantern blow mold pictured above. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time and almost bought one brand new at K-Mart a few years back. I didn’t purchase it when I saw it (big mistake) and when I went back they were sold out. They never got them in after that and soon the store closed for good. When I saw this blow mold on Facebook Marketplace this year for $35.00 I scooped him up right away. He’s much bigger than the one I almost purchased, and the cool thing in that he too came from K-Mart. The one I was looking at about 10 years ago sold for $30.00 and his sticker says $14.99, so I’m thinking he’s about 25 years old. His plug does look a little old, so I’m going to just have him out for one night and keep a close eye on him. But I’m so excited to have him visit our trick-or-treaters this year!

Some people confuse modern day shaped holiday decorations with blow molds. They may be made in a similar way, but the vintage (and new) true blow molds have a thin wall about 1/16 of an inch thick. They’re not the thick pumpkins that you see at the craft stores today. And they’re not the inflatables that are popular today either. Both of those are cute, but there’s just something about a true blow mold that makes me quite nostalgic.

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