August 13, 2013

Vintage Snack Sets

Despite my love of dishware, I don't actually have a full set of dinner plates. The Sailor hinted at throwing a housewarming party at some point now that we're settled in, but I certainly don't have enough of any one style plate to serve more than two people at a time.

I'm still searching for a few more of the turquoise plates (oh plates, why do you elude me?!) But since they seem to be scarce, I figured I'd better have Plan B ready because I well and truly despise plastic plates and cups. (They have their place at a picnic, but for most occasions, nothing says 'you're not worth the risk of breaking my dish or my extra time for clean-up' to your guests than getting served on a throwaway plate.)
Never mind the plate problem: while my current kitchen could easily swallow my old one, I only have a four-person table. Seating is still a challenge. Obviously, one can mix and mingle at a party without formally sitting down at a table, but frankly, most guests also like to eat -- and drink. And there's no getting around how awkward it is to hold both your beverage and your plate while trying to eat with your hands. 

Then I discovered these vintage snack sets. I've noticed them before in my travels, but I've always passed them up. Apparently, though, they are quite popular in the South. Perhaps I'm simply noticing them more since there's not as much Pyrex to look at here, but they are EVERYWHERE! And fairly cheap, too. 

What better way to throw a party, where guests can mix and mingle? I certainly could have used them for last year's holiday party.

Over the weekend, I found a mix of 16 Federal Glass and Anchor Hocking trays and cups at both thrift stores and antique stores, for about $25 total. I'm sure you can get them even cheaper, but I thought less than $1.50 per set was a bargain. In some cases, single plates were even cheaper at antique stores than the thrifts! You can't even get plates at a department store that cheap. (Besides, if you did, would they be this cool?)

While some of the glasses aren't the original ones that matched the trays, they still look wonderful together -- if you are a purist and want to start collecting them yourself, there is certainly no shortage of them on eBay in their matching set boxes. It's fairly easy to figure out which cups match which sets.  

These snack sets would be grand for any party -- I've never been to an event where I've seen them in action, but I hear that people still use them for baby and bridal showers and meet and greet gatherings. I plan on using mine for sure! 

What about you? Have you seen these lovelies in action in the past or present?

{Total side note: This tray befuddled me at first since it has two indentations. I couldn't figure out why anyone would carry two glasses, but then someone pointed out to me that one is an ashtray! There's even a lip on the side for a cigarette. I don't smoke, but I could imagine a gaggle of gals in a different era, playing a game of Bridge under a cloud. Non-smokers -- that extra indentation would be perfect for dip, sauces, or anything you want to keep separate from other food!} 


  1. I'm glad you discovered vintage snack sets. They are very popular for wedding and baby showers in the South. We even use them in Oklahoma! I last used mine for the royal wedding and documented it in this post:

    Enjoy collecting and using them!

    1. Thank you -- I'm also happy I discovered them. Your royal wedding party looked like a lot of fun!

  2. My mom had 17 (probably more at one point) and I just washed them all to lend a friend for an on-your-lap party at her small apt. Couldn't convince her to use the cups, in which I've never seen anything but punch in pastel shades. I remember my mom would call her friends to borrow theirs if she needed a lot of them for a big ladies' do at the church.