How To Use Vintage Snack Sets

Many of us mid-century glass collectors have vintage snack sets in our china cabinets, but they don’t get used very often, do they?  Sets like the one pictured below were advertised decades ago for patio parties, shown with perfectly coiffed ladies holding a plate and cup in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Federal milk glass snack set rose



The set above, made by the Federal Glass Company, came to my collection from an estate sale, but I have to admit not using it because of the tiny cup size!  The set pictured below has been languishing in a thrift store for months and months, overpriced and unwanted, perhaps, too, because of those tiny cups.

Gaiety snack set vintage glass



The same thrift store recently had this unique ThermoTemp Raffiaware set, which did sell.  Notice the cups are a decent size in this case!

vintage Thermo Temp Raffiaware plastic snack set



Perhaps in our modern lives of being told by doctors to drink at least 64 oz. of water per day, we would just need too many refills in the little 5 oz. cups that most of these vintage snack sets provide.

But I wanted to use mine!  Then one day I had an idea, and just in time for the upcoming holiday season, too.

Chips and dip, chicken strips and sauce, any array of appetizers that require a small bowl or cup of dipping sauce is perfect for these little vintage snack sets.

Here are some pita crackers and spinach dip, ready for a party or just an afternoon football game on TV.




How about chicken strips and Ranch dressing for the kids?

Federal milk glass snack set rose



Or a deli sandwich and Pumpkin Pie Crunch Chex Mix?  That’s what I had for supper the night I did this photo shoot.  Yummy.

Federal milk glass snack set rose



So when you’re preparing for your next get-together and you need some serving trays and dipping bowls, dig out those vintage snack sets you’ve collected, or be on the lookout for some at the next thrift store or estate sale you go to, and you’ll be all “set”.

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Do you have a vintage snack set?  Which one, what does it look like?  Do you think you’ll use it as an appetizer-and-dip set now?  What will you serve in it?  Share your ideas in the Comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you’ll poke around in the tabs at the top – lots to see up there.  Blessings to you ~ Dawn

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44 thoughts on “How To Use Vintage Snack Sets

  1. I was so happy to read your clever idea. I have a set of glass ones from my mother (with built-in ash tray!). I have never used them but always thought they were so lovely, so I kept them. Glad I did, because I will definitely be getting them out to serve with crackers and dip. Thanks!!!

    1. That’s wonderful, Ellen! I’m so glad, I’m going to use mine this Christmas season, too. I’ve never seen any with built-in ashtrays, that’s amazing. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and thanks so much for visiting and leaving me a message. -Dawn @ We Call It

  2. What a terrific idea, Dawn!! I used to have a 8 milk glass snack sets and gave them away long ago, and after seeing your post today, I really regret that! I will be on the hunt to replace those snack sets now. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Rosie

    1. Thank you, Rosie! Sorry to give you regrets, though, but now you have something new to hunt for, and the hunt is so much fun. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you – Dawn

  3. Brilliant! I remember my mother’s church Circle meetings at the house. She would bring out her three sets for the tiny sandwiches and the coffee or hot tea. The dishes were carefully washed and returned to their boxes. I wonder where they went?

    1. Thank you, Donna! Oh, I wonder where you mother’s sets went? It would be so nice if you had them, but I do that all the time, too. Wonder where this or that went from when I was younger. -Dawn

  4. Dawn love your idea for the snack trays. Just yesterday I helped host a wedding shower at our church. I talked the ladies into pulling out the snack trays and the glass cups. I love to use them in fact have used several times in the last months. It really does save on cost for the event. Hey maybe I am helping save a tree.
    Happy Thanksgiving

    1. I love what you said, Cathy, about saving a tree. That’s another good reason to use these vintage sets! Saves on paper plates in some cases, not only saving a tree but saves landfill space, too. Good for you! Thanks so much for visiting. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It

    2. I had pics from our 1st year. I can’t find. This year our theme for our tea was “tea for all seasons.” Each month had a table. For example Nov we had snack plates that were in the shape of leaves and had Thankgiving napkins and center pieces. For July we had Red White and Blue decor and Apple shaped snack plates. I will try to get pictures.

  5. I love these ideas, too. I see quite a few of these at one of the thrift stores I shop at and I’m always drawn to them. You have a fun blog with some neat posts! Enjoy your week!

    1. Thank you so much, LD. I see them all the time in thrifts and antique stores. Maybe if people reinvent them as chip-n-dip sets they’ll find new homes. 🙂
      Coming over to visit you, Dawn @ We Call It

  6. I go to a tearoom that serves soup and a sandwich on snack sets. My set is pale gray with deep pink roses and the cups are a decent size so I serve coffee and dessert on them when my quilt group comes. They’re really fun to use.

    1. Your set sounds really pretty, I don’t think I’ve seen one with those colors. Great that you’re using yours! Thanks for visiting and commenting. (I later thought of soup and sandwich with these, too.) Take care – Dawn @ We Call It

  7. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do with mine. I have lots of cups also from punch bowl sets. In the past I’ve used them to hold cupcakes on my dessert buffets. Great ideas here.

    1. Now that’s a cute idea. using small cups for cupcakes. I’ll have to remember that one. Thanks for your sweet comment Sandra. I’ll visit you shortly – Dawn @ We Call It

    1. That’s great that you still use yours. It just makes you feel special, I think, rather than using a paper napkin and a plain coffee cup. Thanks for visiting – Dawn @ We Call It

  8. I saw that first set on the weekend at an antique shop, mint in the box!

    I have a pair of snack sets that go with my china pattern, I don’t think I’ve ever used them, they sit in the cupboard! So sad!

    1. Hey Jill – that’s great that you have a snack set that matches your china. Well, next time you’re serving something with dip, maybe you’ll drag them out 🙂
      Happy Thanksgiving – Dawn @ We Call It

    1. Thanks, Linda. Hopefully you’ll find a snack set pretty easily, I see them fairly often. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thanks for reading. -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

  9. Oh I use to have a set of these and I used them all the time. I need to find where they are packed. Yours are gorgeous and I love the snacks and the soup and sandwich. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. I hope you and your family have a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs, Marty

  10. I remember my mom having some of these plates! Took me down memory lane for a minute! What great ideas for using them…I wonder what happened to hers….hmmm probably went to the second hand store and now someone else is enjoying them!! Stopping by from Let’s Dish

  11. Hello Dawn,
    You have some pretty sets. I have two which I love but never use either. You have shared some wonderful ideas! I’m glad you thought of it and passed it on to all of us in Blogland. Thanks for sharing at my HOME and have a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend.


  12. Hello Dawn,
    You have some pretty sets. I have two which I love but never use either. You have shared some wonderful ideas! I’m glad you thought of it and passed it on to all of us in Blogland. Thanks for sharing at my HOME and have a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend.


    1. Thank you so much, Sandi, for always coming by to visit, you’re a gracious Home host! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend, too. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

  13. If you are interested in owning more snack sets, I have about 80 different snack sets for sale on If you are interested the name of my shop is Vintage Tea and Snacks. Thank you Phyllis McGuire

    1. Hello Phyllis, thanks for that, I looked at your Etsy store, you have such a wonderful array of things to shop for! Several sets I’d never seen. I didn’t plan to add anymore but there are some tempting ones there, I admit… Thanks for visiting, Take care – Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

    1. Thank you – that’s a good idea, too, to use for soup and salad, you could put the soup in the little cup. Oh, perfect for grilled cheese and tomato soup, because I always like to dip my grilled cheese in tomato soup. 🙂 Thanks for that idea. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

  14. Dawn,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and I just love this idea! Love the set with the roses!! My Mom used to call them Tea and Toast sets…… Great idea though on how to use them in an updated way!!


    1. Hi Debbie, Tea and Toast set, I like that! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, have a great day! -Dawn

  15. Hi there I was just wondering if you know of where I could sell my Snack Sets I have. I don’t just want to give them to a DI or to a thrift store if there is some one who might buy them.. Thanks

    1. Hi Angie, thanks so much for reading We Call It!
      You could try selling your vintage snack sets on Etsy or eBay, and there are other online sites that are similar. One is Ruby Lane. Of course you’ll have to deal with shipping, their fees, Pay Pal and it’s fees, etc. If you don’t want to deal with all of that, you can see about setting up a small booth space at a local antiques mall. Some antiques malls and shops rent just a very small space, even just a shelf or two, where you can sell just a few things, if you don’t have a lot. If you really don’t have a large amount, ask them if you can just sell the pieces on consignment without having to pay booth or space rent. I rent just a bookcase space in a mall for about $20 / month, then they get a commission of sales, too. One last idea is a flea market – if you have one in your area, ask what the table space costs for a day and set up there. Just know that folks coming to a flea market expect rock bottom prices. Good luck with it! -Dawn @ We Call It

  16. My church hosts a fund raising spring tea every year. For the last 2 years we purchased plastic plates, cups, forks, and spoons for approximately 90 people. They went to landfill and they cut into our profits.
    Not this year!
    We purchased snack plates and cups at thrift stores. All different kinds. We waited for sales. They were donated by a few families as a donation. It was unique and beautiful on the tables. We hand washed em and packed them away in bubble wrap for next year. We are reusing the plasticwear as well. We are considering cloth napkins next year.

    1. I love that you’ve done this! I have managed to collect about 80 snack sets and hope to use them for showers, teas, fund raisers, weddings, book club meetings, luncheons etc. If others can catch the vision too!

      So many women are simply grateful they can throw the plastic and paper away- they don’t want to do the dishes… its all in the life experiences that shape our perspective I suppose.

      As a little girl, I have some very fond memories of serving wedding cake and punch to guests at wedding receptions. afterward, the ladies in our church Relief Society laughing and visiting and washing the trays at the end of the luncheon, shower or receptions.

  17. Thanks for the tip! I have 2 snack sets that belonged to my grandmother, and they’re still in their boxes as I had no idea what to do with them other than display them. Great idea for using them with dips, and now I think I’ll break them out! Kim

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