mother’s day gift ideas: toothpick holders


When my mother-in-law started collecting toothpick holders several years ago, I have to admit, I didn’t really get it. Then I bought her a collector’s guide and my jaw about hit the floor when I saw all the different holders. Literally thousands — and that’s just pressed glass. There’s also toothpick holders made of metal (silver, pewter) and porcelain.

Although toothpick holders are no longer considered part of a well-set table, they come in handy for other uses. Filling out the front of a bookshelf, holding a miniature bouquet or keeping your rings safe, to name a few.

Toothpick holders have sold for as much as $10,000 at auction (that’s not a typo). I usually find good ones to gift for well under $20 but have occasionally paid more. With a lot of collectibles, however, there are recent reproductions so if you’re spending a lot, check out some of the collector’s guides first. They’ll help you identify the difference between old and new. You can also find information and links on The National Toothpick Society website. — Sarah L.

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One thing I always keep an eye out for is cut glass salt and pepper shakers. I only look for singles that have no mate. I fill them with some kind of lovely organic spice or a cinnamon sugar mix and use them as hostess gifts for parties, holidays, or even a housewarming. I never thought about toothpick holders. What a lovely idea. They could even be filled with festive party picks for appetizers or specialty cooking salts.

Karen P.

My mother has been a collector of toothpick holders, too. I did not know there was a collector’s guide. Thanks for the info. Good post.

Sarah L.

Kimberj — I love the sea salt idea!

Karen, thanks : ) Try for a collector’s guide. Not sure any are in print anymore but you’ll find several different ones on Abe.

Is that a toothpick holder or a flower vase? just asking for I’m a bit confused. Anyway it’s nice.