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Collecting and Displaying Vintage Cookie Cutters

Published August 03, 2011        by Nicole

Cookie Cutters

The art of the cookie cutter is really turning into a hobby today. If you’ve always admired the artistry found in vintage cutters from your childhood or from antique stores or flea markets, why not start your own collection? It’s a practical collection you can actually use and then display.

Vintage cookie cutters harken back to a time when everything was handcrafted. Most are made of copper, which is now the most valued among collectors, but some are also made of tin. Look for cutters that have pleasant shapes. There’s really no one shape that’s more collectible than another. It’s what you like. But do look for ones that are in good shape if you want to actually use the cutter. Rusted cutters are not usable for food.

Stroll through a flea market, thrift store, antiques show, or Goodwill store, and you will no doubt stumble upon cookie cutters. Look for the age if you want to go vintage. Modern cookie cutters are usually plastic or a cheap nickel plate. At least the majority of them are. But every once in a while, you will come upon a true find—the cast-off copper cookie cutter. Cutters are still made in copper today but are usually mass marketed. They are made in factories and not by hand. If you find a copper cookie cutter, buy it. You can always assess its value later. Finding a copper one at all these days is rare, so don’t leave it behind.

Once you’ve amassed your collection of cookie cutters, don’t try to wash them. Leave vintage cutters as is. The exception, of course, is if you’re going to use them to bake cookies. Otherwise, leave them in their found state. The patina makes them more valuable.

Tie vintage or gingham plaid ribbons on them and hang them from a nail or hook in your kitchen. If you have a pot rack, hang them at different lengths and intervals in between your pots. You can also collect them in a big glass apothecary jar as they are. Stack them up and leave them on a counter for display. They look pretty just on their own. You could even put together a get well cookie gift basket with fresh baked cookies, the recipe, and a few of the cookie cutters that you used.

Flickr Photo Credit: CarbonNYCAnother way to display your cutters is to line them up on a window sill. If you have a country house, line them up along kitchen windows. But you can also spread them throughout the living room, family room, dining room, and even in the bathroom! They look cute resting next to the sink.

No matter where you choose to display your cutters, group them. One here and one there will look odd. If you put a grouping of them together, they’ll look more like a collection. Group them with vintage cookbooks or leather-bound books, stacks, or recipe cards or other kitchen memorabilia from a bygone age. Lay them on old frilly aprons or a wooden rolling pin. You can even make a mobile or light fixture out of them. The more you collect, the more options you have for displaying them.

Be ever vigilant for the one cookie cutter that’s going to steal your heart. It may be one you remember from your childhood or a form like a reindeer, Santa, gingerbread boy, or flower cookie cutter that just sparks a nice memory for you.