Decorating DIY Projects Lifestyle Thrifting & Vintage

Thrifted Glass Straw Dispenser – Retro Decor Touch

March 30, 2019

Glass straw dispensers are a fun way to dress up your kitchen counter, bar cart or even your outdoor living space. See how this thrifted straw dispenser gets a mini DIY tweak to display Venetian glass tiki swizzle sticks and keep them safe!

A Tiki them

Thrifting Without A Purpose

When I’m thrifting sometimes I spy something I really want but don’t need, and sometimes I try to be practical and turn the other cheek…sometimes. Do you ever do that?

About a year ago I came across a vintage straw dispenser and snapped it up for my Mr.’s home bar. It’s been such a playful addition. Changing up the colours and patterns of the paper straws is a little decorating bonus for every season. Lot’s of fun!

So when I came across this smaller straw dispenser the other day in the thrift store it was hard to walk away. I picked it up, checked it out…contemplated for a minute or two, and then walked away.

Since I had no plan for how I would use another straw dispenser, I was feeling pretty proud that I exercised restraint. This lasted for less than a day. Overnight is all it took before I knew exactly how I would put this little glass straw holder to use. See, I knew I should not have walked away!

Retro Straw Dispenser Stores Glass Tiki Swizzle Sticks

These tiki swizzle sticks are made of Venetian glass. They are kitschy and fun but a lot on the fragile side, so I never really got around to putting them out. But now…the smaller straw dispenser would be perfect for safely giving them a place to be displayed!

As soon as the thrift store opened I was there, and lucky for me, so was the straw dispenser. I snapped it up, and couldn’t wait to set the tiki swizzle sticks in place.

Because the swizzle sticks are made of glass I decided to line the chrome tray with a layer of felt. This way the balls on the bottom of the swizzle sticks wouldn’t have to rest right on the metal, and the felt would help protect them from cracks and chips.

Felt lined tray of a glass straw dispenser.

Modifying Retro Straw Dispenser Lid to Fit

Placing the felt was an easy, quick fix (DIY tutorial with photo steps at the end of post). I was able to unscrew the metal rod that connects the tray to the lid, so I just slipped the liner onto the tray and put the rod back into place.

When I placed the swizzle sticks into the dispenser, well, that’s when Murphy stepped in. Because the tray and lid are connected I had to tuck the palm leaf tops up inside the lid, but they barely fit. See how they were hidden by the rim?

The only way to really make this smaller dispenser work was to unscrew the lid from the rod that connected it to the tray. This was easy enough to do, but it meant finding a short screw so the knob could be re-attached to the lid. I found a screw in my stash of hardware, but I also had to add a nut and a washer so the knob would get a snug fit.

With this small DIY fix in place it left the top of the rod exposed where it had been attached to the lid. When you are a DIYer there’s no end of tricks to making something like new again. It also means you have a toolkit full of random stuff! And in my toolkit was just the perfect little rubber cap to top off the metal rod and give it a finished look.

Now that the tray could rest on the base of the glass holder, and between the rubber cap, the added screw and nut, there was enough extra depth for the lid to sit higher above the palm tree tops. The rim of the lid also sat up just a titch so more of the swizzle stick tops could be seen.

With tops like this there’s incentive to protect them and to show them off, don’t you think?

Thrift Store Finds Create Tiki Vignette

I forgot to mention, everything you see in this tiki bar vignette has been thrifted other than the beach glass and rocks. Even the bar table is a second-hand find!

A Tiki bar display using thrifted finds features vintage tabletop oak barrel, glass straw dispenser jar, Tiki swizzle sticks, coconut Tiki mug with lid and beach glass finds.

Straw dispensers are so versatile for your home decor, and offer up an instant retro vibe. You can dress them up or dress them down, it’s really up to you and how you want it to punctuate your space. For me it was all about the tiki swizzle sticks. And I love having them out on our covered deck that is home to our very own evolving tiki bar, one thrifted find at a time!

DIY Felt Pad for Straw Dispenser Tray

You can see from the DIY steps that creating and adding the protective felt liner was super simple. It took longer to gather the supplies than it did to cut the felt and set into place.

How have you integrated thrifted finds into your decor? Any one featuring a straw dispenser too? If you have a second, I would love to hear more. Your comments are always appreciated and I read every single one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Audrey Would Vintage Home blog

Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home unless otherwise indicated.

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