They do seem like a throw-back, like they are of another time and place. But the paper lace doily has its place, and if you believe Etsy, that place is high and mighty at the hands of DIY-ers across the globe.
I’m not so much going to make an envelope out of a paper doily, or dye one green using natural dyes, or make bunting out of a string of them (but all of these I would admire, from afar).
I just have a soft spot for a good old-fashioned paper doily, of the variety found up at the IGA on the hill or Goodrich’s downstate or Publix in Florida. That always surprises me, their availability at the grocery, because paper doilies seem like they ought to be a specialty item, don’t they? Beautiful laser-cut stacks of paper that can be had readily and on the cheap are unexpected.
I could do without the word itself, “doily” sounding like something Nellie Olsen on Little House would snarl about, something prissy. But like paper bakeware, this paper lace is elegant in its own way, and saves the day by protecting serving platters or by taking the every day (in my case, a blue everyday plate on Main Street) and making it party-worthy, or at least something a notch above what we experience every day.
Paper lace liners hold things in place, like a slippery (and super delicious, so stay posted) deviled egg–on a plate that is not one of the specially-made deviled egg plates, but just a regular dinner plate because that’s all we’ve got at the moment. Which pleases me because it gives me an excuse to pull out a lace doily and put it to good, not at all prissy, use.