NEED Help with something very sentimental to me!

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I have a pocketbook that my mother used to carry every year during the summertime. It is wooden and hand painted purse with 7 flowers on it with my name and 6 siblings in the center, plus a little white one for a baby that died- and my parents name, Helen and Ray on the tree. She received this as a gift from my dad. I have had this in storage since she passed away in 2004. I am looking for any ideas or suggestions on how I can use this as a decorative piece in a new beach house that we are closing on in 2 weeks. This beach is where I spent most of my summers when I was a child and I know my mom is smiling down - knowing that I will have a beach house at what was definitley her "happy place."
As you can see from the pictures, it is very outdated- she carried it when I was a child in the 70's. I really would be thrilled if I could figure out a way that I can use her bag in the new house - kind of a reminder that she is there with us in spirit.
Think it definitely needs a new fabric lining and ribbon on top. not even sure how to do that :(. The opening of the purse is 8 1/2 inches across and 8 inches deep.
Thought of maybe using it as a planter, but don't want it ruined by dirt and watering the plant. Posting pics from different views so you can see what it really looks like.
ANY creative suggestions people can share with me would be greatly appreciate!!! Creativity is not one of my strenghts 😄
q need help with something very sentimental to me
Front of purse
q need help with something very sentimental to me
Side view
q need help with something very sentimental to me
Purse with lid closed- and handle
q need help with something very sentimental to me
Inside of purse with old faded lining. 8.5 inces across and 8 inches deep
q need help with something very sentimental to me
Inside top lid of the purse
  15 answers
  • Peg Peg on Jul 21, 2017
    Ann if you line it with foil or something else that wont break down fast you can sit potted plants inside.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 21, 2017
    I remember those purses from the 60s. I like the fabric on it so I would just tack down what needs it, its in keeping with the era. I would find a container to fit inside, put in a chunk of decorators floral foam, and make a nice dried floral arrangement.... goes with the floral theme of the bag itself.

  • I would use dried flowers or faux succulents. It is adorable!

  • Bar17218364 Bar17218364 on Jul 21, 2017
    Secure the lining near the top where it appears to have come loose. Other than that, I wouldn't change anything. Use your Mom's purse as an object of memorbillia. Full it with favorite photos, objects that she loved or collected (shells, stones, etc.) , birthday and anniversary cards, event photos. You and her grandchildren will love rummaging through their grandmother's purse.

  • Jcs28162820 Jcs28162820 on Jul 21, 2017
    its beautiful as it is. Try carrying it, just to be near your mom.

  • Virginia R Virginia R on Jul 21, 2017
    Since it is for a beach house, I think it would look cool making it a beachy theme so it kind of looks like you are going off to the beach for the day. Put things inside you would take to the beach; a rolled up towel, sun glasses, maybe a pair of flip flops, a colorful water bottle, maybe a book (esp if your Mom was a reader), etc. You may need to add something inside to hold the items up so they can be seen. Whatever you decide, I would love to see a pic of finished project.

  • Lynnelle Hempel Foreman Lynnelle Hempel Foreman on Jul 21, 2017
    You could do a beautiful silk flower arrangement in it and put it on your front door as long as the sun doesn't shine on it. Maybe in your kitchen for outgoing mail or something else. Or think outside of the box here and hang it on your bathroom wall and come up with something you might want to put it. Just use your imagination.

  • Karen Krysowaty Karen Krysowaty on Jul 21, 2017
    I would make sure it is clean and then put a protective coating on it. I would not use it as a planter, instead I believe I would make it a memory purse that all could put something in it to can of stick out and people could enjoy it. I would leave the lid open and probably some dried flowers and sea shells. Hang it on the wall or a on a shelf

  • Queenbee Queenbee on Jul 21, 2017
    I would put polyurethane or shellac on the outside to preserve the beautiful artwork and put guest towels, toiletries, room freshener etc in a bathroom or on a dresser. If u want to lift up whatever u put in there use some Styrofoam or even the dry block that florists use for silk arrangements and cover with a nice little piece of fabric. If u have a picture of ur mother I would make the top stay open and use those photo corners for picture albums to put on the inside top with maybe some of her jewelry like a necklace just draped over the corner or if she wore scarfs to use as a display in memory of her every time u look at it. U could also use the Styrofoam as a base and use some kind of stick or pick and put pictures of ur past at the beach with ur mom/family.

  • Kathy Haines Cramer Kathy Haines Cramer on Jul 21, 2017
    I would put it in a shadow box frame and hang it on the wall!!

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jul 21, 2017
    Myself, I would polyurethane it. My dad used that on his Moms claw foot table when he refinished it in the 70's and it still looks like it was just refinished in my dining room today, so do the other antiques that he refinished around that time that I have today. I would use it in a place of prominence in your new lake home with an artificial flower arrangement that goes with the colors of the flowers and fabric, but I would keep it more country look and not a formal arrangement.

  • Sld18500395 Sld18500395 on Jul 22, 2017
    I would use it to hold keepsakes and photos of her in it. Too special to ruin. I would hide my mail in mine on my desk

  • Mary Boger Mary Boger on Jul 22, 2017
    I would not use it as a planter or place it where weather might harm it. Why chance harming such a lovely keepsake? I really like the
    other suggestions for holding photos, momentos, personal things of your mother's. Having a special photo of her prominently displayed
    would be so nice. I like the idea of family being able to take a peek
    in the purse and find special memories. Or, if you put a nice dried
    arrangement be sure to include your mother's favorite flowers and/or beach things..shells etc. If there are little family members
    perhaps they'd delight in finding candy or a small treat in the purse.
    How lucky you are to have this!! So many ways to keep
    her spirit alive. I don't have much that belonged to my mother
    (She died when I was 19 in 1969) but I treasure her darning egg.

  • Reba Reba on Jul 22, 2017
    I worked in a small company back in the south where we stained this unfinished purses and hinged on the top and straps etc.. Under the top we glued on a mirror, hand painted any decorations such as tiny houses, trees etc.. This particular purse was called Caro Nan. If you Google in Caro Nan, you will find your purse and perhaps some décor suggestions and uses. Any other help---reba1022@gmail.com

  • Ann Norton Hershman Ann Norton Hershman on Jul 22, 2017
    Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions- my wheels are now turning onsome of these ideas. Going to read through them all again. Love reading the different ideas! Keep them coming 😄