Latest DIY or The Tale of Polebridge

I love thrift store shopping. Scouring the racks, looking for interesting pieces that I can upcycle. Found this poor, lost little wine rack at the Salvation Army store. I saw it and knew I could change it up and make it work in my decor. It was all of $3 and I have an entire rubbermaid tote full of paints, so I knew I just needed to get started on it.

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I looked past the awful, cliche “grapes” theme and saw the rather good condition of the wood, the unbroken chicken wire sides and decided to grab it. I know it’s not like I painted the Sistine Chapel, but hey, give me points for creativity.

I sanded the old paint off after using non-toxic spray paint remover to get the grapes and green off. When I sanded the top, some of the green remained, giving it a weathered patina. I really liked the inadvertent effect, so I went with it. Once I got the paint off, I wasn’t sure what colors I wanted to repaint it in. I have a rustic theme in my second bedroom/crafting room so I wanted it to fit in with that, but also not be overly kitschy/cliche “country”.

Here’s where the Tale of Polebridge begins, or perhaps resumes is a better description. Once upon a time, when I lived in Montana, I went to Glacier National Park with my former fiancee. My birthday fell in the middle of the week, so we decided to go to Glacier that weekend to celebrate. I absolutely fell in love with the majesty of Glacier and it became one of my most favorite places instantly. One day while we were in the park, I randomly picked where we’d go next. Using the park-supplied map, I picked Polebridge as it had a place to eat and a little shop. So we began the drive and arrived in Polebridge about two hours later. There’s a little place called the Polebridge Mercantile. You basically happen upon it after driving through trees and following a gravel road. It consists of a main building with the shop and eatery, a smaller building and an outhouse. I fell in love with all the amazing, quirky finds in the shop. Pretty sure I wanted to just move in. There’s a few picnic tables on the property and it’s just this quaint area amongst the trees. It was relatively crowded, but we stopped in, got some food and sat outside at a picnic table. I remember it was a sunny but not too hot day, and there were dogs (presumably the mercantile owners’) hanging out in the shade between the two buildings. I patted them as I waited my turn to use the outhouse and then returned to the table and just completely enjoyed the quiet time with my former fiancee. It was such a perfect day and I remember being very much in love with him at that time. It’s one of those days you wish would last forever and it is a favorite memory of mine.

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So if you’re wondering how this story relates to a $3 wine rack, here it is. I had this barn like rack, unpainted and I decided to turn it into a mini Polebridge Mercantile. I reverse printed a photo of the lettering on the building and used Mod Podge to transfer it. I kind of wish I had made the lettering larger, but I wasn’t sure the Mod Podge would even take to the wood.
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Still, it turned out far better than I expected. I have a few spots to touch up with the red and I’m not sure if I want to add a crackle finish or not. All in all, not bad for a $9 investment (adding in cost of Mod Podge) for a unique item that reminds me of a wonderful day. I hope to one day return to the Polebridge Mercantile, this time with my sister (who still lives in Montana) at my side.

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