Board and Brush cover

SHEBOYGAN — Ever wanted to create your own DIY decor but don't quite have the artistic ability to match your vision? Then Board & Brush Sheboygan might just be the perfect place for you.

Part of a national franchise, the area creative studio hosts private and public instructor-led sessions through more than 500 designs and projects.

How do classes work?

Each workshop is about a three-hour workshop in which an instructor walks you through step by step.

"You don't have to have any artistic ability," explained owner Jodi Lamers. "You get stencils based on the project you select, so you don't even have to be able to paint. Pretty much anybody can follow along—I mean, my nine-year-old comes in and makes signs all the time."

The Board & Brush franchise features over 500 designs in several different categories.

"You pick out whatever project you want to do and then we have everything prepped," Lamers said. "When you walk in, you'll have your stencil and your wood all sitting on the table. You'll get to grab an apron and a glass of wine or beer or whatever and have a bit of time away."

That's exactly the kind of experience Lamers wants to give her customers—a time to get away and to have a little fun while doing it.

"Especially in the winter months here, there's not too much to do," she said. "I get a lot, 'Oh, I can do that at home,' but then we remind them that we have all of the supplies—the wood, the wood stain, the stencil—and you don't have to worry about cleaning up the mess."

The studio hosts walk-in events if you and a friend are looking to join a class and private events for those with larger groups. And yes, they even can serve alcohol with a small cash bar.

What kind of projects are available?

Lamers described the overall aesthetic of the projects as more "farmhouse shabby chic". 

"We're not going for that pristine, perfect project," she explained. "The more character a board has the better. It makes for those unique pieces. We want it to look like it's been part of your family for 50 years instead of something you just brought from a home goods store."

All designs are created by the franchise and then dispersed to local studios. From there, you can even have customized projects and they'll be sure to have the stencils necessary to complete your project.

"Corporate does our monthly designs for us, so on the first of every month we release our new designs for that month," Lamers said. "They're usually somewhat holiday themed depending upon the time of year."

Some of the most popular projects in Sheboygan include porch signs, cornhole boards, wine and beer signs and She Shed and Man Cave signs. With the amount of designs, there truly is something for everyone to do, even the kids.

"Bachelorette parties and birthday parties are huge," explained studio manager Amanda DeAmico. "I've probably had five or six Bachelorette parties scheduled for summer in the past week."

"The hardest part is getting the guys to come in," Lamers laughed. "I always tend to ask them 'Hey, are you going to tell your friends you were here?' and they usually always change their tune from the beginning to the end. Sometimes they'll get into it more than the girls do. Once you can get them in, they'll be back for the cornhole workshops, the man cave signs—those more 'manly' projects."

I'm in! How do I sign up?

Just simply head to boardandbrush.com/sheboygan/ to book your workshop or see their calendar of events. Special events can also be found on the studio's Facebook page at Facebook.com/boardandbrushsheboygan.

Registration does shut off 48 hours in advance to ensure all the supplies can be provided. When you sign up, you'll be able to see and select from the pages and pages of designs offered.

And the best part is, your project is guaranteed. Can't get that at home.

"For some reason if you make your project and you just absolutely hate it or you mess up, we'll remake it for you," Lamers said. "If we can't fix it in the studio right there for you, we'll make sure to have it fixed for you."

During the pandemic, Board & Brush also rolled out smaller take-home bundles that includes a pre-stained board, stencils and all other supplies with the exception of paint.

The price of the Pick-Your-Project workshops are $68 and include all materials. Other smaller projects are also available for $35 and children's projects and workshops are just $25.

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