Have you visited friends or family and noticed the hand-painted signs welcoming you from (insert family name here) and wondered “How did they do that?” Well, we had the opportunity to not only find out how those homemade woodworking signs are created, but actually make one ourselves (actually, Lisa created the sign. I watched). Board and Brush has been in Omaha for almost a year and is the spot to create those signs.
The process to create the DIY artwork provides an interesting lesson. Holly, the store’s manager, hosted a blogger event in which Lisa, Lisa C. with Mom on the Side and Ashley with Ashley Nicole Photography created their own unique home signs. We went with a Nebraska map, featuring “Home” with a red heart symbolizing Omaha (not sure if she wants to continually promote our book 100 things to Do in Omaha Before You Die or just because she loves living in Omaha).
Lisa C. chose a family one that featured her, her husband and three children as birds on a tree branch. She used yellow paint as her color and it worked really well. Ashley created a vintage-looking “Welcome” sign using three greetings. She combined a couple of colors in creating a beautiful sign. Each person’s sign was impressive.
Creating your design
So, how do you create these interesting signs? First, you need to pick out a design, said Holly. You do this by visiting the website and browsing the many available designs. They can be customized with family names or specific words, she said. Once you select a design, you need to visit the store in the Pepperwood shopping mall (155th and Dodge). The west Omaha location is near Le Voltaire restaurant.
Board and Brush doesn’t have set store hours. They work based on class schedules. They schedule events, as well as work with people wanting to host an event. The store can host events such as bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or even team building events for an office. The store hosts birthday parties for all ages, and is a popular spot for kids’ birthdays.
Your design determines the type of wood pieces you’ll use. Ours was a square style, so Lisa used three smaller planks compared with Lisa and Ashley’s longer pieces. Wearing earplugs, you take a couple of hammers to distress the wood to your delight. Have a tough day at the office? Then, the wood may be really distressed. The next step is to choose a color of finish for the wood. Based on your design, you may want a darker or lighter (or something in the middle) finish on the wood. Since ours had multiple pieces, they needed to be held together by two braces in the back. Lisa loved using a power drill to secure the braces to the panels.
Painting your project
Remember when I mentioned you picked out a design? Well, Holly and her crack staff print them out and create templates for you to lay over the wood pieces. Carefully removing the cover to reveal an adhesive backing, the template is gently laid over the wood panels and then smoothed over, so it sticks. Then, removing the front cover to reveal an open spot on the template, you can now paint over it, creating your painting. Lisa went with white to fill in Nebraska, so a red heart could be painted where Omaha is positioned on the map. Below the state design, she also painted “Home” in red. She topped the woodwork with a wax coating to help protect the paint and create a slightly weathered look.
The DIY process takes about three hours, from start to finish. Participants are encouraged to bring their own beverages and treats. Lisa and friends enjoyed a glass or two of wine, while I downed a Diet Pepsi as the designated driver. I strongly recommend always having a designated driver whenever alcohol is involved.
The evening was fun, even if I didn’t DIY a design. I could have, but preferred to watch and take notes.
The woodworking classes are decently priced. They have adult and child prices, so a kids event can be a great idea. Board and Brush offers an interesting alternative to parties and events. We immediately thought of quite a few family members who would enjoy the DIY workshop. Board and Brush’s classes are cool for men, as well. You can create some “manly” designs, if you so choose to.
We had a blast and would do this again. We recommend checking out Board and Brush’s website for more information.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Board and Brush for hosting the blogger event. However, all opinions are views are ours.