Board & Brush Creative Studio, a DIYer’s dream, set for grand opening in Ames

Board & Brush Creative Studio, the first of its kind in Story County, will be opening its doors for business later this week in west Ames.

What started out as one studio in Wisconsin has now grown to a franchise with 270 locations across the U.S.  The franchise has gained such popularity that it was named the #1 DIY studio workshop franchise in the country for 2023 in annual rankings from Entrepreneur magazine.  As lovers of all things DIY, mother and daughter team, Margaret Liston and Amy Weber, felt Ames would benefit greatly from a workshop of their own.  As Ames natives, the owners are excited to share their passion of making custom DIY signs. 

According to Weber, inspiration to open a Board & Brush in Ames developed after she personally went through the DIY experience in the Des Moines area. “In 2017, I attended a Board & Brush workshop,” she explained. “I just fell in love with it. So, I decided to check in with the franchise about bringing it to our area. Then, when Covid hit, I kind of let it go.

“In 2022, I checked into it further. [Corporate] thought Ames would be a great place. We initially struggled to find a location. But we finally did, so here we are.”

Amy Weber (left) and her mother, Margaret Liston (right), are co-owners of a new Board & Brush DIY studio in west Ames.

All Board & Brush workshops are instructor-led with attendees being guided through the ins and outs of power tools, paint, stencil art, and assembly. “We put raw wood and a stencil in front of you, and we lead you through every step of making that wood into your own sign,” Weber detailed.

All DIY materials are supplied for guests, and clean-up is handled by Board & Brush associates, making the experience an enjoyable one even for experienced hobbyists. “If you are used to DIYing and doing stuff like this, you have all of these resources at your fingertips here at Board & Brush,” Weber said. “You don’t have to make your kitchen table or dining room table a mess. You come to the workshop, we clean it all up for you, and you just get to create. You don’t have to worry about all the different paints or stains. We provide everything, and you just get to do the fun stuff.”

In addition, Weber added that the format of Board & Brush is equally suitable for those who are inexperienced but have a keen interest in creating their own custom sign. “You don’t need any experience,” Weber added. “We did a friends and family event, and my aunt was initially pretty leery. She’s not very crafty. But we stand beside you and help you. If you have never done anything like this, we’ll make it happen for you. You will walk out of the studio with a wood sign you will love.”

New designs are issued each month with more than 800 designs to choose from.  With the seemingly endless variety of design options available, the workshops are aimed to be enjoyable for all.

Board & Brush’s goal is to turn you into a “DIY master” by educating you to understand and appreciate the beauty of raw materials. According to Weber, it is the perfect activity for every group – family get-togethers, girlfriends’ night out, bachelorette and bridal parties, sorority functions, corporate and team building events, and date nights.  The studio is spacious enough to accommodate 30 people per workshop.

A grand opening celebration is set for Thursday, July 20, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Gift bags filled with workshop coupons will be given to the first 20 people. Everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to win a VIP party for six valued at more than $400.

“You don’t have to have a reservation [for the grand opening],” Weber concluded. “We have 20 bags to give away, as well as a drawing for the VIP table. Come in and tour the studio. We will have an example of a raw board transformed into a finished project. See what it’s all about, and sign up for a workshop if you want.”

Treats at the studio’s grand opening will be provided by Sisters in Cheese and Sweet and Savory.  The celebration will be held at the new Ames studio, located at 3326 Lincoln Way, Unit 102 in The Point Plaza.  For more information, visit Public workshops start July 22, and updates can be found on the studio’s Facebook page,

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