Every year her fifth grade, students get to design melamine plates. Uncle Punk, Jim, Ranger, and I are always invited to make a plate of our own.
When Ranger was one, he was not interested in coloring but he was obsessed with letters, numbers, and shapes. It was fun to give him a plate that integrated his burgeoning interests.
Ranger (at two) made a plate of his own which we labeled with his name and the year.
With the classroom kit (~$11 with shipping) and free early bird shipping (templates submitted before November 31st), the plates cost $5.95 each. This is a good option if you want to go in with some friends on a bulk order. Otherwise individual kits are available for around $15.99 (online and at craft stores like Hobby Lobby).
The plates are dishwasher safe, but not microwavable. There are also kits to make bowls, trays, and mugs if melamine plates don't hold much appeal.
With bulk ordering and free shipping, these plates can make durable and inexpensive custom gifts for grandparents and friends of the family.
What kind of custom and/or homemade gifts does your family make?