I remember being little and wanting to give birthday presents, too, but felt like most pictures or crafts I could make would eventually end up in some drawer. I want my kids to be able to make and give something useful.
So we made Daddy and uncle Timm some water bottles. Each of them made one so that Daddy could ditch those pesky plastic bottles and always take an aluminum one with him. My first attempt at designing an easy pattern for them failed miserably. But that same afternoon, big brother was doodling with a black marker. I saved it an scanned it and voila, we had our first design.
It's supposed to be a dog with a fishing rod, catching something really big. But I'm sure you saw that right away.
A week later, I also had them stamp a white piece of paper with simple black stars, a rocket and a planet stamp.
Here big brother was showing little brother how to draw a face, and a cat. Of course. There's a cat on nearly everything we do.
Speaking of cats, meet Lilly. She hates people but gets really cuddly and friendly every day at 9:30 am. Provided nobody else is around, of course. If you come to my house, you won't see her (she hides under the bed as soon as the doorbell rings). If you do see her you know that you're been here an awful lot and are practically family.
And no, my cats are not usually allowed to walk on the counters. But she was cuddly and I was ignoring her, taking pictures of these strange white things, so she decided to take matters in her own
As for the bottles, I simply scanned the images the kids made, then uploaded them and had them printed on the bottles. I researched for a while to find a site that would allow me to print on an aluminum instead of plastic bottle and also a white one. The white background disappears and you can only see the black drawing on the bottle. It's turned out really well. I've done this before with white coffee mugs (one of big brothers first real drawings, a fish) and, when editing the image, a black mousepad with a white drawing.
I don't really like the stamped one half as much as the one with the impromptu drawing. Which goes to say that I should just let the kids have their way with these things instead of trying to art direct!