I have found a great personalized gift that anyone would love. It is a garden stepping stone that you can make yourself. You can buy the kit which comes with everything you need. There are optional items you can buy, like different decorations, to add to your stone as well. We made one of these for my mom with my daughter's handprints for Mother's day last year. She liked it so much she asked for another one this year so we made one with her footprints (see picture above, we added her name and the year as well - its hard to see but it is still in the mold so thats why the edges look messy).
It is very easy to do. Simply mix the powdered cement with water, stir it up, pour it in the mold and smooth it out. Wait at least 15-20 minutes for it to set a little then design away! You can do handprints, footprints, paw prints, family trees, names - the ideas are endless! You can add colors (this I did not try so I'm not sure how it comes out) and you can even buy little glass marbles that you can put tiny photos in. It takes a day to dry completely so make sure you give yourself enough time. I bought this at Michaels, a craft store, but I have seen it at places like Walmart as well for around $20. The nice part is once you have a mold you can buy the cement mix and additional decorations seperately.
I'll share a hint... we were pressed for time to get this one done so to help it set up quicker I used my blow dryer on it for a few minutes. If the cement is too runny the prints won't stay, its like mush, so letting it dry a bit works. You also want to wait longer to write letters or numbers, they say until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. The writing can be tricky but the good part is is that if you mess up you can just smooth over the surface and try again.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for that special, personal and unique gift that will last for years!
Update On May 04, 2010: I first did this as a Mother's day gift for my mom with my daugther's hand and footprints. Now I have another child and we are doing this again for this mother's day with my son's handprints. I kept the mold so all I had to do was buy the cement mix and some decorative pieces and viola... another precious stepping stone! My mom actually asked for it this year, she is working on a whole garden path made from her grandchildren's hands and feet! With Mother's day around the corner I just wanted to remind everyone of this idea!