How to make a time capsule

I absolutely love time capsules. The idea of taking things from the present and burying them for someone to find in the future is extremely fascinating for me. It’s like freezing time. I love it. Every year on New Year’s Eve I get together with my family and we make a 10 year time capsule. In today’s post I’m going to share everything you need to know about time capsules. I’m also going to give you inspiration for what to put in yours!

What is a time capsule?

A time capsule is a container that is filled with items from the current time. The container is then buried to be opened in the future.

Even in 2022, people all over the world are still finding time capsules that were buried long ago. It’s so fascinating! 

I love vintage things, nostalgia, and things that take me back in time. That’s why several years ago I decided to make a time capsule every year with my family.

They get better and better each year, so I figured it was time to update this blog post. The last time I wrote it was in 2017! I can’t believe how quickly time flies!

How can I make a time capsule?

It’s so easy and so much fun. All you need is a container that is sturdy enough to stand the test of time. I usually use a tupperware container that seals up nicely. But if you need something bigger you can go with any plastic container. You just need something that stays put for a long time.

You don’t have to bury your time capsule.

I don’t bury mine. I put a note on the top stating which year that the time capsule can be opened. Then I shove it deep in the closet where I won’t find it for a while. If I decide to clean out the closet and I come across the capsule I would just move it to another hiding place.

I just don’t ever want to be so good at hiding it away that I forget where it is when it’s time to open it. 

If you prefer to bury your time capsule, be my guest! But that seems like it would be a little bit more involved than I would like. 

What to put inside of your time capsule

Birthday candles

I used to throw out the birthday candles when my kids blew them out. Then I realized that I could clean them off and keep them forever. It wouldn’t be something that I would be interested in pulling out and looking at any other time, so I figured that the best place to put them would be in the time capsule. Sinc I make a 10 year time capsule, I know that the candles would be very special to me. 

Photographs

When I was growing up, I could go to any store in town and get my photos developed in house in an hour or less. I used to make scrapbooks and tape the photos to my well. Over time, places like Target and other supercenters have stopped developing photos. 

There are still a couple of places that will do it, but trust me, the quality is terrible. Every month I have photos printed so that I can mail a card to my grandma. I always print extra photos for me that I can save to put in the time capsule. 

Most people have hundreds of beautiful memories in their phones. It’s time to print them and put them in your time capsule!

Here are a couple more photo ideas.

  • Picture of your home
  • Some pictures of your favorite places in your town
  • Pictures of your pet
  • Pictures of your car
  • Pictures of your favorite things

Magazines

I don’t think I’ve ever put magazines in a time capsule before, but this year I’m making an effort to add a couple to my time capsule. Magazines like US weekly and People are great for remembering all of the things that were happening in fashion and pop culture at the time of making the capsule. 

I recently ordered a copy of US weekly…The copy that covered the now infamous Will Smith/Chris Rock Oscars slap. Even though I am sad about that entire situation and how it went down, I know that in 10 years time I will be interested to re-read the articles and remember what was happening in Hollywood during that time.

You don’t have to have a magazine subscription. Just pick up a couple of magazines throughout the year. I like to purchase magazines that have my favorite celebrities on the cover.

Tickets, maps and brochures.

We all have those maps from amusement parks, plane and movie tickets, and brochures from places we visited that we don’t necessarily want to throw away but we don’t really know what to do with.

Well now you have a place to put them. You can fill your time capsule throughout the year or you can put all of those things in a folder until it is time to officially fill and seal the time capsule. 

I went to New York City for the first time with my high school many years ago. It was a lot of fun, but I remembered to grab all of the brochures, tickets, and even saved my hotel room key. I’m glad I did because it’s fun to look back on all of those memories from the trip. 

Since we didn’t have smart phones back then I didn’t take many photos and would have easily forgotten most of those places.

A letter to your future self

Last year I did something that I wanted to do for a very long time. I wrote a letter to my future self. 

I’m going to admit it was much harder than I ever thought it would be. The uncertainty of the future had me very emotional and I had to keep taking breaks. I think it took me about 2 months to actually finish the letter, print it out and put it in an envelope because of how difficult it was for me to write.

Writing that letter taught me a very important lesson: I essentially have no control over the future. All I really have is the present.

Here’s how you can write a letter to your future self

Memes, quotes, news articles, and other things from the internet.

I don’t know about you, but one thing I do appreciate about the internet is the memes and all of the funny posts and videos. 

Last year, I did my best to save the funniest memes so that I could print them out and put them in the time capsule. Internet trends change very quickly, so I wanted to hold on to some of the trending topics forever. 

I also like to print articles from events that happened during the year. In 2020, I printed out several articles from the pandemic lockdowns and from the insane toilet paper shortage we had here in the U.S. (you couldn’t find toilet paper anywhere). 

When I open my time capsule in ten years I want to genuinely feel like I am going back in time.

Trendy toys.

If you have children, don’t forget to include some of the most popular toy trends from the year. Last year my kids were all about those pop it toys and other ‘fidgets’ they spent the entire year buying and trading these toys with their friends, so when it was time to pack the time capsule I asked them to give me one that they wouldn’t miss.

73 Questions with me or a list of current favorites.

I love watching the Vogue 73 Questions videos on Youtube so I decided to do a blog post of my own with my 73 questions. It was a lot of fun and at the end of the year I printed it out for my time capsule.

If you don’t want to do 73 questions, you can always write down a list of all of your current favorite things. It shouldn’t take long and you will love looking back on it later.

Cards

I know that many people throw away their birthday and other cards, I know other people who keep all of their cards in a box that they will likely never open again. I love to put my cards in the time capsule. 

Screenshots

We all have tons of screenshots from our phone for whatever reason. Why not print them out and put them in the time capsule. 

I like to screenshot the home screen of my phone because technology changes so quickly and I know in 10 years I will be excited to see that.

You can also screenshot your funniest text message exchanges and emails.

I think Time capsules are so cool. Life is filled with so many memories, and over the years they begin to slowly fade. Capsules are an awesome way to preserve your memories so you can revisit those precious moments in the future.

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1 Comment

  1. January 1, 2019 / 1:49 pm

    I love this idea and CONGRATS on the Elle UK feature, that is an amazing accomplishment! 🙂

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