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A time capsule is an awesome way to capture memories and nostalgia for a time in the future. All you need to do is plan ahead. It is a really fun project to do with kids or friends and makes for an amazing birthday, anniversary, holiday gift to yourself or someone you love. It is inexpensive, takes only a little bit of effort and shows how much you care. If you are making one for yourself, it is a great way to relive memories from the past and to reflect on how far you have come in life.

What is a time capsule anyway?

A time capsule is basically a container big enough to store memories in the form of photos, letters, cards, toys or any other memorabilia that can remind you of this current time in your life. It can be as small or big as you want it to be. All you have to do is the date it to be opened on a specific day in the future. It could be 1 year from now or 10 years from now.  Just remember to hide it away to avoid curiosity and temptation.

How to make a time capsule?

1. Pick the right box

A shoebox, gift box, empty cardboard box, plastic storage container or even a big mason jar is great for indoor time capsuling. You can even use a cookie tin. If you plan to bury it outside then consider a weatherproof, non-biodegradable container such as a glass jar or metal canister like old coffee or milk powder tins. It needs to be secured tightly to avoid damage over time.

2. Choose a hiding place

Indoors? Under the stairways, inside the closet, locked up in the attic or stowed away under the bed – choose a good place where people are less likely to stumble upon and get curious.

Outdoors? Bury it in the garden, inside a big flower pot or stash it out in the garage.

Try to find a place less likely to get rained on. Just make sure you mark it to remember exactly where it is.

3. Collect memories

What do you want to include in the time capsule?

Here are some cool ideas if you are making one for a kid or a friend.

  • You can write a letter to their future selves telling them how proud you are of them and what you predict for them in the future.  
  • You can ask them to write their own goals for the future to see how much they accomplish over the years.
  • Ask their friends and family to write messages to the future them. You can make it fun by asking them to predict the future or inspirational by asking them for advice and wisdom.
  • You can print some of your favourite photos of them and note why they are special in the back.
  • You can include important milestones they might have achieved such as certificates, medals, trophies.
  • Special art or craft projects they may have done.
  • An old favourite stuffed animal or toy.
  • You can include a list of their current favourite things in food, fashion preferences, music, toys, books etc. to compare with in the future.

Here are some ideas if you are making one for yourself.

  • You can write a letter to your future self. Be honest. Write about your goals, dreams and hopes.
  • Ask your friends and family to write messages to the future you. You can make it fun by asking them to predict the future or inspirational by asking them for advice and wisdom.
  • You can print some of your favourite photos of yourself with your favourite people. Include times you cherish such as a recent vacation with your friends.
  • You can Include important milestones you have achieved such as certificates, medals, trophies including personal goals you may have set for yourself.
  • You can include special letters, notes or messages that you may have received over the years.
  • Add Inspiring articles, stories or even funny memes currently trending.
  • You could document current trends in fashion, art, design and music.
  • Add some of your favourite books, poems or quotes.
  • A page from your journal or diary.

Now it is time to decorate the capsule with stickers and labels. Don’t forget to add the Open on date! That’s it. Hide it away to be opened when the time comes.

When it is time to open you can make it even more fun for kids by turning it into a fun treasure hunt with a cool map.

One last tip: don’t put anything perishable in your time capsule. The only thing in there should be wonderful memories.

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