Published on Nov 30, 2020
Have another family member hide the box, so you aren’t tempted to open it! Want to hide it for a year? Five? Ten? There’s no time limit! The rules are all up to you. Shoeboxes are great for indoor safekeeping, while weather-resistant boxes are best for the outdoors.
Today when we say "time capsule," we generally are referring to a container (such as a stainless steel capsule or a stable plastic jar) that preserves matter (such as artifacts or air) over a period of time. There are many guidelines on putting together time capsules. And there are many types of time capsules available from different companies claiming to preserve objects for 5 to 5000 years for $20 to $20,000. But there are some important facts to consider before making or buying a time capsule.
In order to make your time capsule, first you’ll have to choose a container in which to store it. Choosing your container depends on how long you are planning on keeping it hidden. This is a great opportunity for your little ones to get involved. Have them pick out the box or help them decorate the box before it’s filled.
For indoor storage, a shoe box, wooden box, large plastic storage container or even a mason jar will work. If you want to DIY something from the kitchen, consider using a cookie tin or egg carton for your time capsule. You might want to gather all of your time capsule items together first to determine the amount of storage space you’ll need. You can hide your box in a storage closet behind other items. An attic, basement or garage are also great locations. You want to hide your time capsule somewhere where others will not find it!
For outdoor safekeeping, consider a weatherproof, non-biodegradable container such as an old metal coffee can, popcorn can or a box made of stainless steel. Make sure this is secured before hiding or storing your box outside. Bury your time capsule in a garden under dirt where little to no rain hits, or in an outdoor garage. You could also ask a friend or family member to hold on to the container, just don’t tell your little one who has it!
Next, decorate your container. We have included a few sizes of labels you can use for your time capsule, with a fill-in-the-blank section for your child’s name and date of opening. Print, cut out and glue on the top or center of the container.
A meaningful time capsule should be both personalized and fun! If the time capsule is to celebrate a birthday, include items from your child’s birthday like photos and cards. You could also include a notebook with thoughts over the year, or information about your child’s height and weight to compare later. If your child is older, you can place graduation diplomas or certificates from sporting events in the capsule. The options are endless!
Here are a few more ideas on items you can include in your time capsule, along with printable prompts to include as well. These can be written from you or a loved one that you can stick in the time capsule, or have your child write a note to themselves to reflect on later.
It is important to remember that, in order to preserve matter, a time capsule container (as well as the environment and the matter within) should be as inert (unreactive) as possible. If reactive or unstable materials and environments are used, then the matter will not be preserved in a good or usable state. Instead, items may change (in color, texture, composition and strength) over time, perhaps to the point of becoming unrecognizable, unidentifiable, and unstable .
The best things to put into a time capsule are those that are the most stable, so that they won't fall apart or ruin other items in the capsule . Anything that might contaminate other items, or that might need extra physical support, should be enclosed in its own inner container, which can then be put into the larger, outer container (see II). Before starting a time capsule, you should decide what materials to select for both the capsule and its contents, based on established selection criteria. Such criteria usually require evaluation of the relative use, value and risk of materials.
One technique, used by archivists to determine use, value and risk. To determine risk, you must know the characteristics of the various materials or components of the capsule and its contents - both in the short and long term (or before and after aging or exposure to factors of deterioration such as light, humidity, temperature, pollution, and pests). Each material is a variable, and each variable should be characterized fully. This means that you should describe it, and analyze it if possible, both qualitatively (i.e. what's there) and quantitatively (how much is there).
• Their favorite fashion trends from a magazine
• A newspaper published on their birthday
• Certificates/ribbons from sports games
• School papers/art projects
• Photos from the past year/years
• Party items such as confetti
• A book with a special note
Now that you’ve gotten your box full of memorabilia, it’s time to add personalized messages. We have included a few printables you can place in the time capsule to share your love with your child. A Note to Me, from Me can be a future note to your child that they write themselves. My Favorites and Goals for the Year will also be written by your little ones. If your child is too small to write them on their own, write down their answers for them. A Message for a Wiser, Older You can be from their parents, grandparents or another important adult in their life.
Salvage a box from the Christmas aftermath. Let the kids go crazy with markers and stickers to personalize it. After each member of the family adds something(s) to the time capsule, seal it and stuff it in a corner of the basement or a closet for a year. Next year open the time capsule and discover forgotten treasures and memorable moments!
Anything reminiscent of the current year will work just fine! A few ideas:
• A favorite pair of kid jeans that are now a bit short
• The shoes they wore until there were holes in them
• This year’s christmas letter and photo
• A small toy they can part with for a year
• A list of antics and current kidisms written by mom and dad
• School portraits
• Other candid photos
• Current kid drawings and craft projects
• A written survey of each child’s current likes and dislikes
This pumpkin takes a little more time to sew than the sew easy or sleeve pumpkin, but it is really cute. It is also a great way to use up small scraps and the odd button or piece of ribbon you might have lying around. You could also use this process with all red fabrics and short green leaf piece like this one to make scrap apples.
• Fabric scraps in fall colors
• Green and brown fabric scraps, felt, or ribbon pieces
• Needle and thread
• Somthing to stuff the pumpkin with
• Extra embellishments if desired (buttons, ribbon, lace, etc.)
1. Cut several strips of fabric the same length to sew into a tube for the body of the pumpkin. For my pumpkin I used four strips of alternating fabric that are the same length and roughly the same width as well. However, you could use more types of fabric, less strips, or vary the widths of the strips as well.
2. Cut a piece of green sleeve, a green square to sew into a tube, or a green circle to gather for the pumpkin top. Cut a brown strip of fabric, felt, or ribbon to use for the pumpkin stem.
3. Sew the strips of fabric together to form a square. I then chose to stitch some scraps of orange lace i had on. You could also stitch contrasting fabric scraps on at this point.
4. Fold the square over and stitch the long side of the square together to form a short tube.
5. Gather the bottom of the tube, and stitch closed tightly.
6. Stuff the pumpkin.
7. Gather the top of the tube, and stitch closed tightly.
8. Fold over the piece of green sleeve, and gather the unfinished end together, or gather the green circle.
9. Fold the brown strip together to look like a stem, and stitch into the green pumpkin top.
10. Whip-stich the green pumpkin top to the orange pumpkin.
11. Add any extra embellishments you like.