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How to Make a Time Capsule

Create a snapshot of your life to review later or show tomorrow's adults and kids how we live today with this fun and educational project.


  • Step 1: Set a retrieval date Set a retrieval date 10 to 50 years from the time of storage, when the capsule will be recovered. Or, you can leave it longer for future generations to open.
  • Step 2: Choose a container Choose a container. For a time capsule to be retrieved after 25 years or less, use a metal lunchbox and seal the lid shut with epoxy glue. For a 50-year time capsule, use a small waterproof safe. For recovery after 100 years or more, find a professional quality capsule by searching online.
  • Step 3: Pick items Pick items for storage that are representative of your everyday life, along with a few things that document current events like newspaper clippings and photos. For information stored on digital media, include a means to access it.
  • TIP: Enlist friends and family to contribute items.
  • Step 4: Secure items for storage Secure items for storage by sealing them in individual polyethylene bags.
  • Step 5: Find a location Find a location where the capsule won't be disturbed. Consider storing it in an attic or a basement for safekeeping or burying it by a well-known landmark.
  • TIP: You can mark the site with a plaque that gives instructions on when the capsule is to be retrieved.
  • Step 6: Have a sealing ceremony Have a sealing ceremony. Invite friends and neighbors to examine the capsule and its contents and observe it being sealed and stored.
  • Step 7: Register your time capsule Go online and register your project with the International Time Capsule Society to make sure it isn't forgotten. Now sit back and count the days until you see your time-traveling treasure again, or enjoy that knowledge that you've given the distant future a glimpse into the past.
  • FACT: The city of Corona, California misplaced a series of 17 time capsules dating back to the 1930s, resulting in a botched attempt to find them under the city's civic center in 1985.

You Will Need

  • Retrieval date
  • Container
  • Internet access
  • Everyday items
  • Documentary items
  • Sealable polyethylene bags
  • Location
  • Epoxy glue (optional)
  • Digital media players (optional)
  • Plaque (optional)

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