August 04, 2018 4 min read

There are few things that are more precious to you than your own memories or more fascinating than looking back at your history. 

Photographs capture images perfectly and videos capture more of the moment, but what if you could collect actual pieces of your life and save them for the future in a convenient way, so you could remember them exactly as they were.

Not necessarily important or valuable things.  Everyday things that remind us of special moments.  That make up the here and now.

A lot of us have baby boxes, or boxes of extra special childhood momentos, but what about collecting keepsakes from other points in time?

Well, one way to capture these little snapshots of life is with a time capsule.

A family time capsule is a fun way to bring the family together and save a specific moment in your lives. You can bury it somewhere out in the wilderness in the hope a stranger might unearth it one day, or you can lock it away, forget about it and rediscover memories when everyone’s grown up.

Whichever way you want to do it, what you put in your family time capsule matters.

You want your family time capsule to be a record important, notable things and to include a few valuables that mean something to you all.  This way, your time capsule will become something of a family legend – something everyone will want a peek at as they get older.

To help you on your way, I’ve put together a collection of 10 awesome things that you could put in your family time capsule.  Feel free to use these suggestions, or think of your own things that will help you make memories.

  1. The day’s news

Firstly, the daily news! Take a photo of someone holding today’s newspaper, or jot down the most important news stories of the day on a piece of paper. You can even include newspaper clippings of the latest headlines, world news, TV and showbiz and the sports scores (this’ll go down particularly well with football and rugby fans).

  1. The daily grind

What did Mum and Dad do the day the time capsule was made? Write up what you did (even if you just went to work).  Also include everything your children did – school, nursery, getting lost, being naughty. Everything!  This isn’t boring - it can prove to be insightful, since we often forget things that happen day-to-day.

You could even include a drawing or school newsletter that came home that day.  A lost tooth; a photograph of a school reading book; anything.

  1. Messages to the future

Ask everybody to write a letter to their future selves.  Words of wisdom from a 6-year old to a 26-year old can be profound.  Say a little about yourself now and what you want for the future.

If family members can’t think of things to write, maybe write a checklist of things to be. For example: polite, nice, noisy, happy.

  1. A moment in time sheet

A moment in time sheet asks a series of questions such as: “What do you want to be?  Who’s your best friend?  What makes you laugh?  What’s your favourite thing to do? What’s your favourite thing to eat?  Try and think of a tick list of at least 10 questions that will be perfect for young children and teenagers alike.


  1. Photographs that matter

All families tend to keep a photo album of some kind.  You probably have a few, full of favourite photos.  Even if you don’t have a physical photo album, you probably have files with hundreds of photos on your computer.

Maybe you’re making a time capsule to remember a specific day and you can use photographs from this.

Print out a few and put these in your time capsule.

I do recommend having photos printed professionally using ink that won’t run or spoil if the weather gets inside.  It’s also not the best idea to put an SD card of files in there for the same reason.  Those things don’t like the damp!  Paper photographs are also just a little bit nicer to put into a capsule than those that are digitally stored.  They will age a little over time too.

  1. A flower

Your time capsule will be full of things that are personal to you. So, why not break things up with something organic? You can pick a favourite flower from your garden; buy one from a local florist, or go for a walk and pick a daisy or dandelion.

Clamp it securely between kitchen tissue or paper, an bind this in card to preserve it. It’ll dry out, but it won’t rot.


  1. A penny for good luck

“See a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck.” It’s always good fun to put something that’s said to bring good luck into your time capsule. It means when you open it, or someone finds it, they’ll have good luck for the day (hopefully).

Coins also tend to change and become obsolete as the years go by.  Maybe it will be an old penny by the time your capsule is opened again.


  1. Personal clothing

Whether it a necktie from work, a sock with a hole, a school hair ribbon, a wristband or a child’s toy necklace, items of clothing have always been a favourite for time capsules.

They don’t degrade over time (so long as they stay dry) and they evoke memories when seen.  Try to include something that means something to you, such as a tiny pair of baby gloves or a hat.


  1. Alcohol to your taste

Have a favourite malt?  Like a little prosecco?  Whatever your tipple, you can usually buy miniatures that’ll comfortably fit in a time capsule. Your choice should be based on your taste at the time.  Tastes and fashions change.  You only have to look at how popular gin has become recently - it’ll remind you about what you liked in the future.


  1. A smashed watch

OK, so this one isn’t actually a keepsake, but it’s a fun idea.

Buy a cheap watch with a date function (literally like £5 – don’t go overboard) and smash it at the exact time you bury the capsule using a rubber mallet. This’ll stop the watch to record the time and date.

Sure, you could write it down instead, but where’s the fun in that?

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