51 Time Capsule Ideas (Best Things to Put in a Time Capsule)

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Give your future selves plenty of laughs and joy, and create magical memories with these time capsule ideas.

I’ve listed over 50 ideas for things to put in a time capsule so that you pack your capsule with items that have plenty of meaning and value.

Time Capsule Ideas (Things to Put in a Time Capsule)

Best Time Capsule Ideas and Things to Put in a Time Capsule (ideas 1-14 listed below).

For Your Future Self

1. Letter to your future self

While we can’t be in two places at once, many people often imagine what it would be like to speak to a version of ourselves from a different time.

A letter to your future self can provide you with an opportunity for self-reflection and remind you of a different time. You can include things like advice for your future self and share your current beliefs, friends, and life goals.

2. Question cards

In our busy lives, we often forget to look inward and check in with ourselves. Including some question cards in your time capsule is a great way to prompt your future self to take time to reassess your goals. 

Examples of questions to include might be:

3. Polaroid of yourself on the day you buried the box

Our phone cameras mean it’s never been easier to capture special moments with the click of a button. There’s something special, however, about a Polaroid photo or a print photo that captures the moment exactly as it is.

Including a photo of you on the day you buried your box will be a great memory for your future self when you open your time capsule.

If you’re looking for an instant camera and film bundle, check out this Polaroid instant color camera.

4. Goals and aspirations

Write down your current aspirations to include in the time capsule. Our hopes for our future tend to change as we grow older, so it will be interesting to see how, or if, your life goals have changed at all.

Related: Goal Planner Printable

5. List of favorites

Just as our aspirations change, so do our favorite things in life. Write a list of all of your favorite things — you can include everything from your favorite food to your favorite music and your favorite item of clothing!

Fashion, music, and tastes change, so it will no doubt be amusing to read about what your past self was interested in when you were younger.

6. Create a mood board of what you think your life will look like

It can be hard to imagine what our life will look like in 10, 15, or 20 years. Visualizing your future can help, particularly if, when you open your time capsule, your life is totally different from what you imagined!

Create a mood board of images, photographs, and even quotes to illustrate what you think your life will be like when you open your time capsule.

For Couples

Get a beautiful keepsake case for your engagement, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or another meaningful occasion, and fill it with all the sentimental treasures you collected as a couple.

7. Picture of the two of you on the day

When we spend a lot of time with someone, we don’t often notice little changes in their appearance as time passes.

Snapping a photo of the two of you on the day you bury the capsule to compare with a photo taken on the day you open it will remind you of what you both used to look like and how things have changed since.

8. Love letters to each other’s future selves

How do you imagine your love for your partner might grow over the years between burying your time capsule and unearthing it again?

Writing a love letter to your partner’s future self will be a lovely thing to read and to remind each other how much you love one another.

9. Dried flowers

Include flowers that your partner has given you or you have given your partner (and if they haven’t, then a time capsule is a great excuse to buy flowers!).

A flower is a wonderful symbol of love, and you should be able to keep the dried flower even after you’ve opened the capsule.

10. Bucket list

Where do you want to travel with your partner? What milestones would you like to reach together?

Include a bucket list of all the things you want to do in life with your partner in your time capsule. When you open it, you’ll be able to see how many you ticked off.

Related: Bucket Lists to Inspire You

11. First card, note, or memorabilia from your first date

Did you keep the ticket stub from your first date at the cinema? Maybe you wrote a journal entry after you first met your partner?

A reminder of the first time you met or your first date will be a lovely memory for your future selves and will remind you of what your relationship was like right at the beginning.

12. Accessory or wedding attire

If you’re married, you’ll likely have kept something from the big day, whether that’s a tie, a garter, or a hair accessory.

Including wedding attire in your time capsule will provide a great opportunity to reflect on your relationship and see how fashion has changed!

For Friends

13. List of things you want to do within the timeframe

Write down a list of things you’d like to do together from the time that you bury the capsule to when you plan to open it again.

This can be anything from a holiday together to learning a new skill or visiting your favorite restaurant. You can make a copy of the list so you can remember everything you wanted to do.

Related: 100+ Best Things to Do with Friends

14. Champagne or a bottle of wine

Treat your future selves by including a bottle of your favorite wine or champagne to enjoy when you come together again to open up the time capsule. You can take time to enjoy this treat together and make a toast to your past selves.

Some wines can last up to twenty years unopened or even longer. Be sure to read the label before you pack it, and try to buy a quality wine or champagne that won’t elapse its consume-by date.

15. Photograph

Hair, fashion, and appearances may change, but hopefully, your friendships will only get stronger over the years.

With that said, it will be great to see how much you’ve changed, and it will transport you back to how your life and friendships were when the photo was taken.

16. Old phone with photographs in it to look back on

Our social media profiles are often curated with flattering photos and angles. If you have an old phone from when you were younger, you might find some hilarious photos of you and your friends that wouldn’t quite make it onto your Instagram feed now.

Consider including these old phones (with a charger) to look back on the photos when years have passed. You’re guaranteed a good laugh, that’s for sure!

17. Piece together your ideal outfit with a scrapbook/Pinterest board

What is your idea of a fashionable outfit? Use a scrapbook to make a visual representation of your ideal outfit to include in the capsule.

Fashions change year on year, so it will be interesting (and maybe quite funny) to see how your tastes have changed over the years.

18. Letter to your friend

These days, we don’t often write letters on pen and paper, particularly to our close friends who might be a text or a phone call away.

Use your time capsule as an opportunity to tell your friends how much they mean to you. You can write down some advice for their future selves or tell them how much they mean to you.

For Families with Kids

19. Family questionnaire

This is a great way to get the whole family involved in the time capsule. You can decide together things like ‘who’s the funniest?’ or ‘who likes being outside more?’ and see what’s changed when you open the capsule up again.

You can also have a separate section for each member of the family, where everyone can answer questions about themselves to create a family profile.

Answering the questions again when you open up the capsule will be a great way to remember things as they used to be.

20. Birthday cards

If you have birthday cards saved from this year, it’s a good idea to put these into your capsule. That way, you can re-read them years later and try to get all the family to remember how they felt at that age.

21. School photos

School photos can sometimes be forgotten in drawers or in boxes in the attic. If you have any school photos lying around the house, pop them in your capsule!

Even better, if you have school photos from the same year that you’re making your time capsule, your kids will be able to make a direct comparison about how much they’ve changed in the time since the photos were taken.

22. Future job aspirations

Do you remember wanting to be an astronaut when you were older, only to then change your mind three months later and decide you wanted to be a ballet dancer instead?

Getting your family to write down what they want to be when they’re older is guaranteed to bring smiles to faces when your time capsule is opened.

23. Family pet memorabilia

Our pets are a huge part of our family, but it’s a fact of life that, sadly, our pets often won’t live as long as we do.

Put some photos of your pets, like a spare collar, photos and even get the kids to write down their favorite thing about their pet. When the time comes to re-visit this memorabilia, there will be lots of fond and happy memories.

24. Have the kids write out what their perfect day looks like

Your kids’ idea of the ingredients for a good day is likely to change dramatically over the space of even just a year. Therefore, it’s not hard to imagine how different their perfect day might look 10, 15, or 20 years later.

Have them write down how their ideal day would go, from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to sleep (including what time they go to bed). It will be a great thing to look back on and undoubtedly laugh at just how much has changed!

For a Baby’s First Year 

Keep the following items in a custom keepsake box for your baby to open on their 18th birthday.

25. Handprint or footprint painting

A handprint or footprint of your baby is the perfect thing to include in your time capsule. 

Babies grow up so fast, so when you open your time capsule, seeing how tiny their hands or feet once were will bring the memories flooding back.

26. Newspaper or magazine on the date/month your baby was born

Save a newspaper from the day your baby was born or even the date that you’re making your time capsule.

It will be very interesting for both you and your child to look at in the future and see how much the world has changed since they were born.

27. Playlist of number 1 songs that day/month/year

In the same vein as the newspaper idea, music changes so much over the years. So save a playlist of the top songs in the charts when your baby was born.

No doubt the music industry will have moved on a lot by the time you listen to those songs again!

28. Baby photo

This might be an obvious suggestion, but make sure to include a baby photo in your time capsule. You can take a photo the day that you make your capsule or even the first-ever photo taken of your baby.

You can also make this a family photo so your child can see how much everyone has changed since the photo was taken.

29. Message from family and friends

Whether you want to make an old camcorder-style film filled with messages from friends and family, or you want to have everyone write down messages or letters, it will be a truly special experience for your child to see these messages in the future.

30. First clothes

If you can spare them, including your baby’s first clothes in the capsule is another great way to show how much they have grown and changed since the capsule was made.

Whether you include a sleepsuit, a hat, or even a pair of shoes, your child is bound to be amazed at how small they once were!

31. First rattle or dummy

32. Photograph or card from their first birthday

More Ideas

Still excited for more ideas to add to your family time capsule? Give future relatives and future generations plenty to ponder, laugh at, and be in awe of with some of these creative and fun ideas.

From photos of family members becoming parents to a few snapshots of history, these precious memories can inspire and bring joy to you, your kids, or any family member in a few years’ time or even beyond.

It’s a good idea to get yourself a durable time capsule container, as this item is going to be buried.

However, you can also use a plastic container, an old shoebox, or a cardboard box, among other items, to keep memories and items separated within the time capsule if it’s large enough.

33. Floor plan of the house or apartment you are currently living in

34. Science project you did with your kids

35. iPod shuffle of your favorite songs

36. Favorite outfit of the year

37. Newspaper clippings or printed screenshots of an important news story

39. Memorabilia from famous sporting events you watched or attended

40. Wooden box of printed photographs

41. Family heirlooms passed down through the generations

42. The first housewarming gift you received when moving to a new house

43. Small memento from a special day such as a wedding or milestone birthday party

44. Write a thousand words to your future selves about what’s important in life

45. Printed screenshot of current events from a news website

46. Family pictures of the whole family at a garden party or gathering

47. Drawing of your family tree with photos of all your family members

48. Fun project you did with your kids

49. Photos of you and your best friend at different points in time

50. Two photos of you with mom and dad as a kid, and now

Filling and burying a time capsule can be such an amazing way to preserve memories and moments. Plus, it’s great for bonding with friends and family.

Don’t spend time pondering over what to put in your capsule. Use our fun and creative time capsule ideas to pack items and things with real meaning and value.

When you open up the capsule in the future, you’ll thank your past self for putting in such nostalgic and meaningful items, close to your heart.

You Might Also Like to Read

Planning to pack and bury a time capsule with friends or family? Keep this article for safekeeping to inspire you, by saving it to one of your Pinterest boards.

Best Time Capsule Ideas and Things to Put in a Time Capsule (ideas 1-14 listed above).