Time capsules are fun to put together no matter your age. It’s a great activity for anyone’s bucket list. Time capsules are often put together during a momentous time in people’s lives. They could commemorate a graduation, a wedding, or the birth of a child. When it’s opened years later, the items inside serve as a unique version of a family heirloom.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Write a Time Capsule Letter for Yourself
- Examples of a Time Capsule Letter to Your Future Self
- How to Write a Time Capsule Letter for Your Child, Grandchild, or Another Loved One
- Examples of a Time Capsule Letter to a Loved One
Time capsules contain special items that remind people of the era the capsule was sealed. This might include a mixtape filled with nostalgic songs or a newspaper from the day the capsule was closed. Time capsules often contain a letter.
If you’re putting together a time capsule, this letter could be to your future self. It could also be addressed to a child, grandchild, or another loved one who might open the time capsule someday. Here are our tips on crafting the perfect time capsule letter.
Tip: Before you start writing your letter, make sure your time capsule box can handle the job. Read our article on how to make a time capsule container for tips and instructions.
How to Write a Time Capsule Letter to Yourself
If you’re writing a letter to yourself, you might not know where to begin. Writing letters to other people is easy because you have information to communicate with them. Writing a letter to yourself is more challenging. You already know all the things you know!
But keep in mind, you’re writing to yourself in the future. Things that are fresh in your mind now may have faded away completely in five or ten years. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Step 1: State why you’re writing the letter
Most time capsules are put together to commemorate an important milestone in your life. If this is the case, be sure to talk about that in your letter.
Are you a graduating teen creating a time capsule for yourself to revisit in the future? Discuss that and fill in information about what life is like. That will help your adult self dial into your state of mind.
Step 2: Talk about your feelings
When you open a time capsule, you may remember what your motivation was, kind of. But you might not recall your deeper emotions at the time.
If you’re creating a time capsule to remember a period in your life, include your feelings. Are you happy? Frustrated? Is your heart set on someplace or goal for the future? Talk about your state of mind and your wishes.
Step 3: Write about specific events
Focusing on something concrete might help you figure out what else you want to say. Fill in specific details of what’s going on in your life right now. That information can help ground you.
Step 4: Write about memories
Sometimes we create time capsules because we’re feeling nostalgic about certain eras of our lives. Our memories may not serve us as well as we wish. So we create a time capsule for our future self to remind them of memories that elude us.
Talk about meaningful memories that have made an impact on you. Write them out in detail to give your future self something fun to remember.
Step 5: Talk about your day-to-day
If your time capsule isn’t motivated by a certain event, you may be struggling with what to say. Why not present a slice of your current life.
Things that seem so routine to you now may be a distant, funny memory to you in the future. Or your future self may follow all the same routines without realizing how far back these quirks extend. From there, you can talk about who your closest friends are at this moment in time, and all the other important things in your life.
Examples of a Time Capsule Letter to Your Future Self
Still at a loss for words? Here are a few examples of letters written to a future self:
1. Dear Future Me,
Last night I graduated from high school. I don’t really know how I feel about it yet. It’s weird to feel like I’m basically an adult when I don’t really know anything about being on my own. On the other hand, it’s super annoying that all the grown-ups in my life keep telling me how much I don’t know about life. I know enough to know I’m not completely unprepared.
I’m writing this letter to myself to remind myself that when I’m an adult, I shouldn’t make teenagers feel stupid. The world we live in is kind of intense and scary. I’m not unaware of that. I can only imagine it will be weirder in the future. I want to make sure I remember when I have kids not to treat them like they don’t get it.
2. Dear Future Self,
I’m writing this letter on day one of my self-imposed Year of No Dating. Growing up, I used to criticize my mom for her terrible taste in men. But now that I’m in my twenties, I see myself making the same mistakes she did. Unlike her though, I don’t have kids yet to mess up with my bad choices. I’d like to someday, though. So that’s why I’m going to do the work and fix this now.
I’m creating this time capsule at the recommendation of my therapist. I plan to write about all my exes and break down what has been going wrong in my relationships. By doing this, I hope to address my behavior. I also want to learn to recognize patterns that I can avoid in the future. At the end of the year, I’ll revisit everything in this capsule. I’ll also review my conclusions before getting serious with someone in the future.
How to Write a Time Capsule Letter for Your Child, Grandchild, or Another Loved One
If you’re writing a time capsule letter for a loved one, it’s a little easier to know what to write. The main thing is to talk about your intentions. This is especially important if you don’t know that you’ll be around to answer any questions when it is opened in the future. Here are some other good tips:
Step 1: Make sure to address the letter to its intended recipient
If you’re creating a time capsule with the intent that a loved one should open it, include that information in your letter. If you’re writing a letter to someone specific, like a loved one, address it to their name.
If you’re writing it to unknown loved ones, like a grandchild who hasn’t been born yet, keep the greeting more general. For instance: “Dear future grandchildren”.
Step 2: Communicate the why
Let the recipient know why you’ve created the time capsule. If you’re doing it to celebrate the birth of your first grandchild, you can talk about that.
You can also write out any hopes and dreams you have for them and make predictions about what their future hobbies or talents might be.
Step 3: Explain why you included each artifact
If you’re worried you won’t be around when the time capsule is opened, you can write out why you included each item or family heirloom inside.
Even if you do plan to be around, write it out anyway. You’d be surprised what you might forget about in five or ten years.
Step 4: Share specific memories
Sometimes, when people are looking for fun memory jar ideas, they decide to use a time capsule instead of a jar. If you do this, you can skip over including objects and write out several memories instead.
You can include these memories in a letter, or write them on individual slips of paper so multiple people can read them together.
Examples of a Time Capsule Letter to a Loved One
Not sure how to get started? It’s okay! Check our examples of time capsule letters for loved ones:
1. To My Dearest Love,
Tomorrow I get to marry you. I know I should be sleeping, but I’m just too excited. I look so forward to our life together. I’ve decided to start a time capsule. I’m filling it with mementos of our relationship up until now. I’ll also include little things from our wedding, including an invitation and flowers from my bouquet. I also plan to write down some of my favorite memories of our time together. In ten years, I look forward to opening this up with you and walking down memory lane
2. Dear future grandchildren,
I am writing this note to you because I am very ill. As much as I hope to be there in your lives, I may take my last breath before you take your first.
But I think it’s the job of every grandparent to tell their grandbabies all about their parents. So I’ve put together this time capsule for my daughter—your mother—so you can see her through my eyes.
Writing a Time Capsule Letter to Yourself or a Loved One
Time capsules can be a sweet way to remember a family member or preserve memories associated with a special moment in your life. They can also serve as a fun slice-of-life for your future self to look back on.
Whether you create your time capsule for yourself or a loved one, the letter you enclose can clarify your reasoning. The letter may be the most interesting thing in your time capsule. Take the time to make it special.