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Make your own time capsule, which is like leaving evidence of your history for the future, inspired by the exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum and other objects at the National Museum of Australia.

Everyday objects tell a lot about ourselves and the times in which we live. Imagine looking back into your time capsule in 10, 50, 100 or even 1000 years!

How to make a time capsule

a collage of photos

Time: About 1 hour

Skill level: ★ ★ ☆ Moderate

What you need:

  • A strong, sealable, watertight container. A cardboard container will last for less time than a glass jar or plastic container, so think about how long it needs to last.
  • Some small objects you have selected to represent yourself.
  • Pens, pencils and paper if you want to draw your objects or write a message or letter.
  • A camera to photograph your objects or a photo of you (printed out or on a USB stick).
  • Soap, modelling clay, wood or soapstone if you want to include an amulet.

Think about:

  • Yourself! How would you like to be remembered?
  • When will you open your time capsule? This could be a few months or years.
  • How things might change from today to the future? Will we speak the same language? How will we get around?
  • A few small, special objects that sum up who you are. They might be related to your family, friends, hobbies or pets. You can include these actual objects in your capsule or capture them in a drawing or photograph.

Jack’s time capsule includes his lucky dice, shells from a favourite holiday, a letter to his future self, a fish carved in soap and a drawing of his house.

A compilation of four images featuring dice, shells, a handwritten letter, soap and a child's drawing of a house with a tree, grass and sun.

Ideas for your time capsule

  • Take a photo of yourself and date it, to show how you look on the day you make your capsule.
  • Write some basic facts about yourself: name, height, weight, shoe size.
  • Write your future self a letter or print and answer the questions on the template below.
  • Draw your favourite place. Is it a tree house, your bedroom or a holiday destination?
  • Make an amulet. These small charms have been made throughout history by many cultures. They can be worn, carried or kept to provide protection, wellbeing or good luck. We carved amulets out of soap. You can also use modelling clay, wood or soapstone.
  • Decorate your container with pens, paints or markers. Make sure you write the date you made your time capsule and the date you want to open it.

Share your creation

Email a photo or video to schoolholidays@nma.gov.au so we can see what you made.

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