This super quick and easy tutorial will show you how to make a DIY Time Capsule Excavation! This is a truly unique excavation idea and a lot of fun for the whole family now and at some point in the future.
Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Collect baby food jars and other small containers with lids that screw on air tight. These are great for including paper, photos, or other items in the Time Capsule Excavation that would not survive in the plaster mixture alone. 
  • Time Capsule. You can buy time capsules online, just make sure your get a reasonably large vessel that will contain all of your items and the excavation mixture. You can also improvise your time capsule with items you have around your home. I used a 1 gallon plastic bucket with a screw top lid and it worked perfectly. 
  • Sand 
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Measuring cups
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Plastic zip close freezer baggies. 
  • Time capsule items - Encourage everyone who is participating in the Time Capsule Excavation to contribute an item or more to the project. Items with personal meaning are great. Pictures, news from the day, trinkets, coins, jewelry, stamps, list of goals or bucket list are all fantastic ideas of things to include to get you started. 


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Encourage each person that is participating in the DIY Time Capsule to write a note to their future self!


Check out our YouTube Channel for awesome DIY Excavation videos!

Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Jars and other air tight containers will want to float when mixture is added to the time capsule. Simply allow the mixture to set and firm up for a few minutes. You can then press the container down into the mixture and it should stay put. Also, make sure containers do not float up past the lip of the time capsule. If this happens, you may have a difficult time screwing on the lid.  
  1. Prepare paper items and other fragile items by putting them in plastic freezer bags or jars. 
  2. Place a layer of your personal treasures in the bucket.
  3. Dry mix one cup of sand with 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris. You can increase this recipe as needed at a three parts sand to one part Plaster of Paris ratio if you are trying to fill your bucket a little faster. 
  4. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake like consistency. 
  5. Pour the mixture over the items. Gently tap the bucket to allow some of the mixture to move under and around the items. 
  6. Wait about five minutes for the mixture to firm up and then repeat the above steps. You are adding layers of mixture and items throughout the Time Capsule so the items are not discovered all at once. This makes the excavation a lot more fun when you dig it up in the future. As you pour each batch of mixture, a layer of water may appear on the surface after several minutes. Pour excess water off before adding the next layer of items and mixture.
  7. Use a wet cloth and make sure to wipe all mixture, sand, and grit from the threads of the bucket. This is to ensure the top goes on securely. This will also make the bucket a little less difficult to open when you dig it up in the future. 
  8. Allow to dry for several nights. Due to the size of this excavation, it is best to place it in front of a fan. 
  9. Once the excavation is completely dry, find an area that you can dig a hole that will fit the Time Capsule Excavation.
  10. Bury the Time Capsule Excavation and be sure to mark the location. You may want to put a large rock over the location.
  11. Agree to a time in the future to dig up the Time Capsule Excavation and rediscover the items inside.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: When you finally decide to dig up and enjoy your Time Capsule Excavation, be sure to provide excavation tools and safety goggles for each participant. 


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun creating your own Time Capsule Excavation to dig up and enjoy at some point in the future. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun!

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