I recently stumbled upon an ad for a time capsule being sold as a product for kids by the Smithsonian. Though pricey, I liked the idea because it reminded me of the time capsule project that my dad spearheaded with me when I was a kid. Our time capsule did not look as futuristic as the one sold by the Smithsonian, but I am certain that it offered the same amount of excitement and entertainment. Though I liked it, I did not order the Smithsonian’s time capsule kit, what I did was run to the hardware store and buy the components needed for me and my little ones to make our own.
The PVC time capsule project will typically cost around $20 depending on the components that you already have that are not uncommon to have around the house. The materials needed for this project are as follows:
1- 2ft x 4″ piece of PVC pipe (2″ or 3″ could be used) (about $9)
1- 4″ PVC drain cap (about $2)
1- 4″ PVC cleanout plug (about $4)
1- 4″ PVC hub x female adapter (about $6)
PVC cement and primer or all in one (price varies)
If you decide to use a smaller diameter pipe, the price of the build will decrease. All named components are pictured below.
I do not actually glue/cement the pipe together in my pictures and video but the glue/cement process is critical to the finished water-tight product. For instructions on how to glue/cement PVC pipe together click here.
The material list says to get a 2ft long piece of 4 inch pipe but the length of your capsule is totally your preference. I would suggest cutting the pipe down to 14 or 16 inches, but that is just my preference.
I really like this project for a variety of reasons. It is cheap, fun, and customizable. Your kids will not only enjoy the build and burying of the time capsule, but they can also have fun painting and drawing on it as well.
Another reason I like this build is that the time capsule can serve as a water-tight vessel for other applications as well. In the past I have used this same design to serve as dry storage for my welding rods and it works great.
My absolute favorite use for this water-tight container in the past outside of a time capsule is easily its function as dry storage when boating, fishing, or canoeing. The 14″ long by 4″ diameter tube is great for storing wallets, money, cell phones, and keys while on the water. Even better is should it be accidentally knocked out of a boat or fall out of an overturned canoe it will float, so the recovery of valuables or personal belongings is only a matter of paddling to it and hoisting it back in your vessel.
Regardless of how you and your family use this little contraption I am certain that you will have a great time completing this project together as my dad and I did, and as my daughters and I will do. With that being said, I have linked to a few time capsules and dry storage products below that do not require as much effort for those not as motivated to DIY.
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