Leaving a Time Capsule in our Home

A few weeks ago, I shared how we found a Chicago Tribune newspaper from 1938 in the walls of our new home. It was such an amazing find and Finn and I devoured every word in the paper. Learning about life 80 years ago was fascinating and we especially loved reading how much homes cost at that time. You could buy a plot of land for less than $100, here in Chicago. Unbelievable! Finding this gem in our home was such a treat and it got us thinking that we should leave a time capsule for future homeowners to find.Old newspaper

While we enjoyed sifting through the newspaper, we also thought it would be fun to include a few more items in our time capsule. That’s when I turned to you guys to ask for your advice on what to include. I will note that we’re putting this little package in the ceiling so we don’t want it to be too heavy or include too many items. But it was still fun to read your ideas on what we could include. Here are a few of my favorites.

Time Capsule Ideas from Readers

  • Newspaper
  • TIME magazine
  • Picture of us
  • Before pictures of the home
  • A note about our lives
  • An iPhone and charger
  • A tape recorder with a message
  • Bottle of alcohol that ages well
  • A piece of the old newspaper from 1938
  • Chicago postcard
  • Grocery receipt
  • Renovation invoice
  • Dollar bill
  • Design magazine featuring 2019 design trends
  • Real estate listing with before pictures and tax information
  • Penny with the year
  • Printout of Google maps with current street satellite view

What We Included in Our Time CapsuleCreating a time capsule for future owners

While I loved all of these ideas (you guys are so creative!), we certainly couldn’t fit all of these items into our little package for the ceiling. Many of you said to include an iPhone but our old electronics are packed up in the basement and who the hell knows where they are down there?! So, we had to forego the electronic idea.

In the end, we decided to include a Chicago Tribune newspaper, a photo and message from us, and a couple before photos of the house. We would have loved finding a photo of the previous homeowners from the 1930s, so we knew that sharing a picture of us could be cool for someone to see down the line.

On my note, I chatted about buying and renovating the home. I also included details about The DIY Playbook in case blogs are still a thing in the future. Maybe they can look up all of the old posts about the house and catch up someday. Wouldn’t that be cool?!Sharing photos of us for the time capsule

Our house will look vastly different by the time we’re done with it, so who knows what it will look like when someone opens up the walls in the next few decades? Hopefully, they’ll be shocked at the difference! Time capsule for future homeowners

I placed the newspaper and photos in a manila envelope and wrote a note on the front that says “To The Future Homeowners”, along with the date. Will someone find it in 10 years? Or will it be another 80? It’s cool to think that our legacy and the love we’re putting into this house can live on.

Displaying our 1938 Find

Displaying a newspaper

If you guys remember this post, I helped my soon-to-be sister-in-law hang a gallery wall in their home. Her parents found a 1907 newspaper in their attic and framed all of the pieces. We then hung it in this cool gallery wall off their kitchen. It is serving as major inspiration for me as I figure out what to do with the newspaper we found at the house. Gallery wall with old newspaper clippings

But I’m not totally sure if I’ll do a symmetrical gallery wall, just a couple of framed pieces, or a full-blown gallery wall like this one. We’ll see what kind of frames I can find! Creating a time capsule for future homeowners

This time capsule is making me extra excited about our home. Even though we’re not in there yet, I already feel like we’re leaving a little piece of us behind. If you have a renovation coming up, I urge you to consider adding a little note for future homeowners in your wall. I’ve also heard of just writing a message on a wood stud before drywalling, which is an easy idea if you don’t want to print pictures or buy a newspaper. Or go all out and include some of the ideas listed above!

Now, I’m dying to know…have you created a home time capsule? If not, what would you include in yours? Am I missing anything on my list? Let me know and I’ll add it!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.