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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.

Step 1: Materials Needed

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) (indicated by black arrow)

1- 4″ PVC cleanout plug (about $4) (indicated by blue arrow)

1- 4″ PVC hub x female adapter (about $6) (indicated by red arrow)

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.

Step 2: Glue on Drain Cap

Apply primer to the inside of the end cap and one end of your pipe, then apply glue to both in the same manner and press and hold the end cap onto the pipe firmly for about 5 seconds.

Step 3: Glue the Female Adapter Onto the Pipe

Using the same primer and cement application process as step one, apply both to the non-threaded female adapter end and the opposite end of the pipe from the end cap. Insert pipe into female adapter end and hold firmly for about 5 seconds.

Step 4: Thread on Cleanout Plug

Lastly, thread the cleanout plug into the threaded hub and voila! You are now the proud owner of a homemade time capsule. It is not a bad idea to wrap the clean out plug threads in Teflon tape for added protection against water intrusion.

Step 5: Finished Product

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 24" 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.

Step 6: How to Glue/Cement PVC Pipe and Fittings

This is a quick video demonstrating how to glue the components of your time capsule together.

Step 7: Dry Assembly of Time Capsule

Quick demonstration of the project assembly. The only thing missing is the gluing/cementing process demonstrated in the video in the previous step. Thank you for checking out my tutorial. For more DIY tips and projects be sure to check out tool-school.com.



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    6 Discussions


    11 months ago

    That's a good idea. What kind of items do you put in it for the kid's time capsule?? I might make some for the grandkids.

    3 replies

    Reply 11 months ago

    The first time I made one of these was with my dad when I was a kid and I remember putting a few baseball cards, some small coins from the year we buried it, a picture of my pets, and other knick-knack stuff like that. Let your grandkids get creative and I promise that they will come up with plenty of stuff to fill it with! Thanks for checking out my instructable!


    Reply 11 months ago

    Yes, they are more imaginative then me. I will make them, they can fill them up!! Thanks!!


    Reply 11 months ago

    Sure thing. Good luck with the project.

    ToolS1Penolopy Bulnick

    Reply 11 months ago

    They will. I first did this project with my dad when I probably 7 or 8 years old and dug it up probably ten years later and it was still in a condition similar to the day I buried it. Thanks for checking out my post, have a great day!