Family Time Capsule Ornament

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Capture your family’s memories from the year into a keepsake that can be opened in future years. Create a time capsule ornament that can be hung on your Christmas tree! Of all the holiday projects we’ve ever made, this one is my favourite. I think it’s going to be wonderful to open it in five or ten years and reminisce.Capture your family's memories from the year into a keepsake ornament that can be opened in future years. A time capsule that can be hung on your Christmas tree!These time capsule ornaments are really simple to make and could become an annual tradition at our house. They would also be cute to make to commemorate special milestones such as weddings, adoptions or births and can be made as a memorial ornament as well.

Materials needed:

For the paper, you can choose some holiday patterned paper or you can go with a colour scheme like metallics with black or blues with silver. making a keepsake time capsule ornamentI asked my kids for their favourite memories from the year and they each gave several, but then Snuggle Puppy mentioned that he’d like to add his appendix surgery. He said, “It’s not exactly a good memory, but it was kind of a big thing that happened.” I had to agree with him that perhaps we should also include some of the big events of the year so that when we look back, we have a complete time capsule of memories.

I found it surprising what the kids remembered from the year. They of course had things such as our big road trip and camping, but they also had memories of smaller things I would have thought they had forgotten. Our oldest of course said that getting the keys to his own place was his top moment of the year!

Time Capsule Ornament Instructions:

    1. Cut the decorative paper into thin strips. These do not need to be exactly the same size.
    2. Have your family members write their memories of the year on the papers. Younger children can dictate their memories to you. You can have each person write several memories. Each person can also sign the ones they wrote to help keep track of whose was whose when opened in the future.
    3. Remove the top of the refillable ornament. Roll each of the strips of paper with written memories up and drop them into the ball. When you have added all the rolled up strips of paper, replace the top on the ornament.
    4. Using the metallic paint pen, write the year on the ornament.
    5. Loop a ribbon through the top and hang it on the tree.

Time Capsule Ornament filled with MemoriesThese family time capsule ornaments are so simple to create but carry such meaning. They make a lovely gift for grandparents as well.

Watch the video below to see us creating another one of our annual time capsule ornaments.

To make a memorial ornament, instead of writing the year on the ornament with the permanent paint pen, write the person’s name on the ornament. Fill the ornament with paper slips of memories and character traits of your loved one.

Another idea is to create a special memento of a vacation by writing the location of the vacation with the paint pen and then including moments from the trip on the papers inside. This is so much more personal than buying an ornament for your tree on the trip.

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Check out some of our other Christmas crafts:

Nativity Chalk Silhouette

Dish Brush Christmas Tree Painting with Fingerprint OrnamentsChristmas Trees Painted with Dish Brushes

Washi Tape Mitten Ornaments


  1. Love this idea! Even with older kids (like me) it’s a great activity!

  2. Brilliant us for those fillable ornaments!
    I bet these will be favorites in a few years as you start to look through them.

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