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Jennifer Cameron made time capsules from oatmeal containers.

Make time capsules with flair


This week’s column idea is from my friend (and favorite, local glass bead artisan) Jennifer Cameron.

It is a time capsule made with oatmeal containers and scrapbook papers. Jen gave these as gifts to extended family members this holiday season and included a letter explaining the gift and how it could be used.

Cameron works out of a home studio in Fort Wayne. Her work can be found at and she blogs about her bead making, handmade jewelry and other things crafty at

What you need:

Cleaned out, empty oatmeal container

Mod Podge


12-inch-by-12-inch scrapbook paper (cardstock weight)


Sponge applicator

Optional: Paper cutter, circle cutter, rubber stamps, stamp pad

What you do:

1. Measure to 1/4 -inch below lip of oatmeal container and mark on the back of a ruler. There should be a white margin so none of the oatmeal container design peeks through. You will need the 1/4 -inch margin for the lid to fit back onto the container.

2. Take two pages of the same design scrapbook paper out of the pad so they are still attached together by the glue. It’s OK if they separate, but it is easier to cut them the same height if they are still attached.

3. Line up the back side of the paper with the ruler and make a small mark indicating where to cut for the appropriate height of the container.

4. Place both sheets in paper cutter and cut. If you don’t have a paper cutter, use a straight edge to draw a line all the way across and cut with scissors.

5. Although you will need more than one sheet of paper to make the entire circumference of the container, you won’t need more than two-thirds of the second sheet. It helps to make a template with a scrap piece of paper to measure how much you need to make up the difference plus an overlap of at least an inch. You don’t want to be too stingy, but it is nice to have enough left over to cover the lid. After you figure out how much you need, remember not to cut the height. You want to cut the width of the paper using template and paper cutter.

6. Check the fit of the papers before applying Mod Podge.

7. Apply Mod Podge to half the surface of the container with the sponge applicator. Be liberal with it, but not sloppy. Apply Mod Podge to the back side of the narrower scrapbook page. Try to get all over the page and up to the edges.

8. Carefully line the bottom of the page up with the bottom of the container and lightly touch the middle of the paper to the container. Don’t press down until you are happy with the placement, then carefully rub out to the edges to get the paper attached to the container without wrinkling or bubbling. You may have to reapply a little Mod Podge to the edges and hold the edges down for a few seconds.

9. Apply Mod Podge to the remaining exposed portion of the container plus on the side edges of the previous paper just placed because papers will overlap. Don’t overdo it.

10. Apply Mod Podge to the back of the second, wider paper and this time line up the bottom edges and overlap over the previous paper. When happy with the placement, start to gently rub the page into place over the container to the opposite edge, making sure to stay lined up with the bottom edge of the container. You may need to reapply glue to each side edge and hold in place for a few seconds.

11. Using a circle cutter, eyeball the size of the lid area that needs to be covered. Then create a template to check fit. When happy with the size of the template, use that measurement on circle cutter to cut out circle in leftover scrap paper (from Step 5). If you don’t have a circle cutter, draw a circle using the lid then cut out with scissors.

12. Before applying Mod Podge to the lid and the circle of paper, check the fit.

13. For an optional look, Mod Podge is a decoupage medium. If you want a bit of a glossy look to your time capsule, use the sponge applicator to coat the paper with Mod Podge after you have glued the paper onto the container. Allow to dry thoroughly before placing lid onto container.

14. Get creative and make cute tags using coordinating scrapbook paper and stamps to label your time capsule.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or e-mail her at Also, visit her blog at