Save Summer Memories With A DIY Time Capsule
First Cut

Save Summer Memories With A DIY Time Capsule

Summer really is the best time of year; swimming, vacations, hiking, and exploring create great memories. What better way to hold onto these memories than putting them in a time capsule? We have started a tradition in our family of creating a summer time capsule. Each year, we gather little things that remind us of the adventures we had and then store them in a time capsule, to be opened the next year. This is a great activity for kids. My nephews and nieces are always looking for things they can put into their time capsules, whether it’s a movie ticket or a neat rock they found on a family hike. Saving summer memories can really motivate you to get off the couch and go have some adventures!

Supplies Needed

Step One: Print design onto Silhouette Printable Vinyl

Before you get started, make sure that your printer is an inkjet printer and not a printer with a heating element. Printable vinyl will melt in printers with a heating element. If you are new to using adhesive vinyl, here is a tutorial.

  1. Open the Silhouette Design Store and search for “patterned paper.” This will bring up many different options to print onto your vinyl and use to cover your paint can. I used Design ID #133484 for my background.
  2. Download and open your design in Silhouette Studio®.
  3.  Open the Design Page window and select “Letter” for your page size.
  4. Adjust your design to cover the entire 8.5 x 11 page.
  5. Make sure you have the sheets of printable vinyl in your printer. Select File > Print. You need to print three sheets of your pattern to cover a one-gallon paint can and lid.

Tip: Most printers have an option to print to the edge and have no margins. Take a look at your printer to see if you can select “no margins.”


Step Two: Cut Printable Vinyl to Fit Your Can

You will use two sheets of printable vinyl to cover the sides of your can and one sheet to cover the lid. I used a one-gallon paint can with a handle, so I needed to cut the vinyl to fit around the handle. I also needed to trim the sheet to fit the can. This step can seem tricky, but really you are just creating an opening for the handle and trimming the vinyl down to fit. You could trim the vinyl by hand, but I used my CAMEO to make it precise. The following steps will help you fit the vinyl to your can using your CAMEO.

  1. From the design page window in Silhouette Studio®, change your work space to the 12 x 12 cutting mat.
  2. Using the “draw a rectangle” tool, create a rectangle.
  3. Use the “scale” tool to adjust your rectangle to the size of your can. My rectangle was 7 in. x 11 in.
  4.  Draw a circle using the “ellipse” tool. Use the “scale” tool to adjust your circle to the size of  the handle on your paint can. My circle was 1 in. x 1 in.
  5. Place your circle in the middle of the rectangle, as shown in the photo. You will need to measure your paint can to find out how far down to place the opening for the handle.
  6. Use the “line” tool to draw a line from the top of the vinyl to the circle, so that you will be able to place it around the handle. The image above shows the layout of the cutlines.
  7. Cut your page and repeat for the other sheet.


Step Three: Apply Printable Vinyl to Can


When applying the printable vinyl, it’s best to have two people to help; one person to hold the can and one person to place the vinyl.

  1. Starting at the handle, very carefully apply the vinyl being mindful to avoid air bubbles.
  2. Do the same thing on the other side of the can with the other sheet of vinyl. The two sheets will overlap in the middle to cover the entire can.


Step Four: Design and Cut Words

Return to Silhouette Studio® to design and cut vinyl lettering.

  1. Using the “text” tool, type what you would like your time capsule to say.
  2. Select the fonts you would like. I used LW Mighty, LW Brush, and LW Caroline for my time capsule.
  3. Measure your paint can to see how big the letters should be. Use the “scale” tool to resize your words.
  4. When sending your design to your CAMEO, be sure to select “vinyl” and adjust your blade accordingly. Need help adjusting your blade? Here is a tutorial!


Step Five: Apply Adhesive Vinyl and Other Decorations


To decorate my can a little more, I used the “offset” tool to create some dimension to my adhesive vinyl letters. I cut the offset letters in white vinyl and the regular text in red vinyl. I also printed some washi tape onto my leftover printable vinyl to make a border. Just search “washi tape” in the Silhouette Design Store.  

  1. Apply your words to your time capsule.
  2. Apply washi tape, rhinestones, or ribbon to decorate your capsule.


This water-proof, personally decorated time capsule is a great way to preserve summer memories. It also makes a great gift! You can make a large can for your family, or create personal time capsules using quart sized paint cans. Happy crafting!


Brianna Everett

If you love DIY projects, baking, crafting, and Oreo shakes, then we must be kindred spirits. I am currently living in Idaho Falls, ID with my husband, baby girl and dog. My crafting specialty is pretty much anything you can do with a sewing machine. I own a small business called Friends of Suzy making custom fabric dolls. I am really honored to be part of the Silhouette Design Team and hope to spark some inspiration in you to get your craft on!

Products Used:

New Silhouette CAMEO®

12-inch matte adhesive vinyl

Printable Vinyl


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