SCHULTUTE ~ The first day of school is an important milestone for children all around the globe. In Germany, many children receive a Schultute (pronounced shool-too-tuh). The Schultute is a whimsically decorated paper cone filled with school supplies and little treats. The treats are meant to symbolically sweeten the child's transition into the realm of greater responsibility (traditionally, the 1st grade, which is when German children begin their formal education). The tradition began back in the 19th century, when according to lore parents told their children that a Schultute tree grew in their teacher's yard. When the cones grew big enough it meant that it was time to start school. Today, children often decorate their own Schultuten as an end-of-year project at the completion of Kindergarten. Parents then fill the cone for the child to open after the first day of first grade.
We've attached a downloadable PDF of instructions for how to make your own Schultuten. Many high-end retailers are now offering premade Schultuten, but we like the idea of customizing your own to suit your child's unique loves and interests. You can find Do-It-Yourself Schultute at German Plaza along with an assortment of beautiful crepe papers, die cut scrap papers and trims.
Before you head out to the local craft store, take a look around your home. Chances are you have the makings of a beautiful custom Schultute right under your nose. The cardboard from a cereal box makes a perfect foundation for the cone. To decorate:
- Scan in and print out pictures of your child
- Download clipart online, then cut and paste
- Use stickers or rubber stamps
- Got an old children's book that's falling apart? Repurpose the pages to cover your Schultute
- Doilies and cupcake liners can be used to add lace and fringe
- Papier mache or paint over a plain cardboard cone.
- Wrapping Paper