Welcome your children to the new school year by presenting them with a schultuete (pronounced shool-too-tuh) on their first day of school. A 200-year-old German tradition, a schultuete is a cone-shaped package filled with treats and school supplies. It is usually given to German students at the beginning of first grade, but this wonderful tradition can be adapted to any age. While both empty and pre-filled schultuete line the store aisles in Germany at the end of summer, they aren’t as available in the United States. Luckily, making a schultuete at home is easy!
- One sheet of poster board
- Clear packing tape
- Scotch tape
- Gift tissue
- Embellishments to personalize the schultuete (see below)
- School supplies and candy or other sweets to fill the cone
If you are short on time, you can also purchase a pre-made schultuete at Boehm's Candies and Chocolates in Issaquah, or online from one of these German companies on Amazon:
Follow these directions to make your own schultuete:
- Lay the poster board on a flat work surface with the shorter side facing you.
- Roll it into a large cone and secure by taping the outside seam with packing tape. Don’t worry if the top edges of the poster board don’t meet.
- Make the top of the cone flat by cutting straight across the upper part of the cone, just below the uneven edges.
- Embellish the paper cone to fit your child’s interests. Decorate with stickers, glitter or bedazzling jewels, or cover it with a movie poster or pictures.
- Set the cone aside and lay out two pieces of gift tissue, one on top of the other, with the longer edge toward you on your work surface. Smooth the folds with your hands.
- This gift tissue will become the top of the schultuete. Tape the tissue with Scotch tape along the inside edge of the cone, approximately one inch from the top. When you are finished, the tissue will cover the entire inner rim and extend up and away from the top of the cone.
- Pad the bottom of the cone’s inside with crumpled tissue.
- Now for the fun part: Fill it up! Traditional fillers include school supplies such as silly erasers, pens, pencils, crayons or small notebooks. Don’t forget to add candy to make the first day of school sweet!
Tip: When filling the schultuete with goodies, you will want to pack it to the top of the cone. Add a few more pieces of crumpled tissue on top of the filling, then gather the outside layer of tissue together at the top and tie it with a cute bow. The finished product will look like an over-sized ice cream cone.
Whether you make one yourself or buy one, your child will appreciate receiving this fun gift to start off the school year right!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2019, and updated in August 2020.