I saw these clay cupcake things on "Art for 1170" and fell in love with the idea. There are only so many years one can teach the pinch pot without needing to switch it up. In other years, I've taught the kids to add handles, feet, lids. One year, I did kind of a Greek Art thing, and we stained the pinch pots rather than glazing or painting. But, seeing the cupcakes, I just had to try it. I bought the mini tart pans at Bed Bath and Beyond for about 79 cents each. But, with the 20% off coupon, it wasn't so bad. Plus, I knew that I would keep them for years to come. I have to work on how to present this lesson- but basically, we put a slab of clay into the pie pans, and pinched it around. Set it aside, and worked on Pinch Pots. After making a successful pinch pot, students shaped it until it would cover the opening on the pie pan. Then, we crammed newspaper (which I had pre-cut to be more manageable) into the pinch pot. I had students lay one piece of newspaper on top of the pie pan, then set their muffin top on top. This was a hard concept, and so far, 2 cupcakes are forever sealed because the kiddos didn't understand, and I didn't figure that out in time to fix it. Whatever clay was left over was used to roll icing, make sprinkles, chocolate chips, or the ever popular cherry on top. This week, we painted our cupcakes. I just used tempera cakes, with a layer of Acrylic Medium over the top. And, they are cute. Next time though, I'm going to have the students "dunk" the bottoms into a thinned down paint/water solution, and only use brushes to paint the top- hoping that way, the paint job is smoother. When we do clay animals, we "dunk" first, then paint details, and it works really well. I brought in my cake plate, and my librarian friend has loaned me her cupcake stand so we can display them.