In advance: Make cap. For each treat, tint 1/2 oz. of fondant blue; roll out 1/8 in. thick. Use pattern to cut mortarboard. For base, cut a 1/4 x 1 1/4 in. long strip; attach ends with damp brush and attach to mortarboard with damp brush. Let dry overnight on cornstarch-dusted board. For each tassel, tint 1/2 oz. of fondant yellow. Roll out half 1/8 in. thick. Cut a 3/4 x 1/2 in. wide strip; cut slits 1/4 in. deep and roll up for fringe, pinching ends together. Roll a 3/4 x 1/4 in. diameter log for cord. With damp brush, attach fringe to cord and cord to cap. Reserve remaining yellow for diploma band. Roll a 3/16 in. diameter blue button and attach to back of mortarboard with damp brush.
Also in advance: Make
diploma. Roll out white fondant 1/8 in. thick. Cut
a 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. strip. Roll up, pinching center
slightly. Roll a 1/8 in. diameter yellow band.
Attach around center with damp brush. Let dry.
Bake and cool cupcakes. Pipe tip 2A mound
on cupcake tops in buttercream; smooth with
spatula. Insert topper. Pipe tip 10 outline arms, tip
4 ball hands; score fingers with knife. Attach cap
and diploma with dots of icing.
* Combine Brown with Red-Red for darker skin tone