How To: Make a Heel Klickin' Jitterbug Out of McCormick Vertex Elements

Make a Heel Klickin' Jitterbug Out of McCormick Vertex Elements

Use geometry to make an adorable and fun heel klickin' friend using McCormick vertex elements! You will need:

  • Cardstock (perfectly squared or rectangular)
  • Ruler
  • Ballpoint pen
  • School glue
  • Scissors
  • Small paintbrush

Step 1: Make Lines

Take a sheet of card stock and using the top edge as your guide, draw parallel lines one inch apart all the way down the sheet. Press very hard so that the lines are scored.

Step 2: Cut

Count down to the sixth line and cut straight across.

Step 3: Fold

Fold along each score line to form an accordion. If you fold to the front along the first line, fold to the back on the next one. Continue folding back and forth until all the lines are folded.

Step 4: Glue First, Second, and Fourth Sections

Mix a teeny bit of water with school glue and using a paint brush spread the glue along the first, second and fourth section of the accordion.

Step 5: Glue the Rest of the Sections

Glue the fourth section face on with the fifth section, the second section face on with the third and the first section face on with the sixth. Press the structure together so all the faces meet completely and smoothly. You should now have a long, Y-shaped vertex.

Step 6: Ready the Vertex

Mark off a line every half inch along the length of the vertex. Cut along each line, you have in essence "sliced" the long "Y" into half-inch thick little "Y"s. These are called vertex elements. You will be using a total of 10 vertex elements to create the jitterbug. The bottom of the "Y" shape will be called the "stem" from now. The upper part will be called the "angle".

Step 7: Glue Together the Legs and Feet

Glue the stem of one vertex element lining it up evenly into the angle of another one. Repeat the same with two other vertex elements. These are the legs and feet of the jitterbug.

Step 8: Glue the Legs onto the Body

Glue the upper right flap of one leg and the upper left flap of the other evenly onto the stem of a fifth vertex element. You are gluing the legs of the jitterbug onto its body.

Step 9: More Gluing

Glue the stems of two more vertex elements evenly along the insides of the upper angle of the body.

Step 10: Form the Wings

Fold the right and left angle sides towards the middle so that they overlap and glue them down. Your structure has a triangle formed at the top and four loose flaps -- two on each side of the structure. Glue the angles of two more vertex elements evenly along the insides of these flaps forming the jitterbug's two wings.

Step 11: Make the Eyes

Cut two strips of cardstock one inch wide. Roll each strip from end to end into a spiral and glue them so that they will not unravel. These will be the eyes of the jitterbug. The size of the eyes depends on how tightly or loosely you roll them.

Step 12: Put It All Together

Glue the two spirals together side to side. Glue the stem of the remaining vertex element so that it is flat and perpendicuar to the middle of the triangle at the top of your jitterbug's body. Now glue the two eyes on top of this as shown in the photo. Fold the feet flaps outwards so that the jitterbug appears to be clicking his heels when you gently push and pull on its wings.


  • To achieve a louder clicking sound, you may decide to glue a very small pebble or other element on the jitterbugs heels.
  • For added fun, make the eye spirals large enough for you to poke your finger in to make the jitterbug appear to be popping his eyes out.


  • Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before attempting to play with the jitterbug.

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