Home Improvement – Magic Crafts!

Hello ManaNation.com readers. I've finally had a weekend that didn't include travelling somewhere to judge a Magic tournament. And it's the last one I'll have for a while. Next weekend I'll be at the Florida Prerelease for Rise of the Eldrazi at CoolStuffGames in Orlando. What do you think of RoE so far? I'm still undecided. My Timmy inside is saying "gimme gimme gimme," but it doesn't appear there will be many standard playable cards. This may be a set we need to draft for a bit to get used to.

Since we have a new set coming out, if you're like me you've probably obtained multiple boxes of Worldwake and Zendikar already, which means you have piles and piles of commons and uncommons that are basically useless. So what do you do with those thousands of commons and uncommons lying around? I have a 5000 count box I stuff all my extras in. When the box gets full, it's time to build something! A few months ago I built an almost life size robot, Marvin the Paranoid Android. Marvin now lives at Anthem Games in Tampa, FL.

Magic the Gathering robot

This time around I decided to build a Magic card castle, and take ManaNation.com readers along for the ride. For this do it yourself project the only materials you'll need are 3000 Magic cards that can be trashed, and a little imagination.

Magic the Gathering crafts

That's the completed castle, just throw all your cards together and make it look like this, end of article. Just kidding, let start at the beginning.

I'm building the castle with the back side of the cards out. I thought the castle would look better with a brown stone look rather than having the mish mash look of the front side of the cards.

Magic the Gathering crafts

First take two cards and hold them at a 90 degree angle to each other. You want to have about the same amount of overhang on each side of the cards and be sure they are fairly close to straight with one another.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Fold over the top of one of the cards using the other card as a guide.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now finish by folding the other 3 sides ending with your cards looking like this. Now do this to about 3000 cards. Take your time, I'll wait. Folding the cards takes longer than anything else.
Now we start making blocks.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Separate 6 cards, i.e. 3 pairs. Put 2 of the cards together like this.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Bring in the 3rd card over hanging the lips like so.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now the 4th card in the block, you're almost there!

Magic the Gathering crafts

And the 5th card slides in easily.

Magic the Gathering crafts

You'll need to lift up on the lips to get that last card in. Now push the lips down on all 6 sides.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Look Ma, my first block! Nothing to it. Now just do that 480 more times, and you'll have enough blocks to build this castle!
Now that we have some blocks, it's time to make the blocks into something. First we build a square of blocks.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Start with 2 blocks; bend the lips out a bit to make it easier to link them.

Magic the Gathering crafts

You want to slip the lips of 3 corners together at once by twisting the two blocks together. You need to get this twisting action down, because once you get further into construction there are places where it will be impossible to get one of the corners linked unless you get this.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Since you have three of the corners linked, you lift up on the fourth corner to complete the link.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now you have 2 blocks linked together. Continue linking boxes in this way to make a square with 3 blocks on each side. It's all easy until you get to the final block, the “keystone”.

Magic the Gathering crafts

For the final corner of the square, you'll need to link a block to 2 other blocks simultaneously. Start by hanging two lips of the keystone block to the bottom of an existing block, and then fold the keystone block downwards until you can slide the lips of the keystone into the bottom lips of the other existing block.

Magic the Gathering crafts

You should end up with 5 of the corners linked after sliding the keystone into place.

Magic the Gathering crafts
Magic the Gathering crafts

Link up the corners that didn't slide together.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now you have a complete square of blocks.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Connect 4 more blocks, one in each corner of the square, these are “spacer” blocks.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now we build another square on top of the four spacers we just linked. The first two blocks are easy, for the third block we have to link a new way. Link two corners to the spacer below and spin the block out so we can spin the block back into the lips beside it. This will allow you to link that back corner that would be almost impossible any other way. Continue to link blocks like this until you get to the last block in the square.

Magic the Gathering crafts

For the last block bend the lips out on the bottom and slide the new block down onto those lips, leaving only the lips at the top which are easy to link.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now we have a cube of blocks. Congratulations, you know all the tricks you need to know to build anything now!

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now we add 4 more spacers, but instead of the outside corners we add these spacers on the inside of the square.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now, using the tricks we learned on the first cube of blocks, build another square on top one these inside spacers. We now have almost half of a tower. Go through all of these steps again, outside spacers, square, inside spacers, square, outside spacers, square, and we have a tower.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Add 4 more blocks at the top for the parapets and voila! We need 4 towers for the castle, so go ahead and throw those together real quick!

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now we need to build the body of the castle. Start out with a square just like when we started the tower, but this time we continue adding spacers and lines until the base is 9 blocks wide and 7 blocks deep.

Magic the Gathering crafts

On the back and the two sides add 2 spacers on every other block starting at the corners, then build a solid line of blocks on top of those spacers.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Do the same on the front, except you want to leave the middle three blocks open, this will eventually be the space left open by the drawbridge.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Finish up the area around the drawbridge opening. Put one spacer on each side of the opening, then a solid line of blocks followed by 2 spacers and another solid line.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now add a single spacer the rest of the way around the castle, and follow with a solid line of blocks.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now add a double row of spacers and a solid line of blocks to complete the body of the castle.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now add the parapets at the top of the body of the castle.

Magic the Gathering crafts

To help hold the towers in the correct place on the corners of the castle, we want add 2 blocks for each tower. Place them on the 4th block up and 2nd block back on each corner. These blocks will slide into the opening left by the lower row of inside spacers on the towers. This will just make the towers all line up correctly.

Magic the Gathering crafts

Now assemble 10 more blocks to form the open drawbridge in the front and we have a castle!

Magic the Gathering crafts

For the finishing touch I cut out 4 Soldier Ally tokens and taped them between the parapets on the front!

Wow this castle is massive. I'll be delivering it to the Wizards Cupboard in Seminole, FL this week. George, the owner, is building a shelf for this monstrosity. Stop by and see it the next time you're in the Tampa Bay area!

If you used this article to build something from Magic cards I would love to hear about it! Send me a pic to dalelovelace@gmail.com and I'll post it here for everyone to see!

In the next couple of weeks I'll be posting my thoughts on Rise of the Eldrazi and EDH, and we'll be seeing more Messy with Paint and another $50 EDH deck. Until then, this is Dale Lovelace telling you there is more than one way to play.