You need around 12-12 oz. cans(one case) to make the basic castle, with four towers and four walls, and a basic empty courtyard. It's usually a good idea to wash them out before you use them, because it's impossible not to leave a few drops of sweet sweet Mountain Dew in the bottom. And make sure you have a towel handy when you start working, it's basically impossible to get all of the liquid
out of these cans without cutting them open, or using a blowdryer.
Each wall of the castle(there are four) requires one and a half cans.
1. Start by stabbing a cutting slot towards the end of the can, along the line before it starts to curve down into the bottom or top lip of the can.
2. Cut along this line by inserting your scissors into the cutting slot. You should come out with a nice open-ended cylinder], perhaps with some jagged edges.
3. Cut it into a rectangle along the label-seam(between the nutrition information and the Mountain Dew logo) with your scissors.
4. Now, in order to make it straight instead of a bendy rectangle, fold up 1/8th - 1/4th of an inch up the bottom into a 90 degree angle. This will reinforce the wall so that it can stand up, and not wobble around like a flimsy piece of paper. Make sure you get it straight, as this will be esting on the ground.
5. Now, cut battlement patterns(I guess you could call them tabs) - |__|__|__| - along the top (opposite the edge that you folded). Make sure you cut an even number of times, so that you can have it "up" on both sides. Each one should be about an inch wide, but whatever floats your boat. Instead of cutting the "down" parts out, fold them down, so the edge can be straighter. Now you have a basic wall-shape. But it needs a catwalk for your Mountain Dew archers to sit at.
6. Cut up another can as instructed for this piece, but before folding it along the edge, cut it in half laterally(to make two long strips).
7. Cut similar battlement patterns in these, but in a tighter pattern - say about a half inch wide, and so that both edges are "down".
8. Now, line up one of these strips against the wall, and cut slits into the wall with your X-acto knife where the pattern is "up" on the strip. Do you get where I'm going here? You're going to insert the tabs on the strip into the wall, and fold them down, so that you get a nice strong hold. Do this four times (you should use six cans, and have a few tops and bottoms of the cans with which you can make little figurines to have a battle inside your castle).
9. Now for the towers. Cut just the top - the end you drink out of - off of four cans. Put them upside down on the table.
10. Cut up strips like you did for the catwalks of the walls from two cans to make four strips.
11. Cut a 1" pattern on the top of each one, and a 1/2" pattern on the bottom. Fold them down as necessary. Wrap one around the top of one of the headless cans. Look familiar?
12. Cut slits in the cans so that the "up"-part of the 1/2" pattern can slip in, and then reach inside the can to fold them up. If you want, you can cut a circle out of a can and make a nice flat floor instead of that weird bowl-shaped one.
13. Now to connect them all. Cut a 1/2" pattern into the short sides of each of your walls, so that the bottom and top edges are both "up".
14. Take one of your can towers, and using either the point of your X-acto knife or a Sharpie, mark out where you need to cut for these tabs. You will need to make a long "T" for the catwalk to fit in.
15. Cut, fold, insert, reach inside the tower and fold around. Do this for each wall.
If you want, you can cut a door into one of the walls, maybe some arrow slits or windows into the walls or towers. Whatever floats your boat, this is a creative project! It took me about five hours to build one, playing by ear and by scratch with no plan in my head about what to build. It's alot cooler than recycling, that's for sure!