Today, just in time for Maker Faire Bay Area, Humble Bundle launched an awesome new cosplay ebook bundle packed with great ideas for building your own weapons, armor, fantastical costumes, and props.

By lucky coincidence, this new bundle matches up with our first-ever Maker Faire Prop Contest. Ending this Friday, May 17, the contest has three great sets of prizes and is judged by a who’s-who of Bay Area cosplay experts.

Humble’s “Cosplay 2.0” bundle features a variety of Make: titles. You’ll find a molding primer created by Adam Savage, the Getting Stared with 3D Printing intro to digital fabrication, a great selection of projects in the Design for 3D Printing anthology, and cosplay master Shawn Thorsson’s best-selling how-to book called Props and Costume Armor. Kate Hartman’s indelible Wearable Electronics rounds out our offerings.

Other publishers contribute texts on lighting your costume, building with foam, robot construction, body paint, super heroic sewing, and more. Proceeds benefit Doctors Without Borders.

As with all Humble Bundle deals, you can pay as little as $1 to access some of the titles gathered, or $15 to own them all. That’s a fraction of the nearly $250 value.

Cosplay activity has blossomed in recent years and gone mainstream. What used to be confined to the convention halls of a ComiCon is increasingly the norm. Many would argue that the recent Met Gala fashion event for New York’s Metropolitan Museum, with its over-the-top salute to Catholic vestments, was a type of cosplay event. However, while the Pope is considered by some to be a superhero, the majority of cosplay tributes are found in the comic pages or movies, not the Vatican.

Props and Costume Armor author Shawn Thorsson explains how the hobby is growing more accessible. “You’re starting to see it more in popular media and news coverage,” he says. Thorsson helped popularize the hobby by appearing on the cover of Make: magazine, volume 32.

cosplay

“My book is written for anyone interested in building prop replicas or wearable costume armor. It’s designed to be useful for everyone, from the beginner with no idea where to begin all the way up to the experienced craftsman looking to expand his or her repertoire. My book describes processes for building amazing things with simple tools and materials, most of which can be found in your local hardware store or office supply shop.”

Thorsson builds professional costumes full time in his Petaluma studio and works with a variety of materials. While he declines to name a favorite material, he is quick to identify his least favorite.

“Every project is different and each one brings along new lessons learned,” Thorsson says. “Lately I seem to be building a lot of things with fiberglass, but it’s absolutely not my favorite material. It’s sticky and stinky and gross.”

Not that he’s too fussed. For Thorsson, the ends justify the means.

“Whenever I’m just starting to plan a project and someone asks me what I’m going to build it out of,” he says, “I always give them the same answer: ‘Whatever it takes.’”

Check out the new Cosplay 2.0 Humble Bundle available now through 10:59amPT on Wednesday, May 30.