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Over the last two years there has been an explosion of projects using EVA foam pads to create armor. It's a cheap, readily available material that's easy to work with and a skilled artist can create a finished product with an unbelievably high level of finish. This tutorial from Allen Hopps is a good introduction to some of the basic techniques, while some truly incredible work is on display at the Bioweapons blog .
It seems impossible to find the perfect arrows for your costume at the store, even if you pay a fortune. And nothing wows people out like real, handmade arrows.