how to save $30 without even a sale on

I have a storage unit in my bedroom that sits under the windowsill. Its purpose in life is to hold yarn until I finally get my yarn stash down to reasonable levels. Then it will be stood on its end and repurposed to hold books.

In its current working conditions, it gathers a lot of dust, so I had the brilliant idea to buy a table runner to cover it up. I would much rather wash something in the laundry every once in a while than dust it every week.

So I popped down to a home decor place in my neighbourhood that shall remain nameless, and was completely sticker shocked by the prices on table runners. They went for $50 or more.

Then I noticed one of those Grossly Unfair Price Things: while the table runner I wanted was about $50, the matching napkins that went with it were only $4 apiece. I bought four, ran home giggling to myself, and threw them in the washer and dryer.

They came out wrinkly but not ruined, so I ran them over with an iron. I thought of a few ways to connect them together, but decided on a no-sew method: I just picked seven colours from my embroidery floss stash and tied them together at regular intervals, using the plaid pattern as a guide:
I had some fun staggering the floss colours on each subsequent joining, but otherwise didn't fuss too much. Three joins and twenty-one bows later, I was done:

The floss came from one of those big mixed bags of colours they sell for $20 or so. I used maybe $2 of floss, so the whole thing came to about $18. The napkin table runner is the perfect length and depth, with just a little bit of overhang on all the edges. It's actually more functional than the prefab runner back at the shop, which was narrower and would have left me with a thin strip of exposed laminate to dust (and what's the point of that?).

I know that if I'd done some fabric shopping I could have saved even more money, but there aren't any fabric shops near me and this plaid did match my bedroom decor exactly.

Had any thrifty success stories lately? Let me know in the comments!