Commercial stains have been around for about 100 years, but woodworkers have stained wood for centuries using pigments and dyes made from plants and minerals. You can make fairly simple stains at home and use them to give wood a distinctive look.
When experimenting with homemade stains, measure and carefully record all of the ingredients used. This will allow you to duplicate the same color of stain later. Without a record of how you prepared the stain, it would be nearly impossible to create the same stain twice.