making decorative banding?

Does anyone make ther own decorative banding or veneer inlays? Looking through the popular wood vendor catalogs, they go upwards of $14 for a 3 foot strip (more for an inlay "plaque"). I've see Stowe's books and am looking to make something a little more sophisticated. Additionally, many inlays/bands appear to be made using died woods. How does one get die to penetrate any depth through the wood, long soak time?
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