A body can never have to many tips on this subject! So here's some tips for you, based on my very own method.
So recently I started redoing my photographs. I thought I'd share what I do, as I think I have made some really nice improvements.
Originally I was using black or gray fabric. I didn't like how the grains of the fabric where showing up though, so I went to walmart and picked up a large sheet of really dark gray poster board.
I'm glad I did!
I also have started using a nice big rock in some of my pictures too. It adds a really nice effect!
Now for the lighting. I am lucky enough to have an umbrella set up with daylight bulbs, but you can emulate this effect with a window and a white sheet!
My daylight bulbs simply emulate natural daylight, and the umbrella softens and spreads it so it's not all focused on one small spot.
The umbrellas are convenient, but you can have the same lighting effect by covering a brightly lit window with a white sheet.
It's important to use a white sheet, otherwise your pictures will have white balance problems.
Also make sure all other windows in the room are covered in white sheets. If there are other color curtains on the other windows, your pictures will come out having the color cast of those curtains.
Now putting it all together.
Put some sort of hard surface beside your window, and place your poster board on top. You can also bend the poster board up and put something behind it, that way you can take your pictures at different angles and not have to worry about weird things showing up in your background (such as your bed :-D)
You'll have to experiment to get the lighting to fall on your products just right.
I also recommend using a tripod and self timer...this has really made a big difference in the sharpness of my photos!
My last 9 listings are testimony to how well this method works. If you look back over some of my older listings, you'll see the difference!
Here is a "before" picture.
And here are some "after" pictures.
Also, if you do want to get umbrellas, I got a set of 2 that came with stands and daylight bulbs for about $60 on ebay...that's a really nice price!
Hope this is helpful!