The standard tool of macro photography is a Macro lens. That what the book says. But I learned to achieve high magnification when i didn't had any standard tool. However they are unlikely to generate good result but its always fun to do something new.
Transform a 18-55 or 35-80 mm wide zoom lens into a macro lens
While trying various methods to achieve magnification once I suddenly discovered that if I remove the front element of zoom lens like 35-80 mm, it turns into a macro zoom lens. The magnification is higher just like a reversed lens but I have total electronic control on exposure. A great blessing. Caution - do it at your own risk.
Convert an old teleconverter into an extension tube
I had an old Vivitar autofocus 2X teleconverter. As the digital era started it turned out that these converters can generate worst kind of image, so it became out of service. But why not through out the inner glass element of this converter and turn it into an extension tube. So i removed all the glass component and covered the shiny aspects with black felt found in the opening of good old film canister. Voila now I have a fully functional AF Vivitar extension tube. Which works perfectly with my Nikon D200 body. And it is solid too.
Reversing a wide angle lens
It is a known technique that if you attach your wide angle lens (e.g. 35 mm lens) in a reverse position with your camera you can achieve very high magnification. Your 24mm or 35 mm lens can suddenly take macro photo. There is no loss of light like bellows or extension tube.