Folk, I only make about 4 cakes a year that is decorated with fondant. With that being said, I refuse to pay big money for all the specialty supplies. Now, some of those tools do make life easier, so I sought out cheaper substitutes for those. As with any newly bought bakery tools, be sure to wash with warm-soapy water before use.
Transferring rolled fondant on vinyl sheets make life so much easier. Now, I do grease my vinyl before rolling fondant. Once you've rolled it to the desired size, you can pick up the sheet, with the rolled fondant on it, and flip it onto your cake. Simply peel the vinyl from the fondant and begin the fondant rubbing process.
For a large rolling pin, I use a 2' section of a 1 1/4" PVC pipe. A large rolling pin is a must when rolling fondant, especially when making cakes of diameters of 10" or more. For a 2 layer, 10" diameter cake, you will need your fondant to be about 15" in width. With a smaller rolling pin, its difficult to get a fondant sheet, of this size, rolled evenly.
Here's something else I do that is not necessarily a substitute but its something that can make life easier when working with fondant. I have a plexiglass sheet that's about 3'x4' that I place under my vinyl. It may just be me, but I like the idea of having my workplace covered, so when I go to cleanup, I know nothing will be missed. If anything gets on it, while mixing or rolling fondant, I can simply wipe it away. This way, I know, no sticky sugar is left on my counter tops. You would want to pick this up at a hardware store and have it cut the size of your work area.
When I'm finished with the cleanup, I simply roll up the vinyl and store it inside the PVC.