You can use a small piece of floor carpet that isn't too thick. It may not be very comfortable, but that totally depends on the material and texture of the carpet. You can even find those which you might like more than the store-bought mouse pads.
Also it is important to check your mouse sensor type. I have a portable usb mouse that is specifically labeled as "for shiny surfaces". It works just fine on glass, table tops and other shiny surfaces, just as it says it would, but surprisingly, it lags and does weird stuff on common mouse pads. Maybe get one of those and forget about carpets and mouse pads.
If you don't care about your table and you don't want to buy a mouse, find a way to make the table surface non-shiny. For example, you could rub some sand paper on the area you're moving the mouse around. The trick is that optic sensor built into the mouse may not focus very well on shiny surfaces because of its flat texture. To help it with the focus, you may increase the surface texture variations by sanding it a bit.
Or as others recommended, just put a standard office sheet of paper under it. Its texture is already good enough for most mice to work fine. But your palm might feel sore after some time because the paper will dry it out and result in additional friction with paper. To counter that, you could wear a glove.