“One man's trash is another man's treasure.” This common saying is true for the general populace, but it's absolutely essential for survivalists. It serves as a reminder that garbage and often-discarded items can be re-purposed into valuable resources. We've seen this in the past through life-hacks like constructing a hobo stove from a tin can, and making cordage from plastic water bottles.
This “trash into treasure” philosophy also holds true for the penny stove—a device that's built from nothing more than a few soda cans, a copper penny, and some alcohol for fuel. The penny is positioned atop the stove, and it acts as a fuel pressure regulator, preventing the alcohol fuel from escaping too quickly and burning out. It's important to use a 1982 or earlier penny for this stove, as later coins have much higher zinc content and may melt more easily.
Here's a list of the materials you'll need for a penny stove:
See the video below for instructions on how it all goes together, from YouTube user jiujitsu2000. For those who prefer text instructions, here's an excellent step-by-step guide by Mark Jurey that uses a slightly different design.