For someone on a budget, tools like hot plates can be expensive. Though this one I made may not look the prettiest, it works well, and was cheap.
*Metal Can (the thicker the better)
*Hand Sanitizer and a Small cap from a glass container (Not a bottle cap. I got mine from an old lemonade bottle)
A Small Tea Candle
*Large Cap from a Glass Jar
*Glue (heat resistant, non-flammable)
Step 1: Cut the Can
Wash out the can with warm water.
Cut a line down from the top of the can till about 3 inch. from the base of the can. From the end of this cut, cut evenly around the can.
Take the base you just cut out and cut about 12 slits about half way up the side. If you have a bigger can, you may need more slits.
Use the pliers to bend the flaps made by the slits out. Remember, your hot plate will not work if the slits are not bent out enough.
Fix any pointed out sharp pieces of metal from cutting.
Step 2: The Base of the Hot Plate
Take the smaller cap and glue it to the center of the larger cap. Let dry. When dried, fill the small cap with hand sanitizer.
Alternatively, you can just place the tea light in the center of the cap. If you do this instead, I would suggest mot glueing it down as it will need to be replaced fairly often. Also, your plate will not be as hot, or heat up as fast as using hand sanitizer. Also, tea lights are more expensive than hand sanitizer. However, if you need lower heat, a tea candle does nicely.
Step 3: Use the Hot Plate
To use your hot plate use matches or a lighter to ignite the hand sanitizer, then place the top piece made out of the can over the caps. Now you have a cheap, well functioning hot plate. You should be able to blow out the flame when needed.
If you need lower heat, use the tea light instead. Just place it over the smaller cap.
I would suggest not placing substances on the hot plate directly, and instead place them in a metal container that is then placed on the plate.