Recently, I dropped off several out-of-prescription eyeglasses at a Walmart Vision Center, just one of many collection centers around the country that partner with Lions Clubs to collect old eyeglasses for those in need at home and medical missions abroad.

With the cost of prescription eyeglasses equaling a year’s salary in some countries, donated eyeglasses are the best hope for bringing sight to many visually impaired people who could simply not afford the cost.

The attendant kindly asked, however, that I not leave the cases.

Glasses case on carpit

My first thought was to toss the cases into the trash on the way out and just be done with it. But it didn’t feel right. There just had to be a way to give new life to these sturdy, protective cases.

Some quick research turned up these clever ideas:

Electronic accessories

An eyeglasses case is a perfect size for headphones, charging cord for the typical mobile device. No more tangled mess.

Glasses case used for storing charging cables
Photo Credit: Details-Etc.

Sewing kit

Travel-size thread, scissors, needles, pins, and so on fit easily inside one of these cases. Gluing a couple of magnets in the lid helps to keep sharp items in place so they’re handy.

Glasses case storing sowing supplies

Photo Credit: Sulky


Because these cases have hard sides, they’re ideal for organizing small toiletries—the kind of emergency items we like to carry with us.

Notably, a full-size bottle of nail polish fits in one of these cases perfectly, which, as one who has experienced the heartbreak of a bottle of polish emptying itself inside my purse, makes me very happy.

A hardshell eyeglasses case can easily hold a toothbrush, dental floss and small tube of toothpaste.

Glasses case holding manicure set

Photo Credit: Real Simple

Make-up case

An eyeglasses case is just the right size to hold lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, brushes—you know, those things that are kind of long and narrow like the case.

READ: You Can Use This for That in the Kitchen

Jewelry case

The last place you want that necklace, earrings, or another delicate jewelry item to land up is in the bottom of your purse or backpack.

Perhaps you know that sinking feeling of digging around and finding only one of the pair, forever wondering what happened to its mate.

Designating an old eyeglass case as your portable jewelry case will put an end to that disaster—and keep your items exactly where you can find them at all times.

Glasses case holding jewelry

Photo Credit: Le Zoe Musings


First aid kit

Bandaids, ointments, tweezers and other small items needed for rending first aid, can fit into one of the cases. Now everything is together and easily accessible.

Emergency art supplies

Filling one of these cases with stickers, crayons and a pad of mini Post-it notes will come back to bless you the day you’re stuck in line or a waiting room with a child.

Contact lens kit

One of these cases will hold a spare pair of lenses as well as a lens case and wetting solution. And it will keep all of that safe, sanitary and able to be found quickly when needed.

Coin case

Do you know what I find really annoying? Loose change rolling around in the bottom of my bag or car’s console. What a great idea to use an eyeglass case as a coin holder.

Glasses case storing change


Question: There must be dozens of other ways to give a new life to an old eyeglasses case. Please share your awesome ideas in the comments area below!

Originally published in Everyday Cheapskate 3-10-15; Updated and expanded 3-11-19

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