How to Give New Life to an Old Eyeglasses Case

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: Use This for That in the Kitchen to Reduce Clutter and Save Money

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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25 replies
  1. Dianne De Mink
    Dianne De Mink says:

    Great idea for keeping a bottle of insulin and a couple of syringes, etc. for my emergency diabetic situations. Don’t let it get too hot and change it out regularly to eliminate a loss of potency.

  2. Holly
    Holly says:

    love the coin idea … we are currently assigned to Ramstein AB in Germany so have both dollars and Euro in our wallets … Euro coins have been the bane in our lives, this may be an answer for me (DH not so much… he’ll just have to keep dealing with one pocket of US coins and the other Euro coins)

    • Bookworm
      Bookworm says:

      Great idea! Next time I travel, I’ll remember this. Also, it sounds like you are getting off the base and seeing the sights in the region. My son was stationed there, and he and his wife spent all their free time traveling — day trips and overnight ones. So many of his friends just stayed on the base and wasted the opportunity.

  3. Sue in MN
    Sue in MN says:

    Mini-office – mini-stapler, eraser, package of leads for mechanical pencil, a few paper clips, some postage stamps, sheet of mini glue dots (in place of tape), even a small white-out will fit. Great for the glove compartment, backpack, computer case or when travelling.
    Corral paperclips, rubber bands or small parts in your kitchen “junk drawer”
    Battery holder – holds a small assortment of AA, AAA, 2032 & other button batteries – great for the backpack, briefcase or travel
    (and much cheaper to carry those little specialty batteries in the sizes you need than to buy them on the road.)

  4. Linda Waud
    Linda Waud says:

    I dried some lovely Lemon Drop Peppers from our garden, then wanted to mail some to my son. Wondered how to package the peppers to keep them from getting smashed into dust. Aha! A sturdy glasses case would just do the trick. When my son opened his package, he thought I was making fun of him because he’d just started needing reading glasses. His frown turned into a smile — and a big laugh for me — when he discovered the case’s content.

  5. Helen
    Helen says:

    Pop some holes in the top and keep your hamster in it when visiting the vets. Remember not to put the hamster in there before making the holes.

  6. ThistleCoveFarm
    ThistleCoveFarm says:

    Fortunately my eyes haven’t changed in decades so I switch out eye glasses. My eyes get a workout due to the different shape lenses and it helps strengthen my eyes.

  7. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    I am a cross stitcher, and own a bunch of magnetic needleminders. The ones not being used on current projects are very nicely corralled in two eyeglass cases. My friend who crochets has a case that holds her scissors and large needles she uses to weave in her yard ends.

  8. Barb Dawson
    Barb Dawson says:

    Keeping coins in a glasses case rather than the console of your vehicle may prevent break ins b/c no $ is visible! Good for finding coins for tolls too!

  9. Louise Dufresne-Mongeon
    Louise Dufresne-Mongeon says:

    Bring them to your local school nurse. Many of my students do not have cases when they take their glasses off for recess or PE.

    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Great idea! I’ll bet I’m not the only one who’s never thought about that kind of situation, (My 3-year-old grandson Sam, wears glasses full-time. The blue frames are pretty cute, made of rubber, and I’m sure we could tie them in a knot and they’d bounce right back. But having them in a safe place would be absolutely necessary, that is if he would even entertain the idea of taking them off.)

  10. Bookworm
    Bookworm says:

    Why didn’t I think of that — nail tools in an eyeglass case! I’ve had empty cases that were too pretty to throw away, and I’ve been using zipper snack bags for my cuticle scissors, nail file, etc. Thanks!

  11. Pidgie
    Pidgie says:

    I think it is perfect for travel size toothpaste and fold up toothbrush. Even though the toothbrush folds into itself there was still lint etc that got on the brush part. Eyeglass cases keeps them lint free and it’s in the same case as the toothpaste, BONUS!!

  12. Elaine
    Elaine says:

    My old glasses case stands up with clip on the top end. Works perfectly in my church bag to contain pens, a paper folded fan and a nail file

  13. Judi
    Judi says:

    Old cases are perfect for those who like to craft, sew, crochet. It holds supplies (scissors, hooks, rotary cutters, markers, etc). This works especially well when you need to take these things to classes.

  14. Jackie G
    Jackie G says:

    I use an old eyeglass case to keep paperclips in one place in my desk drawer. Somehow the open trays don’t seem to hold them in one place as well.

  15. Maryann
    Maryann says:

    Here are a few other ideas:

    1. Use one to carry your own stash of Sweet N Low or whatever kind of sugar substitute you like. I’m diabetic and when I go out I like to make sure I have some of these with me, and the eyeglass case is the perfect place to put them, instead of having them floating around in my purse or being squashed in the pocket of my jeans.

    2. Makeup. You can fit mascara, an eyeshadow, an eyeliner and more in an eyeglass case so you’ll have them when you need them to touch up before going out after work.

    3. Lipsticks/lip balms. If you’re like me and carry more than one color, it’s so much easier to find them all in one place in a handy case instead of rooting around in your purse for just the right one.

    4. Pens/pencils. If you’re someone who always offers a writing instrument when someone needs one but you have to say, “Hold on, I know I have one in my pocketbook,” and then proceed to dig through said purse, now you can just grab your handy-dandy repurposed eyeglass case, open it, and say, “Choose!”


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