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
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

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.

A pair of scissors

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.

A close up of a bowl on a table, with Case and Glasses

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.

A close up of a pan on a table, with Glasses Case


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

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25 replies
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  1. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!

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