It’s easy to donate your old eyeglasses, but what about the cases?
The donation facility likely doesn’t want them. You got a new one with your new eyeglasses, so YOU don’t need them. They’re probably not recyclable and probably made of plastic, so your choices are to toss your old eyeglass case into the waste stream or to upcycle it into something new.
I think you know which of those choices *I* think you should pick!
To make it easier on you, check out this list of awesome ways to upcycle eyeglass cases. Find a project to excite and inspire you, and you’ll be happy to keep your eyeglass case out of the waste stream and make a new, useful second life for it:
1. Travel sewing kit. An old eyeglass case makes for a super handy travel sewing kit. Keep one in every car, the bag you carry around each day, and the guest bathroom, and you’ll never be unprepared for a sewing emergency. A good travel sewing kit should have a couple of needles, both black and white thread, a couple of buttons, and thread scissors.
2. Travel first aid kit. Eyeglass cases are great for these types of kits because they’re just the right size. You’ll have no problem fitting some band-aids, antibacterial wipes, tweezers, and a couple of Tylenol and allergy pills into this take-anywhere travel first-aid kit.
3. Clutch. For those times when all you need to carry is your ID, a credit card, and maybe some chapstick, check out this beautifully upcycled eyeglass case clutch. It’s the perfect size to fit easily on one hand, and if you embellish the snot out of it, nobody would even guess that it used to hold your sunglasses!
4. Animal clutch. You’ll need a hard-shell eyeglass case for this project, but when you’re done, you’ll have a great, kid-friendly holder for all sorts of kid treasures.
5. Embellish it! Of course, you don’t need a billion eyeglass cases. But perhaps you DO need a couple–one plain one for everyday, and one very, very beautiful one for special occasions. Consider blinging a plain eyeglass case and turning it into the one that you use for special times. It’s nice to have something that doesn’t look like it’s a dime a dozen, and if you know that you’ve got it on hand, then it’s easy to remember to say no to the free eyeglasses case that comes with your next pair of glasses.
6. Jewelry holder. An eyeglass case is a great choice to carry your jewelry when you travel.
8. iPod storage. You’d have to have some pretty big glasses in order to fit one of those fancy-schmancy iPods, but my iPod nano and earbuds would fit perfectly into this made-over iPod storage case.
8. Manicure kit. Do you spend time waiting in the car? Sometimes I feel like I spend MOST of my time waiting in the car! With this DIY manicure kit upcycled from an eyeglass case, you can use that wait time to pretty up your fingernails. There’s plenty of room to hold your favorite nail polish, clear coat, nail trimmers, and a nail file. Add a dotting tool or some glitter polish, and you can use those spare minutes to turn your basic manicure into something fun and fancy!
9. Snack holder. Don’t you hate it when your snack bar gets mashed inside your backpack? I have eaten more flat Lara Bars than I can name, and I promise you that they do not taste as good when they’re squished! Save yourself the misery and store your snacks in a hard-shell eyeglass case. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, decoupage old snack bar wrappers onto the outside of the case so that you always know where your nummies are!
10. Mini tool kit. The case used in this project is a zippered sunglasses case. The attached hanging loop lets you add on even more important tools!
11. Altered art. Turn your eyeglass case into a piece of art! Here’s another piece of altered eyeglass case art, complete with tutorial. The sky is the limit with these–turn them into shadow boxes, dream catchers, miniature altars, or treasure boxes.
12. Altered eyeglass case box. Did you know that even the packaging that a pair of eyeglasses comes in has its own packaging? Grr! Here’s a fun idea for upcycling the box that a pair of eyeglasses in their case comes in.
13. Train set in an eyeglass case. This is more inspiration piece than project tutorial, but it’s detailed enough that it should give you a clear idea about how to go about transforming your eyeglass case into an adorable teeny train set. If you’re feeling even more motivated, there’s an intricately-detailed eyeglass case train diorama here. Who knew that this was a thing?!?
Do you have an awesome way to re-use your eyeglass cases? Tell me all about it in the Comments below!