What to do With Old Glasses

Are you still hoarding those old sunglasses and eyeglasses? Whether your prescription changed or technology eliminated the need for your former thick, soda bottle lenses, you’ve moved onto greener eyewear pastures. Don’t toss those spectacles! We have plenty of ideas for what to do with old prescription glasses from repurposing to donating.

Creative Uses for Old Glasses and Sunglasses:

Who doesn’t love a good project? Lucky for you, if you’re bespectacled, there are plenty of DIY projects using old glasses. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Turn your old reading glasses into a unique drawer knob. Remove the lenses. Find some paper with a pretty pattern and decoupage it to the back of your eyeglass lens before adhering the lens to a drawer pull or knob.
  • Eyeglasses as picture frames? You bet. Print out some of your favorite photos, preferably wallet-sized. Trace around the glasses frame before cutting the picture to fit the lens. Using a hot glue gun, dab some glue around the glasses frames, stick the pictures on, press firmly, hold for a few seconds and you’re done. Check out this tutorial for a cool glasses family tree idea or display them in a shadow box.
  • If you’re unsure of what to do with old sunglasses, consider crafting a necklace. Cat-eye frames work great. Take off the sides and hooks so the sunglasses lay flat. Attach chains and show off your frames. Or remove the lenses from used sunglasses or eyeglasses, decoupage a photo or patterned paper to the back, drill a hole at the top, add a jump ring and thread a necklace chain through. Here is a tutorial for making pendants from used sunglasses.

Donate Old Glasses:

Give someone else the gift of excellent eyesight by donating your old eyeglasses and sunglasses. Check out local churches and community organizations. Or, stop by a designated drop spot for the Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center. Take a gander at the list of locations of where to recycle used glasses. If you’d rather mail them in, donate them to Third World Eye Care Society Canada. What happens to old glasses? It depends on the organization, but most are recycled and given to underprivileged people in need of vision correction both locally and in developing nations.

Bonus: DIY Projects for Old Glasses Cases

Continue on with your repurposing mission with some DIY projects using unwanted eyeglass cases:

  • Old eyeglass and sunglass cases are perfect for storage. Put jewelry in them while traveling, make a sewing kit for when you’re on the go, use them for makeup cases or even neatly roll up headphones and chargers and store them inside.
  • Turn that case into a cute clutch. Brush a coat of Mod Podge onto an old glasses case, adhere fabric, embellish and utilize a long necklace for the strap. See the full tutorial here.

There are tons of ways to revive an old pair of glasses. Or, if you’re not the crafty type, donate them. Now that you know what do with used glasses, replace them with the perfect new pair. The Spectacle Shoppe in Vancouver offers the best designs from around the world. Contact us today so you can see in style.

Morgan Nahanee
Morgan Nahanee


Morgan is The Spectacle Shoppe’s Lead Technician and Customer Relations Specialist as well as a Principle of Spectacle Shoppe. She is a licensed contact lens fitter and dispensing optician and has been working for The Spectacle Shoppe since 2006. She graduated from Douglas College’s two year Dispensing Optician and Contact Lens Fitting Program in 2008. From contact lens fitting to eyeglass repairs and adjustments Morgan is eager to help you with any optical needs. Connect with Morgan Nahanee on Google+