8 Best Uses For Old Phone Cases

Phone cases have been popular accessories to purchase along with a new mobile phone ever since touchscreens took over the mobile market. Long gone are the days of mobile phones looking unique, as nearly all phones these days are simply a big screen, meaning that phone cases are one of the few ways a person can truly personalize a device they take with them almost everywhere.

Consumers often go through many different cases, whether that is because of changing fashions, the case breaking while protecting an iPhone, or the cover becoming obsolete upon the purchase of a newer model of phone. This could easily leave you with a plethora of useless cases that no longer fit the phone you use every day.

It would be a waste to just throw away all these old phone cases, so here are a few methods with which you can reuse and repurpose old cases in creative and original ways.

Luggage tag

There can be nothing worse than losing a luggage tag during a flight. With the way luggage can be thrown around and bashed all over an airplane's baggage hold, it can be easy for the luggage tag to be ripped off of a suitcase, losing the one thing that identifies your luggage.

Interestingly, an old phone case can make for a surprisingly adept luggage tag. In fact, there are enough similarities that you can even find some phone cases that are designed to look like luggage tags, such as this Pangram Custom case from Casetify. Phone cases are usually much stronger and sturdier than ordinary luggage tags and it is fairly easy to create one from an old phone case. 

The easiest way is the most straightforward. Start by simply writing your name and details on the inside of an old phone case, as you would with any other luggage tag. After that, thread some string through the phone case's handy camera hole and voila — you have a convenient and durable luggage tag.

Picture frame

It seems like it is becoming rarer and rarer for photographs to ever get printed in physical media these days. Most photos just go straight onto social media or disappear into digital camera rolls, as very few people bother to print out reams and reams of vacation pictures, as families once did. That doesn't have to be the case, however, as an old phone case can be used to modernize your photographs.

A particularly fun way to repurpose old photographs — as well as an old phone case — is to turn them into a photo and a photo frame combination. Printing out some family photos, vacation pictures, or even selfies in the same size as the phone case, then fitting those photos into the case can leave you with a funky, minimalist photo frame. The camera hole in the phone case can even make for a fun way to hang your new phone case photo frame.


It is not unheard of for the old ways to work just as well as the new. These days it is much more common for people to use the note-taking app on their phones rather than keep notes in a physical notepad. However, many people still like to use a good old pen and paper. With this in mind, an old phone case can make for a very effective and highly resilient notepad. The harder molding of most phone cases is much stronger than the paper or card used in many notepads, and the phone case can offer better and water-resistant protection for anyone's notes.

There are a few ways you can fashion this, and it can be as easy as gluing a paper notepad to the inside of an old phone case, so long as it fits. However, if you want to break out your DIY skills, there are more in-depth and craftier ways to make a phone case notepad in which you will need a glue gun, wax paper, and paper cutters. Finally, grab your old phone case along with a notepad and you will be ready to go. Instructables has a great guide for how to get this done — happy crafting!

Soap dish or coaster

If you aren't exactly the crafting kind, there are still other ways you can reuse an old phone case. In fact, one very simple way requires no special DIY skills. The easiest way to reuse an old phone case is to simply use it as a coaster. As most phones are actually pretty big these days, a lot of their cases can be usefully repurposed as coasters for drinks and glasses.

Reusing old phone cases is an excellent way to practice sustainability and commit to zero waste. If the phone cases are in good condition, then they are perfectly good items to keep around and reuse as coasters, and some phone cases even have non-slip grips which are perfect for the bathroom or kitchen. In these parts of your home, an old phone case can be used as a soap dish, a sponge holder, or a candle holder. 

Old phone cases also work well as holders for easy-to-lose objects like jewelry or nuts and bolts in a toolbox. It is well worth keeping old phone cases around for uses just like this.

Bike phone mount

Phone mounts for a bike or motorcycle can cost anywhere from $20 to $50, and they are a very useful tool for regular bikers. After all, many cyclists depend on their phones to function as a GPS during their journey. Having that information available on your phone while affixed to the handlebars using specialized phone mounts is both convenient and a vital navigation tool. However, instead of spending good money on a phone mount, why not make a phone mount for a bike using an old phone case that will cost nothing? 

There are various ways in which this can be done and the best results usually come from specifically silicon phone cases. The easiest way to do this is by cutting four holes into the phone case and then threading zip ties through the holes in the case, as shown in this video from The One Good Road. Tightening the zip ties will affix the phone case to the bike's handlebars, and simply sliding the phone into the case will mount the device. 

If the zip ties don't feel secure enough, the phone case bike mount can easily be constructed using screws for a little extra security, as can be seen on this guide from Instructables. This strategy can work for a number of things and is a solid way to create a phone mount for whatever object you might want to fix your phone onto.

Cord holder and organizer

Phone cases can be pretty sturdy and have a great deal of longevity, which makes it a waste to give up such good protection just because a newer phone model becomes available or you have simply decided to buy a new case. Well-made phone cases are designed to protect a valuable mobile phone, and they can do just as good a job at protecting other important items you might want to keep safe as well. With a minimal amount of effort, an old phone case can be adapted to create protection for smaller items like earbuds or phone chargers and can also be used as an organizer for these smaller items that have a high chance of being lost.

To transform an old phone case into a cord holder, first make a few careful cuts into the phone case, as demonstrated by a user on Instructables. These will make it easier to fold the case over on itself. Next, use a little bit of string or rubber bands to secure to phone case in place, and there you go! Now, the old phone case can be used as protection and organization for those annoying, easy-to-lose items like wireless earbuds.

Upcycle customization

Some phone cases are so cheap these days it can be easy to just buy a new case when the old one breaks or a new fashionable design comes along, leaving the old case looking boring and out of date. That doesn't always have to be the case, however. Instead of buying a whole new phone case, there is also the option to get creative and revamp the old boring case in order to create something new and fashionable in and of itself.

There are plenty of DIY videos on YouTube of people artistically updating their boring old phone cases, and there are several ways this can be done. You can creatively apply paint, stickers, photographs, and even break out the glue to add some texture to the case with seashells, buttons, pearls, gemstones, leather, mirrors, or tape. The possibilities are truly endless.

LV Monocrafts Design have even shared a video on how they managed to upgrade a cheap phone case into a makeshift designer case with a little bit of effort and artistic know-how.


Good old recycling is perhaps the easiest way to reuse an old phone case if none of the ideas above peak your interest. These days, phone cases can come in plenty of various shapes and sizes, while brands are known to use many different materials to make these unique phone cases, with trendy additions like glitter, sequins, and baubles. These materials can make it difficult to know what the best way to recycle your old phone cases. In fact, some municipal recycling facilities won't even accept phone cases because of the materials that come with them.

To combat this, there are some companies that use specific recycling processes when it comes to phone cases. Terracycle is known for recycling the unrecyclable and they are in partnership with phone accessory brand PopSockets to help people dispose of their old phone cases in an environmentally friendly way, and Casetify's ReCasetify also offers a similar service.