Picture of Ear bud case from a contact lens case
Ear buds are a wonderful way to connect your ears to your mp3 player but they have an awful tendency to turn themselves into knots that only a mathematician could love. Thankfully my wife's terrible vision has provided me a way to avoid those mathematically intriguing knots. Below is a simple way of turning extra contact lens cases into ear bud cases.

Step 1: Cut the contact lens case

Picture of Cut the contact lens case
Remove the caps from the lens case, then cut a small slot in each bowl (see the second picture). The amount of material you need to remove will depend on the size and design of the "handle" portion of your ear buds. The last image in the Instructable shows some white buds that needed a longer thinner slot than the black ones. The slot should be big enough to allow the bud to rest entirely in the bowl of the lens case. If it rises above the lip of the bowl, then the caps will not screw on properly.

The easiest way to cut the cases is to heat an exacto knife in flame. If you don't use heat then use a very sharp blade and go slow. The plastic is a little brittle and is prone splitting if you apply too much pressure.
Wehrdo4 years ago
Wasn't this in Popular Science as a 5 minute project? Because I made one after reading about it in there. I use it every day, so if it was your idea, thank you very much! It has kept my earbuds working for three years now.
mowdish (author)  Wehrdo4 years ago
Hi Wehrdo,

It was in Popular Science and it was my idea. My name was written in very tiny letters to the right of the 5 minute project. I'm glad it has been so useful for you. Thanks for mentioning it. This is my first confirmation that anyone noticed the PopSci project.
EPL6 years ago
yea i used to wrap the ear buds around my ipod really tight and the thing that connects the ear buds to the ipod ripped and the wires were exposed.
cturtle6 years ago
This is a great use for all those free cases I keep getting. I used the same method as hot-fresh-rider for my Skullcandy Ink'd ear buds.
KillerPanda6 years ago
good idea, seeing as i have several of these lying around somewhere with no use and i always end up destroying any ear bud or headset i come across. 4.5 stars =)
mowdish (author)  KillerPanda6 years ago
sabbott6 years ago
this is great! I've been trying to think of some way to store these things more effectively, just love it. Thanks for posting.
mowdish (author)  sabbott6 years ago
Thanks, and your welcome.
udinho6 years ago
I think that this is not so good for these phones which have a "handle portion". Depending on where they're stored, it could damage the earphones.
HailDanzig6 years ago
And I just threw a couple of those away! Good idea. :)
this took me only 30 minutes, then 15 minutes fiddling with the photos in paint.net LOL _
KOSS contact lens case.jpg
mowdish (author)  hot-fresh-rider6 years ago
sweet. I didn't figure that style of earplug would fit sideways. It makes your case a little cleaner than mine. In fact, if you tied a little knot in the wire before it leaves the case, then you could save connection from the stress of constantly being rewound.
the stress of being rewound is less than being chucked in my pocket ! the wire sits in a V wedge right next to the cap. If i hadn't cut this notch then screwing the cap down would damage the wire. awesome instructable btw - because I realised "hey wait a minute, instead of just reading this one, I could actually do it now!" like i'm with so many other instructables. recommend Koss plugs btw, esp "the plug" haven't tried the "spark plugs" yet but I imagine they are much the same.
chaitanyak6 years ago
fantastic idea!!
mowdish (author)  chaitanyak6 years ago
Audey6 years ago
AHH; I tried it and then the conditioning solution wrecked my headphones and my headphones destroyed my contacts! DAMN!
mowdish (author)  Audey6 years ago
I'm sorry to hear that. You might be using the wrong conditioning solution. I recommend Earwax Begone brand conditioning solution. Also, unlike contacts you need to let the earbuds dry out after leaving them in the solution overnight.
Patented Audey6 years ago
Hahaa! XD
*snap* we have the same spare contact lens case. Just bought some KOSS KEB 24's and need somewhere nice to keep them.
actually, the indents were intended to reduce plastic needed to make the cases, but unintentionally made a perfet place to wrap an earbud cord.
mowdish (author)  mettaurlover6 years ago
My sources tell me that contact-lens cases, like vegetables or gold, are priced by weight. So the the bigger they are the more the manufacturer makes. But my sources have been wrong before....
yep. this is a method of reducing the actual amount of plastic using while still keeping the weight of the divider.
mowdish (author)  mettaurlover6 years ago
Hmmm, I can't tell if you didn't get my joke or if I'm not getting yours. Anyway, I agree that the overt reason for the indentations was to save plastic. Still, I like to think that subconsciously the designers knew that what they designed was destined to hold my ear buds.
i may be crazy, but i know what i'm doing. which, in fact, is worse than if i didn't know what i was doing. the only thing worse than a crazy kid who doesn't know what he's doing is a crazy kid who knows exactly what he's doing.
ChrysN6 years ago
Very clever, so having terrible vision is not all bad.
mowdish (author)  ChrysN6 years ago
Or at least having a partner with terrible vision is not all bad. Thanks to all for the comments.
goodgnus6 years ago
Not bad, not bad!
PSPerson6 years ago
never thought of doing that.