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the right lamp shade


A few months ago, I bought this pretty alabaster lamp at an antique store.  I loved the shape of it…


It came with a shade, but I didn’t think it fit the lamp very well.  I ended up hanging onto it without a shade in the basement for a while and finally moved it up to my desk when I was working on the family room.  One day my mom and I went out shopping and I was planning on hitting Target to find a shade.  We weren’t able to make it to Target (we always run short on time when we’re out and about), but we did make it to Lowe’s.  I took a quick look at the lamp shade assortment and immediately knew this was the right one when I spotted it.


And I picked up a lamp harp and a simple nickel finial to go with the shade…


As some of you have noticed, I don’t have many lamps in my house (I just prefer overhead lighting), but I love how this one came together.



Okay, so I know a lamp shade isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but I’ve been busy working on more Christmas projects and I blog on the fly.  Sometimes that gets me in a crunch.

So, here’s a peek at what I worked on today…


I was really excited with how this project turned out and how well it photographed.  I’m actually looking forward to getting it under a tree and styled with some gifts.

I hoping to finish the rest of the Christmas projects tomorrow, so I can move on to working on some pieces for Lucketts.  I’m ready to paint, upholstery and show off some furniture makeovers.  I’m sure you’re ready for that, too!

All in good time…

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  1. I love that shade! I’m always looking for the perfect shade. Going to have to go check out Lowe’s one of these days! :)

  2. Tammy says:

    I enjoyed reading about the lamp shade. It’s all about decorating even down to picking a shade!

  3. Lampshades are tricky, and you picked just the perfect one for the lamp, which is gorgeous!

  4. I just simply enjoy each and everything you post on your blog. Just got the Bakers Twine that I purchased from the on-line shop. A few weeks ago I ordered the autographed copy of Inspire You. OMG!!!! thank you…. I love it.

  5. I agree–that is the perfect shade for that lamp! It looks so elegant on the desk. Your tree skirt is very eye-catching and festive. I can’t wait to see more!

  6. What a beautiful lamp! Heading to Lowe’s tomorrow to see if they have that shade here…I have a lamp that was my grandmother’s that I have needed a nice, neutral shade for and this one just may do the trick!

  7. What a beautiful lamp! And I must say that desk is gorgeous, it all looks so beautiful together

  8. I love your blog and I’m so happy you’ve been able to create a successful business here. I don’t mind ads on the screen, but the new one you’ve added that is some sort of video feed is annoying. Is there any way you can mute it while on your site? I tried, but it only froze the image and kept playing the sound.
    Not the reason I read MMS.

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Sorry about that! I don’t select specific ad campaigns, but rather I work with ad networks and they fill the ads. Sometimes I get those really annoying video ads, but I don’t like them, either! I try to figure out where they are coming from and block them. Thanks for letting me know!

  9. Barbara says:

    I love the lamp, and so glad you showed it with the new shade. I’m never sure what shade is appropriate for a lamp, nice to see yours as an example.

  10. Dang — I was at Lowe’s this evening and didn’t even think to check for lampshades there. I may have to make another stop soon…

  11. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, Sometimes it’s the little things that mean a lot! Love reading about your lampshade and I love the lamp too. You still have it goin’ on! Hugs, Anne Boykin

  12. Beautiful lamp and shade. They go together perfectly.
    Please share with us your secrets of how to find the right shade to fit the lamp. When I find a shade it’s either too small, short, not the right shape or too large. I’ve resorted to taking the lamp with me and still can’t get it right. I know there must be others out there like me, please help us. We need pretty lamps too.

    • I’m with Vee! I have several lamps that I need help finding the perfect shade for. Nothing I have or purchase makes me happy. Your lamp and shade goes beautifully together!

      Please help!

  13. Too funny. I have almost the exact lamp but it is in the more tannish color. I ordered the same type shade but in burlap for mine.

    I think I asked you about lamps before. I love lamps and the decorative accent they give to a room. Plus, I love the glow of lamplight. Lamps and natural light – that’s my pick. My husband says if we EVER (we’re NOT) build another house – he’ll have no overhead lighting. LOL


  14. Love the lamp! It’s gorgeous. I saw one similar at a flea not too long ago that I wanted but it was too pricey. I should’ve bought it anyway. I probably would have if the hubs wasn’t along. He kind of keeps the pocket book in check. P.S. I like the shade too. I have one just like it from Lowes on my mercury glass lamp. I love the natural fibers and how much light filters through it.

  15. Teresa says:

    There is nothing more beautiful than a alabaster lamp and the shade goes lovely with it as well. My mother gave me a beautiful alabaster lamp several years ago for Christmas. She found one at a flea market for a steal. However, I have noticed they have gone up in price dramatically over the last few years.

  16. Are you going to have a tutorial for the tree skirt? I have an abundance of felt and this is great inspiration!

  17. I have the same lampshade. I used it over a too small chandy in the entryway and it looks great (or it will when I take the fixture down so I can hang lampshade in the correct direction, right now it’s hanging upside down) . I thought it was well made. Sara

  18. How do you know if a lamp like yours is alabaster or marble? And what’s the difference anyway? I’m thinking of taking two matching one’s from my uncle’s estate, but they look discolored.

  19. Beth Reil says:

    Alabaster is much lighter than marble, & will scratch much easier, even with a fingernail…also, it is supposed to be pure white, whereas marble is quite often veined. From what I see in this picture, I would suspect this lamp may actually be marble, especially if it is very heavy.

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Ha! I called it a marble lamp the last time I posted about it and many people informed me it was alabaster. It’s just a pretty lamp made out of some kind of stone in my book. :)

      It is very soft and not as heavy as I would imagine a solid marble lamp would be, so my guess is it’s alabaster…

      • Nicole says:

        I have a similar lamp. What size shade did you use? I was at Lowe’s today and they have it in medium and large. Also, what size harp did you use? An 8″ or 10″?



  20. Jeanine C. says:

    Lamp and shade….SWOON <3

  21. Marlene says:


  22. That IS the perfect shade for the lamp. I love the linen look of it, and it’s so pretty and fresh looking! Lowes has some pretty good stuff sometimes!


  23. Hey Marion, Love your alabaster lamp. I have collected several, mostly small ones since I saw Catherine’s over at A country Farmhouse (now In the Fields). My favorite is a good size table lamp, kinda medium size I’d say…I love that it has a bit of cafe au lait veining. I found a burlap shade the same shape as yours in a natural color that picks up the veining in the lamp…I still love looking at it. :)


  24. Marian, can I just say that not only are you talented in what you do with you decorating, but you have the kindest soul. I am bedbound and find so much joy each day in your posts. I watched you and your husband sing a Christmas song on video last night and it so touched my heart. God has blesses you with a beautiful voice, but even more, a beautiful heart to share your many talents. Your greatest talent, by far, is the way you treat others. If all you did each day was just talk with others, that would be enough. Your parents must be commended for the influence they have had in the life of a wonderful child. Thank you for the joy you bring to days of hidden sorrow for many who are no longer able to DIY. God bless you, Marian.

  25. gorgeous lamp! that shade is the way it pinches in at the center…gives a very pretty feminine silhouette!

  26. Karen says:

    I ADORE that lamp and the shade looks perfect. I have three alabaster lamps in my house, and would have more if I could find them at reasonable prices! So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Jo Ann says:

    Lamps are my favorite thing to shop for. I love your lamp and shade and they are perfect together. Beautiful as are all of your things.

  28. Sarah says:

    Lowes has great lamp/shade selection at a good price. Think you are missing “mood” by not using more lamps. They add great warmth. In fact, I think lighting is one of the most important things in a room. Just an opinion.

    • I totally agree w/you, Sarah! My husband teases me about all the lamps I have in the house, but I don’t think anything works quite as nicely for warmth & charm as lighting from lamps….!

  29. Nanci Neenan says:

    I would love to see a post about how to choose a lamp shade….are size, scale…etc. I have some awesome lamps and can never figure out how to properly shade them!


  30. Kellene says:

    Great tree skirt!!!! Fun fun fun!

  31. Paula Lusk says:

    Marion, don’t ever apologize for sharing with us. I just love that lampshade you got. I, too, have a alabaster lamps and am looking for a shade. I will have to go to Lowe’s. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Great lamp! The shade is really perfect-linen. Target has a great selection of lamps/shade. In fact, I found a smaller version of what looks like your bedside lamps. The weathered brown wooden base-which can always be painted;-) I was so happy find a similar looking base because I had been meaning to ask you about the lamps in your bedroom. :-)

  33. MaryM says:

    The lamp is gorgeous and the lampshade is perfect! I love the tree skirt and hope you’ll consider a doing a tutorial. Felt is so easy and fun to work with and I have tons in my craft closet.

  34. Teresa says:

    Love the alabaster lamp. And, the cute white bowl used to hold pens/pencils. I have a similar lamp that needed to be re-wired. I wanted my husband to teach our son about re-wiring a lamp so our son would have that knowledge. He could not understand why I would suggest such a thing but he did participate! Had the same issue of finding a new lamp shade. Finally found one on sale at PB that I love! Enjoy your alabaster lamp!

  35. Deb Smith says:

    I’m thrilled with this post because you did the leg work for me! Recently, I found a pair of alabaster lamps (almost identical to yours) at a local thrift shop. I couldn’t believe my good fortune at finding two and in perfect condition. At the checkout I was told that all furniture and accessories were being discounted an extra 25% so I was able to purchase the pair for less than $40.00! The shades were black silk, the finials were asian inspired and neither worked with the lamps. They’ve been sitting shadeless on our bedside tables for weeks. Now I know exactly where to go for shades and which ones will be perfect. Thank you Marion! Keep up the good work and I hope your little guy is doing well. Deb

  36. The shade is lovely, it is in perfect proportion to the lamp…and gorgeous styling as always.

    Lee :)

  37. Love this lamp! Great shade! Last year I stumbled upon a target sale and purchased a ton of shades many for $5 a piece…. a steal since they are usually $20+ I love this shade from Lowes! It is a perfect fit! I can understand your love for overhead lighting, since we live in a 1740’s home we have NO OVERHEAD LIGHTING! At some point we will have to have something installed but for now, we live in the sunlight by day and lamp light by night. hehehe. Again, great lamp! Nicole

  38. I have the same lamp & have been looking for a shade. Guess I will head to Lowes. I’m so surprised you prefer overhead lighting. I would much rather have lamps lit around a room. It gives a much cozier & warmer feel to to the room.

  39. Glenda says:

    You and I have so many similarities in taste – but overhead lighting isn’t one of them. I detest overhead lighting and have a strong preference for lamps. I find overhead lighting harsh and opt instead for the soft glow of lamps. So far that is the only difference I have noticed. Other than your favorite color being blue – mine is sage green and various shades of gold/beige/taupe. Not that I dislike blue and you “do it” so nicely.

    I have to close now because I have a MMS painting project to get to today.


  40. Gilda says:

    I buy the same lamps and have the same issue: the shade I get with it is all wrong..nice to know that i can hit Lowes for a nice one like you have. I love these lamps very much!

  41. Kaye Chastain says:

    I make lamps (out of stacking boxes, resin figures) and have quite a bit of experience with lampshades. Lowe’s is a great source for shades and even suggests which size and shape is most appropriate for which style lamp. There are guidelines to follow in choosing a shade for a particular lamp (what shape, how tall, how far down the bottom should come in order to conceal the lightbulb and switch apparatus, how big around the bottom should be.) So actually it isn’t quite the simple project it seems! You, however, did a great job choosing a shade for your pretty lamp, and it is lovely!!

  42. Yep. I like Lowes for lampshades. In fact, I never thought of Target! I just bought a shade for a lamp that I rescued from the roadside – and painted with Eulailie’s Sky. It’s looking fabulous!

  43. Melissa Parris says:

    I have two beautill (pretty tall) Allabaster lamps in my family room that my husband brought home to sell on EBay . had never saw any before but I was really drawn to them and decided to keep them. I put a “pottery barn” linen shade , the darker one on them (I had from previous lamps) they look fantastic!! Love them!! I’m at work or I would send you a pic. Just a thought….

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