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How to turn photos into patterns in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Use an Animal Crossing pattern converter to turn your favorite pictures into murals

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An Animal Crossing character excited stands in front of a mural of an anime girl with pink hair, with the full drawing as a comparison Graphic: Julia Lee/Polygon | Source Images: Bandai Namco Entertainment, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

If you want to turn your favorite photo or drawing into a mural in Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch, you can do that using custom patterns.

You will need the Nintendo Switch Online app for Android or iOS to do this easily, as you’ll need to use the Animal Crossing: New Horizons features to transfer the patterns from your device to the game.

Step 1: Find your image file

Obtain your image file. Be aware that the more colors it has, the worse it’ll translate into the game.

Step 2: Crop the image into smaller, square pieces

Use an image editor to break up the image into even squares. Most photo editors will have a square cropping tool you can use, or you can paste and crop images into squares manually.

For the artwork at the top of this guide, we used large image that we were able to crop into 300-by-300 pixel squares. If the squares are too small, the detail won’t transfer well. Here’s an example of one of the four images we uploaded for the patterns at the top of this guide:

A small square of a pink-haired anime girl wearing a flower crown Image: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Save all of the pieces as separate files.

Step 3: Convert the image pieces into patterns

Upload each image piece to the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool by clicking “Convert” and uploading the file.

Then click the “Generate QR Code” button on the pattern tool.

Step 4: Scan the QR code

Scan your first QR code into the Nook Link function on the Nintendo Switch Online app.

Step 5: Download the pieces to Animal Crossing

Back on your Switch, press the Plus button on the pattern screen in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to download the pattern.

An Animal Crossing character looks at her patterns on her phone Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Repeat steps four and five until you have all your image pieces. (You can only download one at a time.)

Step 6: Arrange the pieces in your house

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, face your house’s wall and open the Custom Patterns menu from your Nook Phone. Select each pattern, choose “place on wall,” and select “canvas.” They’ll likely be positioned all over the place.

Close out that window and press down on your D-pad to enter the advanced furnishing mode. Press the Plus button to switch focus from the floors to your walls. Then press and hold A to drag your canvases to where they should go.

Note that placing patterns on the floor, side-by-side, will connect them seamlessly. But placing the patterns on your walls as a canvas will add spaces between the patterns. If you’re splicing up a person’s face or something with a lot of detail, it might look a little funky when you put it on the walls.

You can do this for just about every image, making them as big as you want them to be, provided that they’ll fit in your homes or outside on the floor. You can even make a three-by-three portrait of Ron Weasley eating chicken.

An Animal Crossing character stands in front of several canvases that make up an image of Ron Weasley eating chicken. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via pichucat/Reddit

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