In Hans Holbein’s famously inexplicable painting, “The Ambassadors,” a large anamorphic skull appears to lie across the floor at the feet of two dandified renaissance gentlemen.  The skull appears in correct perspective only when the painting is seen from an acute angle looking diagonally down from the right-hand side of the painting (or diagonally up from the lower left-hand corner).  I decided to make a latch-hooked anamorphic skull rug in order to display the skull image from the painting on the floor in real life, and to see if the image would change in and out of correct perspective as the viewer walks past it (it does!). You can follow the same process I used in this project to turn the image of your choice into a photorealistic latch-hooked rug.

Project Steps

Choose a digital image that you want to make into a latch hooked rug, then pixelate the image to the resolution that you want your rug to be.

If you are using Photoshop, go to Filter and scroll down to Pixelate and then select Mosaic. The more pixels in the image, the lager the rug will be.

If you are using Photoshop, go to Image and scroll down to Adjustments and select Posterize. Manipulate your image until you find the combination of colors that you like. If you already have colors that you wish to use in your rug, then you can manipulate the image by changing the contrast and color saturation to try and match your image to the colors you have.  This image will be the pattern that you use to make your rug.

Count the number of pixels along the length and width of your image. Make sure that your latch-hook canvas has more rows across its length and width than the number of pixels along the length and width of your image.

Print out your pattern and look for yarns that match the colors in your pattern. You can get rug yarn, but just about any heavier yarn will work (I used a few different kinds of yarn in my project and they all worked fine).

Cut your yarn into 3-5 inch pieces.

Wrap a piece of yarn around your latch-hook tool.

Weave the tool under one of the rows on the rug canvas and pull the yarn over the row into the hook.

As you start to pull the latch hook tool back out of the canvas the latch will close over the yarn and keep the hook from catching. Keep light tension on the two ends of the yarn until it is fully pulled through the canvas. You may need to give the yarn a little tug to tighten up the knot and keep it from coming out.

Follow the pattern and hook each color of yarn to the canvas according to its corresponding color in the pattern. It helps to go row by row, crossing each row out on the pattern as you finish it.

When you have your pattern all latch-hooked onto your canvas, you can cut the rest of the canvas off around your latch-hooking, leaving about a 2-inch margin. The excess canvas can be folded under the rug and stitched down or secured by iron-on fabric tape. 

Put your rug on the floor or the wall or wherever you want and enjoy!