As for the box I just painted on some characters from the game onto the first level background. and then glued the chess board i just made onto it.
I choose mario and princess peach as the king and queen and since i wanted to keep with the red vs green ( like mario and luigi's overalls) i made red yoshi for the mario knights, red tubes for the mario rooks and red turtle shells for the bishop. i made red yoshi eggs for the pawns. i did everything the same but in green for luigi except i made his queen princess daisy
i wanted the piecesto shine so i painted over them with some varnish that i had... later i found out that my clear nail polish would have worked the same.. oh well live and learn