I stained the whole thing a dark, dark cherry almost black (not using actual stain but water mixed with acrylic paints), then drew outlines using black pencil, the pattern is an old wallpaper fragment I found, then painted in the white bits, then laquered the whole thing with a shiny water-based sealer. This is not a DIY so much as just painting a box. But there was a lot of sanding involved.
Japanese wave inspired custom painted chucks. These are really simple all you need is a black sharpie and white watered down acrylic or fabric paint (and a small paint brush would possibly help). Find an image you like and one that matches the colour of the shoe, do not, under any circumstance use images from Twilight. You will have to paint the same image four times, so choose something relatively simple.
Draw the outline with the black marker, no point using a pencil unless your sneakers are white.
I painted several layers, building up the white to get the gradient effect. I used Liquitex acrylic paint, any good quality acrylic paint will do the job (I added a bit of water added to thin it out to get the layers, could also use pouring medium for diluting), or fabric paint if you have it. Repeat on all sides until you see waves when you close your eyes.