FINALLY I finished the boxes I have been working on for a month or so now. Took much longer than I expected but I am totally pleased with the result. Not sure if I would do it the same next time as it cost more money than I wanted to spend. I might spend more time looking for wood boxes that would fit in the shelving.
1. pick out wood and cut it on a table saw to the dimensions you want
2. screw wood pieces together (this was tough)
3. fill screw holes with wood filler (and any other dents/scratches you might have)
4. sand wood filler down (basically like muding and sanding drywall) repeat 3 & 4 as necessary
5. paint boxes (let dry completely)
6. paint chalkboard paint on box as desired
Remember the before...