Today I had to customise the advanced search box in our CCRB website. (My current SP version is Standard SharePoint 2010)
All I needed was to make the search box stands out from other content. so only used one image to customise it.
Here is the final look of it in IE8 (a little bit different in IE7):
Very simple to achieve.
- Added the top blue bar image to Style Library-> Images folder (Image width is 385px)
- Went to the style sheet in the Style Library and added some code to the bottom of the file
margin: 0 auto;
border: #0089D0 1px solid;
background:url(../images/srch.png) top center no-repeat #f2f2f2;
Also found this article for customising standard search box.