Hi, I am in Wilton course 4 and have some experience with fondant. I don't have any letter or number cutters or anything and I want to put 2009 on the side of the 6 inch fondant cake I am making to put on top of my cupcake stand. I have a few ideas I was going to look for a font on the computer and print it out the size I wanted and then use that as a guide and then cut it out, but would I need to let it dry a little before trying to attatch it to the side of the cake, and will vanilla be enough glue to hold it? I would also like any suggestions on different ways they have made hand made numbers and letters.
When I have done it in the past, I have rolled out the fondant in a "snake" to the thickness that I wanted, then used a template to form the writing. Then I attached it to the cake with some vodka. If you let it dry too much, it will crack when you attach it to the curve of the cake. Vanilla should be fine to glue it on. And your template idea will work too, it just gives a different effect.
I have printed out the letters/numbers I wanted in a font that I thought I could work with and blew it up to the size I needed, printed them out on heavy card stock and cut them out and placed them on the fondant/gumpaste and then cut around them with an exacto knife. Then let them dry before placing them on the cake. I would recommend using a "glue" made of water and meringue powder to brush on the back of the letters/numbers and place on the cake. If you are using buttercream frosting, then you should just be able to brush them and place them on the cake. Might have to hold them in place for a little bit to help them stick.
OR, if you have a cricut you can cut out your letters in stencil material and then use them to cut around on the fondant/gumpaste.