In Illustrator, you can design patterns, complex graphics and work with type. You can learn to design printables fast with the Basic Printable Design Course from Printable Crush. Illustrator is a highly in-depth program, so taking a course is a quick way to learn the basics.
You can learn to design printables with free options like Canva, or Paint. These programs are fine for basic designs, but can be very limiting. If you would like completely custom designs, programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are excellent.